undigested chunks
of memory spew from
depths of unconscious

regurgitated masses
of bloodied solids
mingled with mush

too repulsed to touch
unable to fathom
what force-fed garbage

initiated mind vomit;
churning emotions
physical revulsion

dreams of childhood
mutilated, ravaged
innocence, fragmented

images soaked in blood,
cry for acknowledgment
cannot stop convulsions

maggots exploding
in my brain, sucking
my soul, threatening

darkness, I am falling
backwards, consumed,
frail state of control

lapsing in this cesspool
of filth, remembering
unimaginable abuses.

(Image: http://derekjones.deviantart.com/art/troubled-soul-437229975)


She is Ready, God

Ushering the last of the condolences out,
she turns and slowly shuffles her way back
down the grayed barren, institutional halls –
a shock of white hair bent over metal legs.

She pauses at the doorway – hesitates, feels
weight descending – the finality of her loss –
recalling the years of companionship, how
they were the Ma and Pa for staff and alike.

Wondering who she is now, willing herself
to pass, once occupied, now stripped bed,
the abruptness of silence accosting frailty –
at 88 she’s survived three husbands. Alone.

Laboriously, disrobing, hangs her mourning
dress, unrolls stockings past swollen calves,
winces at the pain of bloated feet, stiffens –
wills past the stark emptiness once more.

Routine carries her through nightly rituals,
and numbed with weariness, she slumps –
a bed-for-one poor remedy for what ails –
she turns to the wall – shunning harshness.

Tomorrow, reassurances and guilt-ridden
faces will hover over the arrival of another,
erasing memories, eradicating familiarity –
Too soon! she cries to unheeding darkness.

Take me too, she pleas to her unseen God.
I’ve had enough! But like the dawn she’ll rise,
comply with changes, adapt to new tides –
find her compassion, forgo self-indulgence.

She is awe-inspiring, this mother of mine,
a tireless sentinel of peace, selfless crusader
for love – acceptance her chosen weapon –
having navigated unimaginable adversities.

The buoyancy of her steps, now subdued,
the flames that framed her face – symbiotic
with passion – now extinguished, age spots
disguising freckles – yet her smile remains.

Do not mourn my passing, she instructs,
know that I have lived fully.  I do, I respond,
wishing her an effortless transition, silently
commanding courage, offering up a prayer:

May the angels that receive her wear red shoes,
and may they whisk her away in the flourish of
a big band chorus, inviting her to join the dance –
sprinkling the essence of her beauty as they go.

May she behold – clarity of ecstatic revelation –
the light that she has spread in this lifetime,
witnessing the masterpiece of her existence,
understanding for eternity, that she is love.



Excuse Me While I Unload

Excuse me, but it seems I have been carrying around an extraordinary amount of baggage for some time now and I’m thinking it’s time to unload, so pardon me but I’m going to dump them out here, and do inventory.

Wow, what a pile of stuff!  I don’t know where to begin.

Black lace catches my eye.  I pull it out of the pile.  It’s a woman’s hat, with a black face veil.  I know this one.  It is the veil of self-loathing.  While I try not to wear it in public, I take it everywhere with me.  It keeps me humble.  The veil whispers:  Don’t believe what other people say about you; they’re just being kind; they really don’t know you like I do.  Boy, looks like I should have done this sooner;  I think I’ll just set that aside.

Ah, there’s my graduation cap; my teacher’s cap.  It’s a keeper.  And my mother’s apron.  That can stay too.  My reading glasses, my writing pen, my friendship necklace.  All those parts I want to keep.  Oh, and that teddy bear – all Grandmas need teddy bears – definitely carrying that around with me.

What’s this big, woolly, grey thing?  It’s heavy, and to be honest, it stinks like cigarette smoke, stale alcohol, and mildew.  It reeks of shame.  I’m not sure this is mine, but I’ve been carrying this around forever.  Wouldn’t be surprised if it stunk everything else up.  This needs to go.  I might even have to get a new suitcase to start fresh.  I’ll just put that one out in the trash can.

Better make sure the smell hasn’t lingered.  Sure enough, the lining of the case has absorbed the stench.  I’d better air it out also.  Wait a minute, what’s that in the lining?  Something is sticking out.  It’s silver and pointed.  Looks like a brooch.  It’ a very delicate piece:  silver leaves swirling around a peridot stone.  Is this mine?  It’s beautiful, but I don’t recognize it.  Just my taste though, I’m more silver than gold, and I love the peridot green.  I wonder how long it’s been here?  I should try it on, and see how it looks.  No, I’m not ready for this.  I don’t have anything to go with it.  I’ll tuck it back away for another day.

Will you look at that!  A pile of mismatched socks.  So like me, to carry around odds and sods hoping to make sense of them sooner or later.  Thing is, young people don’t wear socks or stockings anymore, so all these do is date me; they don’t serve any other purpose.  I think it’s time to let them go.

Wow, look at that!  It’s a rusty old paintbrush.  I used to love art – even won the award in grade eight – but I was advised against pursuing it – not intellectual enough – so I set it aside.  Could this still be in me?  I’d like to know.

Oh!  A feather.  I know why it’s here.  I tucked it in here to remind me of my spirituality.  I’ll keep that too.

My cookbooks can stay.  Here’s an old ship in a bottle.   It’s pretty dusty, and the vessel inside is covered in cobwebs.  I’m thinking whatever dream that was has long past; no point carrying that around anymore.  Time for new dreams.

This is kind of fun.  Can’t remember the last time I took inventory of what I’ve been carrying around.  Here’s some comfy yoga pants.  Those need to come out more often.  I can just hear my body screaming yes, please.

Hope you don’t mind if I carry on without you.  I can see a few more things I’d rather deal with in private.

What have you been carrying around?

(Image: ok-woman.com)

Calming Breath

Imagine being able to clear the clutter of your mind; to set aside all your thoughts, worries, obsessions, and just breathe.  Imagine letting go of all the tension in your body; setting aside pain, and discomfort in favour of just being.  Imagine the noise and distractions of everyday life just floating through you without sticking; your awareness not blocked, but heightened.

Through the practice of meditation, I have experienced this feeling of being suspended, at peace, in a state of harmony.  It is calming, reassuring, refreshing.  Reaching this place offers renewal, and at times, a sensation of bliss.  It is amazing how, no matter how stressed, this state of being offers such relaxation, that it shifts perception.

Breathe deeply, slowly, and let your exhale carry the tension out of your body and mind.  Take your time.  Let thoughts flow in and out.  Perceive them, and let them go.  Everything that is important will be there later.  Affirm it.  It’s safe to set all thoughts aside.

Let your in breath fill you with clear, calming energy, washing over you, helping the out breath carry away the tension.  Give your self permission to relax.  Empty yourself, body, mind, and spirit.  Surrender to the nothingness.  Suspend your grasp on reality.

Just be.

Hints for success:  Practice the same time each day.  Create the opening.  It doesn’t take long, it takes discipline.  Practice in the same place, establishing a routine.  One of my teachers suggested taking 2-3 minute intervals throughout the day where you stop and breath consciously.  She said she would find a tree, and focus on that tree, imagining what it would be like to have roots that run deep into the earth, and branches that reach high into the sky, and bend with the breezes.  She described it as strong, but calm, centered in peace.

Aside:  I learned to meditate when my children were babies, which meant that the only place I could get any alone time was the bathroom.  Meditating in the bathroom established a correlation that still exists today.  Some of my best inspirations happen when I visit the bathroom.

(Image:  quotesgram.com)