Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thoughts

Thoughts unfolding one by one
make me want to turn and run.

They slosh and spill out of my head,
and tumble out my ears in bed.

I don't know why they come at me
like torpedoes in the sea,
and crash into my troubled brain,
replete with poison, replete with pain.

I often wonder what I'd do
 if life was offered me anew;
would I step up and it allow
or with relief just take a bow?

To see the joy on someone's face,
and feel the touch of heaven's grace...
To open up and share my soul,
 and feel myself becoming whole...

It's this I think that tethers me
to life despite it's misery.
The little things that melt my heart
that balance what tears it apart.

And so perhaps what I have learned
in this war where I am churned
is not to run from life away
but accept this grand display.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Home (a few years back...)

Home is a resting ground for my worries.  A place where I take off my hat, and the thoughts fall off

one by one onto the hardwood floor.  As I kick them aside, I crawl into bed, weary bones sinking into

the mattress that feels like a pillow cradling my limbs, and absorb the shock of another day lived in

this obstacle course of life.  


I lie, wrapped in my comforter, peacefully watching cars pass by though the lace filter of curtains that

covers the window.  My body drops into its folds, while patches of bare skin brush up against a wooly

blanket.  I think of my grandmothers big, soft bed that swallowed me up whole when I was a child,

and smile.  I hug my Hello Kitty doll to my chest in a fetal position, barely able to move, barely able

to  breath.  I'm weary from trying, weary from crying, though my shallow breath seems to sustain me.

I feel likeI am in a hospital, recovering from a malady, some past ill that has haunted me and brought

me here to this spiritual asylum.  And indeed I am.   


From bedlam to beauty, I write.  As I wake from the dream I’ve yearned so long to escape - the

dream of my days, the nightmare of my past -  I am free for the first time in my life.  The

shackles of prison surround me no more, the barbed wire has snapped and I write, a wild banshee

cutting through the fields running for my life, running for my freedom.


Now, beauty surrounds me:  flowers and sunshine and a view.  The first of my adult life.  Ever so

slowly, I take it all in, absorbing every breath, and moving like a wounded insect struggling for its

life on the windowsill.  I take nothing for granted, not even the beat of my own heart.  I am fragile,

but alive, vulnerable but safe, wounded but healing...



I wonder if you are wondering where I’ve come from?  What path I’ve taken that has consumed me

whole and then some.  Dare I delve?  I don’t know.  Dare I speak of the shadows, and the underworld,

the sewers and devils that held me fast while I struggled and strained to escape - all the while getting

more embedded - like quicksand, into the dark and miry mirk?  Do I speak of the terrors of nightfall,

that lunged for my arm, waiting to eat me alive while I struggled and strained to break free?  Or do I

just shrug and carry on?  I don't know, but sinking into this moment sure feels good.  I don’t have to

run, or hide or look back over my shoulder trying to dodge hades.  No.  Today I can smile, safe in this

open fortress that is my room, and thank heaven that my life rests safe within its confines, quiet and

sweet.  And that, God willing, I will rise to another day, another occasion to make merriment and sing

praise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Remember

I remember one summer day, a long time ago, when my family piled into our Impala and drove to Puyallup.   I can still see my brothers feet, too short to reach the floorboards, dangling over the seat as we sped along.  It was a hot, sunny afternoon (well, hot for Washington), the sky was a cloudless blue expanse and the country fields went on forever.  The ride took a long time, but that was OK.  It meant we got to get out of the house and tedium of the farm.

My dad was in a good mood that day, laughing and eating with his napkin tucked into the top of his shirt in the restaurant we'd met at with some friends.  Tall and strapping, with thick black hair a la` Elvis, he was belligerent and often angry, but that day was different.  That day was a "good" day.  Joking around with our friends, he was jovial and almost fun.  My mother, beautiful with her quick brown eyes and thick dark hair looked after everything.  Usually scared of my father, today she, too, seemed less afraid, more at ease.  I sat, quietly stuffing my face with the delicious roast beef, thrilled to be on a drive.  My brother, messy with food on his face, ate peas in his highchair.

That was a long time ago.  Nowadays, the situation is different.  Diagnosed with alzheimers, my father is practically housebound and shuffles from room to room with a cane, or by my mothers arm since he is often too stubborn to use one.  Gone are the heavy, thunderous strides that used to make the china rattle in the cupboard, and terrify us when I was a child.  Now, the only traces of the man he was exist solely in his words; the same hurtful and abusive spews of yore, and in his hard eyes.  Bent with the weight of age, like an old tree, he is shriveled and the vitality that once seemed to define him is gone.  The man with the formidable strength who once worked 16 hour days nonstop, overcoming both a stroke, and a heart attack, now spends his days sitting in a chair with the TV flickering in front of him.  He doesn't let anyone open the blinds, preferring to sit in darkness.

It is both difficult and painful to watch the process of aging, especially since I only go home twice a year.  The memory of him between gaps makes for a stark contrast to the present visual, you just can't help it.  The disparity between who my father was and who he has become, is creating an ever deepening chasm in my memory that both snatches my breath away and makes my soul ache.  My heart takes a snapshot of him , then I compare the pictures between gaps and cry private tears.  

      

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Untitled

It's been a while.  Creative efforts ball themselves up on paper whilst I cry, pine and wonder where it is exactly that I've gone wrong.  Could it be that those morose meanderings I've taken regarding all the health concerns that have cropped up lately have finally taken their toll?  That those beastly little rabbit trails that I've traipsed down in anxious agitation, wondering if I've contracted some horrible malady or terminal ill have finally done in my spirit, my spunk?  It certainly feels that way, officer.

Jumbles of neurons on speed transmit the very worst scenarios onto my screen.  Images crawling ever closer like zombies on a mission, threaten and menace me with their fat, ready fists.  Responding oh so willingly to the gloomy mob of musings that blows up my mind, and future tripping in the worst possible way, I've parked it on row 17 in the theater of my head.  Eating popcorn, I'm entirely lost in the drama, forgetting that it's only a show.  Based on a true story, yes, but a show.

When I look at it this way, I can't help but think that my psychological destiny lies entirely in my own hands.  Yes, things happen.  Issues crop up, and problems inch their ugly faces into the picture refusing to be ignored, that is a given.  But attitude, who controls that?  Is it not us, with the power to think, to process and analyze?  And what of those of us with faith, who believe in a God who heals and restores, shouldn't we be resting in the knowledge that somehow, someway, it will all work out?  After all, isn't that's what faith is for?

As I ponder these words, I'm relieved to discover that peace lies in my choice of thoughts, in aligning myself with Divine truth, and not in being a ready victim to every whim of my technicolor imagination, nor random frolic through the poppy fields of my mind.

No, my future emotional health depends on how I decide to view circumstance, so let me choose wisely, and let me choose well.






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Night at the Opera

It's Sunday night, and my girlfriend and I step out to hear a friends's band play at the Deluxe, a smallish club in the Haight section of San Francisco.  

Music and sweat intermingle as the boys drive it home, sending frenzied beats of grinding rhythm careening into the eve.  

To my left, hipster zombies feign indifference, too stoned or too cool to care (though I notice their eyes are glued to the screen...), a handful of stragglers park it on the right, seemingly oblivious to the picture, and to my left, a happy couple dances, blissfully unaware that just a few steps away, a small swarm of wannabe's gather each trying to outdo the other with varying degrees of showiness.  


Players include a coquette with a striped power suit and fake laugh, a girl with a shrill voice barking orders for drinks, a tall bleached blond with heavy makeup, and a Gertrude Stein artist type who seems to be the den mother. The only apparently sincere one of the bunch is the drunk guy that stands in the middle and this, because he is sincerely drunk.  









I observe the scene from my cozy spot behind the half wall, a silent witness to the nasty bits of this adolescent soap opera.  


When it's time to go, my friend and I say our goodbyes and walk into the cool night air.  On the way to the car, I chuckle to myself, recalling the motley cast of characters, and breath a sigh of relief that I wasn't one of them (at least I hope).  It hurt enough going through puberty once, I wouldn't want to do it again. Hopefully, they'll get the memo, or grow up.  Whichever comes first.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Purr

She sits on the couch right next to me,
soft, and adoring, yet distant and free.

My dear older kitty, my sweet precious cat,
peculiar, and foreign, and almost fat.

She's the big little girl who likes to repose,
 a 6 year old cali with a pink dewy nose.

Her paws are all white but for tan on one toe,
her reflex is cautious, surprisingly slow.

Her tummy is baggy, I'm sure she's had kittens,
she's never once scratched me nor have I been bitten.

I rub her chest as she sleeps in a ball,
she never resists just hangs like a doll.

My favorite part is when I wake up,
and she's right beside me like the most loyal pup.

She'll wet my finger with small ginger licks,
if I'm lucky and quiet and move not a bit.

These golden moments slip into my heart,
feeding me joy when we are apart.

She doesn't play, never jumps on my lap,
nor rubs up against me, content just to nap.

But she'll let me pet her under the chin,
her obvious pleasure making me grin.

She always cries when I pick her up,
but humors me well 'til my minute is up.

We have a good time Loretta and I,
she trusts me, I love her, it's simple and fly.

"They'll steal your heart" I've heard said of beasts,
and now I know mine would rip at the least.

And so as I bury my hands in her fur,
her eyes lock on mine and she lets out...a purr.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chains

Still one night in bed I lay,
the chains of death entangled me.

I couldn't move could barely breath,
 while fire licked inside of me.  

I saw flames leap and felt the ropes,
thick and heavy snuff out my hope.  

Something indeed pulled me down low,
showing me just where I'd go.  

I knew hell came for me that night,
but God pulled me out of that deranged plight.

T'was but a dream because I woke,
though it's memory saturated me like smoke.

At that time I didn't know,
that God himself could save from woe. 

I festered deep inside myself,
while the best of me lay on a shelf.

When God came in and took me back,
I was set free from those attacks.

Since then I've slept not perfectly,
but peace now rests it's hand on me. 

It's wonderful for me right now,
to see to feel serenities vow.

If you linger in the pit,
all you get to eat is, well...

So give your trust up to The One,
who's got your back who gave His Son.

And you will find a love divine,
tranquilities dwelling, a rest sublime.