Merman Poem

Mermaids have fascinated me since I was a little girl. This is a twist on the traditional story. The photos are from trips I took to local beaches near me.

Merman

Reflections cast in a mirror

But, it’s not me I see

A girl with hair of gold

Eyes like the sea

Darkness, shadows in my eyes

As storms rage and then subside

Waves crash on the rocks of my heart

Pale as the sand the ocean wears

I search for him I call with eyes closed

 

Praying for him

He is the other half of me

He belongs to me as does the sea

He caresses me like the rain

Soft gentle kisses to numb my pain

On the rock where we met

I wait for him

 

In the strongest storms

I can feel him near

I taste him on the air

I run to the water

Hoping he’s still there

 

But, as I reach where he might have been

The calm of the water says

I’ve missed him again

And just like before

A white shell as promised,

I find 
 On the shore —

 

My rescuer has swam off again

Where he commands all that share his ocean den

His subjects do not reveal his place

On a bed of seaweed sleeping

He waits …for me.

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Ghost of She

This poem is meant to pose the question to the reader.. In the face of loss and despair over the death of a loved one do we become ghosts? What I mean by that is emotionally does the living become trapped in the past?  As ghosts haunt and revisit the places they once left and never move on does the living in its own reality plane do the same? Can both be ghosts? This poem is meant to challenge the ideal that to be a ghost you must be dead… I don’t think you have to be dead to be a ghost.

Ghost of She

My ritual walk begins
Down the path we used to travel
Blustery winds blow the tricolored leaves
I march on past the old fence gate
Creaking it swings to and fro
Loud crunching of leaves
Begins to cancel out my thoughts
Reaching the end of the road
Street lights flicker and hum
Turning to the right, from memory
Pavement old from wear
Crumbles and crunches under my boots
Seeing my mark
I slow to a stop
The house is vacant
Full of dark emptiness
Standing under the elm tree
Leaning on its branches
I wait patiently —
Chimes from the church begin
Ringing in the hour
A soft light appears
Glowing the once bedroom window
The light travels slowly, dutifully
Down the long hallway
Spilling into the void living room
That’s when I see her
Brilliant and white
A delicate face stares out the window
I watch her a moment
Resist the urge to wave
Slowly her features fade
Luminosity dims and vanishes
My walk back is long
Contemplating the reasons why
We both are ghosts
One living and one dead
But of the two —
Who is haunting who?

Homage: Deuxième Partie

The conclusion of my Poem Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

Part III

“I never meant to cause you trouble, I never meant to cause you harm…”

The dream is real
The danger is near
I am in the tempest of fear
I walk in and there she is
Radio is alive and she’s on the floor
Maybe this too is a dream,
Maybe I am insane?
No one believes me
“I am what I am, I’ll do what I want…I can’t hide…I won’t go…I can’t breathe..”
She is gone in the white van with lights
I am left lost
I know this is the beginning
Of the end.

In and out she goes
Where she stops no one knows
Nursing home, place, assisted living
All adjectives I am sick of
All lost their feeling
Locked ones unlocked ones,
Doors with locks but no key
My mind is a swirl
Why so many times?
Why so many places?
“You used to speak so easy…your afraid to talk to me….it’s like walking with the wounded… out there with the wounded… and were missing you…”
My life is a tempest,
I am the continent being battered
By the storm
My personal El Nino

“Sometimes it takes a long time for the candle to burn out… sometimes it takes a long time for the bird to fly the coup.” (CAH)
I sit there in the dark
Listening to her chat
She and I are from the same cloth
Same blood, same bone
We were on the same page always
But now things are different
The pages are ripped and torn
The book works backwards
Erasing words, thoughts, hopes
I race to read its contents
All that’s left is lost phrases to a song
In my mind I recall a time when we read it together
I am left to read it alone.
The book of life is mine to discover

I walk alone now on this road
With her notes in my head
And his words in my heart
Why can’t I replay time?
I wonder if the choices I make are right
Would they exclaim “Oh, NO!”
Would they say “it will be alright ?”
Time will tell for me
If this book is the one that will save me
Or damn me.
I fill its pages now with hope.

 

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Notes from the Writer: The music mentioned helped form the backdrop for this piece. In Loving Memory of CAH

  1. Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
  2. White Christmas -Bing Crosby
  3. Cheek to Cheek – Fred Astaire
  4. Trouble – Coldplay
  5. Here with me – Dido
  6. Wounded – Third Eye Blind

 

Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

   One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.                            

   Part I

    She is scared

    She doesn’t know why

    So am I

    What lies in the shadows?

    I remember when she wasn’t so lost

    I wasn’t lost then

    I hold her hand in the dark

    But she can’t remember..

    

    “Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”

     “Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,

     If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”

     I wonder if she will remember me?

     She forgets the names, faces, and places

     We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece

      I hope I am in green

      She is a shell of her former self

     And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride

    “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”

     “Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?

       I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”

       “We all don’t have forever.”

       “I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”

        I watched her in the doorway

        Eyes lit with unshed tears

        The tree was up and lit like always

        The ornaments her children had made

        And her children’s children

Part II

“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”

      “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know

     Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”

        She has her hand against her chest in a sigh

         It is the tree of strength

          It is grandpa

         It is a monument to our family

         It reminds me of the years past

          She exclaims at last

         “It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”

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Did You Just Gaslight Me?

      Many people associate the fall with pumpkins, lattes, and comfy sweaters but the month of October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Typically this month is when I see numerous Breast Cancer “Pink Ribbon” Campaigns. We see pink ribbon memorabilia, donation pink commercials on TV, and walking for awareness. I think very rarely if ever have I seen awareness events or commercials touching on this issue. It appears that society is finally okay with the concept of discussing breasts and the need for screenings but still remains quiet on issue of abuse, rape, and domestic violence. This issue has remained a taboo subject that is known about but seems to be as illusive as unicorns as far as public interest is concerned.

       I think the general consensus in our society is that the definition of  “domestic violence” or “abuse” is mainly physical, this is simply not true.  Abuse can be any number of things to include the controlling of finances, manipulation, and verbal abuse. A form of abuse that I just learned about while watching the movie Gaslight is the phenomenon of  “Gaslighting.” Gaslighted or Gaslighting is the process of causing “ a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation”   Gaslighting is more than just moving picture frames and dimming lights as you watch Ingrid Bergman in the film desperately try and remember where she put the broach. Gaslighting is a slow psychological break, which leaves the victim feeling as though they are unable to function normally without others help. The victim often finds themselves lacking the confidence to make simple decisions, the ability to think for themselves, and as you watch in the film the victim often secludes themselves for fear of making mistakes.

gaslightmovieI know most people will exclaim “oh that will never happen to me!” But, gaslighting can happen between more than just a significant other and yourself. It can happen between parent to child, boss to employee, and friend to friend. Can you honestly say that you have never met a toxic person? A person that somehow managed to make you doubt every choice you ever made? This person is someone who can get into your psyche because they know you and your weaknesses and make you feel like you are a constant screw up. Perhaps it never reaches the extreme of becoming completely helpless as Bergman does in the film, but if you have answered yes to any of scenarios above then you can acknowledge that it is indeed possible. It can happen to anyone. Abuse is not gender, race, age, or sexual orientation specific.

  As I look back on some of my early dating experiences I can say I made some bad choices. One in particular stands out from all the rest. He was smart, talented, witty and we seemed to be a good match. But, as most people know abuse doesn’t start out as abuse. The person is usually a narcissist and in this case that definition fits the bill. He made me feel like a piece of garbage. There wasn’t a thing I could do right. Things that I felt so confident with like cooking, writing, and being a people person I started to question. He would often remark “ you know, for a smart girl you can be really stupid sometimes.” Then we ended up moving into an apartment that was farther away from my family. I would get in trouble for calling my mom, or for wanting to go visit. Thats when I knew something was truly wrong. The reality was I was young, and he was my first real boyfriend. I cared for him, and I wanted him to be happy. If only I had washed that pan correctly. If only I could iron a shirt like he showed me.

It took a break down over french toast at a breakfast joint with my mom one morning to make my decision. I had to get out of where I was, and I had to leave now. I think within two days time after a major argument I had gathered all my belongings in trash bags and a UHAUL was called.  Sadly, for some people this process is not so easy. The guilt of leaving coupled with the failure you feel for not realizing sooner I can honestly say is crippling. But you learn a lot about yourself in the next couple of months. You start to discover who you are again, and although the situation is terrible you gain a strength that is unmatched.

octoberawarenessThere is no question that awareness has helped educate people about Breast Cancer. The same can be said for Skin Cancer when every summer we see articles and commercials on moles, sunblock, and wearing protective clothing. Why would awareness not be just as effective with this issue? I believe that society has come a long way but we are not where we should be on this issue. It shouldn’t take a celebrity to remind us that it happens and that its real.  Lucky for Bergman she gained the help of a Scotland Yard detective and was able to free herself of her prison. But, for those of us who don’t have a detective watching our backs knowledge is power. My hope is that society will come to accept this is a real and current issue and treat it with just as much gusto as we do with all our other causes. Perhaps most of all, I wish for the stigma of yesterday to be forgotten.

Notes from the Writer:  If anyone is interested in watching the movie Gaslight, which I highly recommend the link below gives the synopsis. If anyone would like to learn more about gaslighting check out the links posted.  

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036855/

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/the-effects-of-gaslighting-in-narcissistic-victim-syndrome/

http://counsellingresource.com/features/2011/11/08/gaslighting/

 

 

photo credit: oneredsf1 Charles Boyer & Ingrid Bergman (1) via photopin (license)

Transitional Beauty Poem

In this time of seasonal transformation it seems natural to look inward and observe our own personal “seasons.”

 

img_4213Change is always there

On the horizon

Golden gilded hopes of sun

To faded wilted petals

withered leaves of loss

Bowing to the inevitable

Defeating slowly they fall

The crunch of crushed days

Rotting away, to decay

Cold winds cut like knives

Blankets of white fall

Dark days and long nights

Ice creates a shiny illusion

Green peeks out of white snow

Water rushes down over rocks

Nights begin to dawn

With promises of warmth

Hot sun yields blossoms

Bright kaleidoscope petals

Blue skies and patchwork clouds

Warm hopeful rays

Pledging happy moments.

Devil Came to Tea Poem

The devil came on a passer by

I invited him in for tea

He said the choice is yours

The choice for what?

To come follow me

If the world has been cruel and the future bleak

Then perhaps what I offer you can seek

With a spry smile and a twitch of his lips

He announced why I may enlist

For every hardship that has broken your soul

I will give you the tools to take control

If ever the garden flowers wilted to you

I will provide forever warmth and comfort for you

If ever the hearts of others have left a scar

I will show you how to truly mar

If the truths others have spoken, made you a fool

I will lead you to a drowning pool

If the nights are dark and full of sorrow

I will speed it up to tomorrow

But devil surely payment would be due?

His pigment bright and full of flush

He laughed loudly as if it was too much

Oh child what I ask is simple you see

Just follow my instructions to the T

When a kind person greets you

Turn yourself away

When the world needs you

Go off on your own and play

If a loving heart does touch you

Burn it slow and deep

For those sentiments are weak

If a truthful word be spoken

Twist those yarns into lies

If a caring touch reaches you

Learn to despise

And if an angel comes calling

Turn that fellow out

For what else can he talk to you about?

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