aging · art · change · poetry · writing

Erasable

Paper me over
with carnal designs, I am
hourglass losing
myself in the shift – pencil
sketches facing erasure.

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Art mine)

aging · life · poetry · psychology · women's issues · writing

That’s What I Fear

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”
– Maya Angelo

I fear living.

No, that’s not it.

I love living…
…but I fear engagement…
…drowning in engagement

Except, I love engagement…
… but only when I dip my toe in the waters
and feel the thrill…
and can still maintain control.

I fear losing control. I fear no longer being able to call the shots, life demanding more of me than I’m willing (or able) to give.

I’m willing to give…
… to a certain point…
…can no longer afford to be sapped dry, wrung out
and discarded… so much hurt
so much betrayal…
such lack of appreciation

I have given.
I have loved and sacrificed and cherished and
given…
…up…
…self

It’s self I’m afraid of losing
and why not?
I am only just able to touch her

She and I, still hesitant
building a certainty
a mutual admiration
respect…

And should I be called upon
to give…too much…well…

I could lose her again.

This is what I fear.

(Two separate blog posts hit me this week. The first offering the Angelo quotation (sorry, I can’t remember the blog’s name) and the second from my friend Dr Andrea Dinardo, who offers the question: What’s Under the Fear? Dr D offers a five step process for self-discovery. This is my response. Image my own. The poem also fits with my weekly challenge theme: except)

aging · change · creativity · life · poetry · writing

Is This Still Me?

Was that really me
fought for feminine rights,
eleven-years-old
persistent to the win?

And was that me
lied about her age
strapped on work clothes
bore responsibility?

And did you know her
that obstinate teen
who defied tradition
and chased an education?

Where did she go,
a faint memory now,
how life tamed her,
taught her subservience

to bury her light
in the shadow of men’s
dreams, that toil should be
selfless, and love for other.

Listen, and you will hear
her echo, faint but growing,
the sound of a mind burning,
the laughter of a soul on fire.

(For Reena’s Exploration challenge: Was that really me?, and Eugi’s Weekly prompt: laughter.  Image from personal collection.)

 

 

adversity · culture · LGBQT · poetry · writing

In Remembrance (for Father)

I hold a photo of my father –
on that last Remembrance Day –
am awed by the person we never knew.

Just fifteen, he signed on,
joined ranks with an elite squad,

trained for unarmed combat.

He wears his Commando’s beret,
medals proudly adorning his breast –
symbols whose meanings are now lost.

They were the best and the brightest –
sleuthing out enemy stores, carrying

operative data to oncoming troops.

He cried that day, as candles glowed –
tears for the fallen – “Good men,”
he muttered, squeezing my hand.

A suicide mission, he’d called it,
armed with a knife and hands
of steel – a black pill if caught.

By day, he never spoke of war,
at night, he screamed in terror.
Why such a mission? I asked.

He’d had his own secret cause –
a war waging within him – 

bent on eradicating a tragic flaw.

War made my father – a disciplined,
regimented man of iron, intimidating,
fearless – machismo at its best.

He returned a hero, celebrated
with his hometown, and left again –

the lie still burning within him.

Father was a valiant soldier –
counted himself privileged
to serve beside the honourable.

At fifteen, a girl whose body
belied her existence, enlisted

in a fight to become a man.

(The original version of In Remembrance appeared November 11, 2015.  I resubmit it here, edited, for my weekly challenge: sacrifice.  My father sacrificed his life during the war, and then went on to sacrifice his true identity for the rest of his years. November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada, a time to honour those who fought for our freedom. )

 

Humour · mental-health · poetry

Needs Not Applicable

Needs, you insolent, little
bastards – interfering
with my independence,
gnawing at these walls

Nasty, you are, and heartless –
pathetic, infantile, cowardly
what part of unwanted
do you not understand?

I am making a stand –
choosing to erect barricades –
a stronghold of invincibility –
quit circling the fortress

your endless chatter
annoying me to distraction –
I will have none of it –
will not tolerate vulnerability

I am strong, singular
do not need sympathy,
empathy, understanding,
nor acknowledgment

I am an island –
self-sufficient and proud –
and your insignificance is a blot
on my otherwise perfect landscape.

(Image: www.dreamstime.com)