Poetry Wednesdays, “The Story of the Wings of Freedom”

February 22, 2017 (Wednesday)

“The Wings of Freedom”

A child hides in a corner far behind a bed

Holding her teddy bear praying someone will help her

Paths intersect and the bed becomes a closet

She is hugging a small dog who has replaced the bear

So many nights full of fear

So many sleepless nights

Turned into many days of falling asleep in class or at work

A child grows into a woman living alone

Hiding away in her home

Work her only venture

Her attempts to reach out

Only ends in more pain

So many nights full of nothing but her own thoughts

So many late nights full of mindless TV watching

Praying for morning to come

Cold nights with nothing but blankets to keep her warm

Cold nights full of emptiness

Years later a family begins with promise of love and fulfillment

Mere months later more pain begins

Each day, each week more building blocks of loss, of pain

Years pass as a family grows

Still the promise of happiness never shows

More years of inward pain

Which shows only as a smile never quite reaching her eyes

Bruises never shown to anyone

Body hurts which never fully go away

No one would believe her anyway

She shuts herself down

She must never show the hurt

She hides away in the closet, in the bed

She hides away in the safest place of all

Inside her own mind where no one can touch her, or hurt her

Refuge and freedom shows itself

As love enters with the softest of wings

Years of tenderness

Years of sweetness

Years of being treasured

The world explodes and change can’t be taken back

Paths intersect in a foreign country

A day began filled with sweet tenderness

Ended in a mist filled cloud of blood

All the dreams of a new beginning ended

All the dreams stopped in an afternoon

Panic filled nights began again

Sleeplessness filled the girl who’d become a woman, a mother, a wife

Safety only in the silence of the breaking of the dawn

Exhaustion became the norm as she pushed and pushed

To forget what had happened

To forget what she’d had before that one afternoon

Life continued to conspire against her

Until she was once again in absolute silence

Family pushed, pushed against walls of which they were unaware

Family pushed until she fell flat on her face

She lay there for years

She lay there through multiple surgeries

She lay there through the fog of pain

Until she lifted her face to look around

This is not where she wanted to be

Step by step she moved forward

Steps became quicker, easier

She began to softly flutter and find a true smile again

Laughter filled her and she began to feel finally free

A bright filled moment

So quickly came

Bringing with it a darkness like no other

A mere instant

A mere misstep

Was all it had taken

To come full circle

Sleepless nights

Waiting for the sun

It seemed it would never come

Years past

Lost in an abyss

Filled with endless inner noise

Days passed until a moment came

One in the night

Of laying on the floor

Giving up the hope which had shown so bright

A card spied under a dresser

Forgotten until spied by her eye

A call led to quiet beginning to enter the noise

The noise filled her head until only headphones created silence

A silence with the noise of her choosing

Thoughts shared, ones filled with ideas of how to gently push

A meandering path filled with simply showing up in her own life

Each step taken so painful

Each step lead to one with less pain

Each step uneasy

Times of pushing altered with times of withdrawal

Times of sitting in a car talking herself into going inside

To places she knew did not want her

To places she didn’t want to go to but needed to be

Times of sitting in a car fighting nausea after having pushed so hard

Times which softened until they became intermittent

Softness within in her as she stood on the ledge of the nest

She stood there with the wind in her hair, eyes closed

She stood there feeling only the need to jump

One step and she was free

She fluttered as she fell

Then her wings unfurled

Spreading out in their magnificence

Strength filled her as she realized 

She could fly

Would fly

And so my dear…

She finally did.


Poetry Wednesdays “Race Towards The Sun”

Drifting away down the river

I hold myself in a fetal position

I smell the water all around me

I feel my body drifting towards

The uncertainty this path holds

The pain consumes my body

It reaches a point I can ignore no longer

Pain captures my attention

Pain washed over me as surely as a waterfall

Pain will not so easily wash away

Each step taken

Each second of standing

Causes burning

Causes stiffness which cannot be ignored

I lay in the crude raft I did not create

I curl myself upon itself as I drift

Towards a path of more pain

Towards a path holding more stiffness

In order to heal completely

In order to race down the path

The one which is next to this moving water

I remind myself I will one day race towards the sun

Perception Series, “Blood in the Water” a repost re: Bullying

PTSD: Blood in the Water(Posted by Bree N. on March 1, 2015 to USFRA.org The United States First Responders Association a Non Profit for the support of Public Safety & 1st Responders personnel)
**post contains bullying references**


     “Society seems to have moved towards a mental attitude where pulling apart those perceived as “imperfect people’ and taking a sick joy in hurting them until they can’t take anymore is perceived as acceptable behavior.

     No it isn’t.

     This isn’t acceptable. It’s just not.

     On the job, or for me the many jobs, bullying was contained in an agenda I’d not been aware of before taking on the jobs. Bullying was not only by my male coworkers but also by the female ones. I learned to just let it go, ignore it, let it roll off my back and to walk away from it. Yet in the night at home alone in my bed I held my pillow and shook with anger, tears streaming down my face. “I can’t TAKE this anymore” I’d whisper to myself in the night. Yet each morning I would go to my knees in prayer. “Please help me to be strong enough to get through this day. May I look only towards my patients’ needs not my own. May I present a cheerful, helpful countenance towards the visitors to our city. May I have the strength of mind to study all the horrendous pictures to be able to recreate them and to be better in all these things. Protect me most of all not just from harm, but harmful words from others. AMEN”

     “Protect me..not just from harm, but from the harmful words of others.”

      Sobering right there. There should never have been a need for this sentence in my daily prayers. Yet it held a place each day for years. Some days I felt this protection. I had days where my focus was held by my personal intent for positive interaction, positive outcomes. Yet in spite of this there was always someone who had a personal agenda to attempt to pierce my carefully constructed armor. Words, actions. They caused me to crumble inside until I started looking for a new job. Months went by before I could get out of the hell hole which had become my life.

      Bullying did this.

      What I did not understand was I couldn’t outrun the bullying. The next job held a bully of a worse magnitude. The job after this one held an ‘in secret’ bully who was known to be doing this yet still held their position. I grew a cold mask. I preempted their attempted online contact with harsh words. In person they pretended all things were fine. The minute I was left alone with them they’d lean in and whisper “I’m going to take you down, you b****.” Passing by them in the hallways held the same whispered ugliness.

     I became the ice queen no one likes. Yet even this change in my demeanor caused a different type of bully. One determined to push me to explode. Their goal seemed to only be about trying to push me until they could say ‘ see? She’s no better than anyone else that stuck up b****.” Wow.

      How is this OK?”

      It isn’t OK.

      Bullying is NEVER okay, not once and I do not, will NOT ever support bullying behavior. Bullies do it to make themselves feel better by hurting someone they perceive are less than they are without any thought for the consequences which can ensue. Bullies always find pride in how they are ‘taking down’ someone else and can not help but reveal themselves as they gleefully continue on their path of bullying. 

      Bullying behavior is never okay.

Poetry, “The Smiling Shield”

     This coming friday will begin 2017’s “Last Fridays” poetry readings which will be available to watch on:

               Periscope Channel Live at 11:45 am (central) @PPPoetryProject2017 (*formerly @Cookies4Scopers)

               YouTube Channel for repeat viewing and additional videos


     “Last Fridays” will be an open mic style of reading of the previous poems posted each month on friday. These are not heart and flowers poetry. Some are NSFW (not safe for work) so if listening to them please use earbuds. These poems are written about the complexity of my inner life after it was changed by PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and life with Multiple Sclerosis since my diagnosis in 1992.

Today’s poem is titled “The Smiling Shield” 
I wake in the night covered in sweat
Memories fill my mind leaving me shaking
Fear consumes me
Fear overwhelms me
Thoughts, memories of pain filled moments
My body flinches in response
To long remembered hurts
Stinging pain striking again and again
Solid hurts which I thought would never end
My body flinches in response
To thoughts of laying in bed aching from bruises
Ones which would take days to show themselves
No, I’m okay, I’m fine, I’m doing alright
Smile so no one knows
Smile so no one will ever ask 
What is wrong?
Smile smile smile and smile some fucking more damnit!
No one must ever know
No one can ever know my shame
I lay in bed my body covered in sweat
I lay in bed and hold my pillow close
The only comfort there in these moments
As I settle down and those memories fade away
I awaken and remember
I am free now from that long ago pain
I am free now from all those hurt filled times
I am free to make my life what I want it to be
There is nothing which can or will stop me
From sharing these words
For all to hear
For all to know
That smile?
That smile you were so entertained by?
That smile you were so happy to see?
That smile?
It was my shield which hid away all my pain
Pain you still choose to believe had been a lie
Pain and hidden bruises all covered up
Made pretty by makeup and perfume
All the time pain of the deepest kind
Had been hidden away 
Behind the smiling shield



Personal journal 01.20.2017

      I sit and stare at the screen with frustration in my heart. One piece of artwork continues to elude finishing. It is one I have done over and over until my heart hurts, my spirit hurts, my hands hurt from the work. Sketch after sketch and I really do not even know why I keep pursuing this one piece. It is not dissimilar to the vision inside my mind from my 20’s which will not leave me. No matter what I have been through it is there taunting me until I sketch it again and again. Now there is this new one and I have no clear understanding of why it is this way yet again with a very different piece.      My mind continues to nudge me to create this piece and I keep attempting to escape it’s touch. This is not unlike those moments when people in public touch me and invade my space. I want to run and yet I will myself to stay in place, to smile instead of moving into a protective stance.

      Not long ago I was at an art event and for once was enjoying the company I was with. I stood looking at a painting which intrigued me as a group of people crowded past. As the group passed I felt a hand very deliberately pass across the top of my buttocks and slip down. This astonished me in that I had previously believed this type of behavior was no longer going to happen. I’ve taken a stand, several years ago against this type of behavior and yet right there in the middle of an enjoyable moment? There it was, stealing away the joy I felt and ever since I’ve not been comfortable going to any other similar events.

      I want to, I need to go to more public events and yet I still feel this ‘thing’ inside me holding me back. Not fear, most would think it is fear. It is this other ‘thing’ the one of being made to feel as if I am only an object to touch, to ridicule, to try and get close to and it is this ‘thing’ I buck against. I want to be free of this and yet this ‘thing’ pursues me constantly in the most unexpected places.

      It is the one which says I have no say in who touches my body or comes into my space. It is the ‘thing’ which says I am nothing but an object to own, to use and to discard at will because I have no worth.

      When did the world circle back to this place? I had really thought all the incredible moments which had brought about so much change were here to stay.


Poetry Wednesday “The Glimmer”

A glimmer slips through the carefully created walls of my creation

This light I can see shine with it’s dust mote filled rays

I wonder when it happened?

This crack in my demeanor

My wonderfully fashioned surround

Which took so long to make

I sit back in astonishment watching, waiting

The light shines upon my face and I close my eyes

There is no heat, only the light I see in spite of closed lids

I sigh deeply wondering if I am ready, could I be ready

It is all simply a moment as I sit back and observe

The light moves across my face, my lips, my neck and down across my breasts

I watch as it moves away from me until it is nearly gone

It changes into a different light tinged with grey and I know it is now moonlight

It also moves across my body and back up to my face

I let it caress my lips and step back out of the light to simply observe it’s beauty

My mind allows me to step back and only watch as I see every nuance of this light

So beautiful as it moves softly, slowly until it becomes the bright light of day

I lay upon the ground and with my eyes closed I wait patiently

This time I will enjoy what I have let in

This time can simply be the beginning of what will be

If only I allow this shimmer of light to expand

Until it’s warmth moves across my body and I welcome it in.

A Perception Series, “The Upturned Cart”

      People circle back into our lives and with them they bring all the previously held ideas of who you were to them the last time they were in your life. Maybe it’s the thought of the past happiness, or maybe it was even the promise of sex. But reality is what was there before is no longer in existence.  
      Oh the previous ‘spark’ might seem to be there, on their part, but after so many times of bait and switch it’s no longer there for you. What’s worse is when someone is determined to make it appear as if you, yes you, were the one who has circled back in or attempted to make contact.

      I’m uncertain what is worst. The person circling back in the first place or how they bring all this drama along in tow. It’s like a dance with all the choreography in place, everything ticking along perfectly. Partners twirl in each other’s arms. Leaps carry them across the room back into welcoming arms with the joyful smiles along with the welcoming embraces. In the midst of all this wonder is the lumbering one who staggers back into the fray out of nowhere shoving their partner away harshly. Then with a rough tug pulls them smartly back into their arms.

      This disjointed mess amongst the beautiful movements of all the others causes everyone to stop in their tracks to stare, to whisper and to finally ignore the sight as they go back to their dance. Eventually the one in the middle, the object of ‘desire’ is left standing alone destitute of all love, all emotions distanced within themselves as they bear the shame of being left yet again. Left after never having sought out the lumbering partner in the first place.

      All the joy from the previous solo dancing is gone. All that is left behind is the shame of momentarily thinking the dance could again be one filled with the joy of a welcome embrace. The shame covers you with the knowledge that everyone believes you were the one who sought out a reconnection. Even when the reality is far from this ‘truth’ all believe, it doesn’t matter when in the end you are still seen as the bad ‘guy’ in the story.

      Somehow the story becomes crafted in such a way to make you an object of ridicule and the derision weighs heavy as you go through your day.

      The days, which had previously been filled with moments of joy, of silly times are now ones where the mere act of waking is unwelcome. All regular activities become forced and you begin to wonder why this happened in the first place. Each day which had been a gift indeed becomes one where the gift is opened each day with a heavy heart and false gaiety.

      It’s an unwelcome state of affairs indeed. One which could have been avoided in the first place by simply being unkind and short with the person in question.

       Instead, with embarrassment hidden away, you smile to hide all the hurt away yet again as you try to find the joy you’d only just begun embracing.