Ivory Brushed with Starlight

This piece was originally published by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective


are you angel or demon

man with ivory wings

brushed with starlight

and indigo eyes?

you are still

silent

but your ancient eyes say

that you have seen the color

of my soul

have studied it contours

 

your nostrils flair slightly

scenting my blood in the air

you see the crisscrosses

carved deep on my palms

at your knowing look

the knife in my hand drops

from suddenly nerveless fingers

blood wells from the cuts

dripping to the ground

consecrating the earth

you gently capture my wrists

cup my hands in yours

as golden tears drop from your

otherworldly eyes

fall onto my damaged skin

transfixed I watch your sorrow

heal my wounds

 

you release my hands

to cup my face reverently

your kiss is honey and cardamom

i am filled with your light

and as your soul expands

to fill all my damaged places

i see the cosmos dance in my head

understand the mysteries of the oceans

feel the warmth of the sun

and in a flash of brilliant understanding

know that my humble heart

matters to you

and I am transformed

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Eulogy for the Fairy Princess

Your words of sacred poetry

Take me back to the time

When I wasn’t broken

Before I was collateral damage

To the war fought over this body

 

You wrap me in a cloak of

Secret language

Sing a eulogy for my

Innocence lost

Evoke memories of

My heart whole

Soul pure

Hope and trust intact

 

This re-membering

Of unsullied past

Feels as mythical

As Santa Clause or unicorns

But you create the shape of me

In words so beautiful

So powerful

With such  sincerity

That even I can see

The shimmering outline

Of the girl I used to be

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Ivory Brushed with Starlight

This piece was originally posted by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective


are you angel or demon

man with ivory wings

brushed with starlight

and indigo eyes?

you are still and silent

but your ancient eyes say

that you have seen the color

of my soul

have studied it contours

 

your nostrils flair slightly

scenting my blood in the air

you see the crisscrosses

carved deep on my palms

at your knowing look

the knife in my hand drops

from suddenly nerveless fingers

blood wells from the cuts

dripping to the ground

consecrating the earth

you gently capture my wrists

cup my hands in yours

as golden tears drop from your

otherworldly eyes

fall onto my damaged skin

transfixed I watch your sorrow

heal my wounds

 

you release my hands

to cup my face reverently

your kiss is honey and cardamom

i am filled with your light

and as your soul expands

to fill all my damaged places

i see the cosmos dance in my head

understand the mysteries of the oceans

feel the warmth of the sun

and in a flash of brilliant understanding

know that my humble heart

matters to you

and I am transformed

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Finding Our Voices

I have heard a few times that my writing voice is very emotional, very raw, very visceral.  I have been told that it can sometimes make people uncomfortable, that it can make them cry. One reader wrote to me tonight and asked if writing has helped me heal and whether sharing my writing with others has helped me heal. I think these are incredibly thoughtful questions.

When I started my blog back in October I had no idea that I had anything to say.  I was just trying to get one post in an easily accessible place.  I had not written poetry since the early 1990s and I had no idea that dam was about to burst and that a lifetime of experience was going to rush out of me.  Writing about my feelings, about my experiences, quickly became a form of therapy.  It has helped me in so many ways.

Writing helps me let go of some of the heavy weight of these hard, isolating feelings. It lets me dump them out on the screen and step back and really examine them. Sometimes not even I understand the import or meaning of what I have written until I can do that. This processing doesn’t happen all at once, but is an ongoing process.  I continue to learn about myself, about how I see and experience my world, through my writing.

One of the most powerful discoveries for me about my writing is that I have the capacity to serve as a voice for the voiceless. I am deeply humbled every time somebody tells me that I have captured their experience, their feelings, perfectly. What an amazing honor and privilege it is to hear that someone who is living with depression, going through a medical crisis, struggling with PTSD or who has experienced sexual trauma feels less alone because of something I have written!

It has been incredibly powerful and liberating to find my writing voice. I strongly believe that poetry does not need to be obscure or abstract–not that there is anything wrong with being obscure or abstract, it simply is not my style. Poetry can affirm, it can teach, it can connect and yes, I do believe that it can heal. Every time I write and publish my work I assert that my truth, that the truth of others who have shared my experiences, has value. That my voice, that our collective voices, matter.  There is incredible healing power in finding our voices, in speaking our truths.

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Badass Bitch (Revisited)

loss stacked up

like firewood gathered for a long cold winter on the front porch

death and abandonment so frequent

that loss deserved it’s own theme song in the soundtrack of her life

 

there had been those who had touched her

against her will out of sexual perversion

or perhaps out of sadism

did it really matter which?

who had enjoyed watching her powerlessness

had enjoyed watching her squirm

had enjoyed hurting and humiliating her

when she was young and unable to protect herself

with fast feet, camouflage or razor tongue,

her bubbling rage ready to explode

to incinerate

 

tumultuous long-term relationship

with an alcoholic and drug addict

because she thrived in the chaos

knew what was expected of her there

she didn’t know what to do when the waters were calm, quiet

always waiting for the other shoe to drop

for the disaster lurking around the corner to happen

to catch her unaware

 

there had been tear-filled heartbreak nights

spent playing melissa etheridge

over and over on dark porches

chest ripped open

bleeding heart exposed to chill air

pain oozing out of her pores

 

episodes of depression

of anxiety

mood swings so extreme

that her will to survive

thinned out

became tenuous

long nights spent contemplating

how easy it would be to walk out that 13th floor window and just fall

 

parental guilt that was breathtaking

as she struggled

not to become either of her damaged parents

no blueprint for how to do this well

how to do this right

trying to inhabit the middle

rather than the edges

trying to break generational patterns

not repeat the legacies she had inherited

 

years spent developing the fine art

of psychic self-harm

learning to inflict pain

faster

harder

deeper

than life ever could

helping her maintain the illusion of control

reassuring herself that she was

strong

stoic

up to the task of survival

 

life had not always been easy

or kind to her

but she does not want

need

your pity

there is no room for pity

in this game of survival

where the stakes are quite literally

sanity or madness

life or death

 

remember that she is a badass bitch

that fight courses through her veins

that her heartbeat whispers survival

that she breathes fire

and she has only just begun

slaying demons

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Eulogy for the Fairy Princess

Your words of sacred poetry

Take me back to the time

When I wasn’t broken

Before I was collateral damage

To the war fought over this body

 

You wrap me in a cloak of

Secret language

Sing a eulogy for my

Innocence lost

Evoke memories of

My heart whole

Soul pure

Hope and trust intact

 

This re-membering

Of unsullied past

Feels as mythical

As Santa Clause or unicorns

But you create the shape of me

In words so beautiful

So powerful

With such  sincerity

That even I can see

The shimmering outline

Of the girl I used to be