change · disability · mental-health · poetry · psychology · writing

Turning Point

Played host to insecurity –
catered to bullying
undermined by warped
agendas, butchered by
provincial minds –

Retreated, convalesced,
sanitized lost vitality,
believed in phantoms
haunted by compulsions
deflected attempted rescues
ignored counsel to let go.

Shell-shocked
aftermaths
incoherent
self-judgment
inescapable.

Where do I go from here?

Ignore criticism
disarm cruelty
sanctify privacy
detach, discern
redefine boundaries
embrace enlightenment

Focus on caring
be receptive –
choose life.

(Turning Point first appeared here December, 2015, a year and a half into isolation imposed by illness.  I offer an edited version here with the intention of demonstrating the psychological toll of unexpected isolation.  The loss of our routine, life, connections affects us all on many levels. Be kind to self and others.  We all respond to that loss differently.  Linking up with Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: enlighten.  Image my own.)

disability · health · ME/ CFS · mental-health · poetry · writing

Isolation’s Hold

Disability covets isolation –
this stripped-back, box-like state.

Rustic serenity, with room
to breathe would be preferable

but old memories creep in, and
lack of self-worth leaves the door open

phantoms of former torments
unwanted visitors, shadowy

invaders target loneliness,
misconstrue lack of health

for neediness, prey on weak –
hearted, presume incapability.

I am unwell, not unwanted, effort
to protest ignored, I grow wary of

fellow travellers, am vandalized by
nightly attacks, attempt to reach out

aim for strength, logic, clarity,
dial-up past abuse instead, cannot

fathom the purpose of unsolicited
persecution, grasping at isolation.

(Isolation’s Hold was first written in June of 2017.  I am resubmitting it here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: isolation.  Seems to me is also reflective of the times.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · disability · life · Love · mental-health · poetry · relationships · writing

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.)

culture · life · media · poetry

Building on Uneven Ground

We are builders –
constructing isolation
with fortified walls
imagining security
in separation.

We are battlers –
projecting foes
in outer forces
ignoring the dangers
of faulty foundations.

How warped are the stories
on which we lay our floors;
how misguided our efforts?

We need level ground
on which to erect stability,
a balanced understanding
cemented in commitment,

a universal, master plan
motivated by communal
accessibility, developed
with careful consideration.

Alas, we are consumers –
trusting the blueprints
of those whose architectural
designs are self-serving.

What price will we pay
for residing in a house
dangerously slanted
towards destruction?

disability · life · ME/ CFS · poetry · relationships

Anti-Social

Murmurs from the past –
tied to a former identity –
question my social absence

I have divorced that life,
that self, and yet, memories
dangle, challenge my validity

Once facilitator, now I shy away
hidden behind the curtain of illness
could offer suggestions for gathering

have a repertoire of ideas, stashed,
no doubt out-dated – so much of life
having surpassed me, even old selves.

(Photo from private collection)

disability · life · mental-health · poetry

Resignation

Tried to drop in, visit the past –
hoped to resurrect old passions –
all that remains are intellectual
reserves, in need of costumes
to enact a play written without me;
I’d help out but have neither
the resources nor the physical
ability to lower or raise myself
to such expectations.

It’s all so unnatural, this pandering
to an ideal, this self defined by roles
and education:  this soulless state.

So I caught a train out of there –
boarded before I realized
that in my already off-balance state
the movement would throw me,
fell, cried, met with further coldness
should have taken a bus,
buried myself amidst the nameless
masses, too anxious to signal stop,
would shamelessly ride to the end
sobbing even harder, be expelled
by a driver, hardened by the reek
of human neglect, find myself
at the corner of what was
and a swift passage to nowhere.

Better to accept this stranded isolation –
nearby places out of reach – too weak,
too frail to stand – this place that is home.