aging · creativity · culture · disability · ME/ CFS · poetry · women's issues · writing

Shadow Dancing

Inessential am I
ghost of a woman
burden avoidance

Imperfect am I
each flaw a step
towards deepening blue

And yet,  I exist
purpose unknown
shadow dancing.

(Image: Self-portrait)

health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Survivor Instinct

Buried alive
by illness’ onset
only hope for escape
tunnel whose guilt-lined
walls oozed mucous
of neglect, sorrow
so raw, shredded
faith – no light
just a dull
pulse
screaming –
I am alive.

(Chronic illness is a game changer.  No amount of ambition can turn the tide.  One is left to face the onslaught of that which has been oppressed or skipped over.  I wrote this poem early in my journey with ME.  Amazingly, no matter what, spirit still clings to life.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · change · life · ME/ CFS · mental-health · poetry · writing

Rapture

Odd, this gift of solitude.  Perched canal side, I affirm my connection to the earth, and offer thanks. Late afternoon sun casts a glow on the foliage across the way, lighting up the mirror-still water.  Vibrant reflections.

Two winters ago, I fought to breathe as temperatures fell below zero.  Impassible walkways trapped me indoors.  Depression fought for possession. Hope struggles in imposed isolation.

“There are no absolutes in life,” a professor once told me, and I think of that now –
how just when it feels as if one sentence has been handed down, sealed, an opening appears.  I am fortunate, savour the moment.

Heron’s watchful stride
invites reflection, respect –

Winter’s solitude.

(Rapture first appeared here February 2019.  I offer an edited version here.

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.)

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.)