How

For Reena’s Exploration challenge: click here to see prompt and join in.

In Line

Faint at the sight of needles
a squeamish gene, I’m sure

Suck it up, adult self admonishes
Child looks away, breath held

Sixty-two years its been thus
too many pokes to count

And now there is new promise
a vaccine to ward off the virus

Hope reduced to one tiny vial
believe me, this sleeve’s rolling up.

(Written for Reena’s Exploration challenge. Image is the prompt.)

Neglect

Oil glistens
contaminates
drinking water
250 evacuated

25 years of
boil-water advisory
an elder recites
and now this

We’re not animals,
adolescents rally
but ears turn away
government wheels rust

Neskantaga First Nation
want to go home
to live with dignity
know their human rights

Do they know
a .05% increase
in corporate taxes
would suffice

For the 73%
of First Nations
also lacking
this basic need

Acknowledge
prioritize
address
It’s all they ask.

(Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #168. Image and information sourced from :
ctvnews.ca
and Government of Canada: https://canadians.org/fn-water)

In 2021, I Woke Up

This year the plague came
and I blamed the wind
for carrying destruction
and I blamed the sun
for its ineptitude
and the rain,
no friend of mine,
only served to drown
my expectations.

Lockdown
and social distance
masks and antiseptics
how was a soul
to survive?

Pushing 2020
out the door
certain relief
would follow
but change is not
a date on the calendar
a release of circumstance

I turned inward
faced the gloom
and found a spark
forgave the weather
the virus, the news

In 2021, I woke up…

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge: I woke up in 2021… Image my ow

Hand Holding

Father’s grip
controlling crush
warned against
disobedience

First love
Grade one
holding hands
walking home

A sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until too hot to touch
I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles
sensuality evoking desire

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

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

Husband’s hand
reaches for mine
conveys support –
strength to propel
me forward.

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

(Hand Holding first appeared here August, 2018. I submit an edited edition here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: hands. Image from personal collection.)

Stalemate


Invisibility is undesirable
I am flesh craving
in a touchless world

A voice yearning
to be heard, a heart
to listen – compassion

growing cold. This side
of the table intolerable
how long will we continue

Till the rage in me ignites
sets your paper walls aflame
and will you even notice?

(For Reena’s Exploration Challenge: feature image is prompt.)

Solitude (3)

Solitude.
I dream of
panoramic
silence –
breathtaking
boundless
sanctity.

Solitude.
Wrapped in separateness
cardboard walls fallen
curling corners of instability –
no refuge in stillness.

Solitude.
Smothering starkness
madness reverberating
canyons of aloneness
overbearing.

Solitude.
Persevere
regale moments
feathered encounters
faces on screens
tenderness
in voices.

Solitude.
Grace finds me
mercy lifts soul
possibility
opens the door
panoramic.

(This is a rewrite of an older poem, last appearing here in August, 2018. I submit it for Reena’s Exploration challenge #163. Please visit her post for a most inspiring video. Art my own.)

Stop the Words

These thought processes…
I am inside out, shredded…
on so many levels
out of sync…
hear my own words
nothing but hot air
making me so dizzy
that I’m becoming afraid
of heights….
phobic, actually

Breathe,
I remember somewhere
between gulps of helium
and the hammering
in my head…
breathe…

Platitudes have no place
in this moment
in the inside out
emotionally raw now

So, I’ll quit the words
breathe until I find ground
again….
then repeat.

(Inspired by the prompt of Reena’s Exploration challenge which can found here. Image my own.)

Light of Day

Failures, like eel grass
lurk in slumber’s waters
entangle me in regret

I’m drowning in should’s
and what if’s, until gasping
I awake with a start

The light of consciousness
releases me from emotional bog
illuminates the rational

I am restored, set upon the shores
of revelation, ready to step
forward with forgiveness.

(For Reena’s Exploration Challenge: light. Image my own.)