aging · change · creativity · culture · dreams · poetry · writing

Once a Mermaid

Impulse once drove my plunges –
glorious confidence propelling
fortuitous dives – unknown waters
an adventure to be conquered.

Even with onset of anxiety
I’d stalk shorelines, ignore
whispering of  catastrophe,
hold my breath and submerge.

Doubt would follow determination,
but buoyed by adversity, I’d swim,
force commanding adaptation –
I’d find my mermaid’s breath.

Motherhood introduced constraint
called forth sensibility and caution –
whimsy replacing practicality,
a shedding of iridescent tail.

I only dig in dirt now –
ground my offspring to earthly
forays, forbid capriciousness,
convince myself I’m solid.

Absentminded burrowing –
(corners of compulsion)
reveal abandoned passages –
old waterways exhumed.

Proclaimed pragmatism falters,
spontaneity takes hold, transforms
I am nymph again – free floating
Neptune’s daughter resuscitated.

(This poem, originally entitled Chasing Mermaids, first appeared in September, 2015.  It has been edited.  Image is my own.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

creativity · Family · Humour · poetry · women's issues · writing

Freak Show’s in Town

Come one! Come all!
Step right up folks!
See the amazing,
one-of-a-kind,
baby-juggling
woman!

Come see this matron
turned tigress!
Witness how the weaker sex
transforms into a powerhouse
of resourcefulness –
a magnificent multi-tasker!
You will not believe your eyes!

These are no ordinary
babies, Ladies and Gentleman!
See the menacing three-year-old
who looks like an angel but
has the mind of a devil!
Look upon the smallest child –
only months old, but with lungs
that will shatter glass.
Be awed by the gigantic
boy baby, youngest of them all,
whose appetite is insatiable.

Step right up folks!
Watch as this extra-
ordinary woman
breast-feeds two babies
and prepares supplemental formula
all whilst reading to the third!

Behold how she balances
two baby carriers
while strapping
a toddler into
her car seat!

Marvel over how
she shops for groceries –
a impossible feat!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tremble as she manoeuvres
her two-carted entourage
through people-ridden aisles,
list firmly gripped between
her teeth, while emitting
a constant stream of baby talk,
keeping the trying toddler
on a verbal leash.

Sigh with relief
as silence settles
over the household
and our heroine falls
into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Be terrified as she awakens
with a start, suddenly realizing
she has abandoned her boy-child,
in her vehicle, overnight!

You will be amazed!
You will be inspired!
You will be horrified!

Step right up,
Ladies and Gentleman!
This is a one-of-a-kind,
never-seen-anything-like-it
attraction, guaranteed
to entertain!

Catch it here, live!
Twenty-four/ seven,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
No two shows are alike!
Step right up folks!
Admission is free!

(Sarah S. is hosting dVerse Poetics with the theme “Come to the Circus”.  I wrote this poem in April of 2016 when dreams of parenting three small children – and an oversized boy-child – kept haunting me.)

creativity · life · poetry · relationships · writing

A Bee’s Perspective

A bee, caught
in a violent draught,
collides with woman

her body a salty
concrete wall
of frenzy, she is rigid,
obsessed, unspoken rage

emanating from her pores –
a gale force spiral, woman-made
vortex threatening the sanctity
of her contrived domesticity

Normally, she would swat at him –
is aware of the potential for venom
delivered via puncture – cannot pull
herself out of the vacuum of fixation

eyes riveted, hands locked on video
controls, breath shallow, heart pounding
a rabid diatribe of self – loathing:

useless woman,
irresponsible,
neglectful,
unworthy,
guilty,
fat

with each beat the tempest grows
perceptibly, the bee breaks free,
encircles the figure of a lone man
bent over a fragrant cup of brew,
is dismissed by a distracted swat

lazily careens upward, buzzing
past a sleeping child, and settling
on a sweet sticky cheek, startling
its owner, who lashes out then rises

unsteady legs toddling in search
of Momma! , the whine a catalyst,
piercing his mother’s mania –
her instincts now cat-like, body

pouncing past the insolent insect,
arms reaching towards pudgy limbs
thrusting forward into loosely
attached guard rails, now plunging

the bee surveilles the scene –
a final circuitous flight before
finding escape, the drone of his wings
a testament to the glory of being a bee.

(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem which exemplifies simultaneity.  A Bee’s Perspective first appeared in May, 2017.)

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aging · disability · dreams · Family · health · life · poetry · relationships · women's issues

I Stand In The Doorway

Surrounded by the animated chatter of youth,
a mother piles food on plates, busies herself
with addressing individual needs, smiles warmly.

In another room, a woman lies lifeless, grieving
a life now passed, children gone, an absentee mate;
she is alone, feels the burden of her inadequacy.

I stand in the doorway between the two,
longing to join the reverie in one room,
unable to tear myself away from the other.

Would you like something to eat? I offer,
wanting to draw her her out of isolation,
but she turns away, claims to be dieting.

That’s not the right way to go about it
her eyes are cold, dying, my words a lecture,
how can she ignore the succulent aromas?

Outside, the men gather, raising glasses
and voices, masculine camaraderie, content
to let the women do their thing – oblivious.

We could join the party, I offer, but she is
tired of parties, tired of small talk, tired of
it all. I am inclined to agree, have known futility.

I want to go back into the kitchen, forget
about her, but it’s too late; I’ve touched
her sorrow, cannot let go, am powerless.

Think I’ll go outside, air out my mind,
sit amongst the clueless, talk about
everything and nothing, deny responsibility.

I stand in the doorway between two women
one who finds purpose in service to others,
and one whose life has lost all meaning.

I stand in the doorway between the two,
and notice that the mother is no longer me,
and that woman in the bed has no future,

and suddenly realize that I have choices,
and that motherhood or empty-nester
are self-imposed definitions, irrelevant.

Whether to participate or not in life is my call
and not a reflection of how I feel about my body
or whether or not I am giving or doing enough.

I turn from that doorway and make a decision
to just walk away – the kitchen will always be
a place of vitality and the bedroom a refuge

and me, I will be outside enjoying a drink
and conversing about who knows what
and living, obligation-free, in the moment.

 

dreams · Family · Humour · life · poetry · women's issues

Freak Show’s In Town

Come one! Come all!
Step right up folks!
See the amazing,
one-of-a-kind,
baby-juggling
woman!

Come see this matron
turned tigress!
Witness how the weaker sex
transforms into a powerhouse
of resourcefulness –
a magnificent multitasker!
You will not believe your eyes!

These are no ordinary
babies, Ladies and Gentleman!
See the menacing three-year-old
who looks like an angel but
has the mind of a devil!
Look upon the smallest child
only months old, but with lungs
that will shatter glass…
be awed by the gigantic
boy baby, youngest of them all
with an insatiable appetite.

Step right up folks!
Watch as this extra-
ordinary woman
breast-feeds two babies
and prepares supplemental formula
all whilst reading to the third!

Behold how she balances
two baby carriers
while strapping
a toddler into
her car seat!

Marvel over how
she shops for groceries –
a magnificent feat,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Tremble as she maneuvers
her two-carted entourage
through people-ridden aisles,
list firmly gripped between
her teeth, while she emits
a constant stream of baby talk
keeping the trying toddler
on a verbal leash.

Sigh with relief
as silence settles
over the household
and our heroine falls
into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Be terrified as she awakens
with a start, suddenly realizing
she has abandoned her boy-child,
in her vehicle, overnight!

You will be amazed!
You will be inspired!
You will be horrified!

Step right up,
Ladies and Gentleman!
This is a one-of-a-kind,
never-seen-anything-like-it
attraction, guaranteed
to entertain!

Catch it here, live!
Twenty-four/ seven,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
No two shows are alike!
Step right up folks!
Admission is free!

creativity · dreams · Family · Humour · poetry · relationships

Birthing The Heroic

If the Ninja Turtles had a mother,
I’d be her – an overly pure-hearted
woman with a penchant for rescuing
victims and conquering evil.

I’d prod them to stand up to injustice,
teach them the difference between hiding
and protecting themselves, encourage them
to reveal their soft-underbellies with pride.

I’d teach them the importance of humility,
(thus the masks), to never back down in
the face of danger, and above all to treat
women as equals,  defend friends.

If I birthed the Ninja Turtles, I would
expect their undying loyalty, be certain
that I could call them at any moment,
feel safe and secure in my aging.

Should they ever let me down, ignore
my cries for help,  I would know they
were in trouble, would brace myself
to fight the evil that plagued them.

Become a superwoman, a christ-like
figure, casting out demons, saving
the world, demonstrating that I am
worthy of my place as matriarch.

Take myself so seriously, I would not
notice that others are disinterested,
self-absorbed, or asleep, unaware of
our super-powers, worship their own.

Did I say worship?  Am I somehow
delusional, so well-intentioned,
idealistic, that I cannot see the
impossibilities here – have ignored

that these are mutants, not children
been so focused on the heroic –
believed in the power of fiction –
blinded to the caricature I’ve become?

Of course the Ninja Turtles do not
have a mother, are the brainchild
of their illustrator, whose creative
blood enliven them, scripts them.

Seems I need to find a project of
my own, address my biological
ravings in a more productive, less
fictionalized manner – get real.

 

Family · life · Love · nonfiction · relationships · women's issues

Growing Wings

“Thank you for being here, Mom.”  The exhaustion in my daughter’s voice was echoed in her face.  The epidural had finally kicked in, and we were all feeling a sense of relief.  It was 5 a.m.  Her first contraction had hit at 1:20 the day before, as we were walking home from a lunch out.

I didn’t know what to say.

So many feelings were flooding me.  It didn’t seem like that long ago that I had laboured with her, pacing the hospital hallways, seeking relief in any way that I could.  Now my baby was having a baby.  It was a miracle to behold.

So I was feeling sentimental, and at the same time, wishing I could do it for her – taking her pain away.

I was in awe of the strength and courage she was showing, this young woman who as a child feared everything.   She cursed a few times, and moaned as the pain wrapped around her and squeezed relentlessly, but not once did she complain, or wish it away.  From somewhere inside her she had harnessed a determination to see this trial through, and her focus was admirable.  I could not be more proud.

I knew what awaited her at the end of this journey.  I knew all about the indescribable bliss and wonder that fills you the moment that baby emerges and is placed in your arms.  I understood how in that moment there is an instantaneous shift of realization that this new little being is totally dependent on you.    I couldn’t tell her, but she would experience it soon enough.

And I couldn’t tell her that my presence on this sacred occasion was no burden to me, but an incredible gift.  She could never know how grateful I was to her, and especially the baby’s father, that they had invited me here to witness this sacred event.

So, I smiled and squeezed her hand, and stroked her face, and reassured her that it would all be over soon, and bit the inside of my cheek to stop my own flood of emotion from pouring forth.

Somewhere along the way, my baby had become a woman, and as I bore witness, she grew wings and took on her mission with grace and dignity:  ascending to motherhood without looking back.