NaPoWriMo: Day 30, carte blanche

Dear Universe

I sit here in my PJ’s with tear stained cheeks

I wonder out loud after I got kicked again

If maybe you’d forgotten me

If there was a reason you took my best friend.

Hold on, I have to blow my nose once more

I yelled at you because you took him away

My heart is still grieving, I continue to mourn

So if you don’t mind, I’ll cry, okay?

Oh, while you’re at it, thanks for halting that career

The one I needed to stave off poverty

So we could make it through the year?

That one that would really have been good for me?

Be patient because I don’t think I’m done hurting

I know you’re sending me the big guns, tomorrow

What real issues are we skirting?

Will they be able to help me ease my grief and sorrow?

I’ll trust in you even though I’m struggling to believe

Because I’m seeing so many people who are suffering like me

Because I hear their voices crying out in riots, beds, and songs

Because I know that you can hear them, please come right the wrongs.

This world is getting harder with each day that goes by

And I’m having trouble talking to my ceiling or looking to the sky

But I’ll believe because I know that you’ve graced me in many ways

But for now, I’ll sit here crying, eating chips while sobbing in my old PJ’s.

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NaPoWriMo: This Poem Has a Mission

I started out strong with a gleam in my eye

Thirty days? Hell yeah, let’s go do or die!

I put pen to paper pushing letters to sort

I looked around crazy, I giggled to snort

Then I found something I didn’t live any more

How can I write about circling vultures of negative lore?

I don’t think that way I tell you for shore (heh)

I’m afraid to look back that it might find me once more.

Then I had to prepare for a day long performance

It was a test of my will, of strength, and endurance

But I fell down with bruised bloodied knees

Magaly Guerrero forgave and reassured me

I set out with a gleam in my eye

Thirty days, Hell yeah! Let me give it a try.

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NaPoWriMo: In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded

In honor of Sir Terry Pratchett, I selected a quote about madness.

“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”—Sir Terry Pratchett

He didn’t call them exclamation, he called them excitement

A bitter testament to his life’s indictment

With no more than a word or a breathy breath brought

He surrendered his loving light, just as he’d been taught

With shadows his footsteps and lies his parade

He ran off with a glass menagerie, to make his own way

I thought he’d come home, return to the love

But he can’t, he won’t, no olive branch carrying dove.

I’ll watch from my window to see if he passes by

But I know that he has five exclamation marks riding by his side.

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NaPoWriMo: Making cheer up

Cass Betro taught me a word that I added meaning to. Joyfriend. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I really like this term. I really like that anyone that brings you great joy can be your Joyfriend. Happy Joyfriend day every day!

Cass and me playing hooky at church.

Cass and me playing hooky at church.

Every day should begin with a promise of a Joyfriend day

A commitment to call them, or let the know how you feel

A word of thanks for their humorous appeal

I think every day should begin as a Joyfriend day

Just letting them know that you’re there in a wonderful tale

Blessed Joyfriend, you could say, I’m so glad you’re in my life

Living the Joyfriend way.

They’d laugh and you’d smile like a mule and a crocodile

Which makes it even funnier and you laugh until your sides ache

I love to life the Joyfriend day, for I never know what will come my way

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NaPoWriMo: Speak to your affliction

povertyinamerica

We need to have a talk.

I’d offer you a chair, but you’ve already smashed that.

I’d offer you a drink, but I can’t afford to make you water.

I’d offer you food, but I have two kidney beans and tomato paste to last me.

You keep taking everything I have.

I’ve tried to feel compassion because I see you in sunken cheeks.

I’ve tried to understand, but you took away my medical care too

I’ve tried to wear your shoes, but they disintegrated immediately.

I’ve attempted great feats of courage, heroism, and charity

On your behalf, but you won’t leave.

Politely, I decline to allow you purchase in my life.

You’re going to leave and not return.

I can’t abide not paying my bills because of you.

I can’t stand the idea of stagnant mobility because of pain

I no longer wish you to attend my every day.

You will go. You will leave.

You will not return. I will watch you bleed.

Poverty, you are not welcome in my home any more.

There’s the door.

While I still have one, leave and return no more.

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NaPoWriMo: Anticipating Mayhem

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Public Speaking: The Clothesline Project

I knew the challenge was to be real

That the courage I needed would take nerves of steel

I went over the words that I wanted to say

I covered them over and over in every which way

I walked through the crowd feeding on them

Terrified that the words I’d speak, they’d condemn

I laughed, joked, and performed pulling pigs from my sack

When I stepped to the stage there was no turning back

I showed them my underbelly, one of my dark days

I used it to educate so my flashlight could help them find the way

I stood there in silence giving up a slight bow

Then I teetered off the stage with my mind in the now

I was greeted with warmth, forgiveness, and hugs

The healing I get is better than any other drug

I can shine my light of love into the crowd

I can speak my truth, though shaky, way out loud

And they know, like I do that I’ve struggled and cried

But they trust that what I tell them will never be lies.

NaPoWriMo: Art Speaks to Art

Chasing Angels and Blessed Mothers

Jamie Lopez is one of my favorite contemporary artists because she sings with her creations in a language I understand and frequently sing myself. She is alive, vibrant, willing to be compassionate, and shares her life with open arms. The painting I chose has owls and a mother which reminded me of an event that happened to me while I lived in Oro Valley just north west of Tucson, AZ.

http://fineartamerica.com/products/1-blessed-guidance-jamie-lopez-canvas-print.html

I drove down the darkened Arizona road

My pickup truck headlamps chased colors through the gray.

I didn’t have the radio on because the music sang in my head

The moon was barely rising when I saw

Crumpled in the middle of the road, white with feathers

A figure that stood up to the size of a small child

Gazing at me with eyes so large I took it for an owl

Skin so pale it appeared as milk. My brakes stopped willingly.

I began to panic. I began to wonder, but I realized neither.

With a gaze upwards, a woman dancing the skies with dark stars

Dangling pearls and diamonds on indigo, held open arms.

The creature spread wings as wide as the road side to side

Asphalt to asphalt; dust to dust; rising into the night of Tucson

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Why did I slack on NaPoWriMo?

Each year in April (National Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault awareness month) The Crisis Center in Bristol, VA holds an event called The Clothesline Project. I was asked to speak three years ago via R.A.I.N.N.’s (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) Speaker’s Bureau. Because I am a victor over each of these violent crimes I agreed to speak.

However, with the first event, I was asked if I could bring a male’s side of the story to the table. I’m a writer by trade and love, so I sat down with a consenting young man while he told his story. They really liked what I did so they asked me to return.

This year, I spent the weekend helping, exploring, preparing, and on Saturday from 10AM until 4PM, performing for a crowd. I got stage time twice which pleased me. This year I received a plaque thanking me for participating, a flower, and a glorious memory. I was able to help people, entertain them, and share stories of what it’s like to live in fear then to excel and exceed expectations once free. The video was taken by a good friend of mine, Eric. The other woman in the video is another good friend of mine, Miss Dell.

If you are in need of assistance in a domestic violence situation or have been sexually assaulted, the resources above are linked directly to the sites where you can find phone numbers, resources for assistance, private and confidential help. You’re not alone. I believe you. This is not your fault.

NaPoWriMo: Pain and Sleep

Pain in the Foot

Love, Lucky Happiness, and Courage. You can see Courage and part of the luck in this picture.

Love, Lucky Happiness, and Courage. You can see Courage and part of the luck in this picture.

The best thing that ever happened to me was pain

I’m not a masochist if that’s what you think

(and even if I was, that’s personal preference not pain).

I worked many jobs that didn’t quite fit me.

Who needs happiness when I got bills, ya get me?

Then I learned about pain when I bare handed broke my foot

THUMP! VOMIT! “That can’t be good.”

Two days of crying while I hobbled around before I got to see

A doctor who looked at me and exclaimed, “HOW could you BE?!”

I’d collapsed my foot bones, broke them in two

By rubbing a cream on my foots that were as stressed as I was.

But that pain, that pain that, two years later remains

Is a constant reminder of how much I’ve gained.

I have time to create, to speak, to volunteer.

I have time to be, to love, to give, to cheer.

Pain has pushed me to places I’d never have learned

Pain has given me new ideas to churn.

But Pain, dear pain, has given me more of myself

Than anything I’ve done, nay, anything else.

It’s taught me courage, strength, endurance

It’s taught me to keep going even with hindrance

Pain is a wicked friend but it never lies to me

It allows me to push limits; to set up healthy boundaries

Pain is the best thing that ever happened to me

My only issue is when it won’t let me sleep.

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NaPoWriMo: Plant a Poem in a Tale

NOTE: My all-time favorite kids book is, hands down The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson with pictures by Gustaf Tenggren. There is something so much more than a hungry lion happening in the book. It’s about courage, daring, unexpected circumstances, discovering joy and happiness, but most of all, it’s about my favorite line:

If I were a lion on the bravely hunt

I’d insist that my prey be polite

Because as King of the Sahara, let me be blunt

I’m one of culinary delight.

I loved monkeys on Monday

Roos on the Tues.

Zebras on Wednesday

Thursdays were a bear roaring blues

I chased Friday camels with their  split toes

By Saturday, elephants were as fast as I could go.

They didn’t feel safe and I didn’t feel sated

Even though each week, we all kept our dateds

Until that fat little rabbit came to count my ribs

When he mentioned his nine siblings

I prac-ti-cal-ly came undid!

I wished nothing more than to push bones to clutter

Feeling sleek as satin and fat as butter.

I followed the rabbit as he foraged for food

But man, he took so long, I thought, “One gulp should be good.”

But I refrained as he refrained his nine sibling kin

Would soon be making a tasty din-din!

Instead they filled me with vegetable stew

Topped me off with berries, then sang songs like fools

And for the first time in my life, with all dice rolled in

I was “fat as butter and sleek as satin.”

The Tawny Scrawny Lion

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