Wounded Feminine

On entering the tunnel, I see her –
pallor a notable shade of ghostly

Tattered, her dress hangs in billowing
folds of transparency; she beckons

No words pass between us, but
her haunting gaze begs audience

So, I bear witness to her tale –
a gruesome re-enactment of her death

Slow and agonizing, her femininity
scalded and tortured till flesh festered

and infection drove her to madness –
no solace offered, no medicine rendered

No more than a child, I now see –
a tragic retelling of innocence turned victim

Do not look away, her spirit commands,
the suffering continues, and I will haunt

Till justice recognizes the crime
and restitution restores balance.

(Reena’s Xploration offered the opening line, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – notable– added to the narrative. This apparition appeared to me in that tunnel between waking and sleep, begging that I share her story. Image my own)

Note To Self

Checking symptoms for possible diagnosis: tab 1
Searching for gluten free recipes for leftover turkey: tab 2
Black Friday specials on tab 3
Writing a blog post on tab 4
Email on tab 5

Too many tabs open to concentrate
and Christmas is looming
and the fridge needs cleaning
and I got the groceries
but forgot the milk
and potatoes
and guests are coming
and laundry is piling up

and,
and,
and…

Somewhere at the bottom of the pile
is a note to self:
compassion.

(For Reena’s Xploration Challenge: My brain has too many tabs open; and Eugi’s Weekly prompt: compassion. Image my own)

Bubbled

Deception holds these walls in place
denial renders them invisible

I am a dreamer floating
in a bubbled realm…safe

Breathe softly, still
the midnight air,
calm the inner
children,
sing tender
lullabies
of forever…
pretend

Solitude lends
perfection
to daily noise

I am invisible
motionless
free….

deluded.

(For Reena’s Xploration challenge: writing from inside the bubble.
Image my own)

Lighting Call

Winter defines this stage,
this page, night descending
too early for my taste

If I catch a falling star,
can I shed the excess
layers of this confinement

Follow animal impulses
to a sunnier clime, restore
exuberance of noble youth?

Passion persists, intelligence
intact, just need a brighter
angle from which to reveal it.

(Lighting Call first appeared here January, 2019.
Linking up with Reena’s Xploration challenge: light. I
mage my own.)

Angry Dreamer

Envisioning breakup –
past haunting possibility –
she navigates uncertainty
an angry dreamer

Tries to settle on truth
but with rage as filter
she processes and processes
reaching no solid ground

Love, she concludes,
is beyond availability
plans a solitary existence
until vulnerability caves again.

(for Eugi’s Weekly prompt: haunting, and Reena’s Xploration challenge: filter.
Image my own.)

Unforgettable

Come to the table!
Mother said, meaning
bring your best manners
and your appetites
but I had neither –
a naughty kid

Come to the table!
Teacher commanded
expectations high
and I, distracted
had nothing to show
but humiliation

Come to the table!
said the mediator,
negotiating divorce
Ex’s demands inflexible –
my shell-shocked response
lacking assertiveness

Come to the table!
nightmare voice says,
and I tremble –
tables are for getting
and I am lacking worth
un-for-get-table

(A little fun with words for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #202. Image my own)

The Cook

She’s in the kitchen
cleaning, prepping
sweetness, wishes

to nurture childlike
longings – sugar laden
gifts, honeyed chops

hooks her men with
culinary preciseness –
as legend prescribes

wants a strong, reliable
type to stir her ovaries
keep her dishing up love

Disappointment, like raw egg
drips off china plates –
shame of misadventures
she cannot scrub away

only serves tea now –
the smell of liquor
mingled with cigarettes
in lecherous calloused
hands turns her stomach

avoids the coffee maker
in the same way, despises
the way the bitter brew
makes her head spin –
wits need to be in order

has settled now as hostess
caters to near strangers
whose attention, riveted
by television screens, are

lulled by the rhythmic
sounds of her sanitizing
while stew simmers in pot,
dreams of romance shelved.

(Originally titled “Hatched”, this poem first appeared here in July, 2017. I am submitting an edited version for Reena’s Xploration challenge: Stranger in a strange land. Image my own)

Not So Green

Corporations claim to be green
bent as they are on profitability

Contrived, the marketing schemes
colour added to mask the perils

No amount of dye can alter
the truth for our world faces

the midnight hour, time
for preservation waning.

(For Reena’s Xploration Challenge: featured image. Also for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: midnight.)

Tired of Same Old Endings

Tired of same old endings
in which hopes are slaughtered
and tragedy and insanity win.

Raised by the bottle, learned
to set standards low –
still afraid of heights –
have fallen as the ground
beneath my aspirations crumbled –
a certainly under alcohol’s rule.

Tired of same old endings
in which self is battered by indifference
and ego loses the battle for control.

Mother’s denial a coping mechanism
negating children’s need, obliterating
safety, disregarding long-term damage;
even in older years, when we tried
to get her out, were powerless against
his manipulation, his eternal imprinting.

Tired of same old endings
in which the heroine, resources spent
succumbs to the madness, suicides.

Want to believe in a future, greener,
hopeful, in which relationships
are fulfilling, and life goals are
supported; in which encouragement
is not the ploy of deviousness, and
personal best is rewarded, sustained.

Tired of same old endings
haunting my dreaming hours
unforgotten in waking dreams.

(Tired of Same Old Endings first appeared here June of 2018.
Edited for this submission. Linking up with Reena’s Xploration
Challenge: insanity, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: unforgotten.
Image my own.)

Devilish This Fear

Devil borrows
Twilight’s voice
tortures sensibility

Tangled bedclothes
grumble, inflexible
bedmates – unsupportive

Where is reason?
my mind wails
heart drumming discord

I access light,
perch on edge of bed
will myself to breathe

(My dear husband is in hospital again, his fifth surgery to reconstruct his knee. It’s been a long ordeal and my heart bleeds for him. Fear is an awful bedmate. I submit this poem in response to the promptings of Eugi’s Weekly prompt: twilight and Reena’s Xploration challenge: devil. Image my own.)