It’s Over and Then It Begins Again

I open my eyes carefully to start,
the dark unnamed things clinging to my breath,
this lineage trauma obstructing my heart.

For so long I’ve wished this pain would depart
in life before succumbing to my death.
I open my eyes carefully to start.

Pure wisdom’s what I crave, not so book-smart
and lost in worry, submerged in fear’s depth.
This lineage trauma destructing my heart,

my chance of magic, trying each dark art,
the scope of my search dizzying in breadth.
I open my eyes carefully to start,

the mirrors of my terror set apart,
each floundering exposed, rendered inept,
the lineage trauma constructing my heart.

The spiral of each step a vain restart,
life is a full progression until death.
I open my eyes carefully to start
this lineage trauma instructing my heart.

(This villanelle is written for a prompt at dverse poets.  Check out the site and see how many other poets do it!)


Notes To My Future Self

You know all that advice about

summoning your wise future self

to whisper encouragement? 

It’s all baloney.

If you had an ear available

to the present, you could create

a future self inhabiting a different

plane of reality.  But your ears

are stuffed with the past;

you can only react

to echoes that resonate

the trauma you’ve packed

so carefully into the very

tissues of this body

right here

the one you ignore

and medicate

and wish could be

different, more like

the ideal one your future self

inhabits.  Can you see

how it’s an absurd circle,

like a vast conspiracy

to keep you in chains?

Look, the way to free your future

self from your past chains

is to actually access

this moment

right now

to allow

all the aches and pains,

the torments and screams,

the anguish and fears,

the tears, oh, yeah, the sobbing.

Every time someone hit you

and you had to grin and bear it

is a link forged in the shackles

that keep you from 

creation.  You say it feels too

overwhelming to even consider

processing all of this stuck

energy, calcified, dense,

blocking the flow.

Just be here, 

find a real emotion,

just one

or even the numbness.

Cherish that.

It is present

and now so are you.

Bless Me If I Stay Alive

Freezing a waterfall is not…easy, since the water molecules are continuously moving and can therefore easily detach from the bonds holding them together. ~ Ashish


When I was 10, I wrote a letter

to my grandmother, seeking

facts about her lineage.

Finally, at 26, over cocktails,

she confessed she’d received

a missive from a maiden grandaunt

upon her marriage, an envelope

filled with family facts.

She’d pitched it, saying,

who cares about this shit?

finding out exactly decades later

reading my request.  Those are

our only two encounters I recall.

Still, I carry my grandparents’ enmity

like this photograph, a frozen

waterfall of immense power

inaccessible to two

drunk teenagers, dismayed

by the arrival of needy

children exposing their own

unaddressed wounds.  Only able

to call for more

alcohol and hatred,

finally repelled like magnets

from each other and the seedlings

their brief union sprouted.

I’ve tested the ice gingerly

to arrive at their trauma

locked inside my own genes,

now demanding I thaw

what has been blocked.

And so under the heat of my

regard, I set out to accomplish

this feat, releasing the flow

of energy to my own

descendants waiting impatiently



Inspired by:  Photograph, Enmity, Letter and Accomplish.

Title inspired by Bert Hellinger in Looking Into The Souls Of Children, “Behind the scene we…see something else is at work, and the individual is at the mercy of something that does not reveal itself easily…other powers are at work, and the people involved do not understand what’s really going on….Go to these dead…and say to them, “Bless me if I stay alive.”  

Photograph taken 1981 in Queen’s Canyon, Colorado.

Not To Be Found

The words have an empty ring and they don’t really mean a thing without love…~ The Carpenters (remake of Love is Surrender)

I notice the water is choppy

in my inner lake this morning.

An hour that usually dives

into the place of pure

surrender, lying on a night-

beach in Atacames, ocean

black ceaseless stretching

under the piercing star-lit

colander of constellations



Even the dawn lacks glamour,

just a gradual lightening

of autumn-silenced morning.

I reach for the doorknob

just as a feathered body clunks

against the window. In the next

room, the light pours out

before my fingers touch

the switch.

I drag

my expectations as I examine

every gift: careful


of the betrayed child.

How to allow

the crashing


strange coincidences

the funhouse distortions

reflecting my quest

for perfection

that will finally grant

safe harbor?

This, too, I heed



as I yield

once more to now.

Inspired by #OctPoWriMo Day 1 Surrender