Rescue You

One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a parent and a friend is that we sometimes cannot rescue the people we so desperately want to.  Sometimes we can only offer our imperfect love, bear witness,  offer our presence.  Johnnyswim’s Rescue You (below) popped into my head today while talking to a friend– we have shared experience with the pain of realizing that we cannot always protect people we love from themselves.  This poem is for him.


I see you drowning in the choppy waters

Of this complicated life

You are engaged in a never-ending battle

With the punishing tides

Buffeted, tossed head over heels by the waves

 

It is clear that you are bone tired

That your limbs are heavy

Your clothes water-logged, dragging you down

You are struggling to tread water

But you refuse to swim back to the safety of shore

 

I respect your decision, understand your dilemma

You alone are holding the balance between

The ocean and the moon

Single-handedly maintaining the gravitational orbit

Preventing catastrophe

 

I hurt for you, it is so much responsibility

I cannot rescue you if you will not accept my proffered hand

You will not save yourself

But perhaps you will let me help carry the load

However briefly

 

I kick off my shoes, take off my socks

Swim out to you, dragging the flotation devices

In my wake

One for you, one for me

I know that this solves nothing in the long run

But I will offer what relief I can my friend

And not leave you out here drowning alone

 

Resurrection

I rise from the dead well

My  gift is self-resurrection

I  have brought myself back to life

A time or two before

Inserted the IV with my own hand

Cut through my skin with my teeth

Spread my own ribs

Applied the volts of electricity

Directly to my dead heart

Shocked it back until the heartbeat resumed

A normal sinus rhythym

Before the code was officially called

Body bag lying unused in the corner

Discharged myself from the hospital

Against medical advice

Stitches raw, oozing

Loosely covered in gauze

Walked out the sliding glass doors

Wearing only my hospital gown

And institutionally issued non-skid socks

Into the waiting night

Winter’s Chill

This piece was originally published on the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective‘s WordPress page. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to visit this page and read some of the brilliant work written by this talented group of writers and visionaries. I am honored to have a place there.

Brave and Reckless

This piece was originally published on the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective‘s WordPress page.  I cannot encourage you strongly enough to visit this page and read some of the brilliant work written by this talented group of writers and visionaries.  I am honored to have a place there.


Winter is starting

To settle into my bones

Making itself at home

The cold steals silent,

Stealthy under doorways and seeps

Through the small cracks in my armor

Looking for firm purchase

Conspiring to steal my warmth

Chilling my nose, my toes

My fingertips

The flat gray December skies

Speak of future snow

Will it be a flurry

Or a blizzard, I wonder?

The days grow short

The nights grow long

And as sleep is often as evasive

As a child playing hide and seek with me

In a many roomed Victorian house

Full of small hidey-holes

This darkness can feel endless

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SOMEBODY SPOKE FOR THE INFANTS

A fierce voice you should be reading.

CELONA'S BLOG

“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”
Voltaire, Zadig

MURSI TRIBESWOMAN MURSI TRIBESWOMAN

From the southern clans in Yemen
To the eastern valleys in Nigeria
Petulance and greed staking it’s claim
Even in the northern hills of Aleppo
Mourns and wails with no tame
As the children became less valid
Innocency set ablaze
As all men chases own stake
Tankers replacing serenity of infants stay

How often should we see their faces gloom
And the bright sparkles in their eyes fade
Christmas carols scraped
For the loud cheers of songs of sorrows
Childhood was never intended to last forever
But those few years
Replaced with fear, force and fury
The little ones made no request for golden palace
All they wanted was freedom to play

Your children know and own pleasant place
For God’s sake
This little ones just want to carry…

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I’m Only Pretending

The sad, beautiful sigh of an aching heart.

RamJet Poetry

passion

I lay down, resting head upon granite cold

slowly drowning in my pool of melancholic

petty selfish ignorance, so old

you realize, I’m only pretending

o way o, I will need your support

please help me up off the floor, it cannot be, abort

a void drawing in failings because I cannot seem

to get up to redeem

you, I should carefully disguise

foolish thoughts

Must destroy what you made before

I can live again

I’m falling too fast and I fear

the angel’s scorn, she would not

teach me to fly my dear

I lost faith in myself somewhere in your touch

God Damn it all, I used to have strength

I so want to hate you, my Delilah

I wasn’t really pretending, not so much

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Pandora’s Box

I am not sure

That I went to bed tonight

The same woman I woke up

 

It was an act of boldness

Of courage, of put-on-your-big-girl-pants

That led me to finally open Pandora’s box today

 

Old battered Whitman sampler tin

Holding the flotsam and jetsam

Of my ever absent father’s life

 

I thought I was prepared

For the types of truths it held

The hand written letters

 

Ghosts calling from the past

My quest had been to finally face

Whether my madness was his madness

 

Did my poet’s soul

Vibrate in frequency with his?

Three generation inheritance

 

Of dyslexia, depression and poetic passion

Trying to glean an understanding

Of nature vs nurture

 

But that humble box

Did not answer those questions

Instead the contents of Pandora’s box

 

Revealed a man whose

Letters to his mother were stunning in their

Child-like expression in hand-writing so similar to my own

 

But the biggest surprise

Was to discover

That the few truths

 

I thought I had been entrusted with

About my parents, about our family

Were a fantasy, a fabrication

 

Refuted by an unexpected

Voice from their past

Were these lies, half-truths told

 

To protect me

To protect his memory

To protect her?

 

There is no objective truth to be sought here

No case to put a detective on

The only players able to provide any insight

 

Are long-silenced

And I am left alone in the wee hours

To sort through the broken pieces

 

Trying to reconcile

Who I thought they were

Who I thought we were

With the contents of this Pandora’s box

 

She Is Soul and Stories – A Collaboration

Fabulous collaborative piece from Michelle Schaper, Stephanie Bennett-Henry and Nicole Lyons

The Lithium Chronicles

Tiny stories crawl beneath her skin.
Sometimes they breathe love from her heart,
dropping kisses from her soul
and other times they drag sadness
through her core and stay hidden
behind her eyes.

© Michelle Schaper 2016

Until the memories find their way inside,
exploding the tears through the blue,
through the brown, puncturing the disguise
of whatever color her chameleon soul told
her to be; self-preservation comes in many shades,
and hers happens to be beautiful, with or without
a smile, because there are many stories to hold
when the ink is born from your blood.

© Stephanie Bennett-Henry 2016

Bursting tall tales
from ink smeared lips; she holds
her stories close. Suffering
the burn of words left unsaid scorched
into her spirit.
She spills her secrets onto deaf souls
and she aches,
to open her own to eyes
that would finally read her.

© Nicole Lyons 2016

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Winter’s Chill

This piece was originally published on the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective‘s WordPress page.  I cannot encourage you strongly enough to visit this page and read some of the brilliant work written by this talented group of writers and visionaries.  I am honored to have a place there.


Winter is starting

To settle into my bones

Making itself at home

The cold steals silent,

Stealthy under doorways and seeps

Through the small cracks in my armor

Looking for firm purchase

Conspiring to steal my warmth

Chilling my nose, my toes

My fingertips

 

The flat gray December skies

Speak of future snow

Will it be a flurry

Or a blizzard, I wonder?

The days grow short

The nights grow long

And as sleep is often as evasive

As a child playing hide and seek with me

In a many roomed Victorian house

Full of small hidey-holes

This darkness can feel endless

Unrelenting

 

I worry that winter’s frost

Is starting to form

Over the delicate tissue

Of my heart

Making my blood slow and sluggish

That it will crystalize on my soul

Encasing me, trapping me

Under a clear sheet of ice

Thick, hard, muffling my voice

 

I fight to resist this

Encroaching winter

This mournful twilight

But I am isolated

In this icy landscape

Full of skeletal trees

Frozen puddles surrounded

By hard mud that crunches

Under my frozen feet

I feel transparent

Thin somehow

Have I become a ghost?

I seek a lantern in the darkness

Or a bright red cardinal

To break up this

Bleak, white tundra

The Daily Song: Whiskey and Me Chris Stapleton

Music is an integral part of my creative process, is one of the deepest parts of my soul.  The first time I ever heard Chris Stapleton sing Whiskey and Me was a revelation.  Few songs have ever gotten under my skin the way this does.  It only recently occurred to me that this song-his voice- has a rawness, an emotional honesty, that reminds me of my own voice as a poet.  Perhaps I am being fanciful– I realize that my own humble words don’t belong in the same sentence as Chris Stapleton’s brilliance in this song– but I feel a real kinship with how he tells this truth.  I feel like this could be the part of my soul that I discover at 3 am sitting alone at my computer when I think that I have nothing left to say.



Whiskey and Me

Written by Lee Miller, Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Stapleton, Christopher Stapleton

There’s a bottle on the dresser by your ring
And it’s empty so right now I don’t feel a thing
I’ll be hurting when I wake up on the floor
But I’ll be over it by noon
That’s the difference between whiskey and you
Come tomorrow, I can walk in any store
It ain’t a problem, they’ll always sell me more
But your forgiveness
Well, that’s something I can’t buy
There ain’t a thing that I can do
That’s the difference between whiskey and you

One’s the devil, one keeps driving me insane
At times I wonder if they ain’t both the same
But one’s a liar that helps to hide me from my pain
And one’s the long gone bitter truth
That’s the difference between whiskey and you

I’ve got a problem but it ain’t like what you think
I drink because I’m lonesome and I’m lonesome ’cause I drink
But if I don’t break down and bring it on myself
It’ll hit out of the blue
That’s the difference between whiskey and you

One’s the devil, one keeps driving me insane
At times I wonder, oh if they ain’t both the same
But one’s a liar that helps to hide me from my pain
And one’s the long gone bitter truth
That’s the difference between whiskey and you

Ah, that’s the difference between whiskey and you