adversity · dreams · Family · health · Humour · life · poetry · recovery

Bad Birthday

I would celebrate the day,
enjoy the spoils of my work,
receive abundance of blessings

but guilt showed up, floated in
wearing a sexy red overcoat,
and I couldn’t turn her away.

Camouflaged by fiery passion,
she tried to force feed me pearls
of wisdom, passed her gems

like bestowing an inheritance;
I choked, then resisted, invited
paranoia to join the party fray;

ducked accusations of treachery,
projectiles of blame targeting
unwitting intentions – employed

only to serve – was villainized
when I refused to take part,
openly defied her nonsensical

attacks, realized that dubious
mismanagement makes a poor
companion; guides my tainted

conscience with manipulation,
marries me to scrambled ideals,
births chirping perfection, (talent

undeniable), I am hopeful till
guilt chimes in, catching me off-
guard, forcefully convincing;

appealing to a death wish;
suspicion arrives, interrogates,
deflects responsibility, denies

truth – how did it all turn out
so wrong, this day that was
meant to celebrate my birth?

 

creativity · disability · dreams · health · life · passion · poetry · recovery · spirituality

The Ocean Awaits

This old house wraps itself around me,
radiates the warmth of memories,
a solid testament to the passage of time,
offers space to grow,
a hospitable and loving place,
I am safe here.

In my dreams,
the ocean awaits,
a rhythmic keeper of time,
reflecting clouds, moonlight,
raging with the storms,
in quiet times, calming –
a blessed, imaginary,
companion.

The rains have come,
swamped our intentions,
forced us indoors,
inconvenienced play,
turned our solid ground
to clay – a soggy tribulation –
they will subside
and new growth
will follow,
I tell myself.

I am an eternal student,
in love with life,
education unfinished,
a stumbler,
not a scholar,
temporarily lost,
seeking direction
in unfamiliar territory.

I am a neophyte,
longing for guidance,
recognizing my vulnerability,
a delicate balance this
emotional wading,
mindfulness needed.

I project the mud of the past
see only insurmountable hills
outside these walls,
anticipate setbacks,
fear a lack of tenacity  –
abhor my own ugliness;
rally myself with hopes
of solid footing ahead
and the ocean beyond.

On the other side of madness
stands a mighty fortress –
a castle to hold court –
we have all passed that way,
the passage is well-marked,
communally served,
I have committed
to the descent, am
Earth’s child.

Life is but a station,
a temporary stopping place,
we are all time travellers –
destinations varied –
called to take action,
choose a route.

I have been distracted,
missed signals,
opportunities,
find myself left behind
shamed, alone, uncertain,
aborted my search,
preferring retreat
need to reorient.

The kingdom harbours
an abundance of offerings,
sustenance abounding,
fruitful, flourishing
delights, uniquely
appealing, perhaps
an acquired taste.

Spring, like a faerie nymph,
draws me in, a harbinger,
hopeful, playful, promising
new adventures,
calling me to indulge
in fantasies, dine on
wild imagination,
recreate myself.

I am wondering
if I can accommodate,
fulfill my soul’s longing
know the wonders of
heaven, play host
to the mysteries of beauty
without ever leaving
the warmth of this old house.

The ocean calls me,
from the dream time,
will not let me sleep –
her tidal pull a magnet
for this weary sojourner,
beckons me to rise,
to strive, to succeed.
She is my destination.

adversity · disability · health · poetry

Sorrow’s Vigil

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when the light of day has faded,
and the noise of life subsided,
and all the world is slumbering.

Then my heart beats with a single
lone drum, a heaviness weighing
on me, chest punctured with grief,
distractions losing their hold.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
a deep-seated darkness, void of
hope, the deafening echo of unshed
tears, the brutality of solitude.

When all have surrendered to dreams,
my soul – tired of the daily effort to be
courageous, to smile when I want to
rage, to protect my beloveds – weeps.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
the grief of knowing that this defective
existence is too much for others to
bear, whose hearts have glazed over,

who will me to wellness, shake
their heads, and spew frustration,
as if I am somehow an accomplice
in this state of vile stagnation,

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when questions rob me of sleep,
and the passage of time fails to
ease the injustice of so much loss.

And while acceptance is the best
progress, and I know that faith
will sustain me, they are fickle
companions when the sun sets.

There is sorrow in the nighttime
a restless amalgamation of so
much emotional angst, with no
shelter for relief…

 

adversity · creativity · disability · health · poetry · recovery · women's issues

Dear Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I have examined your wallpaper,
discussed the scholarly attributes
of shades of yellow, traced the edges
of your unravelling with my mind,
argued the merits of Gothic horror;

marvelled at the brilliance of wording,
the courage to define the nature of
feminine madness, the boldness to
highlight inequalities long before the
establishment of a Person’s Act.

Forgive me, but I need to set aside
this keyboard for a moment, for I tire
easily, am suffering from an exhaustion
that is systemic and calls for elimination
of all stimulus in favour of rest, you see

I share your sentence of confinement,
isolated to a room with windows, my
mind wandering to ancestral gardens,
contemplating shadows and movement
cognizant of underlying forces, creeping.

My husband has just left, dear man, having
checked on me, taking on my burden,
concerned that I am not sleeping at night
thinks that by reading and rereading your
words I am only fueling an already over-

active imagination; begging me to be still
as the doctor has recommended; but I am
burning to tell you that time has no
relevance between us and that you and I
exist simultaneously – a secret we dare

not confess – how correct your impulse
that there was more than one woman,
that we are many, barred by the designs
of society, papered over by irrational,
outdated shades of yellow, lacking

symmetry, or sensibility, suffocating
our creativity, tortuously contorting
ourselves to been seen, accepted.
It is the smell of our discordant souls
that pervades your consciousness

the rotted withering of  a stifled
existence – a yellowed existence –
once hopeful, sunny, now molding
mucous, desperately torn away
at the edges, pleading for escape

How grateful I am that you see –
may I call you Charlotte – that you
have smelled the angst, witnessed
the struggle, are willing to tear at
the sticking places, to set us free.

200px-Yellowwp_med

( The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [not sure why 1899 edition depicted here bears a different surname] in its entirety can be found here:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/literatureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf )

 

disability · dreams · health · poetry

Dragon Attack

Long-bodied,
gelatinous
creatures cling
to the walls
of this hole
I’m buried in,
repulsive,
relentless,
fluorescent
tubes of
serpentine
slime
suctioning
space,
I am
breathless,
helpless.

More eel-like
than snake,
propelled by winged apertures –
underdeveloped versions of the full-
bodied inhabitants
swarming around
my head –
panic
will be
my
demise.

Movements,
I recognize
are juvenile,
impulsive,
floundering,
not menacing,
mid-air capture
will curtail
the onslaught,
minimize
damage –
tame
these
dragons.

B0005752 800w

adversity · disability · health · poetry

Who Speaks for The Silent?

Your voice, he said, it sounds…different…

Project your voice
I learned in drama;
speak to the back,
keep it strong;
don’t let it falter.

I had to replay your message several times…

Hold that note,
dig deep –
from the diaphragm;
sing from your belly.

Must be something wrong with the machine…

Demonstrate conviction
let your tone convey passion
stand tall, be confident
motivate your audience
my orator Dad told me.

I couldn’t make out your words…

Performance demands voice;
activism relies on voice;
change requires voice.

You sound so weak…
not yourself at all.

I am losing my voice,
but not my words,
I have so much to say,
who will say it for me?

 

dreams · health

Gridlocked

Far from home,
tired and spent,
feeling abandoned,
disconnected –

I am cut off.

Lacking independence,
damaged by betrayal,
I try not to need
and get tangled up-

cut off again.

The past haunts me:
a legacy of dead-ends;
abuse, addictions,
and mental illness-

cut me off.

Seek a higher road!
Spirit calls to me.
No! Stubbornness responds
I can do this myself –

But, I can’t.

Confronting shadow,
the nightmare is revealed.
Following Spirit
is the way –

I re-engage.

dreams

Water Damage

The rains finally arrived,
accompanied by tremors,
in the autumn of my thirty-second year.

Torrential floods
of pent up fear and emotion,
unleashed for weeks on end.

In my state of brokenness,
I felt the sorrow of
thousands of women –

oppression, rage, disappointment, hell.

It’s been years now,
yet pools of tears still lie,
stagnant, breeding insects,
mutant bugs with segmented bodies,
struggling to stay alive.

I crush them – try to stamp them out,
but they reappear,
unexpectedly, driven
to what purpose I do not know.

I have conformed, cleansed, repented, prayed.

Yet the sorrow comes
in waves of terror,
reminders of the past.

Worry not for me,
but for the children,
whose innocence is tainted
by horrors unknown,
who pay the price
of my victimhood.

Confused, removed, they suffer unwittingly.

Pray for release, for salvation,
pray for understanding and redemption,
pray that we may all, once again,
breathe.

adversity · mental-health · poetry

War is Hell

The battlefield still smolders,
oppressive gray smog hovering
The landscape is scarred,
ravaged reminders of war.

Origins borne of uncertainty,
fear spurred by righteousness
and a disgust of imperfection,
prolong the futile fight.

Subtly, imperceptibly,
defenses strengthen,
confidence renews
but the opposition
will not be silenced.

War is hell.
Unfair, biased,
blinded, deceitful.
Sacrificing the innocent,
destroying potential.

War is hell –
especially when….
the battleground
is the Self.

(Image: www.smithsonianmag.com)