Changing Direction

This path I walk is not my own;
it’s paved with genetic markers,
familial dysfunction, and ancestral angst.
Can you see them walking with me?
Those whose lives were cut too short –
the addicts, the tortured, the diseased –
none of us free – ensconced in blame.

If you walk with me,
I’ll help you carry your burden
and you can support me with mine.

I stand at the intersection
of broken dreams and hope for tomorrow
and in my altered state of awareness
see the commonality of our striving,
understand the patterns that divide,
and grasp the illusion of injustice
that denigrates our interconnectedness.

If you walk with me,
I’ll help you carry your burden
and you can support me with mine.

I stop and wait for an opening
to share this revelation
of underlying harmonious intent,
but the whir of societal traffic
complicates communication,
and I can find no voice to cut
through the din of the dead.

If you walk with me,
I’ll help you carry your burden
and you can support me with mine.

I turn the corner on my old life,
detach with loving sorrow
from a road that never served me,
a direction wrought only with pain.
Tiny arms await me on this open road,
eyes wide with wonder and possibility.
There is joy to be found along the way.

If you walk with me,
I’ll share this new adventure
and together, we’ll have much to gain.

(Changing Directions was originally published June, 2015)

Glass Caskets

What mysteries lie in ancestral roots,
what clues to illuminate the dysfunction
that permeated our familial ties, cursed
us with a pervasive sense of perversity?

We are a portrait of deviancy: still life
torsos, dismembered from birth, non-
conforming hormonal structures denied
reception in the aftermath of Victorianism.

An aunt, who despite her outer female
attributes earned the nickname Billy
tried her best to acclimatize to girlie legs,
distracted herself with industry, could not

bear the swirl of dresses, nor the reek
of men’s cologne, banished herself to
far off lands; followed a brother – also
optically illusive – knew himself as Liz,

adapted arms and legs of steel to bury
his essence, donned military rags, and
macho outbursts; failed to elude his
inner truth. Raised by this disembodied

woman, whose embittered cries echoed
through our hollow chambers, shattered
any attempts at compassion; we were
observers at a funeral, where the casket,

made of glass, held a lonely figure – head
and shoulders solely visible – all but dead,
suspended, like a science experiment gone
terribly wrong, abandoned, in a gel-like bath –

embalmed dysmorphia on private display.
Lacked the resources to understand the
complexity of their sufferings, too entwined
to be rational – ignorance blinded by shame.

Only now, in the light of current revelations,
is the depth of our misguided conclusions
made tragic – wish I could reach back through
time, adjust the settings to acceptance, but

lack the currency, have no resources, other
than these words, to communicate the sheer
brutality of discrimination – have witnessed
the bloodied carnage of authenticity oppressed.

(Image: Pinterest)

 

 

Ancestral Rot

British roots define
particular brand of
peculiarity – shared
claustrophobia –

fear of closeness;
need to lie down,
separate myself,
am married now

childless dreams
dust; I am cook,
cleaner – project
sparkle where dirt

still lingers, losing
rationality, not quite
catching on; want
to send flowers,

honour passings
but soul wounds,
unbandaged, gape –
hunger to be free.

(Image: www.apa.org)