culture · disability · health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Insecurity Resolved

Unnerved by invitations –
isolation equates with security –
fear the onslaught of questions,
the unleashing of a torrent –
emotions flooding, crashing
through this gated illusion –
best to withdraw.

Withdraw my best
when gated by illusion
crashing, emotions flood –
need to tame this torrent
question the onslaught, brave
insecurity, negate isolation
embrace the invitations.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from my Twitter poems. Follow me @Vjknutson.  The first stanza is the original poem.  I left it here,  then unsatisfied, decided to turn it upside down and create a new outcome. .  Image from personal collection.)

aging · disability · life · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Travelling Solo

Chill and fog
cloud my senses –
effective distraction
loneliness holds no sway.

Others speed past,
while I advance,
slow, steady –
drawn by an unknown

Presence, who may
or may not receive me well
at this road’s end
I cannot tell.

Pray indifference
does not await me –
have suffered enough
no stomach for more.

Must stop a moment
and rest…darkness
brings its own brand
of cold… I am weary.

Tomorrow,
I’ll begin anew,
perhaps not so alone,

But loved ones
are preoccupied
others long gone

So the task remains
mine singularly
to further this journey

With faith to carry me
and a prayer for clear
passage to see me through.

(Image from personal collection.)
 

creativity · disability · health · ME/ CFS · poetry

Spooning

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

Source: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

I line my spoons on the counter –
measures of the day’s reserves

one spoon for morning tea
with a side of emails read

a shower requires two or three
with a guarantee of needed rest

I’ll linger horizontal – added care
when an outing is in the plans

the thrill of venturing, and delight
of conversation shared wipes

the counter clean – I’ll crash
and crave for one spoon more

enough to get me into bed
pray tomorrow’s count the same.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge, in which she challenges us to use one of the given lines of poetry.  Spooning is the term used for those of us with chronic illness who have limited energy.  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is characterized by exhaustion after exertions.  My day starts with depleted energy, and I work from there.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

change · disability · ME/ CFS · poetry

Watery Stagnation

Knee-deep wading
in electric yellow waters
of mud-laden stream

the coveted prize –
a mutated version –
Christ’s fish hovers

arms reach away –
have touched it –
recoiled out of fear.

Status is stagnation –
movement stymied
current lacking

Only the constant
thrum of winged
pests belligerence

punctures stillness,
irritates – its hard
shelled turquoise

body reminiscent
of Halcyon days,
Caribbean sunsets.

What evil virus has
cemented me here,
strangled nomadic

dreams, mired me
in polluted waters
imbued with cruel

uncertainty, faith-
less, immobilized
by incomprehensible?

(Watery Stagnation first appeared in August, 2016, and is edited here.

adversity · disability · life · ME/ CFS · poetry

Spirit Stands Strong

Progress – seldom linear –
tosses me into unexpected decline –
stranded and incapacitated.

My son – with labour-hardened strength
leaps to my side, steadying me
and I feel the fear in his caring grip.

My daughter, ever compassionate,
reaches out for me with horror-filled eyes
as my body crumples onto the bed.

My husband, my oak, seeks to comfort
his voice betraying the helplessness
this futile predicament imposes.

Beloveds, I know that you see me
this dis-abled, non-functioning shell
weakened and sickly, lying on this bed.

Do not be deceived – that is not me –
it is only an illusion –
a vessel – temporarily fettered.

I am, in essence, beside you –
ambitions and desires intact.
Feel me there, tall and proud.

Sense the wholeness of my being
remember me for the woman I am yet to be –
My spirit stands strong.

(I first wrote this poem in August of 2015, when efforts to sit up and visit with friends caused a collapse.  I wrote it as reassurance for my family that the woman they knew was still strong.  I post here now as a reminder to myself – of how far I have come, and how strong my spirit remains.)