all the ways

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all the ways I drown in silence

as lifeboats climb trees

the tidal pull, the listen for you

but wave after wave of mute breath

while your forests are alive with float

songs of save, so far away

sink, sink in salty quiet

none of your life lines reach

they play melodies in trees

and I struggle

wordless rip current

desolate sea

silences me

between believe and break

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in the days between believe and break
the sun rose dark and painted shadows
trees bowed and let go of all they held
bare fingers pointing any and no way
and all that was once held together by time
let fly the wind and broke into pieces
of nothing sinking deeper in the deep within
and cracks spilled hope in freezing drops
bottom chased chained below motionless
curtains drawn, she never left her bed.

Why

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Don’t tell me your story;
it’s written in shadows
gripping your face, and
the way you twist the trash
bag of everything you
own around your wrist.
15-years-old, but I see
just a boy, shivering in
short sleeves. They took
your sweatshirt away
when you tried to hang yourself
with it, before you flung
yourself out a second story
window. he’s okay, they said,
but he’s not okay. I see his face.
I know broken, and he looks
down at the floor. I have
the file that says no one
wants to claim him, they’ve
all given up. He’s the state’s
child now, and the state can’t
hold your hand. The file knows
secrets he tries to keep, about
abuse and neglect that led him here.
He glances up, and I catch his eye –
yes, I see you. I smile, a little, you’re
safe for tonight. I sit down and he breathes
this day he needs to leave behind.
I know…but there is paperwork to be
done. We need history, diagnosis, all
the information required. This boy,
my patient, is tired in so many ways.
It’s past midnight before he’s processed
and admitted. He’s so weary, sleep is
welcome. But as I walk away, I wonder
if he thought – no one asked me why.

The Butterfly and the Hail Storm

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In the morning, while the sun knew
and I was time, she drifted to me.  Blue,
floating blue cascade shimmer, she came
to me with whispers of summer still.
Quieted by her dance, I stayed as she
settled upon me, smiled with her indigo
wings, round eyes and watched me
wonder her blue deep through me.
 
And then later, on the mountain, darkness
dropped, as it does with time, sky turning,
mirroring granite below. Rain pelted, soaked,
willed itself to hail. Morning forgotten,
I drew myself closed within the gray, startled
by bolts of lightning on nearby pines.  Hunched
down, arms around knees, head bowed, hurting.
I felt the wings on my back lose their flight.
 

(shadow me)

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torrent churns

(through) green, blue,

lashing upon itself,

reflecting (me) invisible

flow stop crash turn twist

journey  ~ day and night,

(lost) shadows, white water

secrets, sun (behind), and

(always) the pull of the

(drowning) water. (shadow

me) 

Two Times across the Tappan Zee Bridge

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The first time was at dusk.  The Hudson River stretched

like an invitation in the gentlest glow, both banks’

forest green arms holding me, as I rose with the bridge.

And at the top, nightfall’s vision sang, and I held,

floated there, watching the city catch the river.

Her skyscrapers gathered and huddled and whispered

of the night to come, and began to switch on spots

of bright into the fading light.  And beside, tiny, immense

Liberty stood, knowing the city and flowing the river,

and lifted us all across the bridge.

 

When I returned, it was morning.  The light was harsher,

less forgiving.  The climb to the top of the bridge seemed

steeper, somehow, for us all.  And I saw signs, along

the railings, read them.  “Don’t give up. There is hope.

Call the hotline.”  Street signs. Bridge signs. Signs.

At the top: “Do not jump.”  On this, the North side, only

the river, the fall.  And the ghosts that had put all the signs

on the bridge.  I could still see them jumping.  And my car

would not float but wanted to stop and fling its doors

open for me.  But the sign said, “Do not jump.”

 

 

 

ones that walk away

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ones that walk away without saying good-bye (good-bye)

leave me shiver the rain (looking for shadows)

reasons like questions wrap me still (you left)

empty trains ride the know (without me)

the bench of the station, cold iron feel (alone)

blankness of silence, fog of your go (I wait)

no words you left, no solace or explain (mined hollow)

just gone, only gone, words secured with you (I fall)

disappeared and all, away, and spared nothing (not me)

Conversations (with Sylvia)

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(wake up) not asleep, but reading,

(write) she sits the edge of my bed,

tilts her head, waits. silence. (think it

to know). Sylvia, i am tired.

(the write will you), but how,

(ask the sky). and she stays,

to feel, asking cry (I know). pulls

what i push down (inside rain),

closing windows on day (tumble words),

and in sleep of dark, my name, cloud

whisper, pen gripped unwritten (Sylvia),

fly, write us both home (again). 

 

 

Indifference

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She jumped, but the air didn’t care,

and the clouds never reached down,

just sighed, and looked away.  And she

tumbled, arms flailing, hair wound

across her motionless face.  But

the ground didn’t care, so it never

flinched when she hit, or cried out in

sorry, or caught her less broken.

The ground ignored her fall, her splayed

limbs and all the cracks that bled invisible.

Time didn’t care that she was frozen,

so she became the fall.  No one noticed.

Liability

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Doctor:  I saw how you tossed my file

across the desk, and all of the papers

spilled out onto the floor. Symbolic.

But you, you were annoyed, that you

had to pick up my pieces and jam them

back in the file, weren’t you? I know.

I heard your annoyed sigh as I walked

away, and you reminded me, again,

that I could find another doctor.

 

And all I was trying to do was make it

out the door without letting slip

the torrent of tears that began to build

back in your office, when you said,

“You make my job difficult.”  I lost

my words then, so you continued:

“And how I am supposed to work

around this eating disorder thing,

or whatever it is?”  My eyes were

on the floor, but I still saw your look

of disgust at my 100 pound body.

 

And did I even care how hard it was

on you that I didn’t want to take more pills,

but for God’s sake did I realize I have

a brain tumor, a divorce, no family here,

I am not sleeping or eating….and, you, doctor,

said five prescriptions are what I need.

When I said I just needed time and support,

you said I was difficult and uncooperative.

 

And I stopped speaking because,

what could I say?  And you called me

noncompliant, that I was tying your hands

behind your back in attempt to gain power,

and my mind whispered……no, i am trying

to survive.  But you didn’t hear, because

you were drawing up a document for me

to sign that said if I kill myself, you are not

legally liable.  I signed it.

 

so I could leave.  you never looked

at my face. or you might

have known

 

the damage

 

you

 

did

 

to

 

me

 

 

pushed around by darkness

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been pushed around by darkness

for decades and for days,

nights go on for weeks,

stillness that sits like moss

on granite in the shade

days pass, slowly wait,

knowing no change, only

time dragging me to night

where waiting crashes and falls

and certain death takes me

every night, leaving a trembling

girl curled in the middle of the bed

to face more of what, that,

nothing, shattered windows and

boarded up doors, hope doesn’t

stop here anymore, shadows

chase, sharp numbness

overtakes, stripped bare

and broken by tidal waves.

 

Empty Shell

I found a perfect shell on the beach, all the edges

were smooth, the corners just right.  She was the palest

pink, like the sky before sun appears, and her

ridges were spaced just right, as if carved by a sculptor.

No sand clung to her, for she was too smooth to mar.

As I held her to my cheek, and she whispered,

“Empty inside.” Did she speak of herself?

Or me? I slipped her in my pocket,

as a way to hide.

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what it feels like to give up

release the last breath

of hope, like a balloon into

the grayest sky. never

return.  deep, heaving sobs

of grief in a hollow ribcage.

float.  no one.  disappearing

led to this.  a cliff.  didn’t even

have to jump.  searing pain

of gone.  a push.  and

nothing.

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Dark

My photos are out of focus.

I can’t stop taking pictures of clouds.

My clothes are getting bigger,

nights getting longer.

I sleep with four blankets

to keep me from drifting away.

And there’s one pillow under my head,

and one pillow over, to keep things out.

Nights are too long,

filled with bad dreams about being chased,

and falling, and turning to stone.

Places with happy people make me cry.

That’s not normal, you know.

I broke my favorite mug.

My hand dropped it,

and the lighthouse

was in a hundred

pieces.  I can’t

pick them up.

I just sit

on the

floor

with

them.

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Willful Canyons

Willful canyons carved

of bones beneath flesh,

rise and fall marking empty

spaces, outside and inside.

Once a smooth landscape,

now stark desert land,

sharp angles of deprivation,

ribs like ridges of carved rock

punished by anger

and the ravages of sun’s glare.

Punish the landscape

by withholding food, and it

rewards with new sharp angles,

art of light and darkness

over bones and flesh,

covering emptiness.

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enough

started to write

good bye

letter this morning, but then

i remembered

i had an appointment to convince you

that i’m ok

that i’m not a danger to myself

i can’t cancel

or you might worry that there’s something wrong

so i put myself together

picking up all of the pieces from the floor

and i’m here

before i left,  i checked – clean clothes, clean hair, clean teeth

i know what you look for

normal

but as i’m telling you i’m ok i start to notice cracks in my normal

my socks don’t match, my nail polish is peeling, scratches all over my arms

i am not convincing

myself

but you let me go when i assure you i will return in one week

i leave

relieved and scared, normal enough to return

to finish

writing

my

good-bye

letter

Shadows

Creeps like a fog over an early
morning harbor, settles in, leaving all
beneath it damp and cold.

Hovers and follows, even if
sun can push it aside, it stays,
dark clouds and low rumbles that never
leave, reminders of following
darkness.

Even inside it lurks, with every
light bulb on, shadows haunt corners,
follow always.

The fog, dark clouds, thunder, shadows,
the darkness stays because it is inside.

It is in every dropped tear, each unanswered
phone call, every minute spent staring
at the wall.

Lives in dark hopelessness hidden
in seemingly ordinary days, threatening
to break and crash like a massive wave
of uncontrolled sadness.

Shadows are always there.

Good Morning!

Good morning….echoes throughout my blog which has yet to find readers 😉 .  That’s ok.  I will continue to share.  If you write it, they will come, right?  Well, maybe…

“I have learned now that while those who speak about ones miseries usually hurt, but those who keep silence hurt more. ” 
― C.S. Lewis

This is what I am contemplating today.  There are times I want to hide and run away and hear only silence for days.  I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I want to be dropped off in the middle of the forest somewhere, such is my need to escape the chaos around me.  Do other people feel the same?  I don’t know.  Some people thrive upon it, I think.

When I feel bad, really bad, like the kind of bad where I am spending hours with the pillow over my head and purposely stepping in front of speeding cars, I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I don’t want to hear from anyone.  I want to be ALONE.  And yet, somewhere inside I know that isolation is not the answer.  I have to force myself to talk to people, to step outside the house.

And, usually, the things I least want to talk about the the things I need to talk about most….