I Wonder

Is this life-play pre-staged –
reservations made in childhood
when fun constituted priority,
and drama thrived, unchecked
by adults, bemoaning authority,
too self-absorbed to conceive
consequences beyond jest?

Or did some karmic assessment
initiate the unfolding –
social standing, and needs
prescribed as lessons,
dependents selected as inspiration,
and if so, is there a contract
revealed upon ultimate exit
or a certificate of completion
securing passage upwards?


A Final Mystery

Is death a gentle reprieve,
a final release of suffering
a promised resting place?

Or is it contemplation
coloured by memories
demanding retribution?

Will death bring reunion
unleash forgiveness
shine with revelation?

Will one final earthly breath
call forth all the fragments of the soul
and restore wholeness?

I have witnessed death –
both embraced and unwanted –
snatch the spirit from its nest

felt the whoosh of escape
and a swirl of celebration,
known the peace that follows

witnessed the body, open-eyed
and open-mouthed
become a vacuum –

discarded membranes;
an impotent shell.

The spirit does not dwell there;
it lives on borrowed time.

Where it goes when all is done
remains life’s poignant mystery.

(Originally posted January of 2015, this poem fits V.J.’s Weekly Challenge theme of mystery, hosted on One Woman’s Quest II.  There is still time to participate.  Head on over and check it out.)

Adjust the Focus

What purpose is served
in going back – and yet,
I find myself revisiting,
expecting what?


I am no more than a guest
in history’s halls
powerless to undo
the drama, only
risk further complications.

Past equates with inequity,
no point turning on
the faucet of resentment
unleashing floods of anger.

Best to focus on tomorrow
forgive the past and self
and open to the new.


What will be remembered
when the show is over –
will humour linger
will dreams tarry
will belief matter?

Friends depart sans farewell
lost in the debris of divorce
we pass in shopping malls
serve each other with smiles
avoid lively interaction

new responsibilities develop
we are directors obsessed
with reason, ideals now lapsed
singularly hoping that personal
potential is in tact; mining

an openness that overrides
lost love, tunnelled explanations,
want to act obligingly, are remiss,
we are fetchers, penetrating rows
no enclosure for fails, will accept

encouragement when available –
hard work is polish for the talented;
I am alive but in need of help,
shutting down, what remains
tinged with immediacy, lucky

just to communicate; would mirror
love, not look for exits, but endings
are all I know, have shopped for
balance, an intermediary to dissuade
rejection, I am a puppy, unfailing

loyally holding onto this puzzle,
wonder at all that is unrequited,
how easily we detach, considering
the carrot that is intimacy, how
all of this is such a production.

(Image: www.pd4pic.com)

Let Failures Lie

Pampered, socially supported
education would have been preferable
but I don’t belong to the elite,
and this malaise disrupts
any hope for success.

Learn best in the trenches,
dragged-out combat over hobnobbing
– can relate to the broken,
other-abled, survivors who thrive
despite challenges.

Know a man, who without
speech or behavioural norms,
moves others – inspires
(trapped as he is) love
and forgiveness.

Have loved others, projected
goodness into selfishness, been
betrayed,  watched friendships grow
where mine was cut off –
bore the burden of blame,

still I will share myself –
adverse to saying no –
in restlessness, seeking others,
when I should be nurturing self –
Who’s really at fault here?

A mother, once faced with immeasurable
tribulations, never giving up –
is not to be found, cut down
by illness, misfortune having culled
her optimism, her enthusiasm –

What is there to do now?
I kick aside the ashes of former
identities, contemplate the meaning
of failure, the loss of ambition
this locked out alienation:

Is it hurt, I feel…
Absence of former friends
echoes in the empty cliffs of

all that has been –
do they feel it too, or
is it merely personal mire?
What choice is there
but to embrace this solo journey?

miscalculated distances,
energy deficit, and yet,
I continue…until straight
and narrow meets clover leafs
and learning dawns –

paths cross over, crisscross;
life is about movement
and choices, and change
and endless possibilities –
there is no going back.

(Image: alone-alone-alone.blogspot.com)


Malls possess a certain allure –
contentment-in-a-bag offerings,
an opportunity to escape reality,

except gossip travels in crowds
and I tend to shop for obligations,
will latch myself onto any drama

and take ownership  – it’s small
town training:  I am a passenger
on the responsibility rail – would

kill my own mother to gain lost
authority, be the person in the
know…lose these thoughts of

failure to the distress of disbelief
that we missed the signs, lacked
insight, could have been there for

someone more needy… Have you
seen me, browsing stories?  Career
changers are good, fired up youth,

father’s foibles… Don’t be taken
aback, I can be officious, intentions
not misguided – just need to fix one

piece of brokenness to assure myself
all is not totally lost – this shattered
core, this fictional characterization.

How much simpler life would be
if I shopped like normal people,
found relief in mall discounts…

(Image: tropicalcyclocross.com)

Is There An Exit Strategy?

Following political tides –
mesmerized by neglect
of actual issues – playing
to an audience of moaners
(standard consumerist
plights) – glossing over
exploitation of women,
verbal slaughter of race,
religion and social values.

Wondering about media –
who commandeer bias,
swallowing atrocities and
spewing contrived truths,
absent sound voice, or will,
jeopardizing the security
of so many trampled in
the race for what? Surely
not responsibility – what

lapse of conscience has
allowed hateful rhetoric
to bloody progress, no
consequences?  Who will
bear the burden when in
the absence of morality
or respect for humanity,
the margins will increase?

The world quakes at the
failure to acknowledge
this broken path, see only
a devaluation of assets,
perceive a race that did
no more than increase
the monarchy of a king,
grant power to absolve
sins – a sleight-of-hand
trick – nothing to do with
the common habitants –
have so many questions
about how they’ll proceed.

Goldfish Reflections

I’m a freshwater gal,
prefer murky, stagnant
pools to the onrush
of rapids, currents

annoy me, challenge
my delicate body,
content to feed off
lanky foliage, swim

in dim-lit passages;
fear it was the flash
of gold, or glimpse
of a mermaid tail

that first attracted
man, compelled him
to trap then breed me
artificially – in glass

houses, distorted
worlds colliding with
my sensitivity, absent
safe havens for retreat.

Worldly now, tossed
into constructs called
ponds – added rocks,
footbridges or lily pads

do not deceive me –
cellular memory is
not to be quieted, I
dream of night skies,

and morning dew, and
sun baking the water’s
surface, of diversity,
schools and families

cannot tolerate this
one-flush destiny,
need space to be –
not an illusion of

recognize my captivity
for what it is – concrete
walls cannot define me;
the wild, the free burns

deep – thousand years
of containment has not
defiled my DNA, and I
will remember long after

that final plunge, in
reincarnation may not
be so forgiving – no
longer a timid fish.

(image: http://animals.mom.me/goldfish-live-4748.html)



Impotent Pursuit of Perfection

Watching a movie that I PVR’d –
hunkered down with popcorn and fizz,
hoping to get lost in the couch cushions –
when I remember that I might have homework
more specifically an assignment related to a show
already in progress, and I don’t know where I put
my backpack, and while searching frantically, suddenly
recall that I have more work due, and my boyfriend is
coming over in an hour, and I panic that I’ll never get
it all done, and then in a moment of clarity, realize
I am also taping the program in question, and sigh,
and take a breath: it’s doable if I stay up all night.

Riding in the backseat of a jacked up jeep –
the taste of freedom blowing through my hair –
when the driver hits a bump, catching me unaware,
sends my lack-of-seat-belted-ass into the air, and I
frantically grab the roll bar, praying to get my bottom
back in the seat before he hits another bump tossing
me out of the vehicle entirely, when I realize that we’ve
driven onto the field, the entire school filling the bleachers,
and if I lose my grip now, it won’t just be my body that will
be broken, but I run the risk of becoming the laughing stock
of the school: my entire reputation at stake from a joy ride.

This teenage angst is overwhelming me –
guidelines and deadlines – too much authority
and not enough free time – just want to break loose,
shake off responsibility, hang with my friends, be
foolish, and to hell with consequences, but my
A-obsessed sensibility and “good girl” persona
take charge, and there’s no slacking off, and
I’m locked in an eternal state of yet another
obligation to fulfill before I can rest, and in a
blink I am fifty-eight and a Grandmother, and
I still haven’t taken time to watch that movie
that I PVR’d or dared to joy ride without a hitch:
still tangled in the impotent pursuit of perfection.