disability · health · recovery · relationships

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
back room, 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?

disability · dreams · education

Learning Disabled

Really want to be gainfully
engaged, embrace learning
but disability is in charge,

like an uneducated thug,
skulking behind my back,
sneering at my attempts

to demonstrate capability.
I am slow processing,
easily distracted, socially

driven, control slipping,
botching efforts to show
potential, suspect that

disability, the hard-headed
tough guy that he is, revels
in my failure, despising me.

(image from: www.greatschools.org)

aging · disability · dreams · health · poetry

Carnival Living

Temporarily positioned
in a 24-hour carnival,
gambling on progress;

sleeping with delusion –
yet another attempt to
secure intimacy missed –

wheelchair accessible
only if accompanied,
a woman out of time,

anxiously dreaming of
a room lit joyously with
the surprise of pairing –

instead disoriented, I
seek guidance, am re-
routed, willingly accept

balance, emotional
stability suffice, I am
unfinished business

attempting to move on
memory not working –
a classic submersion

dulled by immobility
desire packaged, laid
down, sliding into panic,

self abandoned in favour
of a prophecy of denial –
this 24-hour carnival life.

(image from http://www.listzblog.com)

adversity · disability · dreams · health · poetry · recovery

Not Dead Yet

There is safety in apart-ment living;
would corral the little ones, declare
responsibility, obligations as a mask
for this self-banishing compulsion.

Except that I am lying prone, exposed
brain spilling onto concrete, shadows
revealing the darkness of my condition
hopelessly locked in physical inertia.

I am an unwitting contributor to
scientific (and pseudo) probing,
audacious autopsies pronouncing
conclusive evidence of motives.

Too polite (and weakened) to deflect,
I submit, demonstrating complacency,
sacrificing autonomy, fail to assert
that it is I who is taking this life test.

And, by the way, am passing quite
adequately, which defies all rational
diagnosis and prognosis and serves
to reassure me of ultimate success.

adversity · disability · health · poetry

Sorrow’s Vigil

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when the light of day has faded,
and the noise of life subsided,
and all the world is slumbering.

Then my heart beats with a single
lone drum, a heaviness weighing
on me, chest punctured with grief,
distractions losing their hold.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
a deep-seated darkness, void of
hope, the deafening echo of unshed
tears, the brutality of solitude.

When all have surrendered to dreams,
my soul – tired of the daily effort to be
courageous, to smile when I want to
rage, to protect my beloveds – weeps.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
the grief of knowing that this defective
existence is too much for others to
bear, whose hearts have glazed over,

who will me to wellness, shake
their heads, and spew frustration,
as if I am somehow an accomplice
in this state of vile stagnation,

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when questions rob me of sleep,
and the passage of time fails to
ease the injustice of so much loss.

And while acceptance is the best
progress, and I know that faith
will sustain me, they are fickle
companions when the sun sets.

There is sorrow in the nighttime
a restless amalgamation of so
much emotional angst, with no
shelter for relief…




Maybe I just needed a new perspective –
like the famed Hanged Man of tarot –
committed to some deep, internal need,
willed a horizontal shift, landed with intent.

Maybe it is not my legs that are disabled,
but a soul longing to escape the continual
discord of perpetual motion, a never-ending
to-do list of the success driven persona.

Maybe there is a greater purpose for being
that is not encompassed by outer drive –
a mysterious meaning that is revealed only
in the quiet stillness in which I now dwell.

Maybe I have been called to a personal
pilgrimage – a Camino of sorts, a crusade
of spirit designed to cleanse and enlighten –
the journey is certainly arduous enough.

Maybe it is through acceptance, finally
having released  a need to control, move,
achieve, accomplish that I am able to
embrace the true lessons of suffering.

Maybe this cocooning is an act of Grace
demanding surrender before the actual
transformation occurs, and I will emerge
legless or not, winged and ready to soar.

Maybe, just maybe, this stripped down,
barren existence is not a penance for
shameful living, but a desert crossing,
offering re-alignment, hard-fought peace.

disability · dreams · health · poetry

Soul Stalker


Downy blankets of white settle softly,
Nature gratefully submitting to slumber
as the Earth bids a seasonal adieu.

Inside, my body craving hibernation
curls into layered bedding, draws shades
against the snowy scene, wills respite.

My soul, a cat, lulled by the miracle
stretches wide paws, arches, ready
to discover some mystic wilderness.

She is primordial, a snow leopard,
camouflaged, elusive, a silent stalker
instinctively hungry for nourishment.

Weakened, I yield, certain she will prey
on this near lifeless flesh, leaving me
bloodless, hide-less:  a mere carcass.

Then I shall lay down in the frigid warmth
of winter’s illusion and surrender rotting
self to the Earth’s core; pray for rebirth.

adversity · disability · health · poetry · recovery

Seeking Release

Days confined to a four-walled cell
morose gray skies mirroring gloom
drumming of an overworked heart
breaking this suffocating silence.

Twenty months sentence served
release date uncertain, life altered
beyond recognition, hope elusive
as the sun – I am powered down.

Pocketed energy calls for efficiency
integrity challenged by wavering
brain; peace a butterfly chained
by depression, praying for release.

Stability relies on yielding, practice
demonstrating caring, gentleness,
giving to self, mourning spontaneity,
I stretch to find perfection, believe.

Convince myself of synchronicity,
celebrate creativity, ideas, feedback,
focus on glimpses of well-being,
treasure merriment, inspiration.

Ego mistakes self-preservation
for selfishness, attacks motives,
loveability, invites depression,
awareness gained obliterated.

I cycle back; imprisoned anew,
am salvaged through interaction
simple sharing magically uplifts
rebirthing perspective; healing.

Through grace, I embrace gifts
surrender control, self-rejection,
retire the victim, and remaining
open, recognize response-ability.

adversity · creativity · disability · dreams · health · poetry · recovery · relationships


Delegated to the back room,
I am marginalized, invisible,
employ-ability in question.

I am a peripheral observer,
self-conscious of my status,
disintegrating at the edges.

Watch as relationships form,
people engage, socialize, find
purpose, ignore my presence.

Desperate, I grasp at meanings,
decipher holes in conversations,
measure lacking in interactions.
Ennui drives introspection –
a terrifying abyss of endless
confrontations and shortfalls.

Unable to bear the tedium –
madness threatening – I push
forward, reconsider stock

determine redundancies,
discern detrimental agendas,
am inspired to make changes.

Experience bears fruit, I can
salvage the situation, trim
excess, purge the sedentary.

Ideas flood, passion igniting,
prospects are not lost – creativity
fuels a new sense of belonging.

adversity · disability · dreams · health · life · poetry · recovery

Turning Point

Played host to insecurity,
catered to bullying,
undermined by warped
agendas – slayed by
provincial minds –
retreated, convalesced,
sanitized lost vitality,
believed in phantoms,
haunted by compulsions,
attempted rescues,
counseled to let go.

in the aftermath,
judging self,

Where do I go from here?

Ignore criticism,
disarm cruelty,
sanctify privacy,
detach, discern,
redefine boundaries,
embrace enlightened,
caring, receptive¬† –
choose life.