Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Children of Loss

No matter how much mates might suffer from loss
There often are others involved.
And when they're the children who helplessly watched
We soon learn that just one thing's resolved.

When the loss which they suffer is parents divorce
Depression sets in straightaway.
And the day that the judge grants the final decree
Is the start of more hell to pay.

No matter they know how the breach came about,
No matter what side they might take,
They did not sign up for the heart rending loss
Of their family, their lives, for God's sake.

It can take many years for those deep wounds to heal,
And each one must do it alone.
It's crucial to know that and give them the time
To forgive, perhaps never condone.

They might want connections with each of their parents;
Confused how to do that, move on.
Stay close to them, talk to them, write to them often,
Though knowing they might never respond.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On Storms and Calms

What about storms,
The word which connotes extremes;
Conditions in which we are challenged
To survive, sometimes beyond our means?

And what about Calms,
The word which connotes peace;
Conditions in which we relax,
And pray it will stay that way - please?

But what about calms before storms;
And what about calms after storms?
Do we need both calms and storms;
Are there any such things as norms?

If we had all our druthers and wishes
Do we really want all peace and quiet?
Or do we need both calms and storms
To energize us, and not die yet?

A Metaphor for Partners

Two tall trees of different species
Growing side by side
Each with its own healthy root system
Meshing in the branches.

On Clouds

We all know what they are made of,
But tonight I learned bit more
From clouds about what I am made of,
As their shapes changed up on sky's floor.

I saw a disfigured face
And thought, it that possibly God?
When we think of Him in our image
Does He need to be perfect in bod?

Then my mind saw a beautiful woman,
So clear in her eyes and mouth.
Then the cloud changed of course, once again,
And part of her face had gone south.

And so what do we wish for and why,
When we inspect what's on other's neat shelves?
Can we ever accept imperfections,
Since they're clearly a part of ourselves?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fantasy and Reality

It has been for a long time,
In the first part of life,
That fantasy was more
Attractive than Reality,

Though somehow knowing
It was not the whole of me.

I'll try to forgive myself for that,
When reality provoked in me a spat.

In the second part of life
I will try on reality's hat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nature and Us

Are we villains with no place
In Nature's world, quite out of grace?
We're inclined to want control;
Have other species pay a toll.

But our species is a part of this,
Result of Nature's contra kiss.
Should we condemn ourselves and pray;
Or is it not our lot to say?

We're prone to this when we've screwed up,
Feel unworthy, gulp the hemlock cup.
Can we let go of our way;
Forsake our goals; ask Nature's way?

Perhaps humility's the thing:
Ask what Nature has to bring.
The answer is, I might confess,
That Nature's here. She'll fix the mess.

Mother Nature doesn't care
That we messed it up , She'll still repair.
She'll work it out, time's no constraint;
She's just amused we'd want to taint,

Try to control. subject our world,
As is we're gods outside the fold.
We're only one part of this mess.
Which, in time, Nature will redress.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I've long thought that the pendulum is an apt symbol for life, how it describes, perhaps mockingly mimics, the swingings back and forth in life; feeling and thinking, losses and winnings, endings and beginnings, joys and sorrows.

Kay Redfield Jamison expresses it well: "We have then, within ourselves, the capacity for extremes that will serve us well on occasion and badly on others. These extremes encompass not only rage and aggression but sadness and ecstasy, inertia and frenzied states, dullness and exploration....". (Night Falls Fast, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1999, 178.)

I have considered my own experiences and those of others and express them here. The messages of my poems, and the writings of others included, reflect unsettled feelings. I hope by reading them you will gain and understanding of a process through which all humans go when trying to come to grips with loss and perhaps take heart that you are not alone when misfortune comes your way.

Consider the words of Maya Angelou: "On so many levels (poetry) strengthens a person. One thing it does is it tells the person that he or she is not out there alone; that there are other people who have felt that way and who are feeling that way. It takes away some of the bitterness of aloneness. We find that somebody(else) did love someone that much. Someone did feel that loss when he or she was exiled or abandoned".(Interview with Maya Angelou by Joe Burns, The Cape Codder, Orleans, MA, 2000.)

And consider a part of the message of Desiderata. "Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune." (Anonymous)

I have interspersed throughout this collection of poems and thoughts, excerpts from what I have found to be important writings of others to whom I have gone for insight during my own pendulum swings of life. I encourage you to read them in their entirety.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who's That?

I feel so completely discarded,
Put away from the intimate world;
A banner removed and rolled tight,
Not waving, no longer unfurled.

I exist from each hour to hour,
Waiting for solace of night
Which brings freedom from much apprehension
Of the next back turned or a slight.

I've covered up deep-seated feelings,
And found work to make a small difference;
In a place of numbers and budgets,
Not affirming my spirit's existence.

Rewards come from being tough minded,
Thick skinned, hard nosed and objective.
I've learned these skills and am adequate,
Sometimes awkward, excessive, protective.

Though it's not really me that's exposed,
But a reflection trying to please
The powers that be to survive
In a world full of conflict, appease.

It's taken a toll on my being.
I'm sick in my heart and scared.
Those I've needed but hurt by withdrawal
Have given up, quite unprepared

To deal with a soul inauthentic,
A caricature of another;
An imitation, a fraud, a pawn,
When they wanted to be with a lover.

I'm so out of touch with the truth,
I admit I don't know the way back.
The world says, "Rely on yourself".
Who's that? I've lost him in fact.

Occasionally another has shared
That I've touched them in ways quite profound.
The settings are outside of business,
And encourage my staying around.

I long for a place and connections
Where that happens more often than not.
I have need for a guide who knows how
To help me to live, not to rot.