Soaking in old family photos
while submerged in Georgia rains,
I become lost in the darkest depths
of the black and white remains.
I am transported vicariously
to fascinating times past,
Silent voices call me to follow
through my families complex caste.
One a Dutch indentured servant
who became of man of local wealth,
Another a circuit ridin' preacher
Spread the gospel, paid with gray fox pelts.
With sad eyes the women stared intently
wanting to share privately with me,
Our common bond of child birth and death
Reminding me time never sets one free.
Soaking in old family photos
Submerged in joy and pain
Taken to the darkest depths
of pouring Georgia rains.
My mother always called me the devil child
Because I was loud, destructive and wild
I found out years later I was born with ADHD
No one wanted ever to spend any time with me
Parents didn’t know of ADHD or why I was different
They didn’t understand and they were very intolerant
Parents told older sister I was bad and she didn't have to play with or be around me
So much of the time alone was really no fun, however for some help I did make a plea
I heard my mother double dog dare my father to hit me
Mother would refer to me as a turd in front of the family
All my cousins were smart, while I was failing most my classes at school
Got in to many fights with bullies and teachers who were always cruel
All my family made fun and they called me names bully and teased
I was the loser that anyone could do or say whatever they pleased
They all knew my mother would not try to defend
Because she and my grandmother started the trend
Once I told my mother that I was happy about something
She said happiness was by me not deserved but a thumping
Mother was always mad at me since I never wanted any piano, ballet, or baton lessons
I had my own mind, and impressing other people in life was not one of my obsessions
Could never make my mother happy, she was always very angry
I use to hit myself, scratch my face because she drove me crazy
When I was ten got mother a gift at the five & dime for her one birthday
She tossed the gift in the garage, called it junk, said was best to throw away
On Christmas day, when I unwrapped a gift if I didn't act surprised in a certain way
She'd throw a fit, get drunk and make me feel guilty about things the rest of the day
I was always afraid of my mother, never knew
what she next to me that she would try to do
None of my cousins was I ever allowed with to play
Was always much of the time alone every and all day
I lived in a strange way my dad was very to the T religious
And my mother was always drunk and of course blameless
She’d drink when home from work, on the weekends or holidays
And could always hide it from all her friends and the relatives
No one believed me when I told them that she had been drinking
They acted like I was crazy by then I knew what they were thinking
Never knew of anyone I could be close to, for a hug or some kind words
Things were always bad I needed encouragement and for me to be heard
My mother took me out on Friday nights to eat and buy whatever I wanted, after work
Her last stop was always the liquor store for drink and smoke, I was left in car like a jerk
Bought games that took two or more to play, but she nor did dad never have any intension
Of spending time with me, I was in there way. I was a bad child that needed intervention
Wasn’t the perfect child I admit; I ran off when I was 16 did things I regret parents put me
Away, they came for counseling I complained about moms drinking, and she felt angry
She said her drinking wasn’t my problem, she’d be back to see me when I could face the truth
Never could mother admit her or dad doing wrong, everything was because I was a youth
Came home from school one day mom was passed out on the living room floor dead drunk
Called ambulance for her Dr blamed me and said no visit, and he called me a worthless punk
My dad would come home and find she was throwing up while passed out always in her bed
I’d watch him take bowls put them near her mouth to catch it, was something I would dread
He’d walk to the bathroom, empty the bowl and go back to get the next one to do the very same
And replace the unfilled one repeat the process. I was told by her doctor that I was the blame
Sometimes mom would run down the hall to the toilet bowl throw up then my heart would race
Because I always knew mom would do this and then she’d come to room to scare rant and pace
Since I was a bad spoiled child who had parents with money, nice house cars and good jobs
And I was not willing to help out or be responsible, was told I made the family look like slobs
My sister let her boyfriend talk her into letting him take me to dentist, instead he molested me
No one believed me because in the past I had lied about things, and the truth no one would see
I was different all the cousins, my aunts and uncle could blame me when things went missing
Or went wrong I was then and still am now the perfect scapegoat yes about it I’m still babbling
My father ran out the back door, when he heard me wake up and come out of my room
So he didn't have to bother with me, and I wanted to spend time with him he’d assume
Somehow I managed to graduate from high school and I then would move
To a different city I felt I might have better luck and my life would improve
Married two very bad guys both who daily beat, threatened me and verbally abused
Divorced them both had one child and how I’d raise this child alone I was confused
Tried to work and go to school never was competent enough to follow through
Each time I would start either I did not have the ability of completing anything new
Am not proud of this but I had 30 jobs that I lost in 10 years and even tried going to college
Unable to remember how and when to do things, my head from years of abuse was in a fog
Filed for SSI and Social Security, got on section 8, food stamps WIC and other government aid
I needed a home for myself and my daughter so I had to depend on things like this to get paid
My daughter grew up, became ill with a repeating debilitating disease
I dedicated myself to getting her well, and nothing about it was a breeze
Had to take her in pain for Doctor visits many times she’d cry and wished she were dead
This broke my heart with no family help, just her and I to face things in the years ahead
Unable to attend school for years, the Doctor signed permission to stay home
School system assigned a teacher who was mean nothing about her was tome
School Social workers interfered
And my name they smeared
She finally one day went into remission
And now the nephrotic kidney condition
Seems for now to have forever gone for good away
For years it’s been don’t want others to downplay
For a while I homeschooled her and the first semester back in the public school
She was on the honor roll things seemed to be looking up and I felt exception to the rule
Then one day she lost interest in classes, homework and attending
And the principal of the high school was calling and threatening
Pulled her out of school and placed her in to get her GED
Soon she graduated quite quickly within month of three
A year before she was supposed to graduate
I knew by then that I was doing things right
Enrolled me and her in community college we made the Dean’s list and no student loan debt
Last May she and I graduated have a new life now I don’t feel things in my life are a threat
But alone I’ve raised a good child, self-published a book and kept things together
I’ve published some poetry and stories in magazines that will be on web pages forever
Even though my parents have helped me out once in a while financially
I feel lack of respect since they helped family who treated me crummy
I’m still feeling and have most of the hopeless thoughts when I was young
But I still try to steer my daughter to be different from me and hold my tongue
Those cousins with the high degree
Don’t seem to have too much on me
Both lost their jobs within a year out of college from being snobs and dishonest
But the parents just think that it was because others were being so glibbest
Both stuck alone in life working in their old age
That just mostly pays a low minimum wage
Sister divorced husband for molesting her children still won't speak told her kids I was bad
She lives in my town and over 20 years she’s never visited so by her I've been for life had
Most of all I think it's because my parents never would face reality or admit
To any wrong doing of years of abuse and neglect, something I couldn't forget
Why am I talking about this after all these years still?
Because I think that it may just possibly help me to heal
All Rights Reserved
And we witnessed the brilliance of man's folly,
Every note falling in deciduous perfection;
Even prayers can be lost.
The stars flashed on,
The sun was nowhere to be found, and
And the moon belched like a drunken pirate,
Bending the trees and sending their leaves
Skyward, off to wherever they go.
There was a whisper
Between the blades of grass
We laid on.
There was a worry
Clouding over you
That told me there
Was to be more.
Candy cane fragrance
With a dash of cinnamon salt.
Grinning through the darkness,
We touched palms like children,
Caught in that blue jay dance.
Morning came like mist over a hill.
Our eyes fluttered open and close.
She rose first, then I rose with her.
We met by the window and looked down on the street,
Both of us feeling the fleeting of a feeling.
Secondary rituals over coffee and pastries.
The sun came through that café window like a shotgun blast.
And when she paid and left,
A kiss on the cheek for cordiality,
She dropped a note that read "Until next time."
When you don't see another for some time,
You wonder what they came to be.
A periwinkle whore of 5 cents a pound,
Or a river lady loon that sang without a sound?
The maze has many turns, until you reach the end.
Under your bed,
Their color's shining
Ox blood purple and red.
They told me your name.
They scribbled your address.
They want what you have.
They're wondering why your'e so stressed.
When she came by the place again,
I wasn't home, so she dropped me another note.
This one had only one word:
I can't lie.
I was quite
I thought she
Less to say.
Two days past.
A knock on my door.
Moon light's middle finger
Stretched into my
Living room window.
My couch held her like an egg in a carton.
Toad colored hat latched around her head.
Hair covering her eyes, her mouth, her broken nose.
She wore orange flip flops, wiggling her toes.
A zit planted in the middle of her forehead like white rose.
She asked why I hadn't called her.
I told her that I didn't have a number.
She talked about her soon to be dead father.
I sat down to listen, thinking of my forgotten brother.
We talked with a space between us for a long time.
When she began to cry, she came to me,
Like a bee to a flower or a fly to fresh shit.
I felt her hand on my chest and her breath in my left ear;
There's no guilt like the wicked
And there's no faith like the religious kind.
Hand in a hold.
Love is a recyclable mold.
The tattered priest protects the walls
Of his splintered sanctuary.
Every dream had
Is another man's
Oh my sins, my sins,
Where should I begin?
When you're born to lose,
There's no thought to win.
6 months past
And still, she came.
Our love for one another
Was a knot
I couldn't untie.
A year past
And the stars and the moon
Were a cure that
Blanketed our child, our family.
Living our days out,
Mixing poison and penalty,
Running from a life
That showed any shred of reality.
Buried side by side
Underneath a bent orange tree,
I died one day,
She dying the other.
We use the leaves of Fall
And the blossoming buds of Spring
To reach for.
When I say the maze is long
And that the hours are heavy,
I meant not for your blankets to fall cold
Or for your room to awash with darkness.
She came to me that day,
Just like someone will come for you.
And I had no choice,
But to attune.
"The Things I Want"
For the sun to shine.
To change the past.
I want to sleep forever,
because in my dreams,
her and I are still
more than anything,
I wanted her.
Oh how I never wish to wake from this slumber.
To dream in peace.
The echoes of our life still have an effect on me.
Memorys still reach for me holding on to me with A tight grip.
So hard to let go.
Slipping in and out of now altering the vision of possibility.
No way to erase the memorys of you without erasing parts of me in the process.
Oh how I wish to loosen the grip you possess on my reality.
To continue to drift away in my dreams.
Woke me up
Last stop he called
End of the line
The not so secret
Graveyards of movement
Edge of where sleep can
Time unlike movement
Blink and a year has passed
Suddenly after a month in a new city
Your parents are old
Or your children are grown
Either way the radio no longer plays
Music you can recognize
Yet the trains
Do not change much
Marking out time
One rocking lullaby at a time
Finally the long walk home.
Past the bar
Which I will end up grabbing a round in
Before heading across the street
And typing up this weekend’s poems
Hard decision figuring out that order
New York is almost welcoming
With downcast eyes
And screaming sirens
When compared to the growing limp
My father carries himself with
Seeing age claim those we love
Is a broken promise
Fractured while we were off
Spending days like easy dollars
Until one wakes to frost
On youths windows,
The sudden knowledge
That autumn, is over
Displayed in brittleness
Of your fathers bones
In days of youth we skip rocks
On the shiny surface of our dreams Watching as they bounce outwards Towards ever infinite possibilities
In middle age our hand hesitates
Past mistakes cause us to wonder
Has my aim been far too careless
Each shot falls shorter of its mark
In the silver days of our last years
The water obscured by a gray mist Twisted fingers tuck hopes away Remnants for that nocturnal finality
© 2013 A. M. S. (Red)
Beauty was murdered yesterday.
Born so long ago into the past,
it seemed disposable.
A sadness, uncontrollable.
No physical evidence of the crime.
Just broken hearts, ruined memories,
and lack of time.
Four innocent souls left behind.
What can you do with a heart so bruised?
Leave it beating, alone, and used.
Even if it seems abused,
no one else can fix it.
Beauty is murdered everyday.
Light often shines to be shut off,
leaving lovers in the dark.
Adapt to it,
to free your heart.
Put me to shame
Who's to blame?
Had me fooled with your silly little games
Infatuated---a high, a burning spark against the dark night sky.
Bright and ever so fleeting
Crashing and cold, like icy comets falling from the stars
Now I stand, stranded, for you took me to sea, ripped the sails then decided to leave me be.
Like a little boy's paper airplane with bent wings
or a woman who has lost her voice and can no longer sing
Kite's on windless days and masterpieces painted on napkins, with the first intention of being thrown away.
A disturbance in the mirror
the sea a shattering gray
a sadness so heavy and unrelenting
never to go away
Running so fast, so fast
outrunning the past
Slammed into a blinding light, a brick wall
hopped aboard a train
take me far from this pain
the emotion swelled like a wave in the ocean
near-far, high-low, up above-down below
hope like feathers------easily carried away by the wind
buy I danced like fire and my voice was carried by the wind
I walked like summer and crashed like the ocean
Believe me, love, I never wanted to be left broken.