In the Weeds

Barrage of fears
plague each dream
render me useless

Invoke positivity, you say,
but the voices persist
intimate familiars

I set each fright adrift
hide among the weeds
pray for a moment’s reprieve.

(Image mine)

Bystander

Dare I confess
the hollowness
of my heart

How emptiness
echoes in its chambers
How lost I feel inside

This is no sanctity
no secure refuge
my withdrawal is a sham

I stand by, observe –
circles entwine, embrace –
recognize the power of love

Practice the words
extend warmth
and retreat, before

connection ignites
convinced as I am
that the vacancy is merited.

(Image from personal collection.)

Smoking Pit

Cigarette butts
no longer linger
concrete, but
I swear the cloud
of smoke lingers,
the sweat of adolescent
anxiety – the suffocating
pressure to comply –

Names escape,
but I remember
smugness and
rivalry, and
the spine-crawling fear
of confrontation,
and indisputable
in my mind
are the scars
of being so alone.

(Written for Twenty Four’s 50 word Thursday prompt.  Image supplied by Deb Whittam.)

Calm Yourself, Woman

Circumstances shift –
breath the fertile air –
let dreams fly; expand

embrace change – hope,
now winged, an explorer
bursting with possibility.

I would move this old
body, relocate to new
beginnings, be reborn

but for these internal
trappings – begging for
extermination – retro

shaded memories –
long past expiration –
skewed accessibility,

stretched without purpose,
reconfiguration required –
history a real estate, I need

to unload; who will buy
a drama-laden, single
story alcoholic’s haunt?

Circumstances shift –
sniff the fertile air –
guard forbidden dreams

change, like wings, unfolds
in its own time; be patient,
possibility is taking flight.

(Poem originally appeared August of 2016)

Disruption

Absence of table
echoes in a room
reserved for its
central role –

I am at a loss,
no explanation
proceeding
this disappearance

have just woken
from a slumber
deep, to this hole
in certitude

grasp for answers
wonder at significance
if I’ve missed signals
question permanence

left with silliness
of chairs, the mockery
of dust – balled
fragments revealed

stand at kitchen counter
nibbling, dubious
unable to relax –
the table is gone.

 

There, There

I wrestle with sleep –
need overpowered by unease,
senses on high alert,
as if a child
trying to intuit
the degree of volatility
in father’s drunken slur

what will it take
to find rest,
to reassure
the littles
that the tyrant is gone

and life will unfold
as it will
without the stress
of constant monitoring.

Wasted Time

It’s Monday again –
days passing through
my hands like sand,
no receptacle in which
to catch the granules –
why this sense of urgency?

In high school, I played hooky
wiped away the hours in empty
places, sought answers for
questions I could not articulate,
chased dust while others formulated
dreams – how is this any different?

Am I not just recreating the pattern,
painting over efforts with adult hues,
donning the pretence of self-importance
while occupied with vapid tasks – time
continues to slip by, and what have I
to show for it other than incessant panic?

Off Stage Fright

Point me towards the boards;
watch me improvise – calm
rehearsed, funny mastered,

catering to audiences a forte’,
command performances key
to locking out this perusing

soul’s wordless angst – will
unleash soliloquies, cleverly
unscripted quips to delight

well-attended audiences,
on queue hijinks, will not miss
a line, or quit the show, find

refuge in the wings. Spotlights
motivate me, trigger adrenaline;
save me from an interminable foe

that stalks behind the curtain
sneers at applause, assures me
ovation does not to me apply.