Tender

Tender

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hard days come

Destructive Doing
Some days are harder than others.
Most days I just look away from it
the fear
the truth

that my efforts are worse than waste
because they cost more than nothing would have cost
took more than nothing would have taken
and gave nothing back that I wanted

just pain and futility and more certainty that whatever I try
next
will end the say way
in nothing

and I can try to see it from another angle
I can tell myself another story and turn my cheek but it doesn't matter
because the ends are the ends
the means remain unjustified
and I'm not even sure what I'm doing here
in the end
after all

anyway

I can't remember what I was thinking
to have tried and tried again
I reach back to myself and find only an empty
sad naiveté
a story full of plot holes and pointless, endless dialogue
saying nothing at all.

I can't even feel sorry for her, that me
she invites my disdain more than my pity
why did she ever think
anything she did might matter?
how much delusion did she eat for breakfast every day?
spoonfuls, bowlfuls
of sugar-coated sand.

Don't try to reassure me
I mean, what's the point?
But you won't. Anyway.
Because there's no reassurance to explain away the facts
there's no story that makes it all fine with me.

It's not fine with me.
The good bits and pieces don't counteract my failure.

The idea it was a choice
is the farce
that deflates all attempts, in any case.

I'm not even allowed to feel what I feel
while there's something to cling to, some consolation to grasp
to invalidate this knowing and let you feel comfortable saying that
I'm wrong
even though, I think on some level you know,
I'm not wrong at all.




Saturday, April 18, 2020

Blame


How long has Hope made me wait in line
for a turn that was never mine to take?
how many times has she beguiled my mind
to build another house of cards to break?
caressed my heart, relaxed my guard
led me down the garden path again
to trip and tumble over cliffs of pain?
Now she scratches at my door
crying, my dear, I'm sorry
you must admit,
you have only yourself to blame.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Distortion

The Grief of Loss of What I Never Had (CAI2019)

Overblown and underwhelming
what comes through me, into reality
bears little resemblance
filtered by pretentious words and inadequate skill
into bits and pieces too heavy for the wind to carry
too heavy to float
sinking to the bottom, mired and drowned
but even so, still, too light to hold meaning down.
My silly gifts revert to impositions of confusion
suspicion, a twist of discomfort that forgets its name.
Again, and again.
Better, maybe, better to be still
swallow the bitter pill and let it
gag the truth before it spills through my clumsy hands.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Unseeing is believing


Standalone (CAI2020)


Maybe I was made for this
to stand in plain sight and never be
seen

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Winded

Gut Punch (CAI 2020)


A prize I didn't know existed 
until I didn't win
that sucker-punched gut exposed,  
wind
blown 
right out 
of
me.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Needed

overwhelmed
washed over
lost
in the sea
it's me, it's me
that's missing
who will notice I'm not there
why should they care,
anyway
as long as they get what they need

The point


Is there a point in writing words that no one reads?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Gratitude (a prayer)

Reality (CAI2020)

Thank you, Mother, for the lesson they can't ignore
A warning, clear and stern
with no wiggle room for doubt
thank you for the lightness of the sentence
a lesson, not a punishment,
not yet
thank you for sending us home
for tearing so many holes, all at once
so we have no choice but to stop
take stock
and rebuild
Father, please protect us
keep us well and safe and warm
loved and sheltered from the storm
a wish for all
a wish for life
May I fortify my best
may I pass this test of my humanity
flying with the colours
being with the memory
of now.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Yes

Ballot Cast (2019 CAI)
it's already happened
it's happening now.
it makes me tired just to look at it,
but still, in the end,
I vote yes.

Indefinite, not infinite (Maverick Missives)

Indefinite Wisdome (CAI 2019)
The concept of Maximum holds the key.
The limits.
Unlimitless requires an infinite environment
so
of course Spirit pursues it!
But in a body, it’s destructive
Because Earth is not an infinite environment
Earth is an indefinite environment
And that is a totally different animal.


Earth has a limit. 
Nothing is created or destroyed, only changed
Nothing much comes in. Very little goes out.
We can do this, indefinitely

But not limitlessly. 

Limits create the definition
that allows indefinition to continue.

Wake up!


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Fabulous Women


Too Subtle (CAI 2019)

As I prepare to attend an International Women's Day Conference where there are many speakers I find interesting and admire, I have a confession to make: I secretly hate inspirational talks.

I know it’s a bit perverse and I’m probably jealous of the amazing people, but I have a habit of letting inspirational talks shame me. They highlight my inadequacy. I am not inspirational like them. All my promise, all my potential, everything I’ve done to learn and grow and figure out life’s challenges, all my failures that I call learning experiences; all I know and long to share with the world, is not much, after all. Not polished. Not finished. Not interesting. Not coherent. Not enough.

Maybe we could organize a conference of the women no one ever asks to speak, because their stories seem suspiciously common. Because they are not accomplished enough, not fabulous enough, haven’t managed to come out the other side of their challenges and put together a tidy TED-inspired story of how they grew and what they know and what they did that was so important. 

Maybe I’d rather hear mumbled, uncertain snippets from women who are still mired and mucking around. Women who have accomplished staying alive today and doing all the things that needed doing to keep their lives afloat and take care of the people they care about, despite a bevy of personal challenges. I want to hear how they find ways to be sane and loving, when the world is so terrible. I want to see how they grab and protect moments of creative inspiration despite a life filled with chores. I want to hear how they sometimes manage to break through the resentment of having all the work and none of the glory. I want to understand how they keep believing in themselves even when no one else believes in them, when the world tells them there’s nothing in them to believe in, anyway, and that situation has not changed despite their best efforts. I’d like to understand how they manage their chronic pain and constant, underlying anxiety. How they get back in touch with their bodies and learn to love them, or fail to do so despite years of trying. I want to know how they cope with never finishing anything they start, but plugging away at it anyway, or how they reconcile themselves to give it up. I would like to understand, too, how they feel about the Inspirational Women being Fabulous until common efforts begin to feel pointless, since they can’t be held up like a polished diamond for admiration. Are they inspired?

Maybe, instead of seeking inspiration in the exceptional, what I really crave is to feel inspired to hold myself, exactly as I am, as special and important. To feel that I’m not alone. To admire other messy, “unaccomplished” women who are scraping together their own purpose amidst a life dedicated to others, in a world designed to keep us from knowing our true godliness. 

I think I want to believe that I’m not a failure because no one cares about my experiences. I want to feel like I’m one of many on a journey that is important, somehow, even if I never come out the other side. I deeply wish to believe that my lack of audience reach doesn’t mean I’m a waste.

But, I suspect that craving for consolation doesn’t deserve respect.  Let alone a whole conference.

And, anyway, no one would come.

And also, I would not speak there. 

I am not so jealous of the Fabulous Women because they get to speak and be heard. I am jealous because they get to be so brave and motivated that they can do it. I can't remember the last time I felt that way, like I could tackle something like wrapping my knowledge into an interesting present for the world and delivering it with gusto. I can't remember the last time that the thought of doing something really interesting and probably very useful didn't feel like an invitation to failure, an imposition on energy, something I probably can't get done before life drags me backwards three steps. When I see the Fabulous Women and I know, they are actually fabulous, it makes me notice what I am, now. Where I am, now. What I can be, now. And I'm not satisfied. The best I can do is not good enough for me. I should be able to step up, and in. Life keeps sending me setbacks like curve balls I really should have seen coming, and I'm not sure I have the disposition for it. When I go somewhere to get inspired by the people who overcame that, I feel tired. Too tired to even admire what they do. 

I am of diminished capacity. I am limited in body and mind in ways that make my spirit lose interest altogether. I may never understand the most fundamental things that everyone else seems to get. And I have no way to help anyone else with anything they are experiencing, because following the disjointed path of my breadcrumbs would try the patience of a saint. It has. And that will likely be the only way to get what I had to give, in the end. It wasn't what I hoped for. 

But maybe today will be different. Maybe today, the inspiration will spark instead of snuff. Maybe today I will walk away with energy I didn't have before. So I go.

Because hope is the only path to peace that feels compelling. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

To weep is not weak



In this fragile state I am often weepy
Tears rise unbidden,
stinging eyes, constricting
breath
I sigh, again to find myself overcome
becoming weak right in the centre
of my strong
I play along with life, all the while
wondering about this feline creature
playing with me.
Weeping, but not weak
Weakened moments a release,
of tension, dissonance, consternation.

I cry, for a moment I cry
(a moment or two)
all the while knowing that I will make it through
back to me
this is not the sum
dying isn't the worst of what's to come
and life always offers consolations
to those who see.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Choosing Mean

Conscience(CAI 2019)

When did it become cool to be unkind?
A merit badge of honour?

When did pushing boundaries become thumbing noses
And personal ambition become winner takes all?

When did people become unapologetically,
unashamedly,
mean?

Each person must choose it every day
to be that way
they have to choose. But
maybe it's not again and again
choice after choice,
but simply one choice, to not care
then hold, hold fast, right there
Pandora's box shut tight.

I imagine how that would feel
to protect, guard this new power
like it represents sanity
like I've finally found the way around all the pain
that others' suffering naturally launches inside
the empathy that resides in our hearts from the start
To have found a pain-killer for the soul.

It must be as addictive as crack.

Imagine! to have discovered a way
to thwart life's inherent poignancy
the pull of destiny that doesn't exist
the contradictory means to survive;
to have someone clear to blame, something empowering to believe
that lets me off the hook, a reprieve
imagine slipping through the grip of guilt
Hoarding all my caring just for me!

I feel exhilaration, freeing all the possibilities previously bound by honour
shifting that honour to me and mine
a lovely switch and bait that feels like freedom
from mommy's nagging whine about what's right

I mean, who's to say? We can't trust the evidence of our eyes
or the people who run our lives
and where is our God or Hero to save the day? Guess what?
we have ourselves to save.

Yes, there's a strength and pride, to come out the other side of caring.

Nice trick if you can.

maybe I should be jealous, or mad
but all I feel is sad.

Mattering


Reversed Emission (CAI)
I suppose it's true
that nothing I do matters
that my words dissipate in the air
all I am is contained in here, this body
and when she stops, who will care
for longer than it takes to order a beer?
All the trying and striving, wonder and worry
all the ways I thought I mattered
barely a line in the sand, whisked by wind
not even a grain remains to say
I was here
(wasn't I?)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The day I let you down (short poetical)

Breach (CAI2019)
Where was I the day I let you down?
was I looking at the sky or at the ground?
how did I miss the moment?
blithely going my way; floundering, too,
but you, you
you were trying to fly
and I didn't even know
why I was there
you needed my air to go
all I had to do was blow your way
but I spent the day
on nothing at all, and let you fall.




Monday, January 6, 2020

Futures


Futures (CAI 2019)
I see futures. Not all of them, not exactly; or, at least, I see all of them the way you see all the water droplets in the lake, at once, mixed together, as a single thing. But I also see the waves and crests, individuized, and some droplets that escape the splash to hit me in the face like a memory I'll never forget. I see whether I look or not, they intrude on my daily life and distract my attention like flies. Futures like flies, waiting their chance to eat me.

The burden of the futures keeps my head heavy with pressure, my heart heavy with knowing, my self heavy with fear and a poignant attachment to beauty. Finding my lightness requires feats of strength. Keeping my focus requires will mustered from depths that scrape nasty scars on the wall of my stomach, down the length of my nerves, through the pores of my skin.

I breathe in light. I breathe out knowing. I leave it hanging in the air and try to pretend it isn't there.