For survival is found

We looked at the bright box

Lighting reproductions of your brain

You made the inevitable joke

And I wondered how many had

Sat like us, closely squished into single seat

Faux leather gleaming with accumulated sweat

For humor seems solitary solace

When the world goes to hell in a hand basket

Leaving behind folded gloves with bitten tips

Back then I was untrained, in navigating pursing hallways

Pushing wheelchairs, your head horizontal, stapled

Youth’s strength saw us over the sanitized hump

Out into the car park where we ran, loose gowns and trailing bandages

Afterwards felt like climbing out of hell, without traction

Floundering to understand the submersion of health

I told you, even nightmares have to wake up

And with each removed staple, pulled from your sore skull, you found release

Near did I guess, my own oily cavort with sickness

Lay silently sheathed, like store bought bread, just around the corner

I should have worn those pinching purple shoes and danced

You should have run the glow foam 5k and eaten vegan tamales

We should have visited Kavik River Camp in Alaska and climbed jagged cliffs

Tried the new Japanese restaurant with pastel tea lanterns

Wrung out from quick glimpses, thimbles of life

Instead I borrowed on my new found strength

Worked long hours, forgetting to look out the window at passing moon and sun

Putting off tomorrow, building futures without living now

It is our mistake when shown a lesson, not to stop and be mindful

For survival is found in, the smallest moments

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Birth

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It is said

by mouths that do not move

it is gauche to write about oneself

(over-much)

and she didn’t always, for the world had so many things to describe

until the sink hole swallowed her breath, tar covered and added feathers

her crimson brand ran like a howl down a deserted one-eyed street

if she were a fish she’d have no scales, and nothing to measure what she lost

nor a compass to find through hooded treeline, her way back to who she’d been before

this is the way of transformation

forced from our stage we are bound and gagged

the way forward obscured like rubbing grease on glass

it hurt to be cut by ice, it stung to know no intuitive language

hands tore at her sides whilst she slept on a brick within a house, held down by gravity

they told her; you will not recover it is time, to put aside hope

along with your beautiful dresses, your long dreams and afternoon sun

she wasn’t ready to lie, like a pin against other cold metal

to be counted and cooked to the marrow, ready for sucking

for she was warm, she was alive, she hadn’t climbed all her life, just to see a cloudy day

it wasn’t her way to admit defeat

as migrating birds returned and sat like tired audience to her calls for help

she knew, a fight is never asked for, it beckons you when you stand on cliffs edge

trying to count the ways you might die

such a sorrow in planning your own end, long before you intended

she still had so much still to do

hair to plait, skirts to hitch, and ride, ride out into the wilderness

where raw bones are the purest listener

they will hear you when you throw yourself down on wet moss and

burying your fevered head in earth, call upon angels

for protection was something she hadn’t thought of

since she was a little kid walking to school alone

and then she had an imaginary horse, and all the years to come

now, the clocks turn back, time rushes forward like an impulsive guest

who has drunk her fill

ransacking light she streaks out into the forest and you cannot follow

because she is quickly absorbed into gesturing evening dusk

perhaps never there at all

that’s how she feels now, half alive, half hanging on

at the witching hour, it is all she can do not to throw herself into the glittering lights of oncoming traffic

for she is not as strong as those who endure like a costume, their own brand of hell

she has only herself and it isn’t enough

so the words come

and they stay loose and unsure upon the page

as if they know her fragility and their own insubstantial compose

if she can stay long enough, maybe she’ll see something new

maintaining equal hope with encroaching dawn

that is when everything from the day before, gathers

turns to dust and we begin over, perhaps better

with every urging push, splitting apart, garnering strength from invisible force

as fierce and distant as a Northern wind

we who know, how to birth life and produce hope

from the fragility of almost nothing

 

(Inspired by RandomwordsbyRuth who said; “Survival is the highest form of compliment we can give ourselves.’)

Our claim

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Come for me

when the lawn mower is still and cold

resting in its shed as cats prowl with mocking yawl

a world colored black and white by moon shows nothing

of her earthly devour

when heady in day she is every which way a gala of color

scolding you for your down turned mouth

though it would look beautiful in a painting vast in yellow

I would place you next to a vase

and grow wings on your scars

come for me

when leaning out the window I call your name

from one continent to the other can you hear me?

I feel somehow the tremble on this light thimble of pain

connecting us as if we were both sharing

the same space

and though we are not if I call loud enough

you may hear my migrating entreaty

come for me

as once you did and everything hurtful momentarily stopped

like a razor losing its sharp

like a hand paused before slap

I ran fast from my callous

and found you hanging upside down by your knees

eating late damsons

careless of boxes meant for our capture

you said

take a page out of my book

I never ironed myself straight

I kept my curls hidden just in case

one day they should stop needing shoes

and we can return

two by two

set over the ocean

arcing in gain

I will find you

I will sight the land

glistening in

our claim

To my mother

o-mother-daughter-relationship-facebookIf I had been your mother and you my daughter

we would have learned to walk both straight and crooked

together stronger for leaning upon one another

in this motion, undoing that well rehearsed need

common among our ilk

to walk alone

learning this when those who should protect

absented or let down, spilling trust

repeating patterns before we knew how to protest

formed inside faulty mold

given no improvement or nourishment for fledgling soul

we split apart like neglected corn

ears green and burned by indifferent sun

we sought the succor of dangerous people

familiar with their welt

hid the tender shoots of us within a grave

absenting gentleness

despising love’s solace

sharpening and hardening our calloused parts

we did not recognize in each other

the need overarching stubbornness

revealed at last

when day is lower in webbed sky than it ought

but better now than never at all

we break the spell we unwind the curse

If you were my daughter and I your mother

I would have given you wisdom

found in my search to banish self-immolation

growing like a vine within our generations

disappearing women from each others tenderness

enemies from birth

I would have rolled back our wounds and discovered

the beauty of love as it lies undisturbed

on the surface of a child’s face

who trusts before she learns to ache

If I had been your mother and you my child

between us, within us, all things take flight

we are the breath of our ancestors

we are the change of their losses and the gains of their folly

supporting our footsteps toward the

female divine who, smiling though hour is late

welcomes those who were lost on their way

into feeling whole, not out-of-place

beyond sharp spaces of our regret

there is time ahead where even the damaged

heart can forget her sorrow

never too late for finding each other

as long as we breathe

there is always time to make right

disturbance turned close like moon

undoing hurt in redeeming womb

 

redemption

freja-beha-erichsen-hedi-slimane-fashiontography-3history said

Go back

years ago

Go back

you are not wanted here

this is not where you belong

walking behind yourself

catching the depth of your tread

hang up your effort

string failure to dry

you leave your hope here

take one bag

get on a train

without a ticket

without windows

and in your musty closet

transform

to the dark bird you were

before you knew to fly

to the passenger who came with outstretched arms

seeking relief and quantity of blood to let

so all that nourished from you could

fling you away once done

the fille cruel said …

if I could plunge you head first

into the brink and keep you there

until you swallowed your dreams

amidst river water

I would have done so

but I am paying the price of karma

for destroying you I must suffer

though I claim to be a woman of God

pressing my palms together as tight as they go

all this that comes now to nail me shut

the consequence of my cruelty

you may lose your way

you may be set out without light

holding an empty bag told

again

go you are not welcome

but I shall die first and certain

without anyone to witness

for those who seek to harm

pay the longest price

for their one-way ticket

the survivor said …

when I learned to dance

at first my feet hurt

they did not fit narrow confine

bleeding through satin

staining effort

blistering I rose and challenged

the nails the stones

dancing over hurt and beyond

you cannot harm what you do

not understand

the broken will rise

taking their music sheets to far corners

letting go of caged songs

fed by the nourishment of your need

to damage and quench them

their feet shall defy the pain legacies in wood

long the sound of blood shall fall

after they have moved the world

turning in time to the beat of

desire inhabiting the stage

go on, further than possible

entering hallowed ground

where all who stumble climb back

toward the master who believes inviolate

his dreary manacle

made unsteady by their motion

they are

you are

no more than breath left behind

when the dance is done

and lights dimmed for tomorrow

we shall again begin

without you

such is our dream

woven throughout movement

in swaths of redemption

Such things are only in your head

All those who have gone before

stand behind with arms crossed

asking not to return

withholding themselves

long I felt their push

leave us

go on

on to the future

we are but transient wonders

signing the way ahead

maybe you thought us unconditional

such things are only in your head

fiction as the lullaby soothes

surfacing over truth in reluctant plaster

truth is

we were no more than a moment in time

chaffing against northern wind

not friends, despite collected words

just language, ticked sayings, signs and symbols

laugh at your faith in us

we had none in you

still the journey is undertaken

still the road steps ahead heavy skirted and leaden hearted

watching stars for their map

only disregard stared back

pain in the dying glitter

of false promises and forgotten allegiance

until my own walk journeyed

beyond those memories

of closed doors and turned heads

names I knew once as well as my own

palms with futures I thought part of hennaed auburn

they packed their bags and returned

to the spaces in their universe

not inhabiting me

with time the absence

once raw and gaping

healed

I realized then

some people exist

to set you free

in bidding goodbye

cease to feature

like crossroads

stand solid and permanent

until they are passed

by westbound train

Pull down the night

ffffComing sudden

over hill

scraped light

makes one last trill

before diminishing

beneath black rock

born from ire in

molten wrath

who so ever

dares stand up

to speak truth

will taste their lash

they who fear

forever burdened with ash

it is their weft to

make pillage of attempt

they would pull down the night

forever if it were a fabric

and not the entirety of the world

disguising sight