Clam

Before mercurial attitudes
I am clam –
emotions shuttered

Not that silence is calm –
oppressed energy a danger –
even shells can burst

Question is where
shrapnel will strike
when inevitable happens

(Image my own)


Rage as Catalyst

This rage –
this storm,
waves crashing
against walls
impenetrable

I am ice,
unforgiving,
unrepentant,
wounded

thrashing
against a beast
unwittingly
played by you

We freeze.

I’ve come undone;
you are battered.
It is irreparable
absolute

until one of us
shifts, and fear
surges, unleashing
tears

and transformation.

Walk Away

Maniacal, trigger-crazy
big dick resolves nothing
with brutality, seeks asylum
in insanity, blames confinements
for limitations, opinionated,
wrongly focused, nerves
ungrounded, charged.

No wit can end his
cycle of oppression,
his last fair companion,
no longer supportive,
contrived investigation,
pushed for incarceration

unspeakable silence
no religion to save him
rejected at every turn
delinquent

bumped into compassion
signs of pain like neon lights
beckoning the unwary, but
alibis were suspicious,
his composure too hyped
like an uncaged animal

Move on, Ladies
no Beast was ever tamed
by Beauty, even uncertain endings
would be better than life with
this expired degenerate,
don’t fall for that:
“It’s all smoke screens” pity
he is trapped, a poor example,
has broken many hearts – dead
on arrival – dons practiced humility,
wants to please but is inclined to
repeat patterns.

(Image: upstream downstream.org)

Toppled Anger

(A little light-hearted word play.  Hope you enjoy.)

Anger, invested in former foibles –
an underground agent for disaster –
makes recommendations, promotes
aggressive agenda, takes the lead,
direction (or lack of it) exploding,
repurposes itself, expectations
that its self-serving cause is
perfectly understandable.

Understand perfectly
that self-serving causes
are expectations, repurposed
explosions of misdirections,
leading takes agenda,
aggressive promotion
recommendations make
disastrous agents for
underground foibles,
formerly invested in anger.

(Image: teddyray.com)

The Thief Within

It’s time to call a meeting of the troops.

“Gather around, everyone.  We need to talk.”

The air is cool in the cave, sheltered from the hot August sun.  A small fire provides light and a focus for our gathering.  I, Self, am seated where everyone can see me clearly.  I want to make my point.

“I have called you here, because there is a thief amongst us, and I am angry.”

“Oh!”  the exclamation echoes around the circle, then a mumble of agreement – this is serious.

“I woke up this morning, full of anticipation and plans for a wonderful day – the kids are coming for dinner, and my granddaughter is staying overnight.  I planned to make goodies, and soup, and a special dinner.  As I made my shopping list, Thor added to my excitement booking a flight for our next big excursion abroad.  I couldn’t have been happier, then…..”  I paused for effect, “….one of you came in and stole my joy, leaving me in this state of raw anger.”

The nervous shuffle of feet was accompanied by a shifting of eyes and lowering of heads.  No one wanted to fess up, I could see.

“We see that you are upset,”  a kind old woman stepped forward,  “and in the interest of inner harmony, we would like to get to the root of the problem, but we’ll need more information.”

Heads bobbed in agreement.

“When did you first notice that your mood had changed?”

“When I was baking.  I noticed that my happy thoughts were missing, and I was ranting inside my head.”

“Just like that, all of a sudden?”

I thought about it.  “Well, I did start to feel really tired just before it happened.”

“What do you suppose made you tired?”

“I was up early this morning, getting work done so I could enjoy my family, so I was thinking that was catching up with me, but then I realized I was probably hungry,  which……”

“Would effect your mood,”  she finished my sentence.

“Well, true.  So, that is no one’s fault.  But then I started to eat things that weren’t good for me, and I knew I only do that when I’m trying to bury unwanted emotions, so I started to think about that, and then I realized my happy thoughts were gone, and that’s when I got angry and decided to call this meeting.”

“Was anyone else present when all this was happening?”

“I was,”  a little voice piped up.  “I was excited that we would get to play with the granddaughter.  She’s so cute and fun and makes me happy.  But then Mae called, and she called again, and again, and someone started pushing me out of the way.”

“Really?”  The women turned towards the others.  “Does someone have a problem with Mae?”

“No!  Well, yes,”  said a shadowy figure huddled in the back.  “She can’t help it that she is mentally ill, I know, but she stirs me up.”

“How does she stir you up?”

“She reminds me of all the times I was pushed aside for the others.”  I recognize her now; it’s my twelve-year-old self.  “My parents only had time for those who were broken, never for me.  They never helped her;  they encouraged her to be that way.  They liked their children to be victims so that they could rescue them over and over again.  It makes me angry.”

“So you stole my joy?”

My question seemed to jolt her out of her self-indulgence.  “No!  I mean, I had to protect you.  You’ll just get hurt again.  You should know better.  Just when it seems that everything is good, and going our way, someone will destroy it.  You know it!  That’s how it always is.”

“Oh dear,”  the little one plopped down, head on her hands.  “Here we go again.”

“What!  Why are you all looking at me that way.  You all know it’s true.  Why won’t you admit it!”  Twelve was getting hostile, almost hysterical.  “I hate it that life is unfair.  I hate it that we work hard, and try hard and always get the short end of the deal!  I hate that other people don’t have to work hard and life just gets handed to them and everyone caters to them.  I hate it that my sister wasn’t strong enough to fight them, like we did.”

“Amen to that,” said a large, blob of a character, who didn’t look very bright, but was happily stuffing his face.  Ah, I thought, you’re the one I feed when I feeling emotional.  If I’m not careful, I’ll start looking like you.  

“Can I say something,”  a slighter older teen spoke up. I recognized my independent self.  “I don’t mean to sound cold and radical here, but if you keep venting over what you can’t change, you are going to die an unhappy soul.”

“What do you know about it?”  Twelve was on the defensive.

“I know that life is full of many opportunities beyond the limitations you experienced in your home life, and I believe that while we can’t change where we’ve come from, we can make new choices for the present and the future.  Do you want to be unhappy all your life?”

“Well….no, but don’t I have the right to be heard?  Don’t I deserve justice?”

“We all deserve to be heard, and while we’d all like justice, it doesn’t always work out that way.  I’m just suggesting that you are robbing yourself of the joy of life.”

I could see Twelve wrestling with herself.

“Twelve,”  I offered, as kindly as I could.  “You say you hate victims, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, you are kind of acting like a victim yourself, no offence.”

“What do you mean?”  her fists balled up instinctively.

“I just mean that while you rage and wait for someone else to deliver justice, you are like a victim – giving the power to someone else.”

“What do you suggest I do?”

The Wise Woman stepped up, putting her hand on Twelve’s shoulder.  “Express your feelings, certainly, because we all care.  Can I ask you something Twelve?”

“Fire away.”

“What would help ease your rage?  What do you need?”

Twelve fell silent.  I don’t think she’d ever thought of that.  She shrugged.

“What could anyone possibly do to make you feel better?”  the young woman asked. “Do you think everyone is suddenly going stop being themselves, see the predicament, and apologize?”

“Maybe they’ll stop being nice to your sisters and spoil you!” the little one chirped in.

“That’s absurd!”  Twelve scolded.

“Is it?  Isn’t that what you want?”

Twelve thought about this.  We all thought about it.  Then one of us started to giggle.  I’m not sure who, but soon the whole room felt the relief.  It was a ludicrous thought.

“I feel like a fool,”  said Twelve.

“No hard feelings – you’re only a kid!” said the slightly older one.

“And you always look out for me,”  said Little.

“None of us blame you,”  another added.  “We all went through it, you’re just the one who held out for justice.”

“Is there never any justice, then?”  Twelve asked, confused.

“Oh there is justice:  but you need to look for it in other ways,”  Wise Woman offered.

“Like embracing life’s blessings despite the strains of the past,”  Independent Self offered.

“What she’s trying to say, I think,”  I added, “Is that if you continually refuse to be happy because you don’t like what happened long ago, then you rob all of us of the joy of the present.  Can you see that?”

“I can, but I just feel so angry sometimes.”

“I know, I know, so do I, obviously.  That’s why I called this meeting.  And Twelve, I suspect you’ve been hanging out with someone else, who is the real thief here.”

I could tell by the look on her face, that Twelve knew exactly who I was talking about.

“Jealousy is not a friend to any of us,” I addressed the crowd.  “I suggest we do our best to keep her out of our circle.”

“Here!  Here!” came the cry of approval.

“What about me?” said Emotional Eater, pausing mid-bite.

“Wouldn’t hurt you to eat a little less” came the unanimous response.

“You should try therapy,”  added Little.  Everyone laughed.

“Thanks for talking this through,”  I concluded the meeting.  “I hope we all feel better.  Little, Twelve, we got some things to get ready, our guests will be here soon!”

(Image: dymir.org)

 

 

Laughter: Mother’s Medicine

“I’m so mad!”  My nine-year-old self slammed the front door and stomped down the hallway to the kitchen, where my mother was constantly positioned.  My little sister sat at the table, her legs swinging contentedly as she finished off a fresh baked cookie and glass of milk.

“Well, hello!” my mother responded.  “Not a good day?”

“That Chet Tesney makes me so mad, I want to kill him.”

Mom looked me up and down.  “Looks like you already did.”

“Not today.  I got in a scuffle with some kids at the bus stop.”

My mother sighed.  “There are cookies or muffins, but you are not to touch the pie until after dinner.  I’d wash up first if I were you.”

Catching myself in the mirror, I saw that I was a real sight.  I pulled a twig and a piece of leaf out of my matted hair, and washed the muddy scrape on my cheek.  Both hands, caked brown, were red beneath.  Looking down, I saw the stockings I had put on this morning now had a big hole in one knee, and mud was caking on more than one place on my clothes.  Stripping off the dirty clothes, I ran upstairs to change.

“How was school today?” My mother asked cheerfully as I helped myself to a warm cookie and pulled up a chair.  My sister had wandered off.

“Okay, I guess.  We were picking parts for the class play and that Lesley Mann got the main role again.  I hate her, it’s not fair!  Mom!  Jane has my favourite Barbie!  Put that down you little brat!”

“Girls!  Play nice.”  Mom seldom skipped a beat from her dinner prep.  She wouldn’t intervene.  I sighed.

“School is so unfair!  Miss P. said we’d be able to pick our topics for the history project, but Michael and David picked the same as me, so now I have to choose something else.  I hate school!  Now, she has my Barbie car, too!  Moooommm!  She’s going to break it!”

“Shreeeeeeaaaakkkkk! my sister screamed as I tried to retrieve my treasures.

“She won’t hurt it.  Let her play.  Why don’t you play with her?”

“It’s not fair!  You always take her side.  Why don’t you support me for once?!”  I could feel the rage inside me boiling over.  I wanted to hit someone and fast.

“Tee hee.  Ha ha.  Ho ho.”

“Don’t you start, Mother!”

“Ha ha, ho ho, he he, ha ha ha.”

“Mom, I mean it!”

“Ho, ho, ho, ho, ha ha ha ha ha ha, he he he he he he, ho, ho.”

Giggle.  “Mom, don’t make me!  He, he.”

“Heeee, heeee, hoooo, hoooo”  The laughter was so contagious I couldn’t help but join in.  Soon we were laughing so hard we could hardly catch our breath.

“What’s so sunny?” my four-year-old sister couldn’t say her ‘f’s, sending us into another howl, until the tears rolled down our cheeks.

“It’s not sunny!”  But it was!

“Oh, I’m going to pee my pants!”  Doubled over, my mother ran for the bathroom.

We laughed some more.  By the time the laughter subsided, I couldn’t remember what I had been angry about.

This is the gift of my mother.