Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday Evening - May, 1998

a thin shimmer of rain wets asphalt
tires squeeze sound as they press
black wetness
rushing somewhere
rushing going nowhere
but here

voices praising the Lord
with gold
with sacrifice
and pleabargaining
counting the costs
calculating the next
charitable tax deduction

passing discarded souls
judged too soft in a hard place
discards including
children and the childlike
abandoning dreams
that failed
and the frenzied
search for more

drawn to the pulsing glow
of neon that flashes
in the darkness
promising power
promising release from pain
with nothing down
and eternity to pay

- - - - - - - - -

Three months into analysis, living alone, adds up to some serious negative mind spaces. It is much too soon for new life to be found amng the wreckage of the inner world and the outer world has been denied, the status quo has been denied leaving the soul vulnerable.

Go Inside - June, 1998

go inside
to a place of bitter memories
call out to that
bleeding and abandoned child
listen to the tales
that need telling
to the crying
of a wounded soul
listen uncritically
as the arrows are pulled free
exposing raw wounds
and somehow
find love for this
wounded soul
and for the "other"
who wounded
- - - - - - -
The process of analysis uncovers a lot of pain, a necessary process that frees the psyche of unacknowledged suffering. Shadows are brought to the light so that they lose their power, a power of darkness.

New Life - June, 1998

Woman with a man standing beside her
Both holding hands and waiting
Filling moments with words that
Have no meaning within themselves
Having meaning just for their sound
While they wait.

A tightening and the hands react in
Hightened anticiption, in a bit of fear
Practiced ritual breathing takes both
Through the tension of the moment
And then a release of the tightness
Again, the waiting.

Pain rises and falls in rhythmic patterns
The intensity banishes reason and all
That is wanted is release, retreat to a
Time when there was no birthing pain
Anger and shame, yet still clinging
Still waiting.

A cry, a moan escapes despite resolution
Fear of this inner self, this stranger who
Threatens survival, who shakes to the core
Until all that is wanted is to slip into
A place of unconsciousness
Into darkness, waiting.

Then the crowning
The light touches hair
That is like dark silken strands
Hair that has been drenched
By a quick summer storm
Then the head emerges
A slow turning
Allowing the body to flow
Following the change of vision.

- - - - - - - -

A close reading, perhaps a second reading will make you aware that this isn't about the birth of a child. Rather this poem is about the process of breaking out of a depression,out of old destructive habits in order to allow a newer version of "self" to come to life. In this case, the journey was shared with a partner standing close by giving what she could.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Naked Dream - November, 1996

stripped ... exposed ...
clothes lying scattered
shamed ...
private parts, dark zones
uncovered ... humiliated
an object observed
sy soul-less eyes

are the shadows
needs, desires
fears and needs again
... inadequate ...

judged ...
a betrayer
for abandonment of "other"
the sentence ...
banishment from community
confinement in solitude

- - - - - - - -

This poem is a direct response to Aldo Carotenuto's book, Eros and Pathos. What struck me the most when finishing the book was the sense of isolation and the knowledge that I was faced with choices. What to risk? What would I gain? What would I lose? I knew that loss was to occur regardless of the choices I would make. However, I also knew that to avoid making choices would result in the greatest losses.

Hostage - November, 1996

the silence
echoes loudly
drowning the wails and wimperings
of abandonment

a mask
black oval orbits
mirrors an outer world

behind the silence
and the mask
a faint thread of light
held hostage

- - - - -

I wrote this poem in late 1996 while in the midst of reading Eros and Pathos, a book by Aldo Carotenuto, about a month after my counselling retreat. This was a time when I was treading a downward spiral into self-abusive depression. This poem marked a brief moment of light during a weekend spent in the city with my son - a weekend when I was the hero for my son, and a demon to my "self".