adversity · creativity · life · poetry · writing

Foundations

Rock solid,
biding time,
fixated on
a future
born of
movement.

Frozen –
iced snapshots
of possibility,
immobilized by
misperceptions

Role-playing
expectations
carved from
generations
of staging.

One falters
all tumble,
lives shatter,
sink, lies
bottom out

sediment
disintegrates,
settles –
strength emerges
resurrecting

rock by rock,
precarious at first,
then gradually
re-building,
balance restored.

(Submitted for Willow Poetry’s challenge:  What Do You See, based on featured image.)

adversity · blogging · culture · life · poetry · writing

It’s Not That I Don’t See…

Somewhere, searchers are combing through rubble
to find signs of life, or remains, while I fret over the
size of my belly, bloated by excess, filled by gluttony.

Somewhere, a mother pleas for the return of her child,
a daughter stolen, held by authority, while another cries
because her toddler’s coiffed appearance fails to win.

Somewhere, their village destroyed by war, families
flee to find peace, encounter rejection, and worse,
while a son murders his sister to honour family pride.

Somewhere, parents wait with terror-seized hearts
as a gun-wielding lunatic holds their children hostage,
while businessman fatten their wallets over arms sales.

Perspective tells me that I am unjustified to complain
over my first world problems, am selfish to bemoan
the trivialities of my self-centered existence, that I just

need to shift my viewpoint, look outside myself, and see
that inequalities and hardships beg for my compassion,
alter my focus and become a beacon for the world; and,

yet, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that floods my
large screen TV, desensitized by the staged and unstaged
images of brutality, tired of the unsubstantiated claims

of terrorism, and the political garnering for votes; cannot
bear to hear of one more gun attack in a country where
the right to bear arms is confused with personal security;

feel out of control when I listen to stories of great loss,
am compelled to shut off the media, turn my attention to
self-criticism, and find a manageable issue close to home.

(Tonight is Open Link Night at dVerse.  I am also linking this up with One Woman’s Quest II weekly challenge: attention.  “It’s Not That I Don’t See” first appeared September 2016.)

adversity · aging · health · poetry · writing

Calm Yourself, Woman

Circumstances shift –
breath the fertile air –
let dreams fly; expand

embrace change – hope,
now winged, an explorer
bursting with possibility.

I would move this old
body, relocate to new
beginnings, be reborn

but for these internal
trappings – begging for
extermination – retro

shaded memories –
long past expiration –
skewed accessibility,

stretched without purpose,
reconfiguration required –
history a real estate, I need

to unload; who will buy
a drama-laden, single
story alcoholic’s haunt?

Circumstances shift –
sniff the fertile air –
guard forbidden dreams

change, like wings, unfolds
in its own time; be patient,
possibility is taking flight.

(Poem originally appeared August of 2016)

adversity · creativity · culture · disability · poetry · writing

Defeated, I Turn Away

Back rested against post,
the figure guards the median –
poised with cardboard sign,
a simple plea for help.

Positions himself amid
gridlocked targets – usually,
I look away, disquieted,
but today I do not, wondering

what I could possibly give
this man that would lift him
from his plight –
surely others have tried,
and, yet, here he is
day after day
the same –

and
I am struck
with realization –
that we are not
all that different
he and I

both trapped in unhealthy
patterns, having adopted
personas that once served –
but now weigh heavily
with the stench of permanence

Does he not know it’s all
an illusion – a game we play
wherein we are the pawn?

I don’t know it either –
turn away, defeated.

(Frank is hosting at dVerse tonight and the jive is frustration and heartbreak.)

adversity · brain health · disability · health · ME/ CFS · poetry

No Race Today

Left leg
on strike,
brain
disengaged,
energy
scrounging
for re-charge
coming up empty

Body
derelict –
this illness
sensual agony –
forgive
my silences,
any absences

Spirit
like a racehorse
strains against
the reins
too taut,
hungry
to feel
the wind
in its stride,
breath
freedom.

Gate is closed.

(The challenge of living with chronic illness is to maintain balance.  There is a disconnect between what the body is capable of and what the spirit aspires to accomplish.  Today, body wins.  Thank you to Sammi Cox for the Weekend Writing Prompt: derelict; to Fandango for sensual; and to Daily Addictions for agony – all words that help convey this experience.)

adversity · creativity · dreams · Family · poetry · writing

Interior Motives

Mother lives in me –
her hopes and fears
now embodied
in my choices,
this guilt borne
of her suffering…

and her mother –
who laboured often
with unwelcome toil,
her only respite
widowhood –
it’s her legacy
I bear.

Potential –
who once appeared
with all the radiant
charm of youth,
exists within, also,
although our connection –
drowned out by the banter
of those gone before –
lacks substance.

I remember how
we used to sing –
hearts joyful,
full of daring.

How even in the face
of rigidity, we raised
our voices, dreamed

Now, both distracted –
I, shaking off fragments
of Mother’s hapless life,
extracting splinters
of a grandmother
destined to woe;

potential,
glances away,
forlorn as
a forgotten child,
pouting.

adversity · aging · brain health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Awkward

Chance encounter,
a simple “hello”,
and I reel
backwards,
grasping…

blank

the mind a trickster,
memory inaccessible,
panic pulses

a response…

hovers

out of reach

expectancy
a deadline…

Am I smiling?
Or just an inert fool,
this brain fog
a cruel master.

(Ran into an old friend today.  Could not remember her name, nor where I knew her from, only that we knew each other quite well.  This is has been happening frequently – maybe as I get out more.  Very disconcerting.

Prompts today are from Fandango:  deadline; Ragtag Community: pulse; and Daily Addictions: access.)

adversity · creativity · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

Washed Ashore

Was willing to settle
even before casting off

anchorless, with no compass
to guide me, no oar to steer

left fate to the currents
a vessel adrift, naïve

trusted those with power
to rescue me, unaware

of the target vulnerability
made of me, that sharks

like to circle wayward
boats, certain of a catch

no wonder, when finally
I came ashore, wrecked

I had lost faith in love,
turned hope to cynicism

had failed to register
the dangers of sailing,

into uncharted waters,
the necessity of navigational

resources, and a life jacket,
the knowledge to stay afloat

and safe, in a sea where
discernment saves hearts.

(Inspired by the image and Laura’s Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt: wrecked)