Loss and Light

Absence fills the silence
with shadowy wings
becomes a raven
I cower

loss too
for comprehension
would lay my body down
be consumed, but for
the children’e eyes pinning me
their woeful gazes,
begging to be uplifted
I am abandoned
and not
a flicker
called to be

(Art from personal collection)


A Sister’s Sin

Patience does not apply
in a family lacking ease,
nor is loyalty gifted…

my sister – a fiery red
corvette fuelled by hate
would slaughter kin

lived for the fight,
gleaned energy from
sinful behaviours

despite hard-work,
tasted power in attracting
meat – a fleshy cow –

processed sweethearts
with abandonment,
hardly caring, despised

public scrutiny – her world
a miniscule burlesque show
fluttering raw flesh inviting

scavengers – appeased out of
necessity – she shopped crowds,
possessed a light that shouted:

“Open for business” – dared
not endure loneliness, desperate
to annihilate the past –

her heart, a massive-winged
avenger, pummelled by
the memories of a brother

her twin – torn from her
by a deserting father – left
dying like an unwanted pest

an agonizing plummet
into an unendurable darkness
from which she sought any

infiltration, yearning to
pierce, to relieve, the musty
hold of her ground-up reality:

no virtue in patience,
no prize in loyalty
each woman for herself

(Image: insanityismyreality.deviantart.com)

Is Daddy Dead?

Tucks her granddaughter in,
gazes into wide blue eyes,
flashes back to another girl –
now grown – apple cheeks,
and an unruly thicket of hair.

Nostalgia is shattered as
the child smiles back, lips
betraying a trace of another –
once father – whose absence
clouds the old woman’s heart.

She holds the child closer,
reassuring her undying love,
cannot not shake the echo
of words spoken only that day:
Kayla’s daddy always picks her up.

Told the teacher her dad is dead;
a reasonable conclusion for a
young mind unable to articulate
the questions in her heart: why
his name is only ever whispered.

Tries to draw his picture, talks
of missing his cuddles, surely,
cannot remember a man who
left before she was two – the
grandmother prays silently.

What will they say when she asks?
Niceties about how he wasn’t ready?
Leave her to believe she is somehow
lacking, unlovable, when in truth
it is he who is incapable of loving.

Chases women like cotton candy,
three or four a day, cannot help
himself, an internet-driven obsession,
uses his daughter’s picture as bait –
perhaps she is right, her father is dead.



Canine Calamity

Those eyes – simultaneously
pleading and apologetic –
sweet eyes begging for attention
which I cannot give – understand
that I am unable to extend any
more responsibility – am over-
taxed – just want to retreat, be
burden-free – the affection you
crave from me unavailable.

Remember simpler times?
How you and I would curl up
arm in arm, on the rug in front
of the television – inseparable.
Disinterested, you would turn
your back to me, and I would
nestle into your solidity, feel
comforted, accepted, reassured.

Oh, how we’d play – outdoors,
you chasing me on my bicycle,
teasing, threatening to topple
and I’d laugh till I cried – I loved
you so. And at night, you would
sneak into my room and without
waking me, fall asleep – it was
our undoing – you were exiled.

I know you only wanted to be
near, but what you didn’t know,
couldn’t know, was that I was
never meant to be so attached
to another – that your loyalty
was affecting my well-being –
that unconditional love, such
as yours, was never in my
karma – please understand.

When I let you in my life again,
I was not the same person –
already worn down, unable to
open my heart – it was not you –
you are guileless, pure of intention –
I could never blame you – it is all
me – don’t give me those eyes –
you know I’d love you in a nano-
second if it were not for this
terrible affliction – this bodily
reaction to any contact between us.

Now you come to me in dreams,
eyes still tender, gentleness your
constant demeanour, still asking for
my acceptance and even in such
a state of unconsciousness, I both
remember your love and reject you –
what am I to do?  I know you will
persist, have witnessed your dogged
determination – but do not know how
to respond – so undeserving, am I,
of your resilient love.


Day 201 “Mental Balance”

I am travelling in the South with my son and one of his friends. We stop at a roadside restaurant and after being seated and ordering drinks, realize there is nothing that I can eat, so we decide to leave. John and his friend go to get the car while I settle up with the waitress. I spend a bit too much time talking and explaining and when I emerge from the restaurant, John, friend, and car are gone. My son has grown impatient with me and moved on. I am in a state of disbelief, rage, and then deep concern for my baby.

When I wake up, I can’t shake the emotions. Usually I dream that it is Thor that abandons me, but now it is my son? Obviously the dream is about more than being abandoned by my loved ones. So what does it mean?

I think back over my day leading up to the dream. Even though my new regimen requires that I sandwich exertion between periods of rest, I decided yesterday to proceed as if I wasn’t sick. I rolled from one activity into another and ignored the growing state of dis-ease. I pushed through, without pacing myself.

I’d always thought my abandonment dreams about Thor were related to his illness and my fear of losing him. John is a steady and loyal son, and never gives me reason to fear. Clearly the dream source is trying to tell me to revisit this particular theme. Who is abandoning whom? What if the dream is telling me that a part of me is neglecting another part of me? What part of self does Thor and my son represent? What part of me is always left feeling angry and forgotten?

John is typically patient and compassionate with me. He loves me like a son loves a mother: wholeheartedly. He laughs at my foibles, and shares with me his concerns. It would be totally out of character for him to drive away and leave me stranded in some strange, isolated place. So what part of me that is typically patient and compassionate, left me out in the cold yesterday? That is easy. It was the part that makes sure I am setting boundaries and taking care of myself. That part was definitely missing in action! I even went to Costco, even though I was overextended before I left the house, and walked the store despite my immediate recognition that all systems were overtaxed by the crowds and overabundance of stimuli. Then I came home and ignored my need to retreat into restful silence and chose to socialize with my family, staying out of bed for the remainder of the evening. I was like a pouting two and a half-old-year refusing to go for a nap even though I was well past my limitations.

Another idea starts taking shape in my mind. There is something else that I have been ignoring, and “leaving behind”. It is my creative self. I spent the greater part of the weekend in Toronto visiting Ester and her family. As I usually do, I packed a notebook for writing and my ipad, and while I had several inspiring thoughts, I did not stop to jot them down. Not even on the train ride home, when I had more than ample opportunity. My mind was so ripe with creativity that I lay awake for hours last night, despite my fatigue, replaying my storylines, and still I did not venture to record it.

“I know what the abandonment dreams are about,” I tell Thor. “It is about the many ways I sabotage my writing. It is my writer self that is so disappointed, enraged, and heart-broken.”

“You have always wanted to write,” Thor agrees. “And I can’t imagine that writing takes too much energy in comparison with everything else. Wouldn’t it actually recharge you?”

I cannot argue with him. So why do I deprive myself so? Why have I been unable to commit to this innate, and eternal passion of mine?

Derek Linn suggests that in order to manifest we need mental balance: a state of harmony between the outer ego self and the inner wounded self (my words). The ego thrives on accomplishment, but the inner sense of unworthiness sabotages by pulling back. I have long recognized in myself the ability to be brave and courageous when what I stand to lose has little value, but highly resistant to put myself out there when the outcome means the world to me.

Writing, being a writer, means the world to me. To write, and be published, and acknowledged would be the ultimate life accomplishment. It feels so risky, so vulnerable, so potentially disastrous that there is no wonder I abandon it time and again; writing anonymous blogs, like taking that part of me on a trip, and then leaving it there – somewhere far away from home – where it can’t hurt me.

I love my writer self. I adore her with all the emotion of a tender spouse or loving child, but I just can’t seem to make that commitment. So I leave her behind, telling myself that one day I will give her what she needs – make her a priority.

And in the meantime, she wanders the unfamiliar corridors of my mind, alone on the dark streets of my fearful psyche, wondering what she has done to be so blatantly ostracized: abandoned and deeply pained.