Eight of Cups

The eight of cups –
an octopus balancing
multi-tasks; I juggle
fog, attempt
to calibrate logistics
but instincts
are dull-edged,
my tentacles lacking
suction – will slither
back into hiding.

(Tuesday, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own)

Maybe

Maybe I just needed a new perspective –
like the famed Hanged Man of tarot –
committed to some deep, internal need,
I willed a horizontal shift; landed with intent.

Maybe it is not my legs that are disabled,
but a soul longing to escape the continual
discord of perpetual motion, a never-ending
to-do list of the success-driven persona.

Maybe there is a greater purpose for being
that is not encompassed by outer drive –
a mysterious meaning that is revealed only
in the quiet stillness in which I now dwell.

Maybe I have been called to a personal
pilgrimage – a Camino of sorts – a crusade
of spirit designed to cleanse and enlighten –
the journey is certainly arduous enough.

Maybe it is through acceptance, finally
having released a need to control, move,
achieve, accomplish that I am able to
embrace the true lessons of suffering.

Maybe this cocooning is an act of Grace
demanding surrender before the actual
transformation occurs, and I will emerge,
legless or not, winged and ready to soar.

Maybe, just maybe, this stripped down,
barren existence is not a penance for
shameful living, but a desert crossing,
offering re-alignment: hard-fought peace.

(Maybe first appeared here Feb. 2017. Image my own)

The Same, But Broken

Fragility blindsides me –
I am a strong woman,
not courageous
but accepting
in face of pain,
grief,
illness.

Fragility is pervasive –
body fibres stretched
and torn, on brink
of brokenness;
mind overwhelmed,
obsesses, unable to organize
or let go…

If only I could let go.

I am weeping and not –
weeping from frustration
of immediate impossibility;
unwilling to weep, for totality
of loss is beyond me.

Outside these walls,
life continues,
regards me with disgust/
indifference/repulsion –
equality ignores the ailing.

And, yet…

in this state of rawness,
stripped of busy-ness,
I am as any other –

Just a soul seeking
a meaningful existence.

(The Same, But Broken first appeared here December, 2014. This edition has been revised. Art my own.)

The Leap

Freezing drizzle
and aching joints
elevate doubt

We are forging
into unknowns,
claiming change

His motivation
drive for both –
I quiet objections

Faith, I have in him
Trust, I have in process,
Hope as my beacon

Many a storm
has passed our way –
the choice is easy

Stay and rot
or risk and thrive –
hand in hand, we leap.

(Four years ago, Ric and I sold our house and all our possessions and headed south in a motor home.  Both of us had experienced life-altering medical crises, and the alternative – staying put and waiting for the next health challenge – was not appealing, so we took the leap.  After two years, we returned and settled in a small community not far from family.  Health continues to be an issue, but armed with the memories of our travels, we face each day grateful for our choices.)

Image my own.

Sufficiency

Disability corners me
twixt two directions –
the hurried rush
of ambition’s call
and the gentle nudge
of wisdom settling

Confined to four rooms
I am distanced from –
invisible to –
the weekend warriors
whose self-satisfied grimaces
race by my window

I remember that push –
not enough hours to the day
not enough money to succeed
never thin enough, fit enough
always grasping for more…

Legless and exhausted,
I am disqualified
from competing,
immersed in retrospection,
luxuriating in perspective –

I’ve always had, indeed,
continue to have
everything I need:
a home I can navigate,
the endless beauty of nature
and the care of loved ones.

Abundance, I’ve discovered, is attitude:
recognition and acceptance
that life is sufficiency

(I’ve derived this poem from a post by the same name, dated October 2014.
At the time, I was five months into the losses that were Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Image my own)

Good Afternoon

Dawn breathes an invitation and Rumi’s words taunt me: Do not go back to sleep. I am loathe to greet the day – not that I despise its arrival, rather that waking has become laborious since the onset of chronic illness. Daughter of a military man, I am conditioned to rise before the sun, have a lifetime of such anecdotes to my credit, however; while the brain is still willing, the body groans, and aches wail with renewed emphasis as the numbing cocoon of sleep loosens. Hours dwindle from the first inkling of consciousness until muscles comply with movement, and I am lucky if I’m actually able to utter “Good Morning.”

Rays, like razors, slice,
invade sleep’s cocoon – absent
winged emergence.

(Good Afternoon first appeared here Sept 2018. Edited for this edition. The poetry form is haibun. I am pleased to report that waking has become easier, and most days I am able to greet the morning.)

The Other Side

Wind carries Autumn’s song
and I am crawling out of a nightmare

Insides churning widdershins
thoughts grasping for a forward pull

Have been to the edge,
touched the volatile

Birdsong breaks solemnity
I catch a ray of light.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson
Last September, I was in hospital fighting
through a life threatening condition.
I penned this there. Image my own.)

Another Chapter Closes

House creaks
ferocious
decries starkness
of bare walls
absence of furniture
finality of boxes
stacked and sealed

Sleep eludes me
mind recalling
passages –
his cancer
my fear
twist of fate
that left me housebound

We could not stay here
this place chosen for healing
turned prison

“You’ve been good to us”
I whisper, “Now
you’ll favour someone else”

She grumbles in response
this old house, sharing
my trepidation
of unknowns, change
always precarious

Another groan
and I concur
we grand dams
need extra TLC

but I have faith –
an injection of
new life
will do us both good.

(This is a found poem, excerpted from a post of the same name which appeared on my second blog in July of 2017. Image my own.)

Even Ghosts Yearn

Natural light preferable
to artificial – not the harsh
fullness of noonday sun
but softly filtered rays –
luxurious…
inviting

Love too, should be subdued,
gentle as a zephyr –
not mythical, but yielding…
mindful
not worshipful nor boastful
but comforting…
warm

I am waning light
the mistral wind wafting
no longer a force of nature
but smoke, spiralling
vanishing into non-existence

And yet,
even as shadows spread
I yearn – heart
beating true
not lost,
not forgotten,
but withdrawn…
humbled

passion mellowed
by years of constructing walls –
grit and tar –
scar’s long buried
save the limping gait
of a ghost.

(Even Ghosts Yearn first appeared here in July, 2018. Image my own.)