Poem: Who Cares?


Look around

among the desks and papers

where crayons fall upon the floor

to see our little babies

asking for so much more

Look up at that building

where laws and  freedom rings

and see the crumbling institution

where instead ego blindness sings

Turn towards the forests

so rich with birds and trees

and hear the sounds of engines

while watching animals flee

Stand by the ocean

so vast and so blue

instead it’s filled with garbage

and the whales now say adieu

Stand across from a stranger

whose color is not yours

no longer love thy neighbor

instead we abhor

Watch those who love the same

in happiness and joy

and remember not equality

rather marriages to destroy

So in the end

who really cares?

because a critical time is coming

where witnesses must bare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Poem: Long Ago


Long ago

two strangers met

and their fate was sealed

 

A child’s life

had been hurt

but a woman helped it heal

 

She took her hand

and brought her home

to help her learn to feel

 

Some days were hard

and both felt pain

life could feel surreal

 

But the woman

always was there for her

through every life ordeal

 

So even though

not by birth

as my Mother you are real

 

Dedicated to my dear Mom on her 91st birthday. You are my heart and soul. Thank you for the day you found me, brought me home and have helped me on my journey ever since!

Cosmic Birth


She walked into the crystalline night below an inky sky her thoughts following her like giant insects who come out only when old furniture is moved. The apparitions that stalked her, breathing their hot voices close to her ears, were ever present. It was like the dead air sound inside her head when the pressure gets too much; or maybe someone just over the other side was reaching out, trying to say something, but she couldn’t make out the words. A rushing, like the blood in her veins, pushing and pulsing. They follow her, so very near.

Where was she going? And where had she just been? The night air felt like a slap, but it was a sting of stars blasting her awake.  Had she been asleep? Walking through her life, but not conscious. Faces, distorted with mouths that spoke at her, trying to swallow her and eat what she was, would swim out of the darkness, grinning. Often, she would find herself in a place she wouldn’t recognize, naked and unaware how she had gotten there. Just like on this stark night.

The mirrored hall of reality was a twisted place. It’s maze of unending pathways looking back upon itself reflected nothing and everything. Where did she start or end? The mystery of the beginning was unknown. So, she would keep moving because stopping would mean pain. The grace of fluidity kept her whole, in one piece, so she wouldn’t shatter into a million shards and fly off into the universe.

It was understood that this was a lonely place. The voices may speak, but they would never hear.  She would always walk alone on roadways unfamiliar and distant from where she knew she belonged. There would be a mist that would drift in around her and hold her like a baby, clouding the world around her and making the edges soft. But this made others wary of her, because when she stepped out of the fog, she saw with great clarity and knew when the others weren’t true. And this made her different.

So, it kept her walking; away from it all. It kept her separate, even though the voices followed. She kept going forward, step by step. The ghosts floated close by, but the cool, authentic air as she walked kept her present.

And as she walked, her head tilted toward the dotted evening sky. She thought about the stars, planets and the universes. Mostly about eternity. How it all stretches out on and on. It started before her and will go on after she is long gone. And how she is following its call back home.

Poem: 1956


Forbidden love

is tossed back

into the arms of the hand

the throw of the gamble

that most fear to play

Yet

under cover

‘neath the sweaty dark

of the hidden night

in the pulsing fury

of times angry divide

A union

of color

entangled together

through tension and tender

White wanting in concealed desire

wrapped in Black brave

Heart marches

toward an outlawed end

Bound

Round

Babe

Racial

Bye

Given gone away

to spare the agony

of blasphemous belonging

Two

split to wander separate worlds

One

drowning in the blood

of both

Poem: The Give Away 


Do you search 

in the still of the night 

when memories moth-drawn 

cling to fire lit sparks

Do you lay

quietly wondering 

in faces that pass

from mirrored creations 

What has become 

of the give away gift 

turned over to fate

gone from grieving decisions 

Is she there

feeling my midnight ache

dark slice alone 

when you could have been mine

Joy Through Sacrifice


Watching an interesting TED talk today about a young Arctic surfer (yes, you heard me right, that was Arctic surfer), he said something that really struck me–not about surfing, but about sacrifice. As you can imagine, someone who surfs in frigid waters does a fair amount of sacrificing.  He does it in part to get away from the normal tropic crowds, but also to take these amazing photographs. To paraphrase very loosely he said something like: most things worth any kind of real joy usually involve some kind of sacrifice.

That gave me pause.

wpid-20150113_075440.jpg

I began thinking about some of the things that take sacrifice but bring joy:

  • 9 months of carrying a baby: the worrying, the weight gain, the hormone shifts, the vomiting, the swelling, the potential dangers involved…
  • being in a relationship: any kind really. It’s constant ups and downs, bargaining (with the kids, partners, co-workers, family members), tears, give/take, compromises, giving away parts of yourself at times
  • having a dream or goal: these can take huge amounts of time, money, changes in lifestyle and re-evaluating ourselves for the final outcome
  • moving somewhere new: leaving friends and family behind; leaving a career or job, doing something scary, taking a leap of faith
  • starting over (with a job/a person/or alone: leaving your comfort zone, stretching parts of yourself you may not know you had, or totally remaking yourself
  • helping others or someone else: living with less than normal, learning about other cultures (which maybe is uncomfortable), focusing less on “me”
  • giving up something completely: getting used to life “without”, feeling what it’s like when others perceive because we are now “different”
  • changing our point of view for the greater good: getting into arguments (political/family?), battling within ourselves over the old point of view, reconciling what’s right/wrong
  • coming out: about our sexual orientation, addictions, mental health, illness, abuse, political view or anything else we’ve been keeping inside for fear of judgement, shame or condemnation
  • sharing our home with animals: limiting our work day, getting up in the middle of the night, cleaning up hair, poop and vomit off the floor
  • Waiting: for anything you want, it can be excruciating at times because we are a culture of wanting everything now, having patience is like hot iron swirling in our bellies…the loss of precious time while we wait
  • standing up for what you believe when others around you don’t agree: this can be going to rallies or being a vegan, it can bring agitation or arguments from others, confrontations or simply tiresome questions
  • sharing our home with children: never having peace and quiet (or rarely); suddenly realizing you have to sacrifice so much and become a very good teacher when you hardly know yourself (or much else for that matter…)

There are so many more things…what can you add to the list? And it all comes down to mindset like anything else really. We give to get. Nothing comes easily really.  It seems like many things feel like work these days, and trying to pick out the little pieces of joy can be tough. But when you think about the sacrifices we make all adding up to something beautiful–that it’s the wrapping surrounding the gift inside, then it doesn’t feel quite so much like drudgery. 

So when you are climbing that next mountain and it feels like hell: the boots are giving you blisters, the sweating like a banshee and the mosquitoes buzzing around your head: remember that when you get to the top you will see this incredible view of the world below. Every step you took to get there was worth what lies before you as you look out. See it as you breathe the joy and try to remember that you couldn’t have experienced the splendor without a bit of pain.

earlier 2

 

Poem: It Works This Way 


To all the Mothers out there

and to how we toil

and care

would give our

Life

for their life

and sometimes do

in child birth

in war

sometimes just 

to give them a better 

Life

If they are happy 

we are happy 

So Mother’s day can only really be 

Happy 

if all the children of the world 

were

too

Saving Me


Many years ago I did something that most think was to help someone else, but it was really to help me. It was actually not a selfless move to save a part of the world, but to save a part of me.

The journey began when I decided I wanted to adopt a baby. I am adopted as some of you may recall. It was not an easy journey, as I had criteria that made constraints that other people adopting might not have through their paths. It was my goal to stay within the US and to maintain birth order (my husband at the time and I had a 3-year-old), so when approaching an adoption agency, they showed us the ‘blue book’ of the “waiting children”–it appeared as though this might be impossible. Either we would have to take on siblings of 4 or teenagers. Neither of these situations seemed fair to my daughter.

But then the social worker mentioned foster care: the backdoor to adoption. At that time, 51% of foster children got adopted by their foster parents. It seemed like a reasonable plan to me, especially since I was a stay at home Mom anyway.

I won’t go through it all, because this is not what this post is about. Suffice to say, we became foster parents, eventually to a 2-year-old girl: mentally challenged, but high functioning, emotionally rocked by her first 2 years and HIV positive.

That toddler is now my 25-year-old daughter and she just had my first grandchild today–a little boy.

It has been a rocky road all along. My 3-year-old (now almost 28) has had a rough relationship with her, which has worsened as an adult. The birth daughter that came after her, has a distant, but OK relationship. And this daughter’s life has been one challenge after another. While her health is way better than anyone would have predicted (they figured she wouldn’t live past 9 years old), she has met with prejudice, job losses, school bullies and lots of tears.

She has been with her partner for many years, a young man who is also mentally challenged, more so than she. When she announced her pregnancy, we were all pretty upset. They are poor, with no jobs, living in abject poverty. While we help, there is only so much you can help those who often do not believe they need it.There was great concern for the welfare of a baby coming into these circumstances.

But she was determined, and her determination has always been one of her greatest (and sometimes most frustrating) attributes.
So today he was born. The doctors have taken every precaution, and so has she, that this baby be born HIV free. My daughter has tried very hard to take care of herself and many around her have been helping to get her hooked up with the proper services so there will be the best possible outcome down the road.

It is so easy to be negative, but success can’t happen unless we believe it is possible. Sometimes I think that she never thought much about her HIV and just figured she would live a normal life, so she has. And I understand her desire for baby, someone who belongs to her through genes, looks like her and comes from her. I get it when no-one else in my family may understand this–because we both have that connection, that mutual disconnect from our birth heritage.

So on this day, I will celebrate her decision and her new baby, my grand-baby. Because her adoption wasn’t about fixing her, it was to rescue a part of me.