Depression Guilt  (a rondel poem)

I don’t know how to stop bleeding.
I wish I could be someone whole:
patch the ragged tears in my soul,
and find the peace I’ve been needing.

You try to help, your eyes pleading.
You did not cause this pain, I know
it hurts you, to see me bleeding.
Maybe you need someone who’s whole.

My own doubts I just keep feeding.
My pain — on you it takes a toll!
I wish I could get in control.
Guiltily, I keep repeating,
“I’m sorry, I can’t stop bleeding.”

—–

POETIC FORM:

Rondel – Poem consists of 13 lines in 3 stanzas. Rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters are refrains) Usually 8 syllables per line.

AUDIO FILE:

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Wading

sunsetonwatermohawk (2)

The woods were calling.

I sat at at the feet of my Wolf, with tears in my eyes, at having received unexpected news of loss. My heart was spilling over with sorrow, and I could only think of running to the trees. So she took me by the hand, and wiped tears from my eyes. She drove to our favorite set of trails, and let me lead the way. We hiked along, through wet grass and slippery mud as we made our way deeper into the wooded area and turned the corner to a favorite path — one that’s been under water  for months.

Accompanied by the frenzied calls of geese and ducks from the nearby marsh, we stepped from the planked walkway into ankle deep water feeling the mud suck and grasp at our boots. Sticking to the center of the path, or the edges, depending on the depth, she splashed along beside me, softly speaking words of love and encouragement, with a smile in her voice.

We waded.

And we talked, about the sorrow of losing a man who has loved me since the day I was born — he was one of the few people in this life I can say that about — and the sudden absence of his presence in this world was a reality I was struggling to absorb. But the woods and the water were soothing. Placing my hands against tree trunks was comforting, and the sound of her voice made it easier to breathe.

The sky overhead was dark, overcast by clouds that promised rain, but held off for reasons unknown. The sun would set in an hour, and the sounds of ducks and geese in preparation for this nightly event filled my ears. Finally, I found the place I’d been longing for since that morning — a stone bench surrounded by trees, deep enough in the woods that I knew I’d see wildlife, if only we were still for a little while.

I sat, and she stood — leaning against a nearby trunk, listening while I shared with her what was on my heart. As I wound down, and fell into thought, they came. First, it was two young deer, who stopped in the nearby copse of trees and stared at me, ears twitching, and bodies perfectly still. The near one and I gazed into each other’s eyes for several long moments, in silent conversation. Then the birds began to call from the tops of the trees, a woodpecker worked steadily in the distance, and briefly, a very large and beautiful brown owl graced us with a silent, overhead flight.

I breathed in these gifts of presence, and pointed out each of them to her, as she watched me. At one point she asked me to do her a favor, and it was really a gift she was giving to me. At her request, I chose a song (the one that had been in my heart all morning, since I’d heard the news) and queued it on my phone. She stepped away, wet, rippling, water sounds following her, as she retreated to some not-too-distant place behind my back, and left me alone in my sanctuary.

I pressed my boots into the sludge and water at my feet, imagining the mud between my toes as I grounded myself. I took a deep breath, before slipping my ear buds into my ears, and starting the song. I sobbed, breathed deeply, and let the words wash over me… just as the sun broke through the clouds over my left shoulder, and cast its reflection into the water at my feet like a blanket.

I cried until I  felt I could breathe again – thankful for this quiet, sacred space, and for a Wolf who would watch over me as I got lost in it. The song was set to repeat, and when it began again, I took another, deeper breath, and sang it aloud — to the trees, to the distant deer and the birds overhead, to the wet earth, the water and the sunlight pooling at my feet. I sang aloud, not caring who might hear, or how it might sound. It was my declaration and my prayer. The well of emotion in me surged, and I rode the wave, singing triumphantly,  in gratitude.

As the last notes faded, the beautiful sun pulled her blanket of cloud cover back over her shoulders and ducked toward the horizon. I watched for a moment, then stood slowly to my feet. I put away my phone, and gathered myself, turning to find my Wolf sitting not ten steps away, smiling softly at me. She took me by the hand and together we walked through the water, through the trees, and the fading sunlight — finding our way back to dry land.

—–

She Makes It Right

image

There’s something calming about ironing my Wolf’s dress shirt, and pressing the pleats into her kilt. One night, I was able to surprise her, by blacking and polishing her boots. I found in that process something ritualistic, methodical and centering. I ask her, sometimes, to let me do these things, just so I can let the world go, and pull my scattered thoughts into a quiet, orderly place. These are acts of service that do so very much for my spirit, my body and my mind. It’s hard to describe. Somehow they make things right in my head.

It hasn’t been that long ago, I was dealing with some major life stresses, and she kidnapped me on a Saturday morning. She took me hiking, and though I wasn’t sure I could manage the rocky and hilly terrain, the goal was so tempting, I had to try. We made our way to a fallen tree, lakeside, and she sat me down in a comfortable fork with my back against the bark. She had me put headphones on, close my eyes, and breathe. Restricting outside sensory input, she stepped away and watched over me, while I sat in silence, and allowed my over-thinking brain to let go. The sun warmed my skin, the wind and the water sounds were faint in the background, and she was there, protecting and caring for me. It was a simple and phenomenal feeling. She made it right.

This weekend, we had a long talk about what we were doing in our relationship with the D/s dynamic energy, and how that works in tandem with my other relationships. It was a heavy conversation about the hurts of my past, and my defensive way of restricting D/s dynamics across my polyamorous relationships. In the past, I’d been so hurt by Shepherd’s abandonment, that I’d effectively talked myself out of the need for a 24-7 dominant. I’d convinced myself that I was better suited to a design where I pieced together the dynamics I needed or wanted across my very egalitarian polyamorous relationships.

I could count on Traveler for minimal structure, for the push, the keeping me honest and the mind-fuck. I could get a different sort of emotional support and creative push from my Star-Stuff Rocket Man, along with the occasional play that would give me a taste of the pain I missed so desperately. I’d been talking with The Professor for some time, about D/s play, and looking forward to exploring with him — and had even broached the subject with my Dragon — but the truth was in every case that I was still maintaining control. I was meting it out as I saw fit, trusting each to a degree, but not completely — not like I’d done before, with Shepherd. I couldn’t imagine risking that deeply ever again, and that says a lot for me, because I am the girl who takes risks for love.

When I struggle with being too much human, too much emotion, too much stress, she quiets me — gives me a strength to push against, and shuts out the world. I’ve been calling her my Wolf, and “Sir”, for months now. The truth is that I knew she was going to take that role in my world, from sometime between that first five hour conversation, and the night when we slipped out of potluck discussion for a smoke break and I asked her if we could talk about something. I was anxious, and vibrating with so much resonance, that I knew every person in my home could feel it, and it must be painted all over my face. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was just as keyed up and nervous as I, hyper-aware of every move I made and as cognizant of where I was physically, in relation to her as I was, her to me.

What I am learning, is that she does have the capacity for my fullness. She is wired to be the kind of dominant I need, and can offer me the time and energy that will allow me to let go completely. She has from the start been committed to making room for my other relationships and the different D/s energies they have. I’ve known in my body and spirit for months — that if anyone was going to be a full time dominant to me, she was fully capable, and she was the right one. My brain is only recently catching up.

Every few days, she does something new that amazes me, reminds me why she fills that role in my life. Saturday night, I asked her to make all the choices about where we went, what we did, what we ate — to keep me close, restrict my movements, my focus, remind me that with her, I could let go.  As we were getting ready to go out, she pulled her boots from the closet, and asked me to put them on her, and lace them up. It was the first time I’d done so, since I’d blacked and polished them for her. As I was lacing them up, she pointed out the over-under pattern I had used — the one I always use with my own boots — and I realized that I hadn’t told her. I didn’t check the laces before I removed them. I had no idea how they’d been laced before I went to work on them.

She told me then that the way I’d done them was not the way they’d been. But that the way I’d done them was the way I would do them going forward. It was now the right way. When I protested, asking her to show me the way she preferred, she made it clear that rather than correct me after I put so much effort and love into making her boots look amazing, she did the thing that was most right in her eyes. She made the way I laced her boots the correct way, and informed me that to do it differently in the future would bring consequences.

She quieted me. She made it right – and that is amazing.

Cuts

image

You may not be able to see it,
but these new cuts are deep.
I don’t have a tough exterior.
I’m not some warrior woman
wearing armor to protect
myself against love’s blades.

I am strong, a fighter, yes,
and maybe also naive.
I’m an idealist armed with trust. 
I am ink and emotion and poetry–
wild, and winged, and free.

These are my strengths,
the best gifts I can offer
in this game of love. 
Striving to be true to me,
I extend a beating heart
in trembling, hands.

I take up magic and hope,
and words instead of armor.
I reveal my fear and weakness,
show the best places to wound,
ask you, trust you, not to cut me.

I trace my scars with your fingers, 
tell the stories,  the lessons I learned.
I believe that you are different, 
worthy of my trust, man of your word.

I’m learning, that your silence
is a razor blade I imagined harmless.
I believed it safe, maybe even dull.
Maybe you did too? And maybe you
can’t see it, but these new cuts are deep.

Daughter (a chance operation poem)

motherdaughter

My compassionate daughter:
while tonight we feel this pain,
we touch today in affection.
We feel wanted, in pragmatism.

My empath daughter:
In partnerships, remove even this.
Be this affection, However we feel.
Today, we wanted them, too.
Tonight, even we feel lives.

—–

POETIC FORM: A Chance Operation Poem

—–

PROMPT:

RollTheDice

To earn the “Roll the Dice” badge, start with multiple dice and your source text. You can use regular six-sided dice, or ones with more sides (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dice#Non-cubic). Assign each line on your source text page a number — you can work consecutively (first line = 1, second line = 2), in reverse order (last line = 1, etc) or in any order you choose. Roll the dice — whatever line corresponds to the number that came up gets added to your word bank. Continue rolling the dice until you have a big enough word bank to craft a poem. For an extra challenge, retain the full original lines in your finished piece. Post your completed poem to the site, accompanied by your source text citation.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE:

How to Love and Empath by Rebecca Lammersen on Elephant Journal

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/how-to-love-an-empath/

WORD LIST:

my, even, I, to, or, today, this, pain, daughter, compassionate, we, however, remove, touch, them, while, and, feel, pragmatism, too, tonight, in, wanted, empath, partnerships, feels, I, be, affection, if, lives

You’re the Only North (a conceptual poem)

couplefight

Call back time, Let felicity fly.
Blanket the bed, and kiss goodbye.

I was terribly lost, crossed and dark.
You’re the only north I would follow.

Fight back, bring on the break,
and blow to bits.

Dear, I was terribly crossed and dark.
But you’re the north I follow this far.

Keep an eye on hope,
Lest I blink and get nothing to say.

‘Cause you’re the blinding light
the saving grace of the saving grace.

God, I was lost and dark, dear.
You’re only this far… I would follow.

—–

POETIC FORM: A Conceptual Poem

—–

PROMPT:

BestLaidPlan

To earn the “Best Laid Plan” badge, approach a text with a plan to remove something. Think beyond just a single word and instead consider removing references to a subject or emotion, actions taken by certain characters, colors, etc. Whatever you choose, apply your approach and, keeping as much of the remaining text intact as possible, create your poem from results. Post your poem to the site, include a citation for your source text, as well as a note on your approach.

—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE: “Galaxies” by Owl City
(www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/owlcity/galaxies.html)

Confessions Without Faces (a conceptual poem)

wpid-rosary-in-hand-bw.jpg

 

I feel conflicted about the
name of my adult life so far.
No one but me knows… I can’t
bring myself to get out of my head.

Would you like to discuss grief?
It’s like trying to eat a sour rock
to alleviate inner pain. Almost
every day, around people, I hide.

Always, I am wearing my secret —
poetry dripping from my tongue,
making people want to kiss me.
like a peach from the fridge.

All the time knowing — time
must come first — at the moment,
you are able to see my body,
to drink of its passion.

I struggle with this wish — to feel
and not feel — old but comfortable,
a yellow t-shirt in a paper bag,
in a mental hospital, reading, reading.

There was all that time, it was most
important to be shown that you matter.
And I think about doing it again —
instead of being what you want.

Gray shades of writing, and wearing
a blue sweatshirt, you are gorgeous.
I tell you, I think about it every night,
the first time I tasted you.

Not forbidden for me, but not good
for me –I’m not sorry, I’m grateful
for the way you stay with me,
forever in the best odds and ends.

—–

POETIC FORM: A Conceptual Poem

—–

PROMPT:

SurveySays

To earn the “Survey Says!” badge, create a questionnaire about a given topic that contains between 5-10 free response questions. Ask your family members, friends, or even complete strangers to complete the survey. Use their responses to compose a poem, and post it on the site. In your citation, list the questions you asked in your questionnaire.

—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson,  is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE:

Word List:
2 50 a able about absolutely accidentally actually Adidas adult again all alleviate almost also always am an and another Arby’s are around art as ask assortment at ate baby back bacon bag band batch be beans being belly berry best better birthday black blouse blue body books boring both bought bread bring Bronte brothers brown brussel-sprouts burger but by can’t care cargo carrots cat cats cheese chips cider clothes color come comfortable companies company conflicted consists contains cookie cookies coping could crafting crush cuddle currently curtains cut cut-off cutter cutting damn dark date dates day definitely discuss dish disliked do doing don’t Dr Pepper drink dripping easily eat eggplant eggs ends equally etc. ever every express falling fan far favorite feel felt fiancé filter first flip-flops food for forbidden forever fresh fridge friend friendship from frozen fruit fruits get gluten-free go good goopy gorgeous got grabbed grateful gravy gray grey grief gross had hair haircut happily hard hardest have he head hearts hehe help helping her hide highly him hospital house household how hugs hummus husband I I’m Ian if important in inner insecure instead instead into into is it it’s its jamma jean jeans just keeps Kei’s kid kiss know knowing knows last life like list loaf love lunch mac majority makes making married maternity matter may maybe me me meats Memmi men’s mental Mercedes Mexico middle milk mini mix moment more most motorcycle much muffin must my myself n name navy Nazi Nazis need new New Mexico newer night night-gown no not nothing now oatmeal odds of ok old on one only or or originally other our out overly-sweet overnight pad pain paint paints pair pans panties pants paper parm Parmesan partners parts passion peach people Pepper perhaps person picking pictures pilot pink pinstripe plus poetry politely polka-dot postcard price Prilosec primal punisher put question ranch reading really regular rest restaurant right ripen rock rollers roommate running sandwich say scotch Seamus secret see set severely sex shades shirt shopping shorts should shown since sisters slacks sleeve slew so soap social socks someone something somewhat sorry sour space Spam spanking specific spent started stay still store stress struggle style stylized sweat sweatshirt sweetener sweeter swimsuit t t-shirt t-shirt tank Taos taste tasted Te teenager tell Tess texture Thai that the them then there they thing things think this three-quarter time to together tongue too top tortillas trying turquoise undercooked unexpectedly up used usual vegetables veggies vintage vodka Von vw waffles want was water way we wearing weird well were wet what what’s whether whiskey white whole why will wish with work worker worth would writing yellow yogurt you your
Questions:
1. What was the last thing you ate and disliked?
2. What is the one question you wish someone would ask you right now?
3.  What are you wearing?
4. Tell me a secret?
5. What’s on your shopping list?

 

Being Rooted (an out-and-about poem)

tree

I think you get
prepared
for landings.

I was disappearing —
surrounded by love,
held by love,
but having so small
an imagination
about that word.

Allow people
to enter you
and they change
you — I longed
to know what was
going on
inside of people.

Through words
and language,
I knew
my survival
was there–

in the body
of the world
i fell in love
with a tree
a contemplative
(in the temple)
practice

using words
as something
generative
to reassemble
the tissues
of my soul

transcendence
comes from
being rooted,
when someplace
enters you–

I think you get
prepared,
for the moment.

—–

POETIC FORM: An out-and-about Poem

—–

PROMPT:

Interloper

To earn the “Interloper” badge, look in your local print or online newspaper for open meetings, lectures or other talks happening in your town — the more specialized and unfamiliar to you, the better. Need help finding an event? Try Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/) or your local Craigslist’s “Events” section for additional leads (e.g. Washington, DC, example: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/search/eve) Sit in the audience and scribble down words and phrases you hear during the event. Turn your notes into a found poem and post it on the site. Cite your speaker(s)’ name(s), talk title [if applicable], location and date at the bottom of your poem.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE: Krista Tippett – On Being Podcast – A second Wind in Life: Inhabiting the Body After Cancer – a conversation with Eve Ensler

He Did (an erasure poem)

He Did (a redacted poem)

It is a Friday,
three days after I go straight–
and I don’t know who will
walk up the street to
see the poets these days.

I go on, and he
doesn’t even look up.
I get a little ink,
but I don’t go to sleep.

I just stroll into the lane
and ask where
I came from,
in the heat.

I am sweating
and thinking of
leaning on John,
while he whispered.

He stopped.

-Pen Connor 2015

—–

POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

—–

PROMPT:

Redacted

To earn the “Redacted” badge, visit http://www.erasures.org and follow the directions to drag the blackout icon to your tool bar. From there, navigate to a website or other source text. Click on the blackout icon to activate the tool, then use your mouse to highlight words on the screen. As you highlight sections and release your mouse, you will see a black bar appear over them, digitally blacking them out. Leave only the words that comprise your poem exposed. Take a screenshot(s) of your finished product and post it to the site. To learn how to take a screenshot based on your operating system, visithttp://www.take-a-screenshot.org/. Credit your source text at the bottom of your post.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

—–

SOURCE TEXT:

The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171368)
Frank O’Hara, “The Day Lady Died” from Lunch Poems. Copyright © 1964 by Frank O’Hara. Reprinted (on the Poetry Foundation site) with the permission of City Lights Books.
Source: The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara (1995)