Gambler

The gambler puts in fifty-cents
expects hundreds in return;

a simple flick of the wrist
and abundance will be his.

I feel like a slot machine:
paying dues for minimal input.

Tells himself there is more
to be had, if luck runs his way;

walks away from the richness
of family, joy of friendships –

Id’ be a slot machine for him
if love equated with money

Dreams of possibilities beyond
his daily reach, a fast track plan:

fortune is calling, palm itching
just one more roll of the die –

The die has been cast here;
no longer willing to gamble.

One more momentous win,
a promise to share the wealth;

what more could any woman want
from a man – half an empty dream?

Took a chance, myself once,
thought he was my windfall

guess, in the end, all gamblers lose.

(Originally penned Gambler in July, 2016. Image my own)

Childhood Home

The place remains in my dreams
like a movie set preserved…

Have assigned each room
a critique – disclosed the crimes

Yet, it remains, like a beacon
draws me to it, begs reflection

What if I could go back
now that I can breathe

Now that I’ve laid claim to maturity;
would I discover a sudden windfall?

Makeover conditioned motifs;
reevaluate ceiling heights?

With resources to remodel
heart open, connected

might I uncover abundance
like a personal embrace.

(Childhood Home first appeared May, 2020. Image my own)

Love Overcoming

Expectations are my enemy –
raised without standards,
boundaries full of holes,
I worship at the altar of lies

Fortunately, soul follows it own star –
rages against darkness encroaching,
shatters illusions, commands higher
aspirations – love overcoming fear

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

Shifting to Acceptance

In illness, I am passenger –
no matter how venturous
mind’s reach, the raw truth
is that limitations confine

This is not a sentence
for some perceived crime,
but a re-framing – attitude
shifting to acceptance

Choice becomes thoughtful –
time allows for that now –
and gratitude takes hold
in every corner of “I can”.

(Art 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 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.)

Tired of Same Old Endings

Tired of same old endings
in which hopes are slaughtered
and tragedy and insanity win.

Raised by the bottle, learned
to set standards low –
still afraid of heights –
have fallen as the ground
beneath my aspirations crumbled –
a certainly under alcohol’s rule.

Tired of same old endings
in which self is battered by indifference
and ego loses the battle for control.

Mother’s denial a coping mechanism
negating children’s need, obliterating
safety, disregarding long-term damage;
even in older years, when we tried
to get her out, were powerless against
his manipulation, his eternal imprinting.

Tired of same old endings
in which the heroine, resources spent
succumbs to the madness, suicides.

Want to believe in a future, greener,
hopeful, in which relationships
are fulfilling, and life goals are
supported; in which encouragement
is not the ploy of deviousness, and
personal best is rewarded, sustained.

Tired of same old endings
haunting my dreaming hours
unforgotten in waking dreams.

(Tired of Same Old Endings first appeared here June of 2018.
Edited for this submission. Linking up with Reena’s Xploration
Challenge: insanity, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: unforgotten.
Image my own.)

Vancouver Island

Is it the robin whose morning song so sharp and crisp awakens me in this enchanted place, or the warble of Juncos whose hooded faces delight as they forage between the dried, curled aftermath of a cold Winter, now pushed aside by new life sprouting? The absence of raindrops on tin roof offers promise that the sun might appear today, the buds on the oak trees as anxious as I for the warmth.

I raise the window shades to reveal the lush green of Douglas firs, the walls that divide us from our neighbours: nomads like us in the quest to commune with a simpler way of life. We are metal boxes tucked within green pockets, quiet souls hushed by the grandeur of the forest we currently call home, reticent to disturb the wildlife that also grazes here – squirrel, fox, and rumours of cougar. Occasionally bear. We are skirted on one side by marsh, a lush welcoming for geese and goldeneyes; and on the other by ocean, where seagulls and terns claim driftwood as perches. It is the raven who is master here. Large wings casting shadows, the thrumming call – sometimes belligerent, sometimes a purr – a reminder that this land is theirs, that the totem poles dotting the island are a testament to royalty.

Offshore, seals roam in masses encouraged by the schools of trout and halibut, and soon the salmon run. Orcas gather in semi-circular formation, readying the hunt. Spring is a time of proliferation – abundance after the Winter chill.

Arise, old woman
Nature evokes new rhythm –
Spirit wants to dance.

(Vancouver Island first appeared here April, 2018. It is an early attempt at a haibun. I am linking up to my weekly challenge: trees. Image my own.)