Child Defines Self

Too many bodies
encroach on peace;
I lack boundaries,
the self-worth
required to assert
needs – dwell
in basements,
mind cluttered,
external noise
obliterating me

Backdoor provides
escape, backyard,
back gate…
…freedom
I disappear
into the quiet
of the wild:
wooded sanctuary,
flowing water,
watchful eyes
of birds overhead

Here, I define self.

(Image my own)

Still Travelling

Travelled East
in search of self

Half-family extended
unexpected warmth

Was my identity here
with stranger-brothers?

I contemplated pausing
surrendering to other

But that was sleep-walking

The distance still remains

Journey has no end
till soul has purpose

and wisdom relieves
the wounded child.

(Still Travelling first appeared here July 2020. Edited for this version. Image my own)

(Self) Portrait of a Waitress

Jumbo Jet
they called her –
fast on her feet,
zooming in,
swooping up trays,
delivering with flight-
attendant flair.

When did she turn
to autopilot,
stop paying attention
to her destination?

Didn’t she know
she was set
on a crash course,
headed for disaster?

Tried to warn her,
wake her from stupor;
told me she’d reset
but danger remains.

She’s cruising now –
over-sized
turbo-lacking
under-fuelled,
no longer able
to soar – trapped
in a treacherous game.

Waits tables,
tries to keep
a clean house,
caters to others,
lends an ear,
has squeezed
every drop of self
into a low flying life

needs to land
a space of her own,
with room to breathe;
take life in shorter
intervals, refill
her jets.

(Portrait of a Waitress was originally written in 2016. Image a self portrait. Note: once upon a time, I was a waitress, whom the cooks referred to as “Jumbo Jet”. I waitressed my way through university, and a few rough spots in life. While I gave up the job, the metaphor of ‘waiting’ continued to be a theme in my dreams for many years after.)

(Water: Haiku and Free Verse)

Even the river bleeds
fiery frigid essence
Earth’s watery voice.

**

It is the river
that calls, waters
flowing through my veins

and I, the banks
steadfast and holding

the razor sharp edges
like liquid steel
erode my earthen postures

challenging…
blessedly challenging…
the hardened places.

(Water: Haiku and Free Verse first appeared here in June of 2018. It is has been edited for this version. Image my own.)