You Call Me Uncharitable

To meet a helicopter mind the only way
is let the rotors still, those deadly blades
whir you away, cut me
if I meet you in the air.
I’m not suggesting I don’t care.

This water is too deep; you’ll need
a forced landing where you will feel
small, if you feel at all.
Storytelling’s never gonna work.
Now you believe I’m acting like a jerk.

Stay grounded on this tiny islet
just ignore the urgent pilot’s
demand/the signal’s jammed
on replay: flee! get the hell away!

Be safe with me and breathe.
I’m holding space
allowing what emerges in the we.
Let the longing for belonging
guide you home. It’s not out there
in a psychiatric tome.
Here’s a clue:
It’s where I’m happening in you.

The painful past conditioning
you be polite the truth don’t say
be nice you’ll rue the day
your tongue slipped in company
you ran off grumpily, swatted and scorned.
Invited here, you can’t sit still.
Squirming through old agony.
And now you’re mad at me.
You’re dragging all the past
into our space. And ah, you’re pissed
when I don’t look
at each stained page of your book.
It’s so complex, I gently say,
when you complain and object
at my lack of respect. By the way,
that book is also written in me,
know it by rote,
could quote from memory
all the bad things that ever happened to me,
but that takes all of our energy.

So in this moment
–all that there is–
let’s just sit with who emerges
saluting the insurgents
in the hearts we join together
–shhh–there is no blame.  Realize
this healing path is littered
with our shame.

Inspired by: Charitable and Litter.


Pulled By The Past

He’s bursting to play in this brisk
autumn, so soon after we both succumbed

to the nasty bug from preschool.
Something inside cries, no! Seemingly stray,

a thought, how did they manage in olden
times? And just like that, I catch

the epigenetic trauma alert interlaced
and concealed. Keeping us alive.

The whole damn town reeling two
hundred years ago, this child’s

fifth great grandmother losing four
loved ones in the fall, weather

so similar it stirs our guts and
makes us jittery. We’ll bundle up,

declare this trauma broken up,
a new ruler of integration and

consciousness, choosing fresh air
and being present for ancestral warnings.
Inspired by: Jittery, Brisk, Broken and Ruler and the tragic life of Mary Glaze, my third great grandmother and the traumatic fall of 1838. First Solomon, her 43-year-old husband, died on September 26, followed four days later by her five-year-old daughter Sarah, and three days later her three-year-old daughter Elizabeth.  Did I mention Mary was in her last trimester of pregnancy?  On 28 October she gave birth to a son, Joseph, who died several weeks later.