Love Matters

like criminals
line up –
a visceral backdrop

Another vies
to take their place,
a critical eye
and no-nonsense

questions motivations
highlights the faults
in righteous accusations,
bends the arrow of blame
reassigning guilt

the jilted,
now pathetic,
craves absolution,
starves for appreciation

awakens to
sickening revelation
that sex alone
cannot sustain

too late
the value
in personal




Business Venture

Victim, whose season is always Autumn,
bloodied tears like fallen leaves trailing;
and Martyr, for whom worship and self-
sacrifice is a dietary requirement; propose
to venture into retail ownership – recreating

a former failed attempt; believing that if
you build it (again) they will come, as Ego
has promised.  “Well, it worked for that
Kevin guy,” Victim agrees; Martyr’s eyes
shine with adoration and eager anticipation.

Spirit says:  Let it rest.  Leave the past
where it belongs; there is a time for
everything and with patience your
future will reveal itself.  No need to
grasp; learn from failure and move on.

But Victim is headstrong, has something
to prove, believes her finest moments
are in the past, is certain she can change
it all if given another a chance, and Martyr
well, she goes along willingly, has faith…

They’ll serve the public, create a niche
that no one can ignore, save the world
with each item they sell, market health
and cure-alls, and invite miracles to
grace their square footage and forget

about reality, and bills, and licenses –
refuse to let overheads dictate downfalls,
convinced they are divinely guided,see
evidence in the motley crowds drawn
to their recycled vision, scheme to find

a new location, mooch off the unsuspecting;
Victim swearing not to repeat old patterns,
Martyr offering up her life, her family, to save
the dream – It will be okay, Ego says; It will be
Victim echoes; It will be okay, Martyr beams.

Spirit emits a silent sigh, has watched this
carousel ride for some time now, has a strong
inclination as to where this road will end, yet
knows that lessons can only be offered, and
perspective only gained through release.



Zoo Life

How else would you define us but a zoo:
this ragged attempt to appear socially fit?

I drag my children with me, expectations
formed from still life exhibits, picture –

perfect cameos of happy lives, poised
as any good television family might…

Who hasn’t had a rough ride, disembarked
and vowed never to repeat sins?  Hold on

to what you have kids, I warn; be wary of
life:  it’s what I’ve learned – tried to change

the tableau, inject creativity into freeze
frames; snared in webs of my weaving,

like the black widow entrapping my prey,
instinct releasing venom, plots spiralling

out of control; am prepared to wipe clean
the past, but stumble, lose grip, shamed

beg my daughters to look away, too late,
tension mounts, threaten to consume us

our dreams, the source of our imaginations
and I listen to the screams, helpless, until

one child takes up the cry, offers herself,
as I would have once, forces me to sit by,

worry my only companion, while she sinks
deeper into the hell of this artificially caged

confine; our connection lost – unprepared
am I, with all the wrong resources, clinging

to damnable passivity, alone, wretched,
guilt-ridden, afraid for generations unborn –

and as I turn away, in despair, I catch sight
of her, my child, revelling in her story, vital –

no crisis – just a brilliant young woman,
unbound by the restraints of this zoo.


This Big Old House

Bought myself a big, old house
with a myriad of rooms; needed
it to accommodate all those I
wanted to please – it’s what I do.

Learned it living in a house full
of children – adults that were
children – do it to compensate
for never having been a child.

Raised my own family, bent
on making sure they had
their space, their autonomy,
they’re gone now, still can’t

quit – spend my days cleaning
up in the aftermath: so much
dirt to launder; need it to be
pristine so they’ll come back.

Bought this old house partially
furnished – remnants of lives
before me – the crumbs of past
denial hardened now, panicked

to imagine what petulance has
been drawn to their neglect,
becoming obsessed about the
infestation, erasing the past

confine myself to the main floor,
ignore the filth on walls – crayon
figures pleading for help – until
daylight reveals truth, and leaves

me no options but to toil harder –
cannot let these patterns repeat,
need to save the innocents –
this work is never done – refuse

to see that I am not responsible
for it all – project rage onto my
spouse (latest in a string of
targets) for the sin of taking

pleasure, when I cannot relax,
(everyone knows how to unwind
but me, Super Woman) feel the
compulsion to flee, but disability

allots me no recourse – thank
goodness for this big old house –
places to hide, be forgotten –
if it wasn’t for the old crone

who haunts my dreams, drags
me out of my spinning misery
forces me to extend myself,
meets me at the edge of calm

where tranquil waters soothe
my inner churning, and where
kindred spirits come to play,
and connections are real, and

I can roam freely, unattached,
until illness brings me back –
reminds me of my limitations –
that I have been eternally lost

in a house with many rooms
aimlessly wandering in hopes
or renewal, lost for so long
that I’ve forgotten how to let

go, and only in my dreams do
I find the freedom to walk away
and reclaim the life that awaits