August 2015 – a November Poem-A-Day Challenge – Diminishing Somonka

That night my world shook!
Your eyes met mine like a spear!
What a chance I took–
felt like jumping off a pier!
Your answer rings in my ear.
~
You shook me awake!
Oh, to see your lipstick smear–
unquenchable ache,
fueled by your smile, which was mere!
Your question rings in my ear.
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For today’s prompt, pick a month (any month), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible months include January, February, March, (cruel) April, May, June, or even July, August, September, October, November, and December. Yes, there are 12 possible months; choose well, or write 12 poems (yes, I’ve thrown down the challenge within today’s challenge).

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POETIC FORM:

Diminishing Somonka
 
A form I created by marrying the Somonka and Diminishing Verse poetic forms:
  • two Tankas (5-7-5-7-7), written as two love letters to each other.
  • remove the first letter of the end word in each successive 7 syllable line.
 
Variation: Poets can remove sounds if they wish like “flies” to “lies” to “eyes.”
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AUDIO FILE:
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Ask Pen – Vol. 5 – Holiday Headaches

My latest Ask Pen article is up at OKPolyNetwork.com. Here’s a preview:

askpen

Dear Pen,

2014 has been a great year, I met and fell in love with a wonderful guy, his wife is becoming a great friend, and as the holidays approach, I feel like celebrating. Problem is, holidays are full of traditions, and family, and as a secondary partner, I’m sort of the outsider, not sure what it’s fair to ask for, but don’t want to spend the holidays alone. Help?

-Hope4Holidays

Dear Hope,

Congratulations on your new relationship! It sounds awesome. Holidays can be stressful for polyfolk. Families don’t always know about, or welcome multiple partners. Established couples can find it difficult to change long-held traditions when a new partner comes along. Add in multiple holiday parties, the question and cost of gifts, and Uncle Joe, who can’t figure out who this pretty new stranger is at the holiday table, and it’s tough.

On the other hand, all partners have rights, and the desire to celebrate with those you love is a valid and important issue to address…

READ MORE @OKPolyNetwork.com

It’s Not Easy, Being Human – an Ask Pen Article

askpen

Dear Reader,

I’m not answering a question today, I’m asking one. I hope you’ll allow me this liberty, and share with me your thoughts.

-Pen


We are human, you and I. Our partners are human; our metamours are human. Even our exes are human, (though I know it may be irksome to acknowledge in some cases.) We battle insecurities, and our own demons, and we bring those battles into our profoundly human relationships. This is who we are. Wouldn’t you agree?   There are several excellent books about how to deal with conflict in poly relationships and as we educate ourselves, I think we strive to communicate clearly and often, to check in and speak up, to ask for what we want. We work hard to “own our own shit”, as Cunning Minx would say. We face our jealousies, and process our emotions…

[Read more of this AskPen article on the OKPolyNetwork site. Click the image below.]

Oklahoma-polyamory-network-Header

with ink and affection,

PenSig50

I am me…

cute-emo-couple-kissing-hug-black-and-white

Tonight I kissed a girl…

…but first we flirted, with each other, with her boyfriend. We held hands over dinner, talked and laughed. We’ve been getting to know each other for a bit, going out for drinks, meeting for coffee or lunch. They’re new to poly, and very much suited to it, though taking it slowly to sort out whether it’s a good step. I am someone who is willing to share my story and my experiences, for what they’re worth. As I am alone this weekend, while Biker Dude is with his girlfriend, they invited me to dinner…

It was so easy, slipping my hand into hers, laughing and smiling. I hugged her goodbye at the end of the night, and kissed her softly. I was struck by how good it felt… how true to me. I have spent a year believing I wasn’t looking for a girl. I wasn’t up for that kind of relationship, with the drama and hurt of a woman’s emotions.  I had been burned and I wasn’t going back for a very, very long time — if ever.

But, she is just so damned cute , and sweet, and genuine.  And he’s a gentleman with a growl in his throat, and just the hint of a little boy in him.  Strength and vulnerability.  He is easy to like.  I expected that.  She is easy to like.  Easy to kiss. She’s a surprise.

I feel so much more myself tonight, like I didn’t get it wrong with Dragonfly Girl, who broke up with me, and insisted Shepherd did, too. Tonight, I felt like I could honestly say it’s not that I am flawed. I really wasn’t fooling myself. Whatever mistakes ended our triad, it wasn’t that I didn’t want or love her. It absolutely wasn’t that I am not bisexual.

It’s too early to tell if these two new friends are a good fit, too early to know where this is heading — and for now, flirty friends is okay by me.  But tonight, I felt good, and for the first time in a long while, a beautiful woman held my interest more than a charming man.  I can’t help grinning like a Cheshire cat, at my reflection in the mirror.

Wow. This is me — polyamorous, bisexual, woman — rebuilding my world.

It’s Complicated

 

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu.

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

 its-complicated
 

On occasion I get the chance to have coffee with someone, and discuss polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, and how I found myself on this journey. This week, I had that chance again, with a very charming man. We met, as I said, for coffee one morning, and ended up strolling from the coffee shop to a nearby restaurant for a long lunch on the patio. The conversation was pleasant, deep, and intellectually stimulating…and as we shared, I was reminded that my journey has been far from simple.

 
 
In fact, I believe my entire life has been particularly intense, and complex. It’s quite possible that I’m wired for complication.  I recognize that I tend to fill my life with activity, to dig into thoughts and ideas that challenge me, that I thrive on stress, and struggle to balance just enough with not too much. I am much more content when there are multiple people in my world, with whom I can share connection, friendship, love and relationship.  In truth, if things get too simple, I get bored.

 
 
I seek out connections with others, and generally I look for people who are deep thinkers, self-improvers, and those who are interested in falling in love. I consider myself this type of intense person. Conversely, I’ve spoken with people who choose not to be non-monogamous, because of the complication, the risk, and the inevitable hurt, and I’ve learned that for me, putting up walls against pain is not an option. If I block out the risk of pain, I also put up walls against intense joy, contentment, and happiness. This is how I am wired.

 
 
This does not mean that I don’t have room in my world for people who prefer simplicity, in fact, I’m in a lifelong relationship with a man, who loves me wholeheartedly, and who lives by a much simpler philosophy than I do. I appreciate that about him. It takes all sorts to make up this diverse and wonderful thing we call humanity.

 
 
So, my musings continue, as I try to sort out they why of my polyamorous wiring.  My new gentleman friend has not yet determined whether his life has room for multiple, ethical, romantic relationships, and that’s okay. I am grateful for the friendship, and the conversation that has raised these questions in my mind.

 
 
I’ve come to at least one conclusion: In my experience, those “it’s complicated” relationship statuses you find on social media sites are pretty accurate — especially when it comes to non-monogamy. Relationships are dynamic and the more people you involve, the more communication you need, the more opinions matter, the more needs and desires come into play.

 
 
My current, lingering question is this: Is there some connection between ethically non-monogamous poly folk and a tendency to be more intense, complicated, and desirous of less simplicity induced boredom in life?

 
 
I suppose inquiring minds want to know.
 
 
 
 

A New Adventure

I’ve taken on an exciting new project, joining a team of talented writers over at the new OK Poly Network website. My column will be “Ask Pen”, and the below article preview is the first of many I hope you’ll find there:


Ask Pen
Volume 1

 

askpen

No Rules?! Are You Serious?

Dear Pen,

 

My girlfriend wants to open our relationship, but that scares me. What kinds of rules do you have in your poly relationships?

-NewToThis

Dear New,

First, Kudos to you, for stepping out into new territory, and exploring ways to meet your partner’s request. You rock!

Second, as with any relationship, communication is oxygen, water, and food for your journey. Every poly experience is different, and we get to fashion designer relationships based on the wants and needs of those we choose to involve. The right way for you, and your girlfriend, to begin exploring ethical non-monogamy, is something only you two can decide. At some point, you will of course want to add the opinions, wants and needs of other partners to the blueprint. Still, this is your baby; you get to choose.  My advice is to talk, talk, talk…

 

[To read the entire article, check out okpolynetwork.com and share some love!]

 

 

 

With plenty of ink and affection,

PenSig50

 

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I’m an ink-stained, messy, poet-girl, I share life with three lovers, via frequent-flyer-miles, long drives, love letters, and texted poetry. I’m a vocabulary addict with embarrassing penmanship. Find my most recently published work  on the OK Poly Network  and in “Literary Sexts Vol. 1. (Words Dance Publishing) Send questions for “Ask Pen” to askpen@okpolynetwork.com.

The Morning After

Sunrise-1105725567

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”  ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I didn’t write in May. Not a poem, not a blog post, not a journal entry.  I was too exhausted, too empty. Some days I didn’t even make it out of bed. I’m not too sure I wrote anyone a decent email, save the ones I wrote to “him”. We spent much of the month of May, and part of June conversing in emails and text messages, and sorting through the rubble of our life together. This might seem an alien sort of undertaking. You may think me a glutton for pain, or too kindhearted in my efforts to honor my heart, and my love for a man who after five years made the choice to end our relationship because his other lover insisted he choose or lose her. The truth is, I’ve wondered whether it might be easier to just hold my anger tightly, and walk away. In fact, I tried to do just that. In April, while they were on their honeymoon in Ireland, I spent two weeks fortifying my decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt by these two people I’d once promised to love forever. I was spent, and could not bear any more. I was relieved at the silence after six months of turmoil and grief. But I did not stay there.

 

For me, there is a rightness in finding understanding and healing after such a traumatic, painful breakup. The truth is, the work is hard. I finally had the chance in recent weeks to share some of my deepest hurts from this experience. I also heard some of his deepest hurts, and accepted my responsibility for some of his pain. I can tell you, it sucks. I’ve spent days, crying, sobbing out that pain and frustration. I’ve talked about what we’ve learned, what we would change, and what we will do differently going forward. I’ve heard things that made it very difficult to hold onto my own self-righteous anger, and things that pushed me to acknowledge humanity and a need for forgiveness and understanding in those who hurt me.

 

I have learned how to ask for help, and I’ve enlisted some help in healing my own life. I am living again, being productive, creative and active. My heart is stronger, and “he” is my friend. I’m learning to be  good friend to him. Maybe, somewhere in the future, there will be a friendship with “her”. I don’t know. I just know that I feel good about the work I’ve been doing, and I can see light at the end of this dark night. The sun is coming and I can’t wait to feel her warmth on my shoulders. Life is good, even when it hurts. I’m glad to be here, in the light.