adversity · creativity · current affairs · poetry · writing

Survival of an Artist

He had lost everything of value to him. There was an empty canvas on the easel, his colors and tools.  What would he paint?  *

Eyes reddened from tears
he bears his soul, like a wolf
howls into the emptiness

No response

Life shrinks at the sight of him
wounded creatures fearing
his motivations, advances

Entrapped

Escape alludes – walls
structures of his fear
he is his own obstacle

Alone

He will find his bearing
claw his way through faithlessness
Solitude, after all, an ally to his breed.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge:  *quotation captioned.  Image my own.)

 

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.)

aging · creativity · Humour · life · poetry · writing

Re-Purposing The Garage

It’s complicated, really, but so much
is defined by the presence of a garage.

Here is a stand-alone, connected by
a breezeway, single-car with storage;

could have been so much more –
had planned for it, but life changes.

Once had an oversized garage – direct
access, housed two vehicles, custom

built – but the cars are gone now, and
the single stands vacant, like my mind.

Except, the other day, I swore I glimpsed
an animal there, perched on the shelving

fierce, cat-like eyes caught in the dim
light of an open doorway – a tigress,

body crouched – I backed away, but
not before claws pierced my imagination

tended to the bleeding, chastising my
foolishness – of course, she isn’t real –

I lost my feminine prowess long ago,
am more of a groundhog now – slow

moving, podgy, sniffing the air for hints
of change, burrowing in the face of trouble.

A family lived here once: a tightly knit
portrait of three, lulled by the protection

offered – no storms to weather –
until the husband left, daughter

in tow; ducked beneath closing
of the automated door –

me, trapped beneath layers of regret
choking on their fumes, homeless.

Would ignore her, except for
those grasping, white-knuckled

fingers pleading for rescue; would
shoulder her, but shudder to host such

destruction within my walls,
already robbed of equilibrium

this state of heightened vigilance
a cause for neglecting self – have

humoured one too many advantage-
taker, cannot trust my own instincts

am disillusioned, no longer content
with inconsistencies, need to

confront the condition of my garage,
clean out the accumulation of stored

nonessentials – maybe hold a sale –
whitewash the interior and buy a car.

(Reena’s Exploration challenge this week is the long and short of it.  The above poem is the long.  The short follows.)

If life is defined by a garage,
then mine is single, attached,
empty and needing work.

(The original version of this poem was published in August 2016.  It has been reworked for this edition.)

aging · art · change · creativity · disability · health · Humour · poetry · writing

The Queen Is Missing

She’s not in the kitchen
presiding over preparations,
thriving amidst the chatter,
tutting away thieving fingers.

She’s not in the classroom,
mastering subjects,
upholding order,
ruling with charitable hand.

Nor is she at social affairs,
head bent in rapt attention,
smiling cordially,
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.)