abuse · adversity · poetry · recovery · writing

Cracking the Code

Adept at uprooting,
conditioned to follow chaos –
know my place there.

Kindness unsettles –
each ray piercing
cracking the crust

unleashing a prism
both painful and joyous –
legacy of dysfunction.

(Poem from Twitter @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

 

 

disability · health · Humour · life · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Chronic Companion

She sits with me at breakfast,
follows me to the park,
hovers on the drive home,
celebrates when I lie down,
snuggles in with warming pad,
and moans…

Not a companion
I would have chosen,
preferred the active,
athletic life, and yet

She complains with me
in the afternoon, invites
excuses during dinner,
grounds me in the evenings
and tosses me at bedtime

Not a companion
I would have chosen,
but at least I’ll grant her this –
she’s chronically devoted.

 

 

adversity · change · creativity · poetry · writing

Grey

Lured by azure waters,
the promise of carefree days,
I cruise ocean’s waters,
dream myself exotic.

Grey clouds loom, mock
this pretence – waves swell
crash, blacken horizon –
delusion loosing ground.

What force is this,
drags me into aphotic depths,
insists I swim in darkness?

Have I not proven tenacity,
claimed a place amongst the willing?

It is not light, I seek – too sinful
for redemption – just the solace
of familiar grey….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

change · disability · Family · health · life · poetry · relationships · writing

The Toll

Am not the woman my children once called Mother –
can see the disappointment in their anger-blotched
expressions, feel the constraint in their voices –

distance between us tugs on my heart, plays with
my conscience, as if illness is choice – a contrived
plot to rob them of their expectations –

hope they can forgive me before it’s too late;
hope they can forgive themselves.

adversity · culture · Family · poetry

Gains and Losses

The mistress, meticulously groomed
glows a sun-kissed bronze shimmery
invitation, promising seductive
sensations of pleasure and release.

The husband, tense, overworked,
emotionally overwrought
heeds the call like a sailor
following the lure of sirens.

The flirtation begins in innocence,
he sips from her splendour at a party,
tastes her bittersweetness and
feels himself losing all control.

She is a master, a pupeteer
mesmerizing him with her smooth,
easy ways – lulling him into compliance
and alone; for private indulgence.

The wife, tired, lies awake
the empty space beside her
echoing the hollow place within-
she no longer holds his desire.

Spent and reeking from his illicit encounter,
the husband stumbles into bed,
reassuringly reaching for his wife in the dark.
Unresponsive, she feigns sleep.

They’ll not speak of it tomorrow-
awake and re-engage in the routine they call life.
Not tonight, he’ll tell himself,
Not tonight, she’ll hope.

The mistress sits smugly in waiting,
a never ending supply of liquid gold,
bottled with a promise – subliminally
conditioned to bring personal gain.

(Gains and Losses first appeared here in December of 2014.  As a child of alcoholism, the Christmas season is always a reminder of the pain.   Some gains are just not worth the cost.  If you or someone you love has a problem with addiction, please make it a resolution to seek help.  There is so much more to life.)

aging · Family · health · ME/ CFS · relationships

Genetics

I search for father
in this pain, recall
limbs wrapped,
liniment-lathered,
how he cried out
relief beyond reach

judged his suffering
as emotional –
a karmic penalty
for a life of tyranny –
compassion lapsed.

Now, I fight with legs
that will not settle,
arms that ache to bone,
moments inconsolable
spiralling into moodiness

seems I misunderstood –
overlooked the possibility
of genetics – pain compounded
by the guilt of impotence

curse my failure
to express sympathy,
offer comfort – the habit
of retracting into defensiveness
enacted till his death –

softness not a component
of the barriers that stood
between us…

Love · poetry · relationships · women's issues

Regrets

When love,
open-eyed
and uplifting
appeared

she shuddered,
withdrew,
Shame’s shadow
casting putrid
projections

fear and uncertainty
cloaked her, masked
desire as repulsion –
wore her tragedy
as identity – could not

make the leap –
would choose, instead,
a legacy of abuse –
reaffirming the guilt
and self-loathing

Never could forget
the time that love
showed up –
opened-eyed
and uplifting.

(VJ’s weekly Challenge is shadows)

abuse · adversity · Family · poetry · relationships · writing

Unwanted Visit

The years have done their damage,
resentments, like border guards,
line up between us…

and then you just show up,
as if somehow that makes you the better person,
as if your presence will make me forget, forgive

and I fumble for the right words,
attempt graciousness, even as I’m struggling
to feed the hurt, coddle the innocence lost

you hurt the deepest core of me,
the child, barely able to stand on her own,
the burden of her frailty heavy enough

what amusement must you derive
from revisiting our torturous past,
I cannot fathom – all too much for me.