adversity · life · Rants

It’s Not That I Don’t See…

Somewhere, searchers are combing through rubble
to find signs of life, or remains, while I fret over the
size of my belly, bloated by excess, filled by gluttony.

Somewhere, a mother pleas for the return of her child,
a daughter stolen, held by soldiers, while another cries
because her toddler’s coiffed appearance fails to win.

Somewhere, their village destroyed by war, families
flee to find peace, encounter rejection, and worse,
while a son murders his sister to honour family pride.

Somewhere, parents wait with terror-seized hearts
as a gun-wielding lunatic holds their children hostage,
while businessman fatten their wallets over arms sales.

Perspective tells me that I am unjustified to complain
over my first world problems, am selfish to bemoan
the trivialities of my self-centered existence, that I just

need to shift my viewpoint, look outside myself, and see
that inequalities and hardships beg for my compassion,
alter my focus and become a beacon for the world; and,

yet, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that floods my
large screen tv, desensitized by the staged and unstaged
images of brutality, tired of the unsubstantiated claims

of terrorism, and the political garnering for votes; cannot
bear to hear of one more gun attack in a country where
the right to bear arms is confused with personal security;

feel out of control when I listen to stories of great loss,
am compelled to shut off the media, turn my attention to
self-criticism, and find a manageable issue close to home.

(Image: dict.space.4goo.net)

dreams · Family · life · memoir · poetry · Uncategorized · women's issues

A 60’s Childhood

Formative years were more destruct
than construct; contradictions riddled

the foundation of our familial structure:
one man tyrannized five females while

in the news, women marched for equality;
called the likes of him a male chauvinist.

Aunt drove a forklift truck, looked like a man,
chalked one up for women’s liberation, didn’t

talk about her sexuality; shadow of illegality
hovering around her – no one dared to ask.

At nine, I questioned the fairness of being
born a girl in a man’s world, felt impassioned

by feminist cries, yet feared my mom would
leave the nest, abandon baking, domestics;

leave us to fend for ourselves – the warm waft
of fresh-baked goods greeting us each day, gone.

Watched my sisters flaunt their womanly ways
for virile young men who flocked to see bikini

clad bodies, ripe and tanned by the sun – who
was reducing whom to sex objects? And when

my mother’s family came to visit, why were the
men’s hands so invasive, their tongues equally

misplaced, and was this what women in the streets
were crying out against? I wanted to be free, explore

my future prospects – open road ahead – but Mother
said boys will be boys, and men don’t like smart

women, and better to drop out of school at sixteen,
get a secretarial job, and be ready when your prince

arrives – so I rebelled, cut my hair, flaunted my
intelligence, spoke up about inconsistencies,

such as why is a God a He, and why Aunt didn’t
ever date – did feminist mean celibate? and why

when women were so oppressed and men had
all the power, did my father wish he could be one?

Formative years more destruct than construct;
a deviate imprint tainting normalcy’s prospects.

(Image: retrochick.co.uk)

abuse · life · memoir · poetry · recovery · relationships · women's issues

Self Portrait in Colours

Found an old diary – days
when I prayed to the angels,
painted myself white, believed
in a God that cared about personal
forever after – painted myself pathetic.

Took me back to days of heartbreak,
when I pined after a man, noncommittal,
painted myself pink – an altruistic heart
yearning after unrequitable love, willing
to sacrifice, change – painted myself foolish.

Read between the lines about a woman
so desperately co-dependent she’d risk it all,
painted herself yellow, projected sunshine,
believed in fairy tale endings, threw away
dignity, sanity – painted herself delusional.

Wondered how she’d ever survived, knew
that life intervened in the end, saved her –
painted her broken; but somehow she found
strength, moved on, made better choices,
learned to love herself, painted herself indigo.

adversity · life · poetry

Dawn’s Promise

The mountain before me
blocks out the rising of the sun
and if I focus only on its enormity
and the challenges it presents
I miss what is happening beyond.

A tree at the peak stands barren,
stark naked against the grey of the sky;
it is the dead of winter and nature sleeps.

But I do not.

The turmoil inside me continues to churn
and while nature reflects my dying spirit,
still I am unable to slow the inner mechanism.

Light begins to streak the sky,
beyond the tree,
beyond the mountain;
colours take hold -A new day is dawning.

Inside, there is celebration
A new day is dawning in here as well –
New hope, new joy, new possibility –
For I am yet alive.

(Penned January, 2002, edited 2016)

Image from:  allposters.com.au

disability · dreams · Family · Grandparenting · health · life · poetry

Oh Baby, I Have Purpose

Baby Whisperer, they call me –
some definitions we just slide
into, naturally; discovered mine
at the age of nine, when my sister,
a child herself, gave birth and I,
the babysitter, was also born.

Ran a school that summer –
charged a quarter a week to
neighbouring parents, promised
to prepare their children for the
year ahead, turned my knack
into an entrepreneurship.

Uprooted at eleven to a highrise
full of families, filled my calendar
with other’s people’s offspring –
was in demand – while other teens
partied and rebelled, my wallet
bulged with babysitter’s cash.

Projected success into future
plans, told the guidance counsellor
I wanted to get my ECE – work in
day care – she scoffed, said I was
too smart, should be a psychiatrist
the world needs shrinks, not nannies.

So I signed up for psychology and
sociology – did not find myself, quit,
married a man – really just a child –
felt I’d found myself in the role of
wife, ignored the fact that I had
only replaced his mother – grew tired,

ran into the arms of another, racing
to have children of his own – knew
how to do children – returned to school,
studied Children’s literature, psychology,
set my sights on being a teacher – but
it all fell apart; alone raising three.

Married again, finding comfort in the
mothering role, became a teacher –
replaced offspring with classrooms;
certain I was fulfilling a calling, until
illness swept it all away, confined me
to a bed, homebound, erased purpose.

But wait; the story doesn’t end there –
because now I’m a grandmother – my
babies have babies – and even from my
invalid bed, I can care for the wee  –
the Baby Whisperer still has the touch –
purpose reignited with each new life.

abuse · dreams · poetry · women's issues

Innocence Replaced

Rebellious adolescent
covets freedom, schemes
two dimensional; needs

attending to; temporarily
dislodged, toying with sanity,
her perspective slippery

she is traversing violation’s
den; virginal door smashed,
internally shattered, broken

pieces distorting charmed
impressions – she is away;
no longer safe, stalked in

crowds; spikes her hair, heels,
nails; polishes the art of rape:
feminine wiles dominating the

hungry beast, fists clenched
she consumes her lover;
seizes his neck; unshackled

sexuality praying on the timid –
a ravaged sense of feminism;
radar set on revenge; she prowls.

(Image from: best-tiger.blogspot.com)

disability · dreams · health

Disability’s Wintry Grasp

Disability, a bitter wintry storm,
constricts movement, freezes
intentions; intervals of icy peril.

I push against the onslaught,
will exert myself for promises
of toddler-sized embraces, live

for the sunny exuberance of
a grandchild’s laughter – am
momentarily revived; warmth

cut short by the tangled web
of instability defined by this
chaos – am learning to choose

battles; even the most mundane
tasks crippled by complications;
I live short-term, close to home;

bed, the only sanctuary I know,
awaits beyond the banks of
accumulated debris, pushed

aside in my haste for progress;
I am like a baby,  startle easy,
sleep lightly, comfort elusive;

I am smothered by protective
measures overstated; sealed
in a plastic bubble, suffocating.

Difficult not to be snowbound
when disability’s frigid tempest
unleashes it heartless blast.

(Image: www.alabamawx.com)