Colouring Lessons

Favourite colour?
Black, says she
without hesitation;

I falter, stumble
mind reaching –
who likes black?

Is that a colour?
It’s all colours,
she’s nonchalant

intent on task –
carefully keeping
within the lines

Of course it is,
ill equipped am I
to disagree, images

of dark somber
corners, sorrow
and death crows –

Why black? ask I –
composure forced –
had anticipated pink

equate childhood
with primary shades
splotches of yellow

and rainbow skies
candy red apples
on lollipop trees

but black? no –
black obliterates,
negates, destroys

It holds the colour
she explains;
It’s the outline.

Not annihilation –
order; her mind
conceives of order

so much to learn
from innocence
have long forgotten

the art of staying,
within lines, finding
good in all things.













Nestled in with childhood truths –
second-hand, missing perspective –
nursing a creeping creativity:
insignificant clarity expanding
measurably, hurried.

Once social, now retreating
papered over failure, have fallen
frigid waves infiltrating, overtaking
chronically pained, over and over
contemplating flight, freedom

voiceless, expressionless, flat
even revelation muted, unmoving
boundaries, discussed, protective
currently crumbling…underestimated
the struggle, the pervasiveness

have considered a military approach
strident restrictions to nullify passions
but I am a weaver, open to uncovering
blessings in failure, employed in soaring,
grounded, yet questing, unsettled

disease is not a repellent for the mind,
objects conjure movement, creatures
undoubtedly defensive, renewal motivated
I am dank, moist, lacking burning passion
in this explosive personal nest.


Creativity –
eight-legged predator –
invades the decks
of my listing mind,
reproducing rapidly.

Her generous,
bejewelled appendages
skittering beneath
my plastic-boned
Caucasian frailty.

I hesitate –
friend or foe?
Should I trample
crush this invasion,
or surrender…
risk madness?

We are ocean –
bound, shoreless
prefer interior spaces
wary of open vistas
equally vulnerable

intent on

I flee
lair – enter
into darker

Destiny –
creativity’s cousin –
awaits, tail raised
in venomous arc –
dances a warning
does not

melts into
particles of



Spider Woman

Noiselessly, I meander
industry my motivation
slipping through cracks
undaunted by darkness.

I skitter and hop,
avoiding detection
wary of the fear-frenzied,
not wanting to displease

(my thick-bodied hairy-ness
tends to invoke repulsion;
my weak and spindly legs
beget sweats and tremors

I am the stuff of legend –
the black widowed
man-killing, horror queen
with venomous fangs.)

Tragically misunderstood
by overblown accusations,
overlooking the deficiency of size
and the precariousness of my being.

(Sure, I’ve been known to
eat a husband or two,
but who can blame me,
I carry the children alone.)

I am a weaver of tales –
I spew silken threads
whose poetic intertwining
produces the perfect trap

enchanting artistry
of undeniable beauty –
carefully construed tapestries
to ensnare the unsuspecting.

I am not a flesh eater.
I turn my prey to liquid
devour their essence
live off their emotions.

Vulnerability propels
constant motion
I’ve been crushed,
brushed aside, exiled

(sometimes swallowed alive;
it’s a hazard of life –
the unfortunate outcome
of dropping into open mouths.)

My strength is in the telling,
gossamer fibers of truth
spewed from the belly
of this decided ugliness.

I am, in fact, a warrrioress
capturing and annihilating –
through patience and deliberation-
impertinent pestilence.


*Note:  this poem is inspired by a series of dreams, in which spiders were the central symbol.  See Dream Along With Me

Fleeting Libido

Crazy catches me –
semi-conscious/ zoned out –
body slams me,
hot mouth pressed on mine
suppressing objection
(as if I’d object)
working my juices
my mind overboard
passion flaming

I forget
who I am
where I am

Modesty intervenes
compelling flight –
flesh torn from flesh
prematurely –
this seduction,
taunting me in youth,
surprisingly vital still

I forget
who I am
where I am

heart palpitating
loins throbbing…
abandoned again.
It was only a ghost
a spectre from the past
mocking me –
false ecstasy.

(Linked to dVerse pub where desire and sexuality are on the board tonight.)

Open To Healing

Open to healing –
delve into the subconscious
create a space for inspiration.

Ignore limited capabilities –
no offerings are meager –
enter with pure intentions.

Embrace new starts
have faith in ability
be spurred into action.

The Self holds the answers,
creative expression is the key.
No expertise required.

Creative Process

Routine, I find, is both a comfort and a discomfort.  Stripped of all routine when I first became ill, I floundered about looking for some order to the resulting chaos.  I longed for a routine, like a navigational device, to help me define exactly where I was in all the madness.  (Still compass-less I’m afraid.)

At the same time, I fear a numbing sameness – a morose monotony of nonsensical repetition.  I remember doing anything to break the boredom – taking a different route home from work, turning my lessons upside down, or rearranging the classroom – anything to invite new energy.

I feel the same about writing.  It is seductive to find a comfort zone and stay there – convincing myself that this is perfecting my craft, however; I suspect a trap.  Ego, I’ve noted, likes to sabotage.  Exploration is the only way to expand creativity and ignite revelation.

Let me illustrate.  Take a simple thought:

I cried because I was alone
then opening my eyes
discovered another
also alone
my image in the mirror.

Possibly interesting concept, dull delivery.  The image craves development.  One thing I have been experimenting with (wherever possible) is removing pronouns, or any references that personalize my poetry.

loneliness cried
opening eyes
discovered another
also alone
mirror image

Well, this is better, but sounds like a flowery way of saying misery loves company and that’s not the essence I wanted to capture.  What if I do some word/concept association?  Will this help me expand my ideas?

loneliness – feeling of rejection, abandonment, not belonging, desire unrequited, left out
crying – tears, release, unable to contain, unrestrained emotion, grief
open-eyed – awakening, willing to see, open to possibility, searchingdiscovery – new appreciation, renewed hope, joy, alternatives, perspective
other – outsider, relationship, communion, community, connection
alone – isolated, cut-off, solitude, retreat, respite
mirror image – reflection, reversal, commonality, empathy/sympathy, not alone

Not sure this helped, but I’ll try putting it back together using the associations.  Maybe I’ll play up the personification.

abandoned and rejected,
grieved unrestrained,
then willingly,
opening to possibility,
discovered hope,
in solitude –
not alone.

I like this better – the message is more satisfying.  What happens if I turn the whole thing upside (taking liberties, of course)?

In solitude,
discovers –
hope, and
possibility –

unrestrained grief

Wow – I like this even more.  I feel as if it is an invitation from the soul to grieve.

I challenge you to explore and expand your own writing.  What hidden messages await your discovery?

Day 214 “Divine Spark”

The emerald waters
of my crystalline personality
are only a reflection
of an external light.

Lurking below the surface
the murky waters
of self-deprecation
create further illusion.

Dive deeper,
beyond the cold chill
of darkening thoughts
and threatening despair

Weed through the silt
of bottomed out desires
and find an opening –
black and foreboding.

Enter with an open heart
and find the chest within
rusted from neglect,
unguarded, with open latch.

Brush away the cobwebs
and with respectful caution
lift the dusty lid
and behold the divine spark

My true essence,
Tucked there in the darkness
an eternal flame
vibrant and vital.

Release it for me,
be so kind,
to light this dismal patch
and set my waters aglow again.

So that the emerald waters
of my crystalline personality
would reflect my inner
divine light.

Creativity and Self Definition

I dream that I am walking across an open field.  The landscape is barren, and dry, and a wind storm is whipping up, with low menacing clouds.  I am headed to the farm, where I raised my children, and where my ex-husband still lives.  I am living in the city, in the basement of  a raised ranch with hand-me-down furniture.  While the apartment is bright, because of the high windows, it is still a basement.  I am walking against the weather, despite the weather, because I want to finally settle something with my ex; call a truce.  He is processing wood – putting it through a machine and creating little piles of wood chips and lots of sawdust in his large open shop.  He keeps working and ignores my presence.  My mother arrives in a car and has a present for him.  My older sisters show up also.  They are in the main house primping, and trying to show me how to make myself more attractive.  I just want to clear the air, but there are too many distractions.

I always say that creativity is the process by which we define and then express ourself.   In the dream, I am influenced by the women in my family, the inclement weather, and an ex-spouse who is preoccupied.  I chuckle at the dream’s image of my older sisters preening, as growing up it was impossible to find a mirror that was not taken over by one of my sisters.  It was part of the reason I chose to be a tomboy; it was easier than trying to get bathroom time for grooming.

In my family, women were expected to be pretty, under educated, and submissive to men.  My older sisters were both beautiful, and took secretarial skills at school, leaving after grade 11, so they could get a job and find a man.  I did not fit this mold.  Taking after my father in looks,  I had a receding chin, and wore glasses.  I was also ‘gifted’ and aspired towards a university degree.  I was outspoken and pro women’s lib.  My mother told me daily that no one would ever love me; she worried about my future.  I felt my mother’s legacy fulfilling itself, when my second, and former husband told me he had never loved me after seventeen years together.  I left that marriage believing that I was unlovable.

I thought I had worked through all that.  I am in a relationship now with a husband who constantly demonstrates his love for me.  So why, in my dreams am I going over old territory?  And what does this have to do with creativity?

Maybe the dream is reminding me that if we define ourselves within the context of our environment, then we are limited.  If we are to expand our sense of self, we must be able to see beyond the landscape of our past.  In terms of health, my mother has had numerous issues, including three rounds of cancer; my oldest sister suffered illness all her life; and my next older sister is debilitated by schizophrenia.  None of them escaped the limitations of victimhood to experience either successful careers or relationships.

I believe that the purpose of dreams is always to bring positive movement in our lives.  This one left me feeling hopeless, unwanted, unseen or heard – much like my childhood.  I need to envision a new reality for myself.  I need to create new possibilities instead of searching and re-searching the experiences that will never serve to define me as anything less than inadequate.