Origin

Anxiety burns
an acidic devouring
confidence impaled –
mind wanders to childhood dreams
uncovers fear’s origin.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. I came across this tanka written in May/21 that seemed to match with the image I recently posted on my other blog. I decided to pair them here.)

Some Days

Why am I courting judgment
like an old friend,
popping in unexpectedly?

She overlooks my needs,
barges in reeking
of stale perfume, and
energy-sucking shoulds

I crave the subtle tones of compassion –
quiet whispers over tea –
a gentle pat, words of encouragement

But, truth be told,
I squirm at even this –
hate vulnerability,
hate this weakness on display,
this chronic, fucking disability

Seems I have dressed myself
in judgment’s cloaks,
walk in the pinched shoes
of expectations too tight

No wonder I’m exhausted,
am dying…numbed
to my own drama.

(Image my own)

Chasms

Old friend, I would visit you
but this compulsive state of
martyrdom delays our reunion;
then you slip my mind.

You wouldn’t recognize me –
this mask I wear, a product
of the toxicity that I play host to,
puts a life on my kind-heartedness

I want to be helpful
but carry a burden of failures –
ghosts from childhood home
that plug my memory

I have hurt so many,
neglected, now lost; family –
these useless ties are shadows
lurking, directing me –

I am sensitive, wanting
to exile the negativity, have been
taught to be considerate, but
cannot erase the inconsistencies

Spend too much time
browsing, delivering a fragment
of the torment that lies within;
am over-involved with self

Really want to be my best
in search of something greater
but today the frustration
is too raw, am at a loss

Old friend, I have reverted back
to dependence, manipulating,
am mentally unstable,
cannot find closure

in all the scattered pieces –
all I have to offer are bit,
disappointing, really – stored
memories that menace

Believe me when I say
I am working hard; want to start
fresh, have a goal in mind,
have not forgotten you

but am running out of
options, frustrated, can’t catch
a break, as the distance
between us widens.

(Chasms first appeared here October, 2106. Image my own)

Most Saturdays I include an audio recording, but this week my voice is not cooperating.

In My Defence


The Great Blue heron declares me an annoyance
to which the Blue Jays rasp accordance –
I know I am akin to predator
but I come here with need
to this bug-infested
weed-ridden
riverbed

To be

Torn
as I am
by an undefinable
rustle, an inner bleed
that craves patterns, or signs
naturally occurring rhythms to define
my place within this current worldly disorder

(Image my own)

Needing a Sign

Restlessness accompanies me
on this sojourn today –
unfazed by ripe red
belly of robin,
or shimmering emerald
of breeding merganser’s crown.

My lens seeks out decay –
rotting wood, darkened cavities,
as if my soul craves reassurance
that life persists even where death
hovers – I need a sign

Discontent, I move on-
drive the river road
snail’s pace – praying for
something to shake
this malaise –
birds come and go,
trees radiate Spring green,
I pause, unmoved.

And then I spot it,
across the river, up high,
a massive hulk;
lens raises, adjusts, snaps,
the regal hunter turns toward me
regards me with ferocious intensity,
does not falter on his perch –

All-seeing, fearless,
he is spirit-manifested,
a messenger, lifting me
from stagnation –
momentary redemption.

(Needing a Sign first appeared here, May 2019. Image my own.)