There’s Still More

The genogram extracted

so delicately this fractal.

You gave it a cursory

scoff, just an old yarn,

let it go, take a pill,

dream like the dead.

And you have a conniption

when instead I sit lotus-style

in front of this archeological treasure

— fully aware I’ve lost my funding —

the latest evidence of my strange

commitment to heal my lineage.

This type of twisted pattern

slips by at the edges

of family consciousness, yet traps

us with its raging repetitive riptide.

A thirty-year span, and the first

while I was in the womb,

nestled through two coincidentally

congruent funerals. Such an

energetic impact, but glossed over lightly

oh, she died before you were born.

And this exploration stings,

the pain of self-reflection

so deep I ask myself:

is this a good day to die?

I cannot approach that gate

gladly today so I sit

with all the gaping wounds

I’ve opened in these three

fractals before me, and there’s more

to do. Still, I plan my funeral:

no weeping, no more digging,

a clean burn, please, and one short

poem (two dates and three words).

This work is unearthing

shame and fear and anger

and it continues. I’m healing every

family now, even yours, uncovering

this pattern to the open air.

I’m looking for joy,

my point of ending

and beginning, and I’ll sift

through the agony to find it.

Inspired by: cursory, conniption, being, yarn



The longings that a person feels when alive, which remain fixed in his heart, come to mind at the moment of death. ~ Jnaneshwar in Graceful Exits, How Great Beings Die 

Predawn cacophony 

struggles win this time.

In the dark, I’m grudgingly

dressed, writing through 

a thunderstorm and grumbling

intestines. So tired.

I’ve been pondering

how to die well;

I still feel her reaching out

on her frantic

deathbed, like a vicious swipe

from a bear’s claws — 

years of focused hatred

led her right to me, and finally

she made an impact.

 Oh, how my head aches.

Listen to this belly grouching.

I’m present for all of this agony,

chaotic crumbling of an

invisible ancestral pattern, 

bringing it to the light.

Even though my candle today

can barely pierce this murky 

air and the flame

is flickering, I’m holding it up.

I’m holding it high to summon

dark spirits. Show yourselves.

Dance to these

drums you’ve been beating

in me.  Even as the rising

sun reaches through the thick

cloud cover, I’m straining

to hear your muffled voices.


So grateful for all of the dark words today: GhostAgony, Grudging, Cacophony, Summon

Deadly Cavatina

This genogram I’ve drawn reveals my role:

I am a host

of epigenetic trauma that is

triggered by ghosts.

These deadly family patterns lurk unseen.

I am engrossed

in bringing them to light, a chance to heal

before I’m toast.

They will sideswipe even the most wary


Entanglements demand a heavy cost.

One life is gone, and so another’s lost.


Written for the prompt by Fussy Little Forms: Cavatina

And the second part of writing about a recent unexpected death.  (The first poem Celestial Driveby got deleted so I had to repost it.  Technological savvy has its ups and downs.)