culture · disability · health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Insecurity Resolved

Unnerved by invitations –
isolation equates with security –
fear the onslaught of questions,
the unleashing of a torrent –
emotions flooding, crashing
through this gated illusion –
best to withdraw.

Withdraw my best
when gated by illusion
crashing, emotions flood –
need to tame this torrent
question the onslaught, brave
insecurity, negate isolation
embrace the invitations.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from my Twitter poems. Follow me @Vjknutson.  The first stanza is the original poem.  I left it here,  then unsatisfied, decided to turn it upside down and create a new outcome. .  Image from personal collection.)

creativity · culture · disability · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Levitating

Suits meet, banter about deals,
conspiratorial heads bent, deep
throaty laughs, confidence reeking.

I glide by, imperceptibly, am a whisper
on the window of their intensity.

Families congregate on front lawns,
squeals of delight trailing blurs,
adult murmurs lost in shrill echoes.

I float on by, an ethereal witness,
no more than the wisp of a cloud.

Only a dog, unleashed, catches
a whiff of something inexplicable,
gives chase, nips at nothingness.

I am elusive, lacking substance,
he retreats bewildered, interest lost.

Am I somehow flawed,  I wonder
aloud to the gathering of females
draped across my bed, intrigued

Have landed now, solidly connected
to this other-abled reality, grounded.

Intimate discussions of life’s mystery
peaks interest, all want to learn to fly,
beg me to demonstrate, inspired to try.

Detachment is the secret, I reveal;
just launch yourself and release.

Instincts grasp to offer support,
arms reaching out in assistance,
roots hindering their deliverance.

Alone, I swirl above reeling minds
dissolve into the mist, am free.

(It’s poetics night at dVerse and our host, Gina, asks us to consider our poetic hum – what duality we lead.  For three years, I lived an isolated, bedridden existence, while the rest of the world hummed along (pun intended).  It was fertile ground for writing.  The poem, Levitatingwas written 3 years ago, and immediately came to mind when I read the prompt.)

 

disability · health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

What Scars Remain?

Should I escape these shackles,
manage to re-surface, swim
despite this weakened condition
against the currents of disability,
find myself once again on the
solid grounds of civilization;
will I be embraced with cheers
of victory, or slotted into some
backroom, reserved for the fallen,
spoken to in hushed tones,
forever handled at arms length,
an object to be feared?

And if I manage to fight these
bonds that for so long have
threatened to annihilate,
will I have the bravery to face
the calling that once defined me,
shake off the cobwebs of
disorientation, defy the
certainty of unpreparedness,
draw from the well of past
experiences and rise to
a new battle, proving the
validity of my return?

Or, with freedom, do I look
to opportunity, clear the slate
of former ambitions, rewrite
the pages of my destiny,
embrace an attitude of
rebirth, decide to relinquish
the sword, cut my losses
and redefine a new, gentler
way of being in the world,
less dependent on a system
which undoubtedly propelled
this descent in the first place?

(For Reena’s Exploration Challenge.  Reena gives us a choice of prompts.  I have chosen  ‘disorientation’.  What Scars Remain was first written in August 2016.

blogging · creativity · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Dis-abled Self

A wounded creature, I circle the pack;
A laggard seeking inroads, missing cues;
A social wanna be without the smack –
This fogged state a waning of my hues.

My path a heartless road through blinding snow,
And I without a map or coat, alone –
To ask for help, a degradation – No!
Tis arrogance and stubbornness I own.

I’ll bide my time on sidelines crying ill,
Bemoan this wretched fate and limp along;
Til self-indulgence wears thin, then I will
By humble act, declare I do belong.

And in the end no consequence is worse:
Than mulish woman bearing no self-worth.

(This modest attempt at iambic pentameter is brought to you by the promptings of Frank at dVerse.  Hope it wasn’t too painful.)

disability · poetry

The Same, But Broken (Take 2)

(Note:  I am revisiting old posts, trashing the unimpressive, and where possible, editing.  This is an edited version of an earlier poem.  Visit the original here.)

Pervasive fragility
blindsides – reduced
to stretched and torn
fibers – I teeter, mind

obsessed, overwhelmed
I am weeping…and not,
frustrated by impossibility
unwilling to face loss –

cannot let go – life passes
regards me with disgust/
indifference/ repulsion,
I am dispensable, invalid

raw, enraged, strength
obliterated, courage gone,
just a soul, stripped of life
craving meaningful existence.

disability · health · mental-health · poetry

Bureaucratic Dystopia

Bureaucratic automatons
privy to personal dilemmas
fuss over delegated tasks –
vessels sans initiative –

policy makers overriding
common sense,
common decency
paper pushers passing
verdicts condemning

downtrodden, unable to fight
whose day-to-day living –
questionable at best –
lacks the necessary survival

guide – procedural forms
dehumanize suffering,
cubby-holed egos void
support, icily authoritative

dystopia is no future construct
no fantastical presupposing
for those trapped in the maniacal
system of disability claims.

(Image: threatquality.com)

disability · dreams · mental-health · poetry · women's issues

Watery Fate

Unconsciousness –
like an iron anchor –
has dragged my lifeless
body, abandoned her
on the ocean floor

I am afraid to stir,
even a little, certain
that pieces of me will
break away drifting into
the unknown, irretrievable.

Somehow, I have learned
to breathe under water,
have memory of wholeness,
but am unglued, earthly
images floating past –

years spent in study,
hoping to be somebody
but like Dickinson, I am
nobody; only sediment
now, contemplating

girlhood dreams, memories
of parading in wedding white
mothers encouraging from
sidelines – I watch, sidelined
with muted amusement

so many dreams, now losses
the ocean’s flow a steady
stream of forgotten tears –
a watery graveyard for
shipwrecked vessels.

What fate awaits me
should immobility win –
will I disintegrate, particles
becoming algae, ever-reaching
tentacles of desperation?

Or, will I evolve into coral –
fragility guarded by venom,
attach myself to colonies –
life fragmented, now sustaining –
one existence traded for another?

Or, shall I gather forces – will
defying fate – propel myself
upwards, lungs and heart pumping,
mind commanding limbs, declare
myself substance, face another day?

(Image:  aquaviews.net)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

disability · dreams · health · poetry · recovery

Qualifier

Hurdles line up
before me, am I
at the starting gate?

Who will hire me?
Will I be able to learn?
Can I leave the house?

Each bar set higher,
formidable tasks
to achieve, doubting..

state of dependence,
chronic ailments,
undercut propulsion..

have cleared course
of busy, overworking
professional attire..

have the motivation
to rejoin the race,
but legs lack spring;

picture myself tripping,
tossed, sunny side up,
too outdated to win.

(Image: www.postonline.co.uk)

 

disability · dreams · poetry · spirituality

Watery Stagnation

Wading knee-deep,
electric yellow waters
of mud laden stream

the coveted prize –
a mutated version –
Christ’s fish hovers

within arm’s reach;
have touched it –
recoiled out of fear.

Status is stagnation –
movement stymied
by lack of current.

Only the constant
thrum of a winged
pest’s belligerence

punctures stillness,
irritates, its hard –
shelled turquoise

body reminiscent
of Halcyon days,
Caribbean sunsets.

What evil virus has
cemented me here
strangled nomadic

dreams, mired me
in polluted waters
imbued with cruel

uncertainty; faith-
less; immobilized
by juxtaposition?

(Photo courtesy: grist.org)