creativity · life · poetry · relationships · writing

Off Beat

How broken those with blue hearts
who embrace only poison breezes.

I dance rhythmless,
lingering on an almost stout word

men need cool from voices
baby, girly, cat, no eternity fare

I devour the salty note
bit life surrounding that din.

(Fridays are magnetic poetry)

culture · Family · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

What’s In a Name?

What’s her name?
Simple question
from mother to son –
recognizing the love-lifted
joy of his countenance.

I cannot tell, said he,
you’ll ask too many questions.
Do I know her?
No, Mom, she’s Somali.
And Muslim.

I felt my whiteness
and all its privilege
slap me, stumbled

Of course she is welcome,
of course it does not matter.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how heads
would turn, and vile strangers
attack, and his father shun them.

And how her own mother
would advise her to take his name
when the day of their nuptials came
so that finding work would be easier.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how
everyday matters suffer
unfair scrutiny –

hold them in my heart
and pray, knowing my shield
of whiteness holds no sway
to protect them..

(Written for dVerse pub, where Anmol challenges us to address the topic of privilege.)

creativity · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

A Feathered Fable

Statuesque as a Great Blue Heron,
she wades silently, patiently,
her long-necked beauty,
and generous wingspan,
testament to a tender soul.

She dreams of a mate
who can unfold her,
carry her to new heights.

Rustling in a nearby bush,
she encounters a partridge –
shorter than her, and
rotund, his countenance grey.

She is drawn to the candour
of his misery, how vilely
he has been misplaced –
his wife and nest robbed by
another, more showy beast.

Pity masks itself as kinship
and as love does, she dons
blinders, ignores the fact that
he prefers ground dwelling,
tells herself she will adapt
to his packs, learn his ways

Once dreamt of a mate
who could unfold her,
carry her to new heights.

Her shoulders slump, and
she draws her neck in now,
wings forgetting how to soar –
she is diminishing in the
confines of a single field

while her Partridge mate,
remains a partridge –
only fatter.

(Written for dVerse pub, hosted by Björn tonight, who challenges us to use metaphor. I might have got carried away…oh, well, excuse me while I flock off.)

blogging · nonfiction · relationships · writing

Finding Light After Divorce

Jilted by a philandering husband and defrauded out of my share of the assets, I made a convincing victim.

“You are righteously angry,” a friend counselled.

Perhaps so, but something niggled at me.

“A man does not stray unless there is a reason,” someone said, and I felt as if she looked right through me, could see the flaws at my core.  My mother’s repeated warnings came back to me:  “No one will ever love you.”

What is wrong with me?  my broken heart wailed.

Urgency drove me to find answers.  I never wanted to go through this again.  I had to know why my life had turned out this way.

I read.  I read Daphne Rose Kingma’s Coming Apart, and Susan Anderson’s The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, and The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz:  all offering glimpses of insight and understanding – something I could hold on to.  So many books passed through my hands and desperate to learn more, I turned to a galley copy of a book I’d received as a bookstore owner.  A commercial piece, now released, but that I’d never bothered with in the past, having stashed it beside many other soon-to-be published editions.

It was Relationship Rescue by Dr. Phil McGraw.

“Too Late for this, really,” I told myself but I decided to give it a chance.

Dr. Phil wrote the words I had suspected all along:  good relationships begin with the self.  His advice made sense, and more than that, I felt like I was finally onto something.  I attacked the book as if reading a how-to manual, highlighter in hand and pencil at the ready.

Relationship Rescue delves into the different “bad spirits” that we bring to our relationships, and as I read along, I began to recognize bits of myself in the “scorekeeper”, the “fault-finder”, and the control freak, but when I reached the eighth category and began to read, I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach and wanted to throw up. I was the “bottomless pit”.

I told myself that I didn’t need anything so that I wouldn’t be a burden.  What I was actually doing was sabotaging my partner’s chances of ever meeting my needs.  “He should know without me telling him,” was another one of those false beliefs that I measured by husband against.

The spirit I brought to my marriage was ugly.  I had so many expectations about what I wanted and didn’t want based on my parents failures that any partner was destined to fail.

With understanding comes change.  It would not be easy, and I am still a work in progress, but Relationship Rescue gave me solid understanding so that I can be accountable and achieve a healthier relationship.

My challenge this week is to write about (or submit images of) a book that made you sit up and pay attention.  What book(s) made a difference in your life?

 

 

aging · blogging · creativity · dreams · Humour · Love · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Love, Like Shoes

If searching for love
was like shopping for shoes,
I’d fixate on the simplest
of finds, choosing practicality
over fashion flair.

My preference is for earthy,
unassuming: plain is fine
as long as the structure
gives me room to breath –
no grasping too tight.

If I shopped for love,
like I do for shoes,
I’d ignore those pushy
sales lines, opt instead
for a supportive sole,

settle for guaranteed comfort
over flashy heels, can’t bear
the instability of pedestals,
love flattery like most,
but need to feel grounded.

No doubt I’d question
my selection, offer it up
to my children for feedback
be mocked, dissuaded,
put it back and search anew,

discover futility in my seeking,
realize that I need new love
like I need new shoes –
only a foolish indulgence
for a woman who lives in bed.

(This poem, inspired by a dream, was penned when I was still bed bound, two years ago.  Hope it made you smile.  If you found yourself on the hunt for love, what would you look for?

p.s. my husband fits the criteria still, lol.)

creativity · poetry · relationships · writing

Oasis: Cataracts and Candour

To be candid
the jolt of your affection
rattled my sensibilities

had not realized
the depth of this despair,
miscalculated my longing

the rush of your affection –
like an oasis – refreshing
renewal for my barren

heart, gushing like a school girl,
melting, emotions cascading,
eyes glazed and unfocused

refusing to acknowledge
the impossibility of sustaining
something borne of deceit

and now we pay –
you claiming insurmountable hurt –
while the real pain of our tryst

as reflected on my beloved’s face,
has removed the cataracts from my selfish eyes –
what we did is insupportable – oasis or not.

(Written for three daily prompts:
Daily Addiction: oasis
Ragtag Daily prompt: cataract
Fandango’s Word of the Day:  candour

adversity · creativity · culture · life · relationships · writing

Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
Mother told her, to be complete.

To submit, she realizes, too late
soul traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing
inner losses.

She eats to appease inner sorrow –
a second-rate childhood – afraid
of being a burden, loathe
to create a stir – conditioned
complacency:

appeasing,
pleasing,
follows plans,
avoids decisions…

never really knows where she is going.

Can she fault her man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male
taking ownership/charge?

His own lack, like a child,
feeding on impulses, craving
attention, overcompensating
for fears with bravado…

cannot understand her fear
of assertiveness – alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –
gut gnawing incessantly.

They stumble over each other, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss
repairmen, schedules – nothing;

avoid deeper issues such as the fact
that they are both suffocating, near
jumping off the ledge of their high-
falutin’ existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them,
the noise of city living negating
their ability to listen, distractions
altering identities, until the distance
between
is too far
to bridge
in a single sigh                      and she
no longer                        submissive
has joined him

and checked out.

(This is a rewrite of a poem, by the same name, written in June 2016.  Shared here for DVerse’s Open Link Night.)

culture · Family · life · poetry · relationships

Reflections

How do we recognize truth
in what is reflected back to us
especially when intrinsic knowing
has been domesticated out of us –
servility replacing preservation?

We are drawn by an insatiable
thirst to drink from the well
of human connections, require
acknowledgment, appreciation,
cannot bear to conceive of a life

of loneliness – we are social,
travel in packs, affectionate
souls conditioned to co-habitate,
habits instructing outcomes –
would be lost without mirrors.