Stolen Identity

The woman currently abiding
within this costumed realm
is merely a lethargic version
of the once vital but oppressed
Miss, whose identification
was stolen by means of
unsolicited adversity.

The focus of this recanting
is to invite a perspective
that not only restores, but
aids in the teaching of other
shadow-selves, that to reassert
original nature is more than fair.

(A quirky rant for Reena’s Xploration challenge: a stolen identity ; and Eugi’s weekly prompt: shadows. Art my own)


Just Get To The Point

Censor tendencies
to exaggerate –
tremendous efforts
better illustrated
than bragged about

If it’s royal accolades
you seek, be precise –
a message delivered
in plain packaging
is not overshadowed
by unnecessary glitter.

(Tuesdays I borrow from my Twitter account @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

Manic Moments

…and some days
we stand up
topple the furnishings
of corporate order
decry politics
and etiquettes
and rage,
inner light
in a shattering
ball of fire
setting souls free
setting us free

…and then
it’s over –
in a blink
and our desk mate
still sleeps the slumber of automaton
clicks a mouse in rhythm with photocopier

we sigh
and re-conform.





If I Was a Kitchen

If I was a kitchen, I’d want
an old-fashioned woman
at my counters, rolling dough,
canning  pickles, chutney, jam,
homemade pasta sauce, and
every Sunday a roast. She’d
wear her sweat like a saint,
ignore her aching back, one
practiced hand feeding her
Carnation baby, while other
children flocked to Formica,
hot flesh sticking to vinyl,
as they picked at fresh made
sweet buns, the pot on the
stove perpetually simmering.

Or give me modern efficiency –
ninjas and presses, air fryers,
and induction cookers – let the
children belly up to the breakfast
bar, chomp on veggies and humus,
while Mom totes baby in a sling,
and preps her bone broth, strains
of Baby Einstein emitting from
a propped up iPad, while a cellphone
vibrates on granite and the Keurig
spits out one more Starbucks Pike.

Just don’t abandon me, piles
of unopened mail, or tossed
aside receipts company for
coffee rings on my counters.
Please don’t litter my surfaces
with rotting takeout containers,
or dishes caked with process
cheese residue, leave my
stainless steel sinks stained,
spoiled food reeking in the
refrigerator, traces of late night
mishaps curdling on the floor;
the absence of familial sounds
declaring my presence invalid.

(Originally posted on June, 2016)

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.

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

I’d go back to school, continue post graduate work, rally the troops to get me there, scrounge
the fees, find someone to carry the books (I no longer have the strength) – undoubtedly miss a few sessions, get behind, feel frustration building, consult with the energetic youthful instructor, become brain locked when I cannot interpret the email address she writes down for me, confront the fact that transcribing the required reading assignment in nearly impossible (which means the work will likely never get completed in the allotted time period), and drop out.

I’d look after your young children, give you a break, but my hand is not steady and if I drop a cup it will break and what if it shatters where the children are playing – barefooted because I couldn’t rally the wherewithal to get them dressed without that much needed tea – and now the shards are a real threat, and the children are laughing and bouncing around, not heeding my warnings, thinking it’s all a joke, and I have lost control, needing to clean it up and manage the children, which I cannot do because multi-tasking is no longer within my realm of possibilities.

I’d visit my sister, the schizophrenic, who lives in a group home, and try to be supportive, but my mind is still reeling over the children, and other accumulating failures, and I know I’ve let everyone down, and quite frankly, her current state of neurosis seems so much less troublesome than mine, and I have nothing to say that would aide her other than I know what it feels like to be fucked up and exist outside the ‘norm’, and right now I just want to crawl back into my cell of isolation and breathe again – so have a good life.

I’d get a scooter, try to go for a ride on my own – be independent – but I’d likely choose the back roads to avoid the traffic and, not having accounted for inclement weather, would find the pace too fast and be forced into some small town where (with my luck) they’d be having their Christmas parade and I would be caught between crowds lining the street and marching bands and in a moment of panic would duck into the nearest opening – a family restaurant from which people are constantly coming and going  and where I’d realize that I just need to get home – and try to exit  just as someone (equally as pressed) is trying to enter, and having lost all vestiges of my normally polite self, I would refuse to back up, choosing instead to rage at the poor unsuspecting woman, who only needed a quick place to pee.

So, when you next ask me what I do with myself all day – and aren’t I bored – be assured that I am not lacking in suitable stimulation, do not need to take on added responsibility to give myself a sense of purpose, am incapable of volunteering with any degree of compassion, and have accepted my current state of dependency as the most appropriate given coping capabilities. I am, at present, unable to navigate life with any degree of normalcy, am content to struggle with my own limitations, putter at a speed below tortoise, bear the silence of solitude, and stay home.  I am not broken, in need of rescue, or lost.  I simply am.

Power and Virtue

Politicians are a breed of characters that I fail to understand – they have to be willing, on one hand, to ward off nonstop critical attack, and on the other, to subject themselves to constant pandering for favour.  If they are not driven by ideals, or even if they are, they will undoubtedly fall prey to persuasion by one power or another.  I am cynical to say the least, and disillusioned by the process for many reasons which I won’t discuss here.  In fact, politics is not usually a topic about which I am inclined to write.

Until my husband received an envelope in the mail bearing this quotation in place of the return address:

“Violent jihadism is not just a danger somewhere else.  It seeks to harm us here in Canada…. through horrific acts.  It is an act of war, and our government’s new legislation fully understands that difference.”

– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
January 30, 2015

“What is this?”

“The Conservative Party is looking for funding.”  Thor shrugged dismissively.

“Did you read this?  This is blatant fear-mongering!”

He took the envelope from me and perused it.  “Yes, it is,”  he replied dismissively as if to say:  And you’re surprised how?

I am more than surprised; I am gobsmacked!  The government’s tactic for raising money is to send out a war-tinged message?  Forgive me, but I always thought I lived in a peace based society, not a shoot-first-ask-questions-later regime.  This approach to fundraising is recklessly irresponsible on many levels, and as I am writing this while my mind and emotions are reeling, I fear I will not do them all justice.

First of all, there are a number of issues that plague Canadians today which deserve government attention:  justice for the missing (Aboriginal) women, under-serviced and impoverished communities, human trafficking, unemployment, aging population, threats to education, and so on, and so on.  Terrorism is one among many problems that need addressing.

Secondly, as I alluded to earlier, when did we become a warring country?   Historically, we have proven ourselves to be worthy allies and participants in war when called for, but I was raised to believe that peaceful resolution and humanitarian involvement was the Canadian way.    Has this changed?  Is the government hoping to sway opinion and spur war?  What possible positive motive can underlie the delivery of such a message?  Is this creating precedent for a new influx of money into our military resources?

Terrorism is not a new problem, by any means, and certainly a threat, but I do not think it is an issue that has been thoroughly examined and responsibly considered.  We just do not understands its mechanics.  Evidently, it is the product of hate and fanatical obsessions, and if viewed from that perspective, is not just the property of jihadism – it lurks beneath every so-called civilization.  Just yesterday, a young man sat amongst a group of parishioners in communal worship before turning his weapons on them.  This was an act of terrorism.

My eldest sister always told me I was naive, and perhaps I am, but I thought that we as a society were smarter than tactics like these.  Receiving this letter has just furthered my disappointment with a system that is severely flawed.

So, what might the Conservatives have offered instead?  How about something that demonstrates virtue, instead of appealing to our dark sides?  What about a message that reminds us how great our country is, and how important it is for us to continue to pursue avenues that support and build on our valued legacy?  Appeal to my sense of pride and my interest might be peaked, but threaten my intelligence and I am only incensed.

Having just read this to Thor, who is no longer affiliated with the Party, he asked if I read the letter enclosed.  I had not.  As expected, it includes more of the same propaganda, and a “Pledge of Commitment” asking a signed personal agreement, along with the requested $200 to help the Conservatives win the war on terrorism (my words).

Rant over, my conclusion is very clear – the mission has been successful.  I am now very afraid – not of ISIS and their “real threat to Canada” (quoted from the Pledge of Commitment).  I cannot even think about them at the moment.  No, this newly blossomed terror is for a menace much closer to home – the CPC (The Conservative Party of Canada).  If I doubted them before, I really fear them now!