NaPoWriMo Day 1- a poem of negation

These arms are not filled with tangible things,
text books, bags of groceries, sleeping children.
But loneliness is heavier than babies.

Despite the weight of my cargo, piled high as shopping parcels, one on top of the other,
obstructing my view and  teetering precariously,
I navigate the streets, wet and grey, cars passing without a second glance

Always at the wrong moment, melancholy and absence overflow my grasp,
To chase them down, I shift my encumberance from side to side,
joints aching
muscles burning
mind racing
desperate to retrieve the agony that has escaped me

Anyone could step in it that!
If they found it they’d Know it was mine, and what then? How careless they’d say. What an inconvenience. If you cannot carry your affliction properly, perhaps you ought to stay home. Out of sight, out of mind you know.

But what do they know about out of mind? Their boxes and bags are filled with food for the party, little Suzie is 5 now, “she’s gotten so big” they boast. The product of my last five years has also grown, I’d like to quip, but no one brags about the weight of their despair.

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A Lover’s Language

02_JulietteGorgeCoppens
Painting: ‘Portrait’ by Juliet George Coppens, 1969.

The first time I said
“I am a lesbian”
The words burst in my mouth
Like overripe fruit in a heatwave
Instantly thirstquenching, and indescribably sweet

I held them in my mouth, gingerly
Rolling them around my tongue
Probing the crevices and curves of their cadence
And sucking gently on each delightful syllable

Before long, I began to whisper this sensuous sound-sex to my lovers
Sharing the seduction of their syntax, secretly

The need to tickle my tongue with this luscious language only grew
And I began to announce the words precariously
Without a single thought to whose ears might hear my carnal communication

My inhibitions once daunting,
Were now abandoned
I grew wild with desire to spread the words
Exposing myself publically
At first for the sheer pleasure

But as this intercourse became voiced
Suddenly, I behold a new oral tradition
The birth of a sexual lexicon
No longer restricted by denial of its name

So now, I twirl my tongue in service of this shared dialect
So that others might drink deeply of its truth

 
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Tonight I miss you

Tonight I miss you

The way your smooth, cool, fingers flirt with the skin of my neck,
Beckoning me to invite you ’round for a drink of my lips

The night howls and even the moon seems absent

“Let’s slip our masks”, you’d say, impishly
A chesire grin playing across your face
And off we’d go, our shadows dancing under the night sky,
as we caper from dream to dream riding trails of stardust
While the world contents itself in slumber

Tonight I miss you

Where is your thick brown hair to wrap my fingers in?
And those liquid amber eyes that see into all of my lifetimes?
My heartbeat searches for you blindly
As my body yearns to be with your body

Skin Humming.  Backs Arched.  Oceans of Honey.

Tonight I miss you.

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Past Lives

old memories

We laughed our way through life
Too loudly
Heads thrown back, mouths open
Ferocious belonging
This was not about balance

You gave me Home and Proud and Safe.
Fierce and Brazen

Would you recognize me now? Would we compare weak knees and battlescars? Or Thigh slapping jokes and  Tall tales of our conquests with a glint in the eyes and that old familiar smirk?

Beloved trickster, I fear the next I see of you will be an obituary

And so I look for you in lovers and strangers, in bus stations, around corners and at the bottom of coffee cups  in lonely cafes
I find you inside dirty jokes and belly laughs and the curled smoke of a strangers cigarette
I find you in worn flannel shirts and the delicate grooves  of vinyl records
In the earthy smell of autumn and the pockets of old trenchcoats

The scattered detritus of a life forgotten and
Accidentally excavated.

 

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Things to do after your dog has died

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I haven’t written anything in quite awhile.
My beloved, sweet, funny friend Koda died a month ago.
I came across this poem by Catherine Young (credited at end of post), and it really did help.
Poetry can make anything better, even if just a little.

Things to do after your dog has died

Sweep the floor

Look out the window

Pant

Make a cup of tea and some toast

But then not eat them

Change the sheets on the bed

Try to sing

Start to cry

Forget what day it is

Stumble into a corner of the floor and hold your knees tightly

Keen

Pull yourself together

Make another cup of tea and this time drink it

Look out a different window

Stare at that spot on the floor where your dog used to stretch out, languid and happy, his paws twitching as he raced across sleep meadows and into dream ravines filled with moss and ferns and the scent of foxes

Look for the Kleenex

Use toilet paper instead

Wander around the house,  your heart like a damned anvil in your chest

Heat up leftovers

Push them around the plate before leaving the entire thing in the sink

Look for what is not there

Hear things

Feel the forgotten fur beneath your fingertips

Feel the forgetting begin

Hold a memory, any memory, bright and shining, soft and sad, smelling of wet fur and leaves, with a whisker there and muddy paw prints left on the stairs, of a walk of a hike of a trip to the park with a treat and a bone and a belly rub snacks stolen off the counter and tug of war and the squeaky toy a glance of complicity in play with your hand on head with tail wagging and breath misting in the morning light or the moon over the trees while an owl croons ears are pricked and nose to the ground sniffing, sniffing, sniffing following the invisible trail to its joyful finding

Put on your pajamas

Turn around three times before you curl up by the rope toy and find yourself chasing the echo of a bark into a night that will never end

Grow a tail
Credit to Catherine Young, Poet
Website: : http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/things-to-do-after-your-dog-has-died#sthash.TWSX3aLo.dpuf

Days like this

Sometimes it is not easy,

To be alive

When bodies creak and stick like rusting broken hinges
Sharp edges that threaten your tactile senses
When depression creeps under the covers,
A constant companion from the moment you wake
When your pennies cannot feed you and poverty creates in you a criminal
When opportunity sits appraising your value like some casted off thing
in a pawn shop
And death seems like a mercy.

Until you go for a walk just before dusk and watch the sunset
And remember that you are magical.
Remember that your hands are the bandagers of skinned knees and your arms are a refuge for the fallen
Remember that your eyes see the suffering hidden under the surface
and your mouth bears witness to injustice
You, are a truth teller.  A change maker.  A warrior.  A queen.  A safe place.  A kindness.
A hot meal to the starving.  A salve for the wounded.

You are a miracle.

Pink clouds of golden light touch your face and whisper lovingly,
The earth will never fail to hold you up and the sky goes on forever,
like breathing

 

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Apathetic Warcry

The apathy shuffles in like a zombie
A second skin, that begins to coat your mind
with its poison
Greasy
and yet weighted like lead,
And no one notices that your eyes are dead

Trapped in a powerless paralysis
Unable to think your way out
Tortured by  a disease inside your mind
That no one will understand so just say,
I’m fine and you?

Desperate for someone to blame
you eye the girl with chipped nailpolish  and downcast eyes
the one who prefaces your truth
with an apology

She wears your name like shapeless wool sweater
pulling the collar down and away from her skin
Agitated by the way it itches

In dr’s offices she is genuinely apologetic, and appropriately ashamed
Of her ‘Condition’
Particularly when reminded of how inconvenient she is.

She is a good girl.  She does what she is told.
Wears her diagnostic label like a sash in the mental illness pageant
For their consideration

And

You

Don’t

Forgive

Her

Compliance

Blame is easier.
than living with your face,
cracked open
like a river dam

Broken.

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inner conflict

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Health: Activism Through Art

painting

I will performing pieces on mental illness and art as activism at an upcoming community showcase.  Details Below:
FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/543665889064950/

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Health: Activism Through Art is a performance based event that will introduce different art forms of social activism that speak to issues surrounding mental health.

March 24, 2014 from 4:30-7pm
120 Duke Street W. Kitchener, ON Room 108

Featuring Special Guests:
Poet – Luscious Revelation (Sunna Murphy)
Belly Dancer – Willow (Joscelyn Guindon)
Painter – Michelle Hayes

There will be raffle prizes to give away at the event, with two GRAND PRIZES being ONE MONTH PREMIUM ADULT MEMBERSHIPS to the YMCA! The YMCA is a charitable organization that aims to promote health and wellness by engaging the body, mind & spirit. Find out more info, including facility schedules at: www.arkfamilyy.ca (Kitchener location) or www.storkfamilyy.ca (Waterloo location)

Each grand prize valued at over $70.00!

There will also be snacks… And admission is FREE! Please feel free to invite your friends, this event is open to the community!