down

I’ve let myself come down again

it’s not really quiet down here
whales
the earth shuddering
new mountains being born
the ebb and flow
as the earth makes love to the moon
and small bubbles

I am quiet
when I let myself
go all the way down

the ocean is not quiet, but it is dark
dark as a dungeon
damper than dew
I keep sinking

and my eyes slowly adjust
my lungs adjust too
it hurts like knives at first
but I adjust faster than i used to
like the sea lions
I can go down and get back up
no bends
I have learned from them
I hold the oxygen
and let the nitrogen out slowly
through my gut

my eyes adjust
and then they come
the glowing ones, slow and fast
like ghosts swimming towards me
maybe they are my dead
someday I will join them

I expect to return this time
maybe
or not
I don’t know if I will find pearls
or a leviathan
who will swallow me whole
and barely notice

this time I walked in
myself
I don’t blame you
or family or past or circumstances
it is time for me to go down
I go
down and down and down
deep

___________

only when I’m hungry (1)

sometimes
I still miss you
then I have to check
if I am hungry

I’m doing well, you see
I only miss you when I’m hungry

I’m moving on
but sometimes I still get hungry

hunger is tied up with fear
in childhood
and grief and abandonment

When you fed me
that was huge

You don’t feed me any more

Sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

I think you’ve joined the dead
the angry dead
who didn’t feed me
and didn’t love me

or loved me during anger
and wouldn’t feed me

Sometimes I still miss you
but only when I’m hungry

________________

Photo taken by my friend JB.

if I could bottle this

if I could bottle this beauty
if I could bottle this joy
if I could capture the heart
the stone shaped heart of a boy

if I could bottle this sunshine
miraculous stars in the dark
open the sun in the winter
train to capture a heart

I can’t bottle this moment
sorrow rolls in sure as joy
tears run dry in the future
my heart not always a toy

______________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: bottle.

(You always know) post trauma

You always know

You always know
when I am afraid
when I am running
when I am hiding
how afraid I am

when I keep secrets

You always know
so far
when I am triggered and terrified
and hiding and broken
and pretending to be ok

so far
you respond
and are gentle
draw me out
offer food
and company

You always know
so far
and I am still afraid
and I am still planning
and this is what I am hiding
the plan for what I will do

What I will do
when you know
you always know
when you know
but you don’t
respond

when you don’t respond
and aren’t gentle
don’t draw me out
don’t offer food
or company

You always know
so far

But I feel safer
if I don’t
trust

11/28/21

begonia

The friend that I visited the last two weeks has a green thumb and a beautiful garden. This was on her porch.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I am watching the service for Queen Elizabeth II. I wish every family who has lost someone recently or years ago, finds their way through stages of grief to a stage of peace. I fall out of it every so often and miss my mother, my father, my sister. Blessings all.

Mourn

Thank you, Queen Elizabeth II, for choosing this time to pass, to die.

The world can use public mourning now, a formal ceremony. I tear up every time I look at the lines of people watching, standing, waiting, filing past your coffin.

Perhaps we should set up a coffin for all the dead, a field of coffins, doll coffins, hundreds, thousands, a million for the United States alone, and millions for the world, for all the dead from Covid-19.

And then we need more coffins, for those who died because care was delayed during the pandemic, screening for cancer, treatment for cancer or heart disease or lung disease. Let us set them up as well.

And then we need doll chairs, hundreds and thousands and millions of doll chairs, for the people with long haul Covid, to acknowledge that we don’t know if they will get well, will rise from their beds and chairs.

And white coats, hundreds and thousands and millions of white coats, some neatly on hangers, other bloody, others thrown on the floor, for the first responders, some dead, some quitting, some ill, some deciding that they can’t do medicine or fire fighting or policing any more, some stubbornly continuing in their jobs.

And job advertisements, on tiny doll computers, doll newspapers, doll signs in windows, saying help wanted, help, help, people are quitting, people are too sick to work, people have died, people are wondering why they should work in public, people are afraid and angry and hurt, help wanted.

I tear up when I watch the public mourning. I remember my mother, my father, my sister, all dead before the pandemic. I remember other dead, family and friends. I think of all the dead that I know, starting to outnumber the living that I know.

Thank you Queen Elizabeth II, for this formal and public mourning in this time of confusion and grief. Your last public service, for which I and many others, tear up and thank you.

___________________________

The photograph is from a friend’s dollhouse.

Dream travel

I time travel in dreams.

Two dreams last night. In one I am in a hospital and trying to finish up and go home, but there are two babies. I check and one is my daughter. I check the other and it is a boy. He has a label saying “Call police.” The story is that he is sent from a smaller hospital for some testing that I am not sure about and that the mother was supposed to pick him up. She has been discharged but has not picked him up. I feed him and my daughter, feeling anxious. Where are the nurses? Why is my daughter here? I will take her home, but I have to make provision for the boy first. I feel sorry for him, abandoned. Both babies are clean and alert and swaddled, but the nurses are not around. I wake up.

In the second dream, I am still married to my first husband/but it’s a more recent gentleman friend at the same time. We are in southeast asia. I want to go home but for some reason we have stuff, including skis. My daughter is in her 20s in this dream. We take the skis to a house. Right before we reach it, there are police nearby, having a shootout with someone. Gangsters. This worries me and my daughter/friend. My husband/the guy meet us there and he boasts that a rich friend lets him use the room in the house. “I can have it for a whole month.” I am unimpressed and don’t care. I want to go home. My daughter/or it’s a woman friend and I go back. I think that my husband/guy is getting the car, but I hear his voice. He is singing in a karaoke bar. It is a very trashy glittery place and he loves it. I do not like the lounge style of singing and I decide to get the car myself and with my daughter/friend, get out of there. I hear my husband/guy making excuses and calling after us, but I am leaving. He lies to me and he excludes me, he wants to be the center of attention with his rich friends and when he sings, he’s afraid I would take attention away from him.

My daughter/friend and I retrace towards the building where the skis are. We have to walk on the edge of a massive fountain, with a cliff on one side. We are in a city. I think that we are retracing but then we come out into an open area. There is a police car parked there. I know we are visible, with a full moon reflecting off the fountain pool, so I wave with no concern. Just tourists here. I study the edge of the fountain to see if we could go in the water and climb to the next section, but it is not safe. I can’t tell how deep it is nor how fast the current. We will have to backtrack. The city is beautiful, with a giant lion building on the skyline and buildings with the Thai curved rooftops stacked up. It is gorgeous. Suddenly the other person is my friend and I worry: where is my daughter, where is the baby? I wake up.

My daughter is in her twenties now, not a baby, but in the dream she was a baby and then later in her twenties. When I wake I think, who cares about the stupid skis? Get out of there and leave the stuff. The babies are most important.

The first dream has three people. The second has four, because I can see the policeman. All the people are aspects of myself. My husband who is my ex now/a recent gentleman friend and then a male southeast asian policeman, though the police car is one of the large blue SUV style ones that I see at home. All of these complicate elements. Both my children have been to Thailand but I have not. Dreams are definitely time travel for me.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: time travel.

hope molting and growing new feathers

A friend away a friend some day
a friend can’t stay all the day
a friend won’t pray a friend can’t play
not today is what they say
a friend they say a friend always
a friend who may return some day

in a way you might say
hope molts and regrows feathers today

I think my inner four year old wrote today’s poem. I am thinking about the song my mother taught me, very young, for when I was frustrated.

My sister and I loved this song and others, Samuel Hall and “I don’t want to play in your back yard, I don’t like you any more. You’ll be sorry when you see me, sliding down my cellar door.”

I gave a young friend a book of rhymes. He looked at me with some horror. “These are nursery rhymes.” I grin at him. “Look again. It’s a book of insulting playground rhymes, suitable for all occasions.” He looked at the book again and held on to it.

The photograph is from the National Museum of Women in the Arts again. Another fabulous painting that seems to fit my theme.