It Is In the Darkest Hour…

In darkness, eyes open
search for light –
touch fear
find faith

In darkness, I stumble
lose my way,
stop, pray,
listen anew

In darkness, vulnerability
strength emerges
priorities engage
soul mends.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge – prompt is title of this piece; and Ragtag Community’s – mend.  Image from personal collection.)

 

Inside, I Scream

(Warning:  trigger)

It wasn’t for want of terror –
inexplicable horror
caused me to quake

There was no one to hear –
a remote lair, boarded
ensured the perfect crime

Even in the aftermath –
self erased, movement
adrenalin automaton

Even then, no sound,
voice stifled by guilt
certainty blame was mine

Art of dissociation
keeps me now, surface
calm – shame numbed

The scream a silent
reverberation
tearing at my soul.

(For Ragtag Community’s daily prompt:  scream.)

 

Even Ghosts Yearn

Natural light preferable
to artificial – not the harsh
fullness of noonday sun
but softly filtered rays –
luxurious, inviting.

Love too, should be subdued,
gentle as a zephyr, not mythical
but yielding, mindful;
not worshipful nor boastful,
but comforting, warm

I am waning light,
the mistral wind wafting,
no longer a force of nature –
but smoke, spiralling,
vanishing into non-existence

And yet, even as shadows
spread, I yearn –
heart beating true,
not lost, not forgotten,
but withdrawn, humbled

passion mellowed
by toil of constructing walls –
grit and tar – scar’s long buried,
save the limping gait
of a ghost.

(Poem first appeared here July, 2018.  I am resubmitting for Ragtag Community’s prompt: humble.  Image from personal collection.)

Losing Touch

Sure-footed
she navigates
forest floor

leaps over
obstacles,
scales inclines

knows each
nook and cranny
every sound
a greeting

but seasons pass
and time erodes
landscapes
and senses
lose sharpness

 

the nuances
of the woods
fading  memory

the wind’s whispers
elusive signals
inner nymph silenced.

(For Ragtag Community’s Daily Prompt: elusive.  Image from personal collection.)

Grandma To The Rescue

September is
chilly mornings
and classroom routines,
cardigans dragged home,
and the onset of colds.

Grandma packs her bag
with activities to distract,
a soup to boost bodies
and an apple crisp
fresh from the oven.

Some days
the best education
comes snuggled under
warm blankets with
inter-generational love.

(For Ragtag Communty’s daily prompt: crisp.  Grandma duty calls, be back later!)

Letters and Words

Letters jostle for position
back-up
attempt to regroup
get detoured

Frustration builds
and obstacles
pop-up –
cognition faltering

Circuits are jumbled
pathways rerouting
patience exploding
expression lost.

Word recall
out of order
Word recognition
under construction

Is there an exit
from this nightmare?

(Brain fog affects cognitive functioning.  I first wrote this piece in 2015 and the condition continues today – one of the reasons I keep writing.  I resubmit it here for Ragtag Community’s prompt: jumble.  Image from personal collection.)

The Standoff

Men prefer a reserved lady,
Mother was quick to admonish,
ashamed of my hot temper,
the tear in mud-soaked stockings
the call that came from the boy’s mother.

But I was born with a fervid passion,
a sense of justice igniting a fire within –

Women need to stand up,
I lectured her, to declare our rights
a concept that fell on closed ears.

She’d continue to take father’s abuse,
apologize for under-salted broth,
or too thick gravy, for lingering
too long in conversation at the market,
or letting us kids dare to raise our voices.

And I’d continue to clock any boy
who dared to say that girls can’t….

Neither of us able to reverse
the inequity we suffered.

(For Ragtag Community’s challenge: fervid; and Fandango’s, reverse.) Image from personal collection.

Advocate for Wonder

I know what infinity means:
it’s one hundred plus one.

Voice of innocence
serene her sense of self
of life’s complexities.

Should borrow from her,
embrace that confidence,
but worry intervenes.

How do we preserve
the wonder of youth,
save her from cynicism?

That it is! I reply,
my smile a warm hug –
vow to be forever advocate.

(I submit this poem, inspired by my six-year-old granddaughter, to three challenges:
Ragtag Community’s, serene;  Fandango’s advocate; and Reena’s Exploration challenge.  Image from personal collection.)