Words

afternoon shadows stretch long
last piles of dirty snow melt in silence
smudge of winter forbidden

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You Move Me

Nothing is more patient than water. 
It moves at a pace set by the stars.
In forms we only think we understand.
Dividing mountains and plains.
Sweeping across the land voracious.
From one tiny droplet in a cracked stone
to a mighty storm surge hurricane fed.

Standing in the Rockies, on the stones.
Geologic babies still sharp, still wild.
Standing on a frozen lake, fed by glaciers.
Standing on a frozen river.
Hearing the water from the waterfall
still moving stones, mountains.

Our plains are shaped by wind and water.
From prehistoric lakes and inland seas
to carved peaks and rounded old stones.
Trees and plants cling, dig in, embrace.
Reaching for water, for life, down deep.
Animals follow rivers like a highway.
Sometimes becoming lost in our cities. 

Humans dig, pile, plan and dam against it.
They attempt to tame that which is world
shaping and wild, living and breathing.
Nature won't allow her children to stay
trapped by us forever. She will let them
break free in a fury of wildness and
violent creation. Recreation. Rebirth.

Grind down. Build up. Bind and rend.
But when I am in the mountains.
On that frozen glacial waters I don't
think of that ancient lake, or the flooding.
I think of the beauty wrought from the 
fluid upheaval of rock, the shaping of
wind and water. The wildness is a way
to find my calm. My centre. It soothes.

What changes will spring bring?
Floods and storms ravage the earth.
We cannot hold her back when she
is determined to blow, to flow, to break.
We can only seek shelter and rebuild.
From what she leaves behind.
And we mourn what we thought
to be permanent and should have known
was more fleeting than a breath.


Yes I am standing on a frozen lake, and a frozen river.
And I felt the river flow below me. It was , as it should be, wild. 


Enjoy the silence

Closed up for winter, shuttered and warm.

The sounds around are muted, interior.

The furnace rumbles and bellows.

Floors creak and windows stay silently shut.

Blankets are burrowed under, coffee sipped slow.

A power outage – sudden utter silence. 

      

First day of spring and windows fly open.

Chickens chatter in the melting snow.

Birds start their spring musical array.

The house seems more open, more alive.

The sounds outside louder, more awake.

Smells tease – stench to sweet, to promise of…

      

Snow clings in deep iced piles that crunch.

Slush wavers between slick and sloppy.

Each step a sound effect of alien walking.

Touching things, are you awake yet? Are you?

Listening for the smell of the earth waking.

Listening for the smell of the trees waking.

      

Quiet isn’t really that, it is more a space to breathe.

Quiet is the silence of expectations, of needs.

The hum is the energy coming up and returning.

The breath out, and in again, again, again.

Balance between noises felt and heart,

The quiet that is not silent. The silence of stillness.

      

Pause, it is that moment when we have the windows open

and the furnace kicks on again to warm us.

The impatience of the next while embracing the now.

It is the space between a first too hot sip and a cold dreg.

A dreaming dog twitching and racing at your feet.

      

Enjoy the silence. 


Wow…that felt GOOD. No..not good. GREAT! 

Welcome To Scar Clan

Welcome to Scar Clan, where the survivors come.

We are the ones in the shadows, quiet, leaning in.

We are the ones with knotty scars and bruises.

The ones who don’t have a platform, a brand.

No slick show, no sponsors just a quiet strength.

The kind that comes from walking wounded

in a world that doesn’t want to see messy pain.

The kind that comes from looking into the darkness

and not flinching when it gazes back at you.

We have a story to tell, and we do, but quietly.

With determination, with a rough grace.

You won’t see us being sought after for a show.

No big events, no TedTalks or even YouTube.

Just quietly sitting with the wounded, walking

one another home through the mud, the blood,

the dust, the pain, the hope and the gritty joy.

I see their grand shows, and see the love.

I hear the story of another lost, assumed to be

‘tired’ but really just losing the battle with

the darkness that pulls and pulls us in.

They say ‘reach out’ and ‘get help’.

The hardest thing to do is find another

who has battled the darkness who can

understand when you say, “I am tired.”

And know it isn’t sleep, or rest you need.

Not retail therapy, or a new oily blend.

Not a pep talk of ‘it’s not that bad, you have

so much to be thankful for. Why are you….?’

We need a shadow dweller who leans in.

Who nods and says, “The darkness lies.”

And says it is okay to be totally, really

just ‘not okay’ for now, for this hour. For today.

Those warriors who know that those

fighting the darkness need to be sought.

They need to be fought for. When it is

uncomfortable. And hard. And ugly.

Don’t ask for our story so you can revel in

our pain, so you can touch our scars.

Ask for our story so you will know you are

safe in sharing your own. Showing your scars.

The scars tell you some thing important.

They say you survived. Changed to be sure.

But you are here, but warrior you made it.

The hardest battles are fought alone,

against an insidious darkness that lies.

It tells us all the tales of our failure, our

worthlessness, our shame. It confuses us.

Tricks us, wears us down, gives no quarter.

It hates that we didn’t quit. It hates that we live.

We can stand back to back in the darkness.

We can shine bright weapons of hope.

We can lightly touch scars and feel alive.

Together. We can.

 

There are some who share brightly and loudly on big stages their victory over the struggles of mental illness, anxiety, PTSD, of surviving trauma and good for them. But behind the glare of those lights are people struggling in the darkness that can’t reach out, that are calling in sick, saying they are tired. Don’t expect those fighting the biggest battles of their lives to have the strength or hope to reach out. Reach out to them. Find them. Don’t accept ‘fine or ‘busy’ or ‘tired’ as answer. Even on line we know when someone is absent, posting something darker than usual, our encourager is quiet, or critical. When your instincts are saying something is wrong, reach out. Don’t be afraid. There isn’t anything to fear. The darkness isn’t hunting you, it’s hunting them. And they are alone, tired and needing someone to fight for them. We won’t win every battle but no one should be lost without a fight.

 

My inbox is always open, my DM on any social channel. There isn’t anything the darkness lies to you about that will make me leave you to fight it alone. Together we can stand, as survivors and members of Scar Clan.

There are a lot of resources and tools online to help you help someone. Being present and being persistent is so important. Don’t think that because you don’t have a big, public platform that you can’t help – you may never know who you help by being there. Just a hug, a coffee, a call or a text. A wave or a hello. The small things are the biggest things after all!

 

 

A Thousand Cuts

Much is said about a ‘death by a thousand cuts’

No one ever talks much about those who live.

Day by day, cut by cut, scar by scar.

Each cutting word, action or look.

Slicing and cutting so deep.

 

Much is said about the hammering of the fists.

No one ever talks much about those who live.

Day by day, lie by lie, scar by scar.

Each gaslight moment cruel.

Wondering at sanity.

 

Much is said about the running away, the escape.

No one ever talks much about those who stay.

Day by day, fear by fear, scar by scar.

Each dreaded breath baited.

Survival as a way of life.

 

Much is said about rebuilding, healing, moving on.

No one ever talks much about the scars.

Day by day, cut by cut, scar by scar.

Each a reminder of pain and

of another day alive.

 

Much is said about reaching out, getting the help.

No one ever talks about how hard that is.

Day by day, fear by fear, scar by scar.

Worthy? Maybe. No. NO. Useless.

What if some battles never end?

 

Never enough is said about no one deserving this.

No one ever talks about how they ‘suspected’

Day by day, hour by hour, scar by scar

Doing nothing because they are

Minding their own business.

 

Never enough is said about the pain of surviving.

No one ever talks about feeling less saved

Day by day, breath by breath

By those who feast on the

Pain, as at a feast.

 

Never enough is said about those times when fear hits.

No one ever talks about how ugly the scars feel.

Day by day, scar by painful scar.

Bumpy, sore, raw, achy. Ugly.

Stay. Pain. Escape. Pain.

 

Much is said about the hurt, the escape and the horror.

No one ever talks much about the rebuilding.

Day by day, scar by healing scar.

Ask me about the new place

that I’m in. It’s good.

 

When we support survivors of abuse or other trauma we tend to focus on the circumstances before their freedom and the escape. The harrowing experiences feed a certain element with a feast of voyeuristic pain and misery. Too often we then expect everyone to ‘move on’ and ‘get over it’. It isn’t ever that easy. They can walk away from the scars of another, move on to their next drama but those who live with the scars know. The hardest part is the rebuilding, and the owning. Owning the hurt and owning the healing. Ten years twenty or two – it may fade, and it may lessen but some wounds and some scars stay a very long time. Don’t deny a survivor a place to say, “I’m not okay” and don’t deny them the right to say, “This hurts and it sucks”. 

Hello Darkness

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“Don’t let them warm up, they can can reanimate!” was the warning.

Even in the their state they could still come back.

To bite.

To sting.

To hurt.

The darkness, once banished, ever creeps and stalks.

To bite.

To sting.

To hurt.

Burn the torches bright, pray that they will last til light.

To guard.

To shine.

To protect.

Reaching out past the darkness to find the light.

To survive.

To heal.

To fight.

No matter how bright the torch, it isn’t the light.

You can’t keep it burning long enough to win.

The darkness wants it this way. The cave a trap.

Cowering.

Afraid.

Alone.

Fighting back is a fight not to the death, but to life.

Cursing.

Shouting.

Living.

Not because of the darkness but to spite it.

Winning by living another day.

Just one.

Then another.

Mental health awareness is so important, and when we struggle with mental health issues it is so hard to fight back, to get help, to have someone reach through the darkness to find you. Or to see your hand pushing out of the darkness. Being there is so important. Don’t wait for someone to ask for help – be there. Be present. Know the signs of someone fighting the darkness. It is the loneliest fight. Bitter and cruel. We lose too many. 

#mentalhealth

Four Things

“It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love”

I tell myself that ‘in season’, daily. Hourly.

The four things you need to make it.

Humour. Patience. Flexibility. Faith.

If I can’t laugh at it, I can’t love it.

Some things won’t wait – many things.

And others require waiting. Lots of it.

Plans are those things that you make

and then toss out almost immediately

because things change fast – BOOM!

Faith in the seeds, the soil and the sun.

Faith that the rain will come, the bugs won’t.

Faith that you can keep being there.

That grace will carry the day when

you can’t anymore and you just want

a breath, one between ‘in season’.

Because you know it will come.

A rain day. A break. A chance to be

together and you can laugh at it all.

When he loves it, and does it well

then it makes it simpler – help him.

Be bright, not bitter.

Be hopeful, not a hinderance.

Be light, chasing shadows far.

Be grateful for the moments.

Learn to be okay with the life.

___________________________________

#plant17 is over and #spray17 hardly gave us a breath before it started in earnest – welcome to farming! There are windows to seed (soil temp, moisture, etc) and there are even smaller windows to spray (leaf stage, wind, temperature, humidity, stage of what you need to spray) and those windows can open wide then just slam shut. Part of the challenge as a farm family is being flexible and understanding the seasons and needs of the crops and land. It can be hard to balance the lifestyle and benefits when all you see in the short term are long hours away and missed family time. You can’t get missed time back but you can make the most of the time you have in-between the busy seasons. And you can even more importantly make time ‘in season’ for important things. We do our best to do this. It takes effort and commitment but it is worth it, as any farm family can attest. 

When the…

 

When the latte comes and is a caramel apple cider.

When the order is cancelled and a local store is found.

When the gift wanted is gone and one unexpected comes.

When old behaviour returns threatening the newer and better.

When grace seems hard and patience is scarcely found.

When faith in the hard times seems a stunted mustard seed shadow.

When the tears come ragged and burning as a hoped for good goes.

When you come to it and hate the part when you go through it.

When the other side is reached and you are worn out but there.

When silly antics break the tension and laughter rings loud.

When it seems to unravel wildly and something new is woven.

When the cold snap comes hard and you stay cozy warm.

When the storm rages inside and out you remember to dance.

Remember to dance. In the rain. In the storm. In the pain.

Remember that faith isn’t for easy times but hard ones.

Remember grace is given freely, to you and from you.

Remember to cherish moments small, 

In years to come they will be large.

______________________________________

Yesterday wasn’t the day I had planned, but God loves a laugh and made me a planner. I am learning to use my emotional sea legs to go with the flow and enjoy the detours as much as my well planned (but often way to boring) route. I don’t always get where I thought I would be going but the amazing people in my life make the journey worth the side roads and detours. We always find the best stuff on the extra mile and that extra mile is never wide, paved or brightly lit.

 

So remember…when the muse leaves it will return. But not as you expect.  I missed my poetry and my blogging. But in doing a Christmas handicraft with my son I discovered an older love for working with fibres and yarn I had forgotten. So my muse came back in paints, yarn and finally this poem. I don’t know if I am ‘back’ but even a visit is better than being totally absent.

Your words (or lack thereof)

Your words are like a fog, the surround you and make you hard to see.  – Blackbeard to Jack Sparrow

Your words trail behind you like a false trail.

Following them leads to nowhere and fast.

Your words cause bleeding from tiny cuts.

Assaults small but painful and bloody.

Your words (or lack thereof) leave me wounded.

Leave others wounded too. Walking in pain.

Your words seek to deny mine, to silence me.

Giving you power it seems to control others.

Your words are seldom a balm, often bitter.

Even when covered in sticky and shiny sweets.

Your words are believed. Trusted. And so us,

The wounded are not believed, injuries denied.

Your words laced with poisonous turns of phrase.

“You always…” and “You never…” and “don’t be

so…..” which really means: don’t be yourself.

Your words surround you like a fog, like smoke.

They make it hard to really see you.See you?

Your words are where you hide, ambushing.

Using benign seeming phrases but always

with a sharp edge cutting quick and deep.

Your words make it clear the wounding is

the fault of the wounded, and not yours.

Your words are hard to argue so we don’t.

We just watch the scars come bright.

 

It is how I feel, the only way and place I can express it. Words have a power and can be wielded with a gentle touch and a sincerity or with cunning cuts that seem innocent when they are brought to light. It is tragically almost useless to speak out against it because who is going to believe you? You are upset – hurt or angry. They are dripping poisoned honey wondering why you are so upset…didn’t you know you are always too (________________) fill in the blank? Dramatic sigh. Exit stage left. It is, after all theatre. I just wish I could cancel my season’s tickets.

Look into the fire

Look into the fire. If you dare.

It’s where you put all of me.

The parts that didn’t fit.

The things that displeased.

Those uncomfortable bits.

On that pyre we burned.

The ashes washed in rain,

Pressure from the sun bore

down and the coals became

flashing gems, diamond fire.

Thank you. 

________________________________________

 

Version II

All the things that were ‘too much’

became kindling in the stones.

Burn that which you don’t care

to understand, or know. Burn it.

But you walked away before

the flames finally died down.

You walked away before you saw

me rise from the ashes anew.

Tempering and grace in flames.

Refined and sharpened.

Dragging embers you burnt the

bridges and I stood to enjoy

the warmth and flames.

It rained, the ashes washed

away and the river runs free.

You walked away and missed

every amazing thing that came.

Thank you.

Some bridges need to be burnt.

Some fires don’t destroy.

 

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