dreams · poetry · writing

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.)


aging · life · poetry · recovery · writing

Unfair

Sporting crisply pressed regrets
and tight-assed judgments,
the past happened upon me,
caught me mid-mediocracy,
eye-balled me with a sneer,
and then strolled on by as if
I wasn’t even worth a ‘hello’.

Wait a minute, I cried out
trying to pull myself together,
noting too late, my lack of
grooming, how unfairly
I’d been caught off guard –
Wait!  I’ve been wanting
to tell you…I mean… I was
just too young…

All in vain, he’d vanished,
left me gaping and rattled –
damned he looked good –
foolishly pining after
righteousness, imagining
the past as something
tangible, curable….

dreams · Love · poetry · relationships

Haunting Irony

You come to me in the Dreamtime
slipping between the veil of what is
and what shall never be, stirring my
restlessness, a bittersweet reminder
of love once cherished, yet shunned.

You are a ghost shattering illusions
of sleep, thrusting me into lucidity,
regrets real – I want to hold you to me
for eternity, devoured by the shame of
what I did to you – relentless sorrow…

Always, you are steadfast, forgiving,
offering up your unshakeable love,
melting me with the depth of your
tenderness, your patient smile, those
ocean blue eyes – you redeem me

Then day comes, and pulls me from
your embrace, and promises fade,
but the dream lingers, leaves me
dissatisfied, a punishing reminder
that I let you go to save us from pain.

(Image: blogsleepingsimple.com)

Family · recovery

For You, Dad

Anti-establishment
and flower power
formed the backdrop of my youth.
Women burning their bras,
Hippies holding sit-ins,
War in Vietnam.

Ideals began to form.

Beatles and Rolling Stones
were household names,
and school children took
the Pepsi vs. Coke challenge.
Twiggy and Mary Quaint
set the fashion stage.

I lived in creative times.

A flower-toting leader,
dating well below his years,
wooed his lovers and his nation
with a French accent,
and called in the army when
the FLQ threatened peace.

Passion awakened in my heart.

Open concept was my classroom,
education free-style.
We had a Wong and a Suzuki,
and watched the Black Panthers
on a sometimes-coloured TV,
and learned that we were WASPs.

I was on the edge of compassion.

Talk shows revealed infidelities,
and debated homosexuality –
criminal or mental instability?
Equal rights meant equal pay
while Country Clubs posted exclusions
and institutes housed the nonconforming.

I started questioning.

Home-made prevailed over store-bought,
and a Valium suppressed mother
kept my father’s castle,
and we went to church on Sundays
and practiced perfect smiles
and learned to pretend.

Enlightenment comes at a price.

Too young to understand the dynamics
of my brooding inner turmoil,
I raged at the discrepancies,
and swung with a fast right,
fighting for a justice
I could not articulate.

I learned to hate.

The consideration my father preached
was a one-way street.
He spewed racism, and sexism, and abuse;
over-worked, over-drank, and
railed against a world
where he could find no acceptance.

I discovered we had secrets.

Teen pregnancy, LSD,
and schizophrenia invaded
our patriarchal fortress,
internal combustion threatened,
yet we held fast to our façade –
happiness and solidarity.

When Dad came out I wasn’t ready.

High school came, along with disco;
Barbie dolls were traded
for platforms and menthols.
While Rocky Horror gained a cult following
my father revealed his own cross-dressing
ambitions and asked us to call him Liz.

I learned to run away.

Halter-tops and tight blue jeans
attracted adverse attention,
the police told me after the rape.
I crawled back home and began to cut
unable to feel through the armour
of numbness I had donned.

There was no way out.

Donahue paraded real life transvestites
before a disbelieving audience,
while psychiatrists spoke of deviant addictions.
Electric shock treatments broke my father,
he begged but I pushed him back in the closet.
We would not speak of it again.

I steeled myself against life.

Landlines, now, are disappearing,
Televisions smarter: Reality the new fiction.
Songza picks my playlists.
Integration and differentiation
are the educational goals I seek
to fulfill in my role as teacher.

Relief followed my father’s death.

LGBQT is on the forefront
workshops teach about sexual orientation
and gender identity,
and I learn that it is hormones –
not addiction – that decide,
and the realization pierces my heart.

There’s been a tragic misunderstanding.

My liberated, forward thinking mind,
strangled by a self-serving heart
slammed the door on possibility
eclipsing the brilliance and creativity
of the soul that was my father.
I never knew his authentic self.

There is no going back.

The river runs within me now,
a deep and endless stream.
The shards of my former reality
too shattered to mend; I stumble
humbled by the inadequacy
of this human existence.

I write for you, now, Dad.