abuse · Family · life · poetry · recovery


Quiet!  the oft heard command
of childhood echoes inwardly

as if our home was a library
our privileges reduced to silent

study – passes given for good
behaviour – suppressed spirits

voiceless observers of a soap
played out before an audience

of five, bystanders really, forced
to watch, unable to comprehend

the brutal acts, the cruelty borne,
praying for a final curtain, even

our own – I shattered then, self
defined by so many fragments:

the curly-haired poppet, whose
smile delighted, entertained,

the responsible, no-nonsense
intellect, cold-hearted, defensive

the healer, psychologist, family
counselor, with an ear for all

the stable, well-adjusted son
dependable, always on hand

the closet worrier, introspective
self-harming, clothed in shame

wanted to be best, outperform
the others, find my own spotlight

needed to latch on to education
carve a place for myself, could not

concentrate, the guidance received
disconcerting, unreliable, no parent

to secure the necessities, to fuel
my ambition, only a poorly casted

performance robbing me of purpose,
of identity, the courage to proceed

lost myself in the hiding places
intimidated by a disgruntled father

misled by an emotionally absent
mother – a survivor, perhaps, and

yet I search, crave a knowing –
an understanding of essential self

not a glittery, star-crusted version,
but a well-worn edition, creative

inspiring, practical: a vessel
in which to hold life’s abundance.

(Image: radiantselfcare.com)





aging · disability · life · poetry · spirituality

Whale Dreams

(Note:  Messages from the dreamtime inspire much of my poetry, and as an experiment, I decided to revisit an old dream, from May 2013, and see what new insights it might deliver.  The original posting, entitled “Whale Dreaming”, can be viewed here. )

Exposed we are, voyageurs,
crossing a great expanse –
one tiny vessel bearing
the weight of our lives,
two oars to navigate

Unknown depths below
and shadows, murky –
we push on. Row. Row.
sights set on new land
uncharted possibilities

a shape emerges –
great hulking mass
of being, parting waters
rising and transforming
a caricature of our fear

I am mesmerized, read
divinity’s presence, he
shrugs, pragmatically
notes the St. Lawrence
is home to such mammals

I dream of whales, crave
communion, project
mystical wisdom, equate
size with spirit, marvel
at potential connections

Just as I wait for a sign
from the departed, inviting
a simpler life, inspiring hope –
a shore life from which
I can observe the numinous.

adversity · creativity · life · poetry · recovery


Road behind is collapsing
remain upbeat, continue

a trail of childhood tears
practice giving, don’t falter

the past a faulty messenger
focus on beauty, facing forward

memories storm, threaten
Keep travelling, let go of concern

fears, like locusts, plague
work hard, be positive

anger rumbles, grows wings
be at peace, future brings promise

pain, ignorant of time, persists
rest awhile, open to possibility

the path is burning, consuming
passion seeks an outlet, a voice

broken parts craving protection
surrender to catharsis of creativity

(Image:  cafepress.com)

culture · Family · LGBQT · life · poetry · relationships

Family Trappings

Mother, twice married,
conveys reluctance,
exaggerates fear –
charted history
obstacles a given.

Father’s outing
perpetuates disconnection
anxiety replacing
group wishes null

Sister desires crack –
living spectacle –
addiction barrier
to forgotten

Husband’s end plan
race transmissions –
dispossessed of
direction –
a dreamer

Fodder for gossip –
elaborate gong show –
we are lost navigators
memories relative
routes amusing

I visit nostalgia –
repetitive missives –
host allowances
hope for justice
a transfer point.








aging · culture · life · poetry


Sought-out careers stagnant
communication with colleagues
soaked with commitments –
underlying imposed courtesy

we are doubly dependent –
mutual caregivers supporting
water treading, our authority
drowning in preset obligations

Past dwellings, connections
sopped with history, hold on –
leftover dregs, stale-dated –
their validity disappearing,

We are overcoming, debriefing,
navigating release, minimilizing
plan to alter direction, trade
accommodations, rest willingly

have boarded sanctity – a timely
cubicle of release, slotting an exit,
having transformed belonging –
are wrung out seeking drier ground.


Love · poetry · relationships · women's issues

Hope’s Folly

Mystery holds allure –
dark, unkempt unknowns
entrap a young woman’s heart

She is bright-eyed, trusting
hurried engagements, equates
fatherhood with responsibility

moves in, settles, adopting
parental roles, motherly caring
washes the dishes – is committed

he roams, prowling old haunts
unquenched by domesticity,
hunts for new beginnings, projects

contentment into her passivity
disregards her pleas for passion,
lusts after intimacy of strangers

Stone-faced silence of his family
shatters her disillusionment, echoes
of past follies, like knives punctuate

the repetitive forsaking of self –
putting hope above discernment
desperation selling out to servitude

she is ready to shake complacency
shudders at how low she has fallen
will arise, face her demons, and go.

(image: theordinaryreview.blogspot.com)