The Pen Is To Blame

This is pen is far too vociferous,
illuminates the disabled rage,
dismissing my concerns, as if
outgoing messages are company
for its dispassionate agenda.

No privacy for ailing, sleeping,
I would physically eject the offending
appendage, but cannot bear reopening
of wounds, recognizing the sins are
mine, no matter how unintentional.

Words can be a trap, take on a beat
of their own, history rearing on page,
leaving me raw-nerved, reeling, their
thoughtlessness a venomous refusal
to remain a victim – I am inflamed.

How to banish the thoughts smouldering
like a cigarette, daring me to inhale,
choke on my own toxicity; I must expunge
the intrusion, recall this maddening vow
to create; withdraw to the safety of illness

shuttered away from the crowd, a blue
silence warming this frozen heart –
maybe, I’ll write a note and leave it
on the dashboard, command the pen
and its itinerary to leave me alone.



If only life were a resort –
catered to meals, bed maids
who shuffle out of sight so as
to not disturb the illusion

that life is magical, comfort
a finger snap away; I’d refrain
from interaction, recognizing
celebrity amidst the guests –

imagine the surprise if one
should notice me: this fragile
ego pressured by the praise
would gush volumes, convince

me of genuine interest, ignore
glazed eyes, fail to appreciate
the bombs of emotion spewing
from my war-tattered mouth –

insights always come too late
to save me: my words, like drugs,
an excessive expense; my soul,
undervalued, strewn across

computer screens; I am Paris Hilton
regretting the exposure, trying to
keep afloat in a sea of superstitious
idiosyncrasies – an artist’s bane –

an acrobat, needing to balance
performance with observation,
resorting to bouts of self-
deprivation – no vacation here.



Creativity –
eight-legged predator –
invades the decks
of my listing mind,
reproducing rapidly.

Her generous,
bejewelled appendages
skittering beneath
my plastic-boned
Caucasian frailty.

I hesitate –
friend or foe?
Should I trample
crush this invasion,
or surrender…
risk madness?

We are ocean –
bound, shoreless
prefer interior spaces
wary of open vistas
equally vulnerable

intent on

I flee
lair – enter
into darker

Destiny –
creativity’s cousin –
awaits, tail raised
in venomous arc –
dances a warning
does not

melts into
particles of



Reticent Poet

Find me in the audience,
three rows back, amidst
enthusiasts, humbled by
your expertise, perched,

questions burning tongue,
too reticent to find a voice,
afraid of being discovered,
ridiculed, or misconstrued,

as if you found my poetry,
see only the images formed
there, miss the raw emotion.
I’d want to scream “Stop!”

Too many polished writers
whose words, in black and
white, float through the web
while mine are immobilized

Yet, I return, hungry to feast
from the same banquet, miss
what is being served up, as I
have no plate ready to receive.


Always wanted to travel,
dreamed of exotic places,
thriving metropolises,
worthwhile destinations –
where I’d be
a somebody,
make a difference,

Aptitude tests proclaimed proclivity –
candidate for leadership –
confidence to reach to the top,
know-how unnecessary,
if the hat fits,
I’d wear it –

Wasn’t prepared for the halt
in progress – ending up
in rural Ontario, nothing
but a mall for entertainment –
told myself life is what
you make it –
keep your chin up,
and all that.

Let a few of my dreams slide,
they’d be better off
without me, moved on
before I could reclaim them,
abandoned common sense
for irrationality; a call
for help

Assured others I was all right,
not to worry,
swallowed anxiety,
choked on my confusion,
broke down when the road
ended again,
there is no control center,
only ability

to respond,
and that sometimes
life leap-frogs
and sometimes
backwards is forwards;
is topsy-turvy
and not a well-oiled machine,
and no matter the direction,
the journey
will be

Open To Healing

Open to healing –
delve into the subconscious
create a space for inspiration.

Ignore limited capabilities –
no offerings are meager –
enter with pure intentions.

Embrace new starts
have faith in ability
be spurred into action.

The Self holds the answers,
creative expression is the key.
No expertise required.

Creative Process

Routine, I find, is both a comfort and a discomfort.  Stripped of all routine when I first became ill, I floundered about looking for some order to the resulting chaos.  I longed for a routine, like a navigational device, to help me define exactly where I was in all the madness.  (Still compass-less I’m afraid.)

At the same time, I fear a numbing sameness – a morose monotony of nonsensical repetition.  I remember doing anything to break the boredom – taking a different route home from work, turning my lessons upside down, or rearranging the classroom – anything to invite new energy.

I feel the same about writing.  It is seductive to find a comfort zone and stay there – convincing myself that this is perfecting my craft, however; I suspect a trap.  Ego, I’ve noted, likes to sabotage.  Exploration is the only way to expand creativity and ignite revelation.

Let me illustrate.  Take a simple thought:

I cried because I was alone
then opening my eyes
discovered another
also alone
my image in the mirror.

Possibly interesting concept, dull delivery.  The image craves development.  One thing I have been experimenting with (wherever possible) is removing pronouns, or any references that personalize my poetry.

loneliness cried
opening eyes
discovered another
also alone
mirror image

Well, this is better, but sounds like a flowery way of saying misery loves company and that’s not the essence I wanted to capture.  What if I do some word/concept association?  Will this help me expand my ideas?

loneliness – feeling of rejection, abandonment, not belonging, desire unrequited, left out
crying – tears, release, unable to contain, unrestrained emotion, grief
open-eyed – awakening, willing to see, open to possibility, searchingdiscovery – new appreciation, renewed hope, joy, alternatives, perspective
other – outsider, relationship, communion, community, connection
alone – isolated, cut-off, solitude, retreat, respite
mirror image – reflection, reversal, commonality, empathy/sympathy, not alone

Not sure this helped, but I’ll try putting it back together using the associations.  Maybe I’ll play up the personification.

abandoned and rejected,
grieved unrestrained,
then willingly,
opening to possibility,
discovered hope,
in solitude –
not alone.

I like this better – the message is more satisfying.  What happens if I turn the whole thing upside (taking liberties, of course)?

In solitude,
discovers –
hope, and
possibility –

unrestrained grief

Wow – I like this even more.  I feel as if it is an invitation from the soul to grieve.

I challenge you to explore and expand your own writing.  What hidden messages await your discovery?

Day 242 Arrogance and Humility

Humility prepares the way,
selfless, focused on servitude
lending a patient ear to each possibility
befriending challenge with an open mind.

Arrogance arrives late
a cloud of disruption, reeking
of too much perfume,
dressed like a dominatrix
commanding attention.

Such display of total disregard
triggers Humility’s vulnerability
causing hesitation and in that fateful
moment, surrendering control.
Arrogance thrives on chaos.

Humility chokes but regains
perspective, politely, assertively
suggesting Arrogance’s help
is appreciated, but not necessary.
Arrogance whirls and glares.

Feeling the pressure, Humility
holds firm and reaches deep within
and curiously, unexpectedly sees a light
Arrogance has ignited inspiration!

Day 238 One Woman’s Quest

I started this blog in 2011 as a gift to myself.  I had just undergone a lumpectomy to remove abnormal cells from my right breast, and was awaiting the results.  Because of the Christmas holiday, I would not hear for five weeks.  Those were five long weeks, and a whole gamut of thoughts and emotions.

Since that time, my husband has been diagnosed with and received treatment for Stage III, Prostrate cancer, and while I escaped the ‘C’ word, I am now confined to my home with ME/CFS.

But life has not been just struggle.  At the same time as I awaited word, I found out that my middle daughter was pregnant with our second grandchild – a joy that never ends!

Nor were these the first challenges that I had faced in my life, just more in a long line, actually.

So why a quest?  What is that a woman of mature age quests for?

Let me try to answer.

I seek a sense of autonomy in my life – to be able to feel that my decisions/ needs/ wants are not overshadowed by the dictates of another, or a past that is always looming.

I want to know what it means to feel truly empowered.  To know, for once and for all, that I have laid the victim to rest and instead, embraced my authentic self.

I want to live life from a place of inner peace; a trust that no matter what life throws at me, I can continue, because I believe in myself.  And in that peace, I want to know what it feels like to live without guilt, need for permission, or a sense of unworthiness.  I want to be able to forgive (myself and others) in order to be free.

I want to be able to breath freely and stand firmly upon this sacred Earth and make a difference.  To engage with life.  To seek understanding and share passion with all people – no exclusions.

I want to live a life that at the end of my time I will want to celebrate, so that my dying words will be:  I did it!

I am not there yet.  As Robert Frost said, I have “miles to go before I sleep”, and so I quest on.

At least now you know what I am looking for, and if at some point you and I should meet in these pages, maybe you could share a little of your wisdom, and I might come closer to finding my own truth.