in electric yellow waters
of mud-laden stream
the coveted prize –
a mutated version –
Christ’s fish hovers
arms reach away –
have touched it –
recoiled out of fear.
Status is stagnation –
Only the constant
thrum of winged
irritates – its hard
of Halcyon days,
What evil virus has
cemented me here,
dreams, mired me
in polluted waters
imbued with cruel
(Watery Stagnation first appeared in August, 2016, and is edited here.
She’s not in the kitchen
presiding over preparations,
thriving amidst the chatter,
tutting away thieving fingers.
She’s not in the classroom,
ruling with charitable hand.
Nor is she at social affairs,
head bent in rapt attention,
gracious with compassion.
The Queen is missing –
the poise and composure
that marked her carriage
has vanished without a trace.
Don’t ask the old woman
tottering down the lane,
stooped and stumbling –
she’s not all there.
Her mind’s a trickster,
her ego a petulant child,
unwilling to concede wrong –
she’s merely the court jester.
(The Queen is Missing first appeared August of 2015.)
If death is sleep
then surely I am close –
refuses to budge,
brain a slow crawl
I would feel something –
remorse, fear, confusion –
but the weight of slumber
has numbed senses,
only a drum, drum
of heart harkens
life’s continued spark –
What thread of will
keeps me hanging on,
surely sleep preferable?
(Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is characterized by exhaustion after exertion. The fatigue is systemic. )
Majesty is a tree
no more sheltered
from acts of nature
than I – none
believes it –
days when strength
equates with rigidity,
A right fighter, was I,
iron will, in control –
never measuring up
such foolish nonsense –
destructive, no doubt,
took illness to educate
recognize courage in
of inviting understanding
birth potential –
surrender of struggle
rooted, like a tree.
Am not the woman my children once called Mother –
can see the disappointment in their anger-blotched
expressions, feel the constraint in their voices –
distance between us tugs on my heart, plays with
my conscience, as if illness is choice – a contrived
plot to rob them of their expectations –
hope they can forgive me before it’s too late;
hope they can forgive themselves.
Does illness have a voice,
and if so; is it melancholy,
or dark and dank, divulging
deepest despair, or revealing
a vileness of nature?
Discord creeps along my veins,
disrupts muscles, systems failing
under the oppression –
“Stay strong,” friends counsel,
cannot hear the gathering storm,
feel the heaviness cloaking me.
I am not myself, but then;
who am I? Is disease a mutation
of the original sin – punishment
for fatal sins, or redemption
wrapped as trial – the whispers
gain clarity – I am faltering…
(Written for Reena’s Exploration challenge: featured image as prompt.)
belly a swill of green –
There is good air & trees,
and warming chards
Breathe out…and spit..
Only champagne cup
would wet and waken
Let up bug!
(Friday is Magnetic Poetry day for me. Coincidentally, I have been fighting a bacterial infection, so the words are fitting.)
with so much intrusion –
child born of good intentions
awash in a trail of barricades
I cope, cook up breezes, strike
wet ground – stuff myself to satiate
the onslaught, ground rapidly shifting –
Earth Mother exerting presence –
too stubborn, I turn away, look for
God but my cup keeps moving –
I am unreachable, charmed by
a broken tale, aimless, oppositional
overwhelmed – cry out but absence
holds no listeners – need adhesive
to fix this urgency – a peerless torrent –
if only I could simply these wounds
find a stopgap – emotion overflows,
exerts turmoil, sorrow replaying
sleep offers no repair, alone,
tormented by the issue at hand.
(Every so often, I revisit old poems and revise. Sleeping Alone first appeared here in December of 2017, when I was still in the throes of severe illness. I’ve come along way and it’s good to look back and see the progress. I am also linking this up to my weekly challenge, reaching.)
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.
(Maybe first appeared here in February of 2017, three years into my journey with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I am posting it today as it fits with this week’s theme: upside-down. Image is the mirror reflection of trees across the canal – from personal collection)
Fragility blindsides –
I am woman.
Courageous, some say –
a sentiment beyond my reach
having not chosen this state.
Fragility is pervasive –
body reduced to miniscule fibers,
stretched, torn, bordering
Overwhelmed, mind obsesses –
will neither organize
nor let go…
If only I could let go…
I am weeping
Weeping from frustration –
immediate impossibility –
Unwilling to weep for totality of loss –
it is beyond me.
Illness is regarded
There is no equality for the disabled
stripped of busy-ness –
renders me as any other
A soul yearning for a meaningful existence.
Maybe illness is the great equalizer.
(The Same, But Broken was first written in December of 2014, when I suffered from severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It is revised here.)