Fallen From Grace

The proverbial can has exploded –
transparency of our deceit now lies
like swarms of glass snakes writhing
at our feet – litany of hissing truths

Bent on keeping innocence alive,
I strategically attempt avoidance,
point to wealth, abundance, nurture
focus … the onslaught continues.

Slivers of slime, maggot-like hoards
mobilize – a sea of protestation,
I, overwhelmed by filth and disgust
encroaching on my sanity, helpless.

Familiarity colours the devastation –
have witnessed it before, watched
as my mother bit into the same
serpent-defiled apple…turned away.

There are no barriers to block out
the vile beasts, no refuge for broken
souls, whose lives, twisted in denial,
have mercilessly fallen to betrayal.

(Fallen From Grace was written in January, 2016. Image my own)

(This is an edited version of an earlier poem from 2016. Image my own)

Irreversible

Who can measure
the cost of war?

How deep destruction
scars the human soul?

I see the trench lines
carved on fathers’ faces

the ghostly pallor
of mothers’ fear –

only the children sing
unaware, bending to fate

with graciousness;
grief’s shrapnel well buried

(Image my own. Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson)

The Lie

I lied.

The initial seed of disappointment has fermented,
and in the absence of confrontation, grown roots

written sorrowful chapters
conclusion: unworthiness

Why couldn’t I just have said:
I don’t understand
this makes me unhappy?

Where did I learn that prevarication protects
that I alone am responsible for emotions
that I do not matter?

Decades later
I still cannot uproot the weed
the lie remains.

(Image my own)

Tired of Same Old Endings

Tired of same old endings
in which hopes are slaughtered
and tragedy and insanity win.

Raised by the bottle, learned
to set standards low –
still afraid of heights –
have fallen as the ground
beneath my aspirations crumbled –
a certainly under alcohol’s rule.

Tired of same old endings
in which self is battered by indifference
and ego loses the battle for control.

Mother’s denial a coping mechanism
negating children’s need, obliterating
safety, disregarding long-term damage;
even in older years, when we tried
to get her out, were powerless against
his manipulation, his eternal imprinting.

Tired of same old endings
in which the heroine, resources spent
succumbs to the madness, suicides.

Want to believe in a future, greener,
hopeful, in which relationships
are fulfilling, and life goals are
supported; in which encouragement
is not the ploy of deviousness, and
personal best is rewarded, sustained.

Tired of same old endings
haunting my dreaming hours
unforgotten in waking dreams.

(Tired of Same Old Endings first appeared here June of 2018.
Edited for this submission. Linking up with Reena’s Xploration
Challenge: insanity, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: unforgotten.
Image my own.)

Familial Legacy

“…too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger that causes fear persists…”
– Immortality, 
by Lisel Mueller

Purposeful, this fortress
permanently ungrounded

Burdened without bearing
fear underlying motivation

Reassured that life is unfair
dedicated to defying limits

Challenged by rage
bloodline ingrained

Pulled towards inevitable
complete collapse.

(Inspired by the promptings of Reena’s Exploration challenge.  To see the full poem and prompt click here.  Image from personal collection.)