Poems

By Jay

September

The window shut, just like that
and Summer was gone
its scents and sleeping blackberries
awoke to the wind and falling leaves
combed, over and over,
tawny and crumpled.

Like Ophelia, I dream,
gentle crucifixion,
water for blood
and lilies for sleep.

Down the winding stream,
Autumn and hardest Winter,
I shall arrive,
smiling.

I’ll go on, when faces harden,
bodies stoop from rain and snow,
darkness follows like an endless wall,
hope is found in bright crevices
flowers that break out
loud keys of daffodils
daisies, dandelions and gurgling fountain
and, on the shoulder,
once again, the sun shall lay its hand.

I will not start
from that bold touch,
from the embrace
the unveiling and the awoken folk.
I won’t be dazzled by the high flags of the sky,
or be imprisoned by the fallen walls, unmarked days.

I’ll keep drifting, like Ophelia,
a smile on my face
and no fear in my heart
for what I cannot see.

7 September, 2017

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Almost There

By Cherry Northern

Recently, I did something that I thought was going to be helpful for me. I actually booked a therapy appointment with a licensed social worker and the interaction would have been wholly online. It would have been a live chat room session. I would have discussed . . . things. Topics that float around in my head on the daily. Issues that have been keeping me stuck in life.

And one day before this appointment, I canceled the chat. I canceled my membership. I left a brief message to my would-be therapist. I was honest and told her that I wasn’t ready. To me, therapy through this method felt like exploring a dark cave with very little light. There was no way to know what to expect. Questions like, “Where do I even start?” filled my mind with dread and anxiety. So, I did what I do most of the time. I gave up and let fear win.

I feel so ashamed of myself. It’s a whole mix of emotions. There’s anger and low self-esteem. There’s hopelessness to keep me company. There’s fear that I’ve pissed my would-be therapist off. Then there’s the scary question of “Would this have truly helped me anyway?” I mean, how willing would I be to change my life for the better? Because, certainly, I feel like I would have had to do some homework, some deep drilling into my head to figure out the nature of my predicaments. To me, therapy is a great mystery. And that frightens me.

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Color – facing numbness

By Pavithra

I wrote this poem below a few months ago.

I felt angry inside — why are there fewer words welling up inside of me? Why can’t I feel the intensity of sadness, of the beauty of the rising sun, the happiness rising in me over the sweet simple things in life?

Why is everything quieter?

Why do I not stay up nights with tears rolling down my face, or me wishing in my heart of my dreams, my heart full with hope?

I felt so much irony inside of me. I questioned who I was. I still do. What is my purpose? When my heart seeks for me to create — why is it that I battle social anxiety? When my heart seeks for me to get up and laugh and dance, why am I afraid? Why is it that I feel the science I pursue stifles me, chokes my energy, and is against the energy I believe I have been granted inside of me?

I realize now healing comes with a form of silence. overcoming trauma may mean my I subconsciously miss the chaos. This is confusing, but I am now aware.

I also realize I miss the time I had to write, to read, to dance, and the space I had. I know I must in the next stepping stone of my life, choose one that is far from the bustle…the treaded path I have run in circles. The streaks of mud, the mini pitter patter of my footsteps from long ago. My feet have grown, and yet my path hasn’t. I have taken circles after circles, tricking myself into the belief, that this must mean growth for my inner heart.

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The Self and Language

By Jay

When the mind is disrupted by fear, numbing most thoughts, language and emotions, the self is suppressed or disassociated. I feel an empty shell. When colleagues talk, especially, those with seniority or some other dominance over me, I lock into their eyes, nodding and murmuring. I am trapped in front their words and eyes, barely able to move or stand straight. Even at the end of the day, when I’m due to go home, I am enmeshed in the words of others and am only released when they stop talking.

I can’t find a self to express a view; I should be off now, or some other personal view, except, to agree and reinforce, with a timid smile. Most thoughts and words that come to mind seem forced and hollow – they will be spoken so emptily, that they are not worthy saying. In my vulnerability and emptiness, I seek to gain their admiration and to hold back any angry attitudes. And, yet, in my stiff, smiling and agreeing avatar, I feel a contemptible fool and fraud, deserving of anger or contempt. I wait for it, growing ever more stiff and anxious, and nodding and grinning more.

What courage it would take to try and find myself amidst the mind numbed by vulnerability, anxiety and trauma. It would mean revealing the confusion and irrationality of my mind. I would stop pretending and admit to colleagues that I can barely find my way around the building, unable to navigate due to some dysfunction of my brain. It would mean admitting to my vanity in wanting admiration and respect and letting out my monotonous, ponderous words and thoughts into the air, open for ridicule or contempt. It would mean telling my manager that this job, despite everyone’s support and kindness and, despite their great need for staffing support and clear hopes that I will stay longer-term, is not for me and that I will likely be leaving soon to try another role.

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