A calm and cool breeze
Passes through the leaves of the trees,
Persuading the branches to sway,
Like algae in a turbulent sea.
Without a cloud in the pale blue Arizona sky,
The sun radiates down-- hot and glaring.
It reflects off the shiny paint of the cars around me,
Illuminates the brown mountains in the distance.
And magnified through the thick lenses of my classes,
It blinds my sensitive eyes.
The surrounding sempiternal desert
Is so clear and sharp,
That no one nor nothing can hide
(With the exception of the beings who can blend,
And despite my tiring efforts,
I am not one of them.)
The nearest Creosote bush
Eminates of the smell of water,
As it passes through a hose.
I am instantly transported back home
Where sand is replaced by grass and plants
That require regular watering to survive.
When I close my eyes I can see
The illusion of a waterfall, created by the uncoiling hose
As it ejects tepid water for us to traverse.
But upon unveiling my windows,
I allow the sandy landscape to penetrate into my soul
And I am brought back to the present
Where life subsists, illogically,
Through a dearth of water, and inordinate sun.
Strength is the ability to protect yourself
Emotionally, physically, spiritually.
You are strong when you need no one
You are self-sufficient
The desire is there sans the need.
Acceptance of lacking in one area
Will allow you and behooves you to
Increase strength in another.
Because without strength you are vulnerable
To external forces.
Like newborn turtles as they make
The dangerous pilgrimage to water,
Picked off one by one,
By carnivorous, unforgiving animals:
People out to hurt others to falsely improve
Their own self-esteem.
Strength is the courage to challenge your fears
And make an about-face to run toward them
This abrupt "180" seems incongruent to our
Beliefs, desires and thoughts
Because our subconscious mind proclaims
That to confront our apprehensions deems us
And as naive beings, we listen wholeheartedly,
Believing that what we ignore does not exist
And we regress to an age when object impermanence
Unsettled our feelings of safety.
Without strength we cannot breathe, eat or think
And without fulfillment of these basic human needs
The question is, Do we really exist?
So we must define and develop our own strength
In order to thoroughly define and develop
Our sense of self.
Today, my body aches with sadness
For I am caged inside the ribs of this body
And the confines of this mind.
My screams and sobs radiate upward from my belly
And violently explode into silent butterflies
Rising and falling like frantic waves:
Colliding and twisting with every breath.
The pause is the most important.
It holds the fear and excitement around life and death,
Right and wrong,
Me and you.
Because we cannot be together.
It’s been too long
Too exhausting, too ugly
And I won’t take your bullshit anymore.
We are done.
I’m escaping from the cage
The confines, the prisons
And releasing my butterflies into the sky
To fly any direction they please.
The lack of willingness to change,
A desire for control.
We resist when we feel
Angry or hurt,
Because really we are scared.
The act of resisting takes so much energy,
But yet we continue because
We are slaves of habit.
So we waste away
Robbing our bodies and ourselves of
Because we want what we want and
Not what you want.
We have hissy fits and revert back
To our 2 year old selves
Trying to assert our independence.
Denying the fact that we have tied
A brick to our feet,
In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and
Proud of finally doing something on our own
We are alone
Unless we resist the urge to resist and
Call out for help
We will continue to sink
Then drown in our pride
Too resistant to try something new
Or do something different.
As I sit here in front of you,
I am in awe.
I envy your uniqueness and
Your strength to be different.
Your thick trunk holds you up
And roots you to the ground.
I see the remnants of your traumas:
Cut, infiltrated, branded, punctured
But yet you continue to grow.
Your branches become thinner
As thy move away from your body,
By hold the leaves without which
You couldn't survive.
This, your physically weakes part
Makes you vulnerable,
Yet you reach out, steadfast,
Inviting any and everyone in
Because without you we cannot survive.
We must depend on each other
For that which we need.
So here I sit,
Gazing up at your interlacing arms.
Absorbing the wisdom you bring and
Hoping that I can do for you and others
All that you already do for me.
I am a tree.
A real tree with real bark.
As I've grown taller and older
My branches have been sheared.
The little pieces of me,
My old self.
I lean now,
Slightly to the right,
Imperfect and not standing tall.
I've been through a lot in my life
Leaves falling, branches breaking,
Bark peeling and moss growing.
I no longer fit in with all the
Straight and narrows around me.
In fact I am unique
The only one like me for miles around.
I am a real tree,
And for that I am proud.
Hope is tired.
He is an old man, beaten down,
Worn out by the disappointment
Every now and then the sun comes out
And hope is renewed,
Transformed into an infant:
Fresh, naïve, a blank slate
Upon which the world will write.
Without hope we would be nothing,
Life would no longer exist,
And the vacuum of anti-matter,
That makes up space, would be its successor.
Hope puts ideas in our minds
And laughter in our souls.
It brings tears to our eyes,
And despair to our hearts.
Hope is the basis, the foundation
For all emotion, thought and action
Because it provides us with the power of reasons:
A reason to love and breathe
And a reason to sleep and eat;
A reason to be ourselves and a reason to
Live the life we are meant to live.
I love you.
I will never abandon you
Like everyone else.
Neve would I hurt you,
Unless you disobey me,
For I own you.
You are my property.
A little teddy bear I cuddle
And squeeze until your stuffing pops
Out from behind your eyes.
Your beautiful eyes.
Watch and observe.
Your body, disgusting
But able to do what I want.
I provide goals for you,
Something to do,
A challenge to accept.
No matter how many times
You cut the cord,
We will forever be attached.
I, as a newborn, a fetus,
Feeding off all that is you
Or I, as your mother,
Protecting you & entrapping you
Inside my womb.
Our lives depend on each other.
We are one.
United through your blood,
Your every breath.
I'm your best friend
Loyal and honest.
As long as you have me,
You need no one else.
It goes on
Flowing down from
The mountain of shame
Twisting & turning
It engraves a path
The path I am to follow.
In 3 words it goes on.
It goes on
Slowly & begrudgingly
Scintillating back & forth
In the snow
Carving an angel
To guide my way.
In 3 words
It goes on.
It goes on
Unbeknownst to me
For I am stuck
The white straight jacket
Of my mind.
Unable to breathe or eat
Because I refuse to look at it
But still, in 3 words
It goes on.
It goes on
And on and on
Infinitely moving forward
Past me, toward me
And it will continue to go on
Until I step forward
Of my own free will
Through my choice
With my true self and whole heart
That I go on
Without judgment or pity
But love and the understanding
That I must go on.
The heart listens
Beat after beat
Encapsulated by the lungs
Who resonate with the sound of the breath
In and out
Without which no sound could be spoken
Hearing and listening
Separated by automatic or conscious thought
My ears hear
But I must listen
A connection is made
Through sight, touch
So we beat together
Connected by an invisible spider’s web
Thin but strong
Direct and iridescent
Open and close
No words needed
A rhythm unspoken
Warming our souls
Alone but together
And that is
The language of the heart.
The heart aches for comfort.
The skin tingles in the absence of a warm return.
The mind tricks the body
Into believing the emptiness is enough;
That with self-discipline comes love,
And with love comes touch.
But it comes at a cost.
The cost of your self,
Are you willing?
You are gone.
My eyes are blind to your body.
My ears deafened to your voice,
I am senseless.
But refusing to accept
My eyes and ears strain to find you
In the darkness,
Tears erupt from within me
As though my Jugular has been
Sliced by the shock
That should’ve saved you.
My shoulders begin to ache
As my hands grasp for you
And find nothing but air
Intangible molecules bouncing and colliding
To form matter that isn’t you.
Like a newborn chick I imprint on
Anything that moves
Hoping maybe it will be you
Or something, someone similar.
I am lost without a map
Left with nothing but time
Not enough to bring you back
Enough to think of you and
Too much to fill the hole in my heart.
A hole that has left me
Tachycardic and anoxic
Unable to take in a breath of life
Under the weight of guilt from
Stealing that which could’ve been yours—
Should be yours.
If only I had caught you
Before you fell.
If only we hadn’t fought.
But you left me.
You abandoned me.
Like a baby you didn’t want
A puppy that couldn’t be trained
I wanted to die
I tried to leave
But I failed,
Because you are gone
And I am not.
Banished from my life
To me, you are dead.
Amputating your white knuckles
From my lungs I revive the breath
Which had previously been taken.
Sneakily, I crept upon you
Stealing away the blinders—
Regaining my peripheral vision
And ability to see the world around me.
I plug my headphones into my body
Drowning out your drill sergeant
Yelling at me to run faster,
Removing your sparkling diamond ring
From my finger,
I cancel our engagement.
No longer will we live together
Intimately sharing our space—
There is no space for you here.
Quickly and ferociously
I throw your shit out the window
Leaving you mute, homeless and limbless;
Unable to communicate with anyone else,
Or invade their space.
An exterminator has been in and out
Killing the parasites ingested
From the food you tainted.
With the worms removed
And the eggs uprooted,
You’ve lost your control over my body.
My firewalls are up,
Protecting me from further infection.
I know and understand your acid rain
Will fall upon me again,
But I have built a house
Upon strong supports
In which I can enter
When I am enticed
By the tingling burn of my skin.
Mind clear as the Arizona sky
Thoughts blowing through the cacti
Creating dust storms through my body
Over-heated from self-judging rays
Hot and blinding
Eyes, apexes of the Catalinas
Peering down upon everything around me
Rivers flowing down
Nourishing the landscape of my heart below
Pulsing with unexpected life
Snakes and birds traveling everywhere—
Blood carrying life from one place to another
Emotions twinkling through the night—
Stars guiding the way to safety
My being landlocked on all sides
Holds its own
Living on its own time
Disregarding social norms
Full of constant radiating light
I am peaceful and serene.
Emotions are like thorns—
The harder I push against them
The deeper they reach inside me.
Painfully stabbing through
My so-called “protective layers.”
Quickly tapping them
With the tip of my finger
Releases one drop of that
Which I had contained.
The drops continue to flow
Unless I am bounded, restrained.
The petals mirror the drops in color
Portraying the future blooming
Of my life.
Once the emotions are in place.
Occasionally I grab the rose,
Forcefully, clumsily puncturing my skin,
With multiple emotions at once
Uprooting the flower and
Eventually killing my feelings, future and self—
Essentially shutting down all that is me.
In order for the flower to bloom again,
I must plant a seed and wait
Cautiously feeling the thorns
As they grow.
Until finally the bud opens and
My future blooms into a bright red rose.
Like my heart in its cage
I am trapped.
Fluttering and beating
My hardest to be free,
But with no success.
I am tethered by veins and arteries
That sustain me.
And that I keep alive in return.
I am in control of me
But I am controlled by a being
Upon whom I codepend.
My every move is due to impulse
And when stopped, my physical being
Must be revived y shock
And ingestion of a foreign substance.
My inner being flows abundantly with life
That remains enclosed
To protect myself and others.
But if ever I am harmed or cut
The life within me gushes out
With the promise of impending death.
So I remain protected, encapsulated
In my pouch and prison
To keep me alive and active
In the world around me.
My brain is a finely tuned A string
Plucking and picking itself out of tune
And though out of tune itself
Molds and bends to be in tune
Relative to others.
My skin like a mahogany fingerboard
Is constantly pressed
And squeezed and slapped
—Abused by my own hand.
My mouth and tongue are f-holes
Through which my inner vibrations
Are released into the air.
My heart is a bridge
Keeping my thoughts
In their rightful place
But also connecting
My body and mind.
My bones make up my sound-post
Holding me together
And providing the structure
Necessary to speak.
My feet are an endpin
And connecting me
To my surroundings.
Occasionally a bow comes along
Forcing me to do or say
The opposite of my desires
And playing me
Like an instrument,
I am a cello
Here to say what I want
How I want.
Though my strings need occasional tuning,
I decide how they sound
And when they sound.
Although I am sometimes used by others
For their gain
I am always in control of my expression.
An imaginary but desirable sense of control
Created by the bully in my head
Screaming at me, pressuring me, hurting me
Encapsulating my mind as a second meninges.
Impossible to separate my true thoughts
From what it tells me,
My conscious mind is tied to a cinder block
And left to drown in its enticingly rough waves.
My physical being constantly changing with the tide
Unpredictable but regular,
Shallow but deep.
Sucked into its infinite black hole,
I am left feeling disgusted and ashamed
Of all that is me.
No longer am I able to decide the way in which
My needs are met-if in fact they are met.
As though I have DID, I am constantly bouncing
From alter to alter
Body to body.
Blinded from looking directly into its sun,
I am wormed and comforted by its rays
While reassured that my doubts are unwarranted.
If ever defied, it scolds and whips me,
Like a master to his slave,
A father to his child.
The welts and cuts, gratefully rip into my
Skin, muscle and bone –
Punishment for my wrongdoings and self.
I, immediately silenced
Remove myself from society,
Restricting contact, nourishment and emotions
It is not until someone notices
The beginnings of an eternal invisibility,
That I am released and
Able to breathe in
The salty air of life.
My mind is a vortex,
Swirling whirlpool of
Voices and images,
Movies and words.
At times it is calm,
Like the sea before a tsunami,
Eerily still, anoxic.
The pop of a rubber band,
The slice of a blade,
Removes me from myself
And at once I am pensive
My thoughts –erased,
My eyes search from emotion
In a brick wall
My mind –transformed to its twin:
But easily crumbled
By the trembling of the earth.
The future is a calm, mysterious sunset
Inside a dank refrigerator.
Curious, afraid of the dark
We long for love.
Our fear creates passion, hope, stress
Imperfect emotions bring the strength
To care and feel for that which we
But with grief comes love
And the intelligence to fail.
Reject aloneness in pursuit of