Where Ignorance Leads

Quest for independence
born of familial dysfunction
led me down a path of dissent

Compromise, I believed
was toxic, swore against
the brutality of submission

Need no one,
depend on no one
have nothing to lose

Overlooked the joy
of interdependence –
an alien concept

Chose a lonely path,
a straggler destined
never to belong…

(Image my own)

Even Ghosts Yearn

Natural light preferable
to artificial – not the harsh
fullness of noonday sun
but softly filtered rays –
luxurious…
inviting

Love too, should be subdued,
gentle as a zephyr –
not mythical, but yielding…
mindful
not worshipful nor boastful
but comforting…
warm

I am waning light
the mistral wind wafting
no longer a force of nature
but smoke, spiralling
vanishing into non-existence

And yet,
even as shadows spread
I yearn – heart
beating true
not lost,
not forgotten,
but withdrawn…
humbled

passion mellowed
by years of constructing walls –
grit and tar –
scar’s long buried
save the limping gait
of a ghost.

(Even Ghosts Yearn first appeared here in July, 2018. Image my own.)

Wayward Daughter

(Warning: this poem discusses the effects of sexual assault, and may be disturbing to some readers.)

Back and forth I travel, searching
for her – retrace every bend, curve,
detour – back to the water, the sand,
the beach where I lost her…haunted

by velvet brown eyes – bedroom eyes,
they told her, men with greedy loins,
calculating – I lost her to the lure of
alcohol, to the pounding beat of drums
in those smoky corners so far removed
from the purity of our dreams…

It’s been an arduous journey, some days
so lost in the daze of forgetting; I cycle
back, memories of manhood exposed
egos craving stroking, learning
what men wanted, learning to numb

disappointment with fast-talk
and all-nighters, suppressing tears
discovering that words hold no promise
and water is deep, and going within
is a dark, foreboding place, and worth…

is shrouded by the discovery
that the father she adored was not
as we’d thought, and that this primal
urge for mating was a trap….
designed to eradicate beauty,
not enhance it…

I need to find her,
hold her afloat in sacred waters,
help her feel the healing light
of a thousand women’s hearts
all bleeding as one,

all tainted by the same
convoluted messages –
that lust is sinful and copulation
a man’s domain, and that in order
to be espoused, she must forgo
her nature – tame the wild
settle…

but as much
as I travel these lonely roads,
I cannot find her, the traces of
her innocence washed away
by the tides…lines now
on this aged face

If you see her, please
hold her close…
hold her until the beauty
of her being is solid knowing
and the shame vanquished
Hold her till she understands
the light she was born to be.

( Wayward Daughter first appeared here in February, 2017, and was published in the anthology: We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault…, by Indie Blu Publishing, 2018. This version is edited. I am submitting it for my weekly challenge: roads. Art my own.)

A Mirage

Do not apologize
the fault lies not with you

Love, while lauded for its cures,
is not always compensation

for a life of turmoil –
I know you loved her

Watched as you let your dreams slide
heart wringing with your own sorrow

There was just something about her
men lined up to grasp… to make her

What? Theirs? Happy?
It was not to be

she barely possessed herself…
Even in death, I reach for her

try to define the ruse
but her essence is elusive

No, you are not at fault…
for she was never really there.

(For Reena’s Xploration Challenge, prompt the featured image.)

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.)