culture · poetry · spirituality · writing

Water Tales (2)

Lead the children to the waters’ edge,
let spirits that dwell there enchant,
sun glistening on star-filled eyes…..

teach the essence of dolphin breathing,
the presence of manna, how to question
roots and behold miracles of fish that fly

and colours that shimmer below the surface,
and sons that walk on water – there are stories
to be told by tides, whose rhythmic waves

follow a primal chant; the ocean’s whispers
reminders that survival is a game for the living
and that in death all return to its vast depths.

(Water Tales first appeared here in January 2017.  I am submitting it here for dVerse’s Open Link Night hosted by Grace.  I am also linking up with my weekly challenge: stillness.)

creativity · poetry · relationships · writing

Naughty or Nice

Naughty thrilled her –
lacked inhibitions toward elicit,
tantalized by promised ‘nice’

Imagined blood red petals
strewn atop steamy suds,
champagne flutes and
intoxicating entanglements.

Fantasies never ran to
infested walls crumbling
in barren captivity –

his version of naughty
turned her blood to ice
nothing about the scenario ‘nice’.

(Tonight is the last Open Link night at the dVerse pub for 2018, hosted by Grace.  I am submitted this poem, inspired by the prompts of Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt, and Twenty Four’s 50 word Thursday.  Image provided by Deb Whittam of Twenty Four.)

abuse · Family · poetry · writing

The Art Of Survival

Learned the art of survival
from father, a commando-
trained warrior, never able
to leave the battles behind

A sharp-shooter, whose
expert eye tracked our
every fault, with sniper
precision, shot us down.

Innocence has no place
when the enemy resides
within; when trigger lines
are camouflaged by wall-

to-wall carpets, and young
minds, craving exploration,
are imprisoned by acts of
terror; the only conclusion

survival’s impermanence –
hostility lurking in every
shadow, caution instilled
by the omnipotent legacy

of father. Tried to reach
him in the end, touch his
humanity; his shell-shocked
glaze paused for a moment,

he focused, broke through
the fury, seemed to remember
we were his daughters – was
that compassion lighting

his expression? Take cover,
he cried, get as far away as
you can, save yourselves, I
cannot sway my path, too

committed to this private war,
there is no mercy for me – but
you, you can be saved, save
your children.  I turn and run

with all the certainty that this
is life and death and embrace
the little ones, praying to lift
them out of the ashes, give

them new life, but it seems
they learned the art of survival
from the daughter of a father,
conditioned to the state of war.

(Submitted for dVerse pub Open Link Night.  This poem first appeared November 2016.  Video is a reading by yours truly at an Open Mic night.)

 

 

 

 

aging · change · life · poetry · writing

Grey Clouds Hover

Life! One day rushing to collect kids, stopping for the dry cleaning, and praying the slow cooker is indeed cooking; and the next strolling down uncluttered lanes, contemplating absence.  How did we get here?  How did we dream so big and land so humble?  Gone are big homes and hefty mortgages. Hell, we’re down to one car. Sunday dinners with the family are memories and nowadays, my head spins to think of cooking for more than we two.

Now we speculate about time left.  Ponder what distances will support us.  Shall we travel, avoid the winter months, and if so, will our health cooperate?  Will the children understand?   Forgive my melancholy.  The silence is echoing off the walls, and I am reflective today. Not in a good way.  I’d best get myself outside for some fresh air.

Time slips through fingers
palms reaching outward, hopeful –
Fall’s hues distract woe.

(Written for Twenty Four’s 50 Word Thursday, and dVerse‘s open link night. Photo supplied by Deb Whittam)

life · poetry · relationships

Distance

Even in togetherness there is distance.

I am alone –
a central figure, distracted,
aiming for contact,
unable to eviscerate control,
repeatedly producing a singular confusion.

Define success…
Is it the one on top,
the know-it-all,
or are these the machinations
of estrangement?

I am unable to discern –
stability never more than a dalliance.

The pavement ahead whispers
promises of belonging –
can I tolerate the quest?

Unfulfilled, I am defensive,
fear off-shoots of depression,
shield tender inner places…

Bring on change;
others watch – look to me
as an example.

I can do this, on their behalf.

Never alone.

Always distances to cross.

(V.J.’s Weekly Challenge is distance. Also submitting this for Open Link Night at dVerse.)

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adversity · blogging · culture · life · poetry · writing

It’s Not That I Don’t See…

Somewhere, searchers are combing through rubble
to find signs of life, or remains, while I fret over the
size of my belly, bloated by excess, filled by gluttony.

Somewhere, a mother pleas for the return of her child,
a daughter stolen, held by authority, while another cries
because her toddler’s coiffed appearance fails to win.

Somewhere, their village destroyed by war, families
flee to find peace, encounter rejection, and worse,
while a son murders his sister to honour family pride.

Somewhere, parents wait with terror-seized hearts
as a gun-wielding lunatic holds their children hostage,
while businessman fatten their wallets over arms sales.

Perspective tells me that I am unjustified to complain
over my first world problems, am selfish to bemoan
the trivialities of my self-centered existence, that I just

need to shift my viewpoint, look outside myself, and see
that inequalities and hardships beg for my compassion,
alter my focus and become a beacon for the world; and,

yet, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that floods my
large screen TV, desensitized by the staged and unstaged
images of brutality, tired of the unsubstantiated claims

of terrorism, and the political garnering for votes; cannot
bear to hear of one more gun attack in a country where
the right to bear arms is confused with personal security;

feel out of control when I listen to stories of great loss,
am compelled to shut off the media, turn my attention to
self-criticism, and find a manageable issue close to home.

(Tonight is Open Link Night at dVerse.  I am also linking this up with One Woman’s Quest II weekly challenge: attention.  “It’s Not That I Don’t See” first appeared September 2016.)

blogging · creativity · culture · poetry · Rants · writing

Monstrosity

This actor,
this ego
demanding
submissive idolatry

Humanity is distracted –
controversy, like celebrity,
vying for social attention.

Opposition barks
obediently in response
to dick-waving antics

their questions only
inciting more rage –

he is inaccessible
gloating,
publicity-sapping

ignores the plight
of dreamers,
of marginalized

human rights
inopportune
for his pocket-
lining agenda

Heroic action
is called for –

there is strength
in quiet amassing
of information

the harvesting
of underhanded
self-serving
motivations

this monstrosity
must be de-throned
before democracy
is completely defiled.

(It’s open link night at dVerse, and I have compiled this poem from the prompts of Fandango (question), Ragtag Community (bark), and Daily Addictions (controversy).  Oh, and maybe I’m feeling a little riled by the gong show coming out of Washington.)

aging · creativity · culture · expression · poetry · relationships · writing

Hand Holding

Found my first love
holding hands
walking home
from school –
grade one.

Father’s grip
crushed,
controlled,
warned against
disobedience,
held on until
compliance
was assured.

My sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until her internal heat
burned the touch
and I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles,
employs sensuality
to invoke desire.

Held my children’s hands
with my heart –
never wanting to let go,
prideful possession.

My granddaughter’s fist –
still pink from birthing –
wrapped around my finger
gripping the unknown
with the ferocity of
one hungry for life –

My husband’s hand
reaches out for mine
conveys support
for unsteady legs
offers strength
to propel me forward.

Hands convey
what the mind cannot –
a secret language
nuanced for life’s moments,
leave deep impressions.

(Tonight is Open Link night at dVerse, and our host Lillian has invited us to celebrate with her, as August 9th marks many National celebrations, one of which is National Hand Holding Day.  To see the others and join in, visit here.)

 

 

adversity · creativity · culture · life · relationships · writing

Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
Mother told her, to be complete.

To submit, she realizes, too late
soul traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing
inner losses.

She eats to appease inner sorrow –
a second-rate childhood – afraid
of being a burden, loathe
to create a stir – conditioned
complacency:

appeasing,
pleasing,
follows plans,
avoids decisions…

never really knows where she is going.

Can she fault her man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male
taking ownership/charge?

His own lack, like a child,
feeding on impulses, craving
attention, overcompensating
for fears with bravado…

cannot understand her fear
of assertiveness – alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –
gut gnawing incessantly.

They stumble over each other, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss
repairmen, schedules – nothing;

avoid deeper issues such as the fact
that they are both suffocating, near
jumping off the ledge of their high-
falutin’ existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them,
the noise of city living negating
their ability to listen, distractions
altering identities, until the distance
between
is too far
to bridge
in a single sigh                      and she
no longer                        submissive
has joined him

and checked out.

(This is a rewrite of a poem, by the same name, written in June 2016.  Shared here for DVerse’s Open Link Night.)