health · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Survivor Instinct

Buried alive
by illness’ onset
only hope for escape
tunnel whose guilt-lined
walls oozed mucous
of neglect, sorrow
so raw, shredded
faith – no light
just a dull
pulse
screaming –
I am alive.

(Chronic illness is a game changer.  No amount of ambition can turn the tide.  One is left to face the onslaught of that which has been oppressed or skipped over.  I wrote this poem early in my journey with ME.  Amazingly, no matter what, spirit still clings to life.  Image from personal collection.)

adversity · disability · life · ME/ CFS · poetry

Spirit Stands Strong

Progress – seldom linear –
tosses me into unexpected decline –
stranded and incapacitated.

My son – with labour-hardened strength
leaps to my side, steadying me
and I feel the fear in his caring grip.

My daughter, ever compassionate,
reaches out for me with horror-filled eyes
as my body crumples onto the bed.

My husband, my oak, seeks to comfort
his voice betraying the helplessness
this futile predicament imposes.

Beloveds, I know that you see me
this dis-abled, non-functioning shell
weakened and sickly, lying on this bed.

Do not be deceived – that is not me –
it is only an illusion –
a vessel – temporarily fettered.

I am, in essence, beside you –
ambitions and desires intact.
Feel me there, tall and proud.

Sense the wholeness of my being
remember me for the woman I am yet to be –
My spirit stands strong.

(I first wrote this poem in August of 2015, when efforts to sit up and visit with friends caused a collapse.  I wrote it as reassurance for my family that the woman they knew was still strong.  I post here now as a reminder to myself – of how far I have come, and how strong my spirit remains.)

creativity · dreams · poetry · spirituality

Mystical She

An earlier post that seemed to be fitting to post here, in the spirit of “Black Madonna”.

One Woman's Quest

Like silk

whispering across my skin;

a gentle mist

kissing my soul;

kindness unburdening me;

warmth, and cinnamon spice;

She comes.

Of the Earth, is She

whose heart beats with mine

a rhythm of life

renewal

and deepest bliss

Her essence luminous and night

shimmering at the water’s edge

or pulsating at the core

of darkness

Alive.  Very much alive.

No fanfare proceeds Her,

No choir of angels.

In stillness, know Her.

In openness, receive Her.

She is here.

She is here.

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aging · health · life · poetry · spirituality

A Final Mystery

Is death a gentle reprieve,
a final release of suffering
a promised resting place?

Or is it contemplation
coloured by memories
demanding retribution?

Will death bring reunion
unleash forgiveness
shine with revelation?

Will one final earthly breath
call forth all the fragments of the soul
and restore wholeness?

I have witnessed death –
both embraced and unwanted –
snatch the spirit from its nest

felt the whoosh of escape
and a swirl of celebration,
known the peace that follows

witnessed the body, open-eyed
and open-mouthed
become a vacuum –

discarded membranes;
an impotent shell.

The spirit does not dwell there;
it lives on borrowed time.

Where it goes when all is done
remains life’s poignant mystery.