change · disability · mental-health · poetry · psychology · writing

Turning Point

Played host to insecurity –
catered to bullying
undermined by warped
agendas, butchered by
provincial minds –

Retreated, convalesced,
sanitized lost vitality,
believed in phantoms
haunted by compulsions
deflected attempted rescues
ignored counsel to let go.

Shell-shocked
aftermaths
incoherent
self-judgment
inescapable.

Where do I go from here?

Ignore criticism
disarm cruelty
sanctify privacy
detach, discern
redefine boundaries
embrace enlightenment

Focus on caring
be receptive –
choose life.

(Turning Point first appeared here December, 2015, a year and a half into isolation imposed by illness.  I offer an edited version here with the intention of demonstrating the psychological toll of unexpected isolation.  The loss of our routine, life, connections affects us all on many levels. Be kind to self and others.  We all respond to that loss differently.  Linking up with Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: enlighten.  Image my own.)

disability · health · ME/ CFS · mental-health · poetry · writing

Isolation’s Hold

Disability covets isolation –
this stripped-back, box-like state.

Rustic serenity, with room
to breathe would be preferable

but old memories creep in, and
lack of self-worth leaves the door open

phantoms of former torments
unwanted visitors, shadowy

invaders target loneliness,
misconstrue lack of health

for neediness, prey on weak –
hearted, presume incapability.

I am unwell, not unwanted, effort
to protest ignored, I grow wary of

fellow travellers, am vandalized by
nightly attacks, attempt to reach out

aim for strength, logic, clarity,
dial-up past abuse instead, cannot

fathom the purpose of unsolicited
persecution, grasping at isolation.

(Isolation’s Hold was first written in June of 2017.  I am resubmitting it here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: isolation.  Seems to me is also reflective of the times.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · disability · life · Love · mental-health · poetry · relationships · writing

Bystander

Dare I confess
the hollowness
of my heart

How emptiness
echoes in its chambers
How lost I feel inside

This is no sanctity
no secure refuge
my withdrawal is a sham

I stand by, observe –
circles entwine, embrace –
recognize the power of love

Practice the words
extend warmth
and retreat, before

connection ignites
convinced as I am
that the vacancy is merited.

(Image from personal collection.)

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.)