Category Archives: Me and my shadow

Vast Reaches

The time has come
to search beyond fears
and trepidations of
long instilled torments
and reach for pinnacles,
scary but alluring,
rather than remaining
sequestered behind walls
built to protect,
to put the soldier,
always holding the fort,
maintaining structure
and security to rest
to experience peaks and valleys,
of knowledge and understanding,
loving and letting in,
sharing and fighting . . .

It is a time
for new beginnings,
an exploration of the sense,
questing for gratification,
in opening oneself up
to the frailties and strengths
never before explored.

The time has come
to love, to like, to play
… to be and be with,
to be at home
within the vast reaches
inside myself

The volume of a voice

Sometimes I feel like a voice in the wilderness – not connecting or being heard. I’m not a screamer by nature so it’s more like “ah, hello, is anyone out there? can you hear me?” in soft whispers. I want to connect but I’m too often the scratching noise at the end of an old phonograph album. White noise with a mild irritation perhaps, but something that needs to be changed.

I wonder what to write about. What matters to others? Do I have something to say more than trite, banal quips? I fancy myself a writer . . . oh, I know I’ll never be Proust or Dumas. Not even Berry or Silva, or even some self-published, harried someone rushing from libraries to bookstores to get their agreement to let me read my writings or display my book. {mostly because I can’t afford it and maybe not have the guts – those copies would be gathering dust in boxes in my apartment} I’m more like a church mouse hiding in the organ pipes, head clanging away when the songs are played. I hide.

Today I mentioned to someone that I have maybe 40 or 50 followers – wait for it – 74!!! Okay, I know that’s not a lot by a lot of standards but considering not one or my friends or family read my site, it’s not bad. I worry about that. I write about some deeply personal things and have come under the forbidding glare of a relative’s eye when they read a paper draft of something or other.

So I’m not sure how to grow my site by conventional methods. Do I start a new Facebook page and link it? One I don’t give my family address to? And how does Twitter work? Perhaps that can stay out of the family focus.

I publish in a couple of newsletters, one being my church. Poem after poem went into it for a while and my sister never commented on them, even when reading it while sitting right next to me. When I asked her why she said, “What do you want me to say? I don’t go in for that kind of thing”. My kids don’t like my stuff either. And the worst part is, I let their comments and non-comments affect me. Shut me down a little more.

So please – be the voice who responds to my whisper. Give me your thoughts about growing my site while remaining anonymous to those near to me while remaining completely accessible to those far from me. Be honest with your feed back. Feel free to shout your answers, or whisper, I’ll be listening.

A Teddy’s Story

Once there was a little brown bear,
given by a little girl’s mother
who had never had a bear
or any other toy in her childhood.

Teddy (not imaginative, just precise)
was precious beyond all else.
From babyhood to almost adulthood
Teddy slept with the girl every night.
He knew every secret, the deepest,
darkest, most remote,
close to the surface or
tucked so deep within, the girl
couldn’t even know them for herself.

His fur had been pulled in places
chewed on as the girl ruminated,
like a boy in the country
might chew on a straw.
She’d tried the replace the fur
with green thread and stitches
close to where Teddy’s heart was.

As she got older, she knew
she’d sleep with him
until a man replaced his spot,
and worried about that comfort
being gone but would
never share all her feelings,
and certainly not all her secrets.

Then came the time her family moved
and all the girl’s toys, books, linens,
memorabilia from high school,
was gone, fallen from a moving van
into the mover’s hands
for his little girl.

But Teddy, he was so worn –
how would anyone else ever know
his life, his history,
how he kept the little girl
glued together in times of trouble,
sorrow and joy? Where did he go?
She became so upset
just thinking about it.
of all she lost
he was what mattered most.
Thinking he was in a landfill somewhere
tore her heart.

All these many years later,
she still has distant remembrances,
wishing he was still here
to listen to the stories,
hear the secrets, and
be the best friend she’d ever had.

I dreamt you died

I dreamt you died last night
and a week went by before
I realized you had slipped
out of my consciousness
and into another of your choosing.
My heart bled little one,
I couldn’t imagine a life
without your shining face
reflecting back on mine.

You are the mirror of my madness,
the being who forces me
to resolve the tortured places within,
for if I don’t, yours is the life
most likely to suffer.

Parenting requires me to turn
my soul inside out,
like shaking pennies from a piggy bank,
seeing what it holds,
then stuffing them back in again,
known commodities.

Each day forces you to examine
your premises, expectations,
under a finely tuned microscope
until I am sure,
cemented in the knowledge
I am offering all that is best . . .
releasing the worst . . .
before irrevocable damage happens
to the sponge of your young mind.

Each day I awaken
to a little mourning,
a small keening of my soul,
for your encroaching lack of innocence,
the slow evolvement from purity
to detachment and
a rethinking of how life is
forced by big and little
tragedies of your days.

If I could hold you back,
heal your wounds,  I would.
In owning my responsibility to you,
my spirit must strength,
while letting go of control,
so you can be the adult meant to be,

and be free, wholly yours
so as not to not die week before I notice.

esmeralda with her hair

 

And the words they turn ’round and ’round

Just when I thought they were gone
(dirty, nasty things)
those little voices returned
like five year olds-
taunting their teacher
incessantly nagging in high
whiney voices,
to shatter any semblance
of peace and calm

Crushing new-found confidence
they tread on faltering egos
destroying all feelings
of worth, of respect
for myself.

Leaving the senses reeling,
Swaying on unsteady feet,
teetering at the brink
of an endless abyss
half-wishing to fall.

Those chattering images
of visions long stored
in deep recesses of the mind
negate a return to sanity.

Hopelessly forcing a surrender
through clenched teeth
to my defeat –
destroyed by voices of the past.

(I wrote this in 1981.  What sickens me is that so much is still the same.
But it is real, it is truth. Perhaps it deserves its day in the sun.
I was clearly Bipolar even then. As the days go by, I see the mask of
pain I wore, wear, still dragging at me – but now it makes me
nauseous to read, hopeful to grow, wanting more, so much more
than the banality of depression, starting to evolve – at 60 no less.)

Within and beyond

Everything crowds in,
the noise, the clamor of people
moving through their lives,
touching but untouched,
feeling but not felt,
somnambulists in a dance
of private reckoning,
cascading into aloneness,
remote, isolated,
awash in the debri
of scattered necessities,
one thing rising upon
the ashes of another,
over and over again,
as we drift through
our separate realities
thinking, deceptively,
that we are connected.

The voices of others
chafe beneath my skin,
their needs, expectations,
burdens upon which I dwell
in meaningless observance.
Their voices drown my own,
grate, chafe.
Their voices drown my own,
grate, overwhelm,
and the voice within cries
for peace, solitude, relief,
from the unending stream of demands.
Yet still I wonder
if it is all those voices
which are burdening me so,
or just the echo within
of unsolvable problems,
which knaw at me,
day after blinding day,
in unending procession.
as

Prime Time

Sometimes words need to be spoken.
Not for posterity or fame
but to be one voice in the vast wilderness
of the cacophony of noise.

Perhaps I’m so shell-shocked
because of my traumatic brain injury
and bipolar issues . . .
the need for silence, surcease of pain.

Still, I need to be with people,
ones who understand,
who don’t question me
or condemn my behavior.
Perhaps in limited doses –
but it is essential to me.

Prime Time gives me that.
No judgment, no shame.
Friends and guides . . .
ones to help me down my path
to remind me there is one
and I have a necessary place on it.