The Stillness is

The stillness is 

where you were 

Intimately held;  

death and life blurred 

The wealth of years 

Fell silently 

The labor gone 

So quietly 

The stillness is 

Where you were 

The peaceful night 

Embraces you 

Mourning’s tears 

A grassy dew 

And yet, 

The stillness remains 

Where you were 

Glimpses of mortality 

An unacceptable reality 

Because the stillness is 

Where you were 

The gaping whole

It is broken into catastrophic wounds

The edges once pristine are jagged

Bitter with unspoken resentment

Abandoned on the side of the road

in unfamiliar territory

hindered by a lack of direction

or a sense of purpose

Trusting the impermeable

a mistake made of elevated tension

The chaos and confusion weep

from saturated sacred ground

sullied by panic and frustration

anxiety writhes in unworthiness

The Wisdom of Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga 

The Grandmother of angry repute, 

When she wishes to be found 

May grant three voices 

Likened to that of her same-named kin 

Each louder than the last 

Blasting as horns through the silence 

Of long disguised enigmas 

Concealed in shadowy cellars 

Her nefarious, grotesque face 

And carcass alike  

Wallows in the justice 

Of adorning her garden fence 

with the skulls of the unworthy 

She beckoned, 

granting me fortress 

At her whim, I unmasked for her 

The eyes of her distorted haven warily watching 

Her chicken-legged house  

settling noisy bones 

Baba Yaga, with her filed iron teeth  

Has devoured me  

with surges of bloody wisdom 

As ancient as she is 

from time unrecorded 

On written pages 

She ravaged me with mortar and pestle 

crushing me with catastrophe 

Sweeping up my granular remains 

Endowing newfound resolve 

To cultivate a bedrock authority 

Roots of my own power 

controlling the forces of my very nature  

and the singular destiny  

of my kaleidoscope purpose 

Where I am now

Three years ago I experienced this:

Where I was.

Because of that, I became a different person, yet conversely the same. The one distinct difference is that I don’t feel lonely any more living in solitude. Well, it does and it doesn’t. It’s not the same as living with somebody who neglected me for their own comfort. It’s not the same as being in the same room with somebody and feeling invisible.

During that time three years ago, I was in a very dark place. I was told by someone I loved that I didn’t need to get help and shouldn’t have been in the hospital. I wanted to die, but my (then loved one) still discounted my experience. I was told “You don’t need to be in here, you’re fine.”

Upon my release, a couple months passed before I accepted an invitation from a friend of mine to visit my now current hometown. I spent time during the 18 day visit from the end of December through January 2020 with people who genuinely showed love and attention to me. Although hesitant, when I returned to Michigan, I decided I needed to get my shit together. I moved back to Tennessee in February 2020.

I was given unexpected catalysts to discover my own self. I did not move because of those but because of the support system that I have here.

It was confusing at first. I felt a deep sense of rejection, but again, not as bad as what I experienced in Michigan with me “loved one.” That “loved one” accused me of abandonment (ironically) with no intention of return, but I DID plan to return if conditions were met. They were not, so I began the permanent transition.

This past year has been horrific with catastrophes such as my car catching fire in February to, most recently, the death of my little dog due to malpractice. It still hasn’t been as bad as the loneliness I felt the entire time I spent in Michigan.

This year has been incredibly painful. I’ve done a lot of deep grieving. I have had legitimate reasons to do this. But, I don’t want to die like I did when I was there. I mean I don’t want to die at all. I just want to be able to live a life. My life. This doesn’t feel like the life I want to live, so I have no choice but to keep going.

My friend said, “The life you want is out there. I’m grateful you’re willing to keep going,”

I contradicted that.

The life I want is in here; in me. I am unearthing a lot of feelings of being unworthy, or a burden, or just too much. I am none of those things, but I commonly feel that way because that’s what I’ve been taught. I have been incorrectly instructed.

I started accepting these things when I woke up at 4AM. I started thinking about the incorrect messages I’ve been given for most of my life. The things I’ve been told and the way I’ve been treated by people who claim to love me. I allowed it because that’s what I knew.

My thoughts were reeling about in my head as I did dishes and swept my floors.

Then it began in earnest. Deconstruction. Revelation. Epiphanies.

It was a lot to take in at that hour of the morning but I think it had been waiting for me. Allowing me room to breathe, hear, understand, and to grieve. I came to understand that the unconditional love I have been shown here in Tennessee has been incredibly difficult to accept. It’s been difficult to even acknowledge.

I’m having complications while learning to accept that from others, but primarily from myself. I know that I am not alone. I know that solitude is completely different than loneliness. I’m not trying to fill my inadequacies with creatures that need or require my care. I’m not seeking to be accepted by others. I’m working on being accepted by myself. This is earth-shattering for me (or maybe ground-breaking) but I know it will be worth it because I am worth it.

Throne

My throne near the top of the willow tree

where I could oversee

my kingdom that resounded

with mournful train chords

and springtime robin red-breast

Thin the veil between worlds

Of retrospection cursed not blessed

It’s like a perpetual bloodstain

With solidly placed blame

Thats removed quietly with disdain

Where “It’s just how they are” to

Invisibility of me to an entire crew.

But I’ll not allow their foolishness

Not in my kingdom where I am best

Where I’m more than bone deep

Better than the company they sheep.

The Fragile Human

Be gentle with me,

for I am but a fragile human

whose eyes may not see

the expression of your sexuality

as a sign of repressed individuality

because I may be jaded by my misogyny.

Be gentle with me,

for I am but a fragile human

and I am terrified to be

the openhearted embracing destiny;

to stake my claim on my personal history

as one not bound by mainstream society.

Be gentle with me,

for I am but a fragile human

I am unafraid to be

every breadth and depth of clarity

a shining hope against disparity

standing human by human in equanimity

Be gentle with me,

for although a fragile human I be,

I have stepped outside of me

the one they knew can no longer be

because who I am, I was born to be

And I can no longer hide

I AM FREE!

Blazing Bonfire

I’m watching the orange hat man in the red flannel shirt and black gloves drink beer and toss corn hole.

His game partner is more pale of skin, wearing Lions jacket and a black hat. I suspect he is a Ryan or Chad, possibly a Todd.

The lattice fence behind them holds the picket porch at arm’s length.

A burst of laughter erupts. Orange hat guy has the orange bag that he curls in circles in his hand.

When he releases the bag at the top of the arch, his hand is like a painting in a city-scape for urban happiness.

A smolder plumes lightly with the breeze that precedes the storm threatening the evening hours.

Flap-flap hat and baseball cap are covering up the fire or adding up a larger stash.

Orange hat guy lights up a smoke. He has…HOLY BLAZES of black smoke and Christmas trees!

They’re all watching it burn. The pine tar smoke rises thick with quick and danger because the speed changed.

They’re up by the garage where I sometimes pass at night.

They’re pouring more gas. I’m slightly afraid of the large tree within wind distance from their need to burn.

Flap-flap hat guy is smoking a cigarette. He has a mustache. He reminds me of my brother and his friends before the military.

Baseball hat guy wears his brim forward and sports a full beard and mustache set neatly trimmed. Probably married.

Corn hole continues. Black and orange teams throw up-handed and across board.

Black hat dude just pissed by the garage with his back to me. His shoulders shook as he finished.

Orange hat dude paraded through the back yard with a baby in pink jacket and red polka dot dress. She flew above the fence.

Sometimes Maybe

Sometimes I want to be a kite

Ripped and tugged by wind’s whim

Rising above spectators

Admired for my brightly colored dips

That write nonsensical whispers

Of promises made to a forever not witnessed

Sometimes I wish I were a bear

Raw with raking power paws

With heavy duty claws that help me eat

People I don’t like or those who disturb me.

Sometimes I wish I were a siren

One that rests on rocks singing sweetly

Lulling sailors to their doom upon my rocks

Jutting breasts and flirty hair calling to boys

“Beware! Beware!”

Sometimes I’m glad to be me

A chubby tubby funny woman with dimple cheeks

Cracking open frozen hearts, not of ice

But stuck in places not so nice

Places that don’t remember their worth

Burying their beings without much mirth.

Revision

Rolling down the road before

Been there, done that, know the score

Crossed that bridge, then burned it down

Trapped myself in my hometown

Ghosts of me walk laughing by

Anger driven, cocaine high

I barely know the face of then

But I wear them as my diadem

Broken heart lay broken wide

Spilling love from what’s inside

Trains of childhood sing forlorn

Don’t chase those tracks. Don’t heed those horns.