A Call for Harmony

6:30 a.m. alarm sounds.
“Time to wake up!” Compliance commands.
“Just a little longer,”  Sensibility suggests.
Guilt, like an incessantly annoying child
tugs on Conscience:
“Come on; there’s lots to do!”

Body does not respond.

Sleep wins
and dreams come:
relying on friends,

no food,
backed up toilet,
children’s wide eyes fearfully imploring:
When is this all going to end?
Guilt propels a return to consciousness.

8:25 a.m.
“Up and at ’em! There’s a good Soldier!”
Compliance attempts to be chipper.
“There’s really other more important than rest,”
Sensibility insists.
“Can’t lie in bed all day!” Guilt counters.

Body is MIA.

Dreams surface again:
setting up house in a thoroughfare,
people coming and going, oblivious
co-workers indifferent,
eyes scolding: convicting
Guilt mutates to rage,
Body wakes up choking, gasping
reaches for the rescue inhaler
sucks in, desperate for air.

11:11 a.m.
“That’s it! Up you get!”
“No! No! Rest is needed!”
“The day is wasted! There’s no going back!

“SILENCE!”  A new voice emerges.

A collective intake of breath.

“Breathe; just breathe.”

A unified sigh.

“And breathe again.”

Tempers cool, and emotions begin to settle.

“What’s going on?” Guilt wonders.
“Just trying to stick to routine,” Compliance explains.
“It’s always been this way.”
“But she’s ill now,” Sensibility adds; “concessions are necessary.”

“Breathe,” the voice asserts.
All sigh again.
“Just be in the stillness of the moment…”

Stillness has no voice.
Her language is compassion and infinite,
infinite wisdom.

“…and surrender.”

Compliance sobs, releasing enormous obligation.
Sensibility gratefully releases burden of responsibility,
and Guilt – well Guilt is little – happily snuggles up
to Unconditional Love.

“There, there,” Voice soothes; “isn’t harmony so much better?”

Body concurs and rises out of bed.


(Today’s prompt challenges us to look at the differing parts of self and start a dialogue.   I decided to rework a poem I wrote in 2014 when suffering from severe M.E.  Dealing with a debilitating illness brought all the inner voices to the surface, and I struggled with the emotional and psychological aspects of having my life shattered.  A Call for Harmony attempts to illustrate the struggle.)

On Snakes in Drawers

Moving on – it’s top priority,
sorting through the collected,
the unused, the forgotten –
ready to let it all go, but…

there’s a snake in the drawer
and the temptation is real –

to do the irrational, flee
in a panic, shoot the beast,
or set the house on fire –
I’m overcome with anxiety

there’s a snake in the drawer
and it sure is getting to me.

Practicality says this isn’t helping,
hasn’t got time for the drama, says
let it go, re-prioritize, focus on
what’s important, making progress

there’ a snake in the drawer,
and if it got in, it can get out

I’m terrified now, my skin crawling
with the certainty of confrontation –
the cold-bloodedness of a reptile
immobilizes me, and I’m certain

there’s a snake in the drawer,
and it will be the end of me.

Common sense directs me back
to the task at hand, uses distraction
to dissuade panic, promises to deal
with it tomorrow, tucks me in, but

there’s a snake in the drawer,
and I won’t sleep a wink, only…

I do, and in the morning light
it’s clear the snake didn’t make it
a lifeless body, coiled in death
revealing a harmless garter –

there’s a snake in the drawer,
dead now by my own negligence

an unfortunate serpent, lost
and afraid, misinterpreted
by a woman desperately trying
to move on, apparently still afraid.

(Day six of NaPoWriMo focuses on line breaks.  It’s not to late to join in
for National Poetry month.