Relational Space

We are trying to bring light down into the darkest places. ~ Nicholas Janni

And another one gone, and another one gone.  Another one bites the dust. Hey, I’m gonna get you, too. Another one bites the dust. ~ Queen

I have been singing a lullaby

to lull this pain into a catatonic

state.  To cleverly  keep at bay

the black tarry shame.  Have you ever

noticed how what you avoid

becomes the breeding ground

for monsters? Today I reached

into the unknown

as you watched carefully,

your deep silence my opening.

I closed my eyes to the possibility

that you might judge me.

Simply trusting this space.

I showed you what I’ve never

shown myself, and you asked me

where I felt it, stuck

in my throat, a hard-fisted

heart, lungs enclosed in iron.

I wanted to spin stories

and you urged me

to go deeper, into the stagnation.

The dark place where there are

no words. Accepting this journey

as my prayer’s answer,

I follow the clues

in my body.  Finally daring

to open my eyes and see 

your nod, your smile, my tears

running down my cheeks.

The ice is melting and my cold limbs

are tingling until I can feel

energy sizzling

through my body now

until my shout of woohoo

startles our relieved laughter.


Inspired by: Lullaby, Unknown

Unrequited Love, If You Will

“Kitty looked into his face, which was so close to her own, and long afterwards — for several years after — that look, full of love, to which he made no response, cut her to the heart with an agony of shame.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

“This early experience of mis-attunement, of the mother’s failure to empathize with her baby’s emotions and to mirror them back (perhaps because she’s depressed, self-absorbed or overwhelmed by her own emotional difficulties) — this misattunement produces shame.  Shame as the result of unrequited love, if you will.” ~ Joseph Burgo

She came up for air,

my intestines churning, and a heavy

heart.  My friend and I, silenced

in deep greeting, gave her

space she’d been craving.

Now that I know, I can say

I’ve often heard her knocking

belowdecks, iron-clad, deep

in the cold, dank hold.

It’s not fair, she storms.  If I

pictured her at all in my

inner salvage operations, it was

as a dreamer or a green heron

shy, cautious, beautiful

balance on a railing overlooking the water,

all of the safe exits plotted.  Alert, hungry,

focused on survival.  So I am swept

off my seat when she shouts

and wails, rages.  I feel pain

in my stomach, and now my temples

ache.  The green heron slips quietly

out of sight right before two great

blue herons battle for fishing rights.

No one functions in this upset.

The herons hiding, flying off

or standing ground.  No one is fed.

The scarcity is consuming us,

even as a big bass jumps and plops.

Quiet now.  Let’s look

in the deeps.  Let’s see what

will nourish us all.  Let’s give voice to the

silenced things we’ve accumulated

inside.  Let’s finally be fair.


Inspired by SalvageDreamer and Unrequited


That’s Me In The Corner…

“…That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion. Trying to keep up with you, and I don’t know if I can do it. Oh no, I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough. ~ REM

“Expert divers are guiding them out through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the cave.” ~

Deep in dark caves, trapped alive
we send an urgent SOS, and feel it
as a sneeze. I must be sensitive
to this food, I say, and rush
into a romance of healing,
as if believing symptoms
like still-life paintings hang on
my museum’s walls, when really
they are being painted right now.
Clueless, I’m trying to fix sculptures
showcased in glass too heavily smudged
for the spotlight to penetrate. Darkness.
Trapped alive. I dart from ache to
cough, knowing this indigestion
isn’t normal, and so I fight
like a good soldier, resist,
pharmaceutically masked. A tight cave.
Unreachable. There is no cure,
intones the white-coated modern witch
doctor consulting his PDR gramarye,
bring stronger weapons to this war.
Trapped alive. We are captivated
by experts bringing their wizardry
of technology to the rescue. Deep inside
we know this is a metaphor
for reaching our inner living children.
We have to save ourselves; there is
nothing to conquer or get over. Welcome
home, be soothed, embraced.
The lesson dangles
in front of us, the promise
of rejuvenation if we reclaim
and celebrate the found pieces
we’ve so sorely missed.

Ragtag Prompt: Dart
Daily Addictions Prompt: Frail
Word Of The Day Challenge: Rejuvenate
Glass from Alan’s Recycling Bin
FOWC Prompt: Lesson
3TC: Museum, Sneeze, Romance

Icing That Trigger Finger

“Pistol grip pump on my lap at all times…” ~ Rage Against The Machine

If you tell a toddler, “Don’t slam the door,

their only option is to follow the command.

Do, first, to figure out how to undo.

Of course, their primary obedience

elicits annoyance and frustration on both

sides. How much clearer to say,

Please close the door gently!

Ah, the life lessons a toddler offers.

Today, I shared an insight

from my own healing to my family

of origin, and sneers and jeers

ensued — an invitation to descend

into the nightmare of my childhood

where black was declared white

and every step was perilous.

I refused to go there.

Instead very clearly said, “Then don’t

investigate this technique!”

since I had inadvertently triggered

a two-year-old child parading about

in an adult’s body. Of course, establishing

a boundary is only step one.

I sat and contemplated the tight

feeling of grief in my lungs,

such a familiar pain that I’ve dragged

from the past, so heavy that it blocks

my ability to be here now.

Breathing in to the spaciousness

that is deep within even the most

contracted places of myself,

loving the trigger and the response

and this quiet place where I can observe

the intricate dance of my aliveness,

and honor my own masquerade.

Inspired by the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Nightmare


Lost & found

She said, don’t turn away from

the darkness in you

that reaches out when you are down,

most vulnerable to its seductive

despair.  You must face

and hold it tenderly,

this part of you, so estranged

eclipsed by your sunny ways.

With your sweet smile, your need

to be strong for everyone,

there is no place for this wild

raging and its sullen sad

friend who finds no value

in this world.  It’s true

that when the sickness comes yet again

and their whispers become the only voice

to follow, I lose all hope;

everything reduced to black and white

caricatures, stripped of worth,

like this desolate piece of me

waiting with such grave patience

to emerge on fever-tossed nights.

Who is there to hold you

when you creep from the lonely shadows

and claim the stage

before the audience can be seated?

No curtain call for you

as I open the drapes.

The smile, as I greet the sunrise

banishing you yet again.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: patience

Speaking From Silence

“Your mess is your message.” — Emily Blefeld

Can I dare to show up like this,

messy as a child who has been playing

in the mud

wearing her best white Sunday school dress

and having lost a shoe?

Recrimination is unavoidable.

This little girl

creating chaos

with the joy of discovery

had it punished out of her

by busy adults who didn’t bother

to keep her safe.

When does she get to say out loud,

I am afraid?

I need some space here.

I carry her sometimes deep

in my heart, but at other times

she grabs the wheel and

she is speeding away from all of you

with complete disregard

for the rules of safety.

When I feel strong, I peel back layers

of uncompromising

shame, guilt, fear

that have been dressing me up

as reasonable, even civilized.

It’s not that I want to appear before you

naked, but I am impelled to strip

away cultural inhibitions

and language that stifles

my creativity.

I will not be silenced;

without words the powerful force



transforms the world.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: messy