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Where Shelter Aug 2019
lay this body down, where shelter is..


maybe you’ve been here, HP, awhile,
faintly remember the nook of poetry,
the four old soldier chairs, worn to a gray shade indescribable,
facing the merge of the river and the bay, lookin out southwest,
today, in nearly summer over Sunday best,
wearing a new old navy lime t-shirt,
ancient Champion grey cotton flannel shorts,
summer uniform of the generation that went boom and bust

as the sun escapes through apertures of now and then,
interrupting the partly cloudy forecast,
lazy me risking an end of summer skin reddening chastisement,
but life without danger, no life at all, especially poetry danger

the windy breezes jabbering quite excitedly,
deep in conversation with the waves
that loudly enough are washing the shore,
beneath my feet sitting in the poets nook

the gulls are squeaking their point of view,
at will, saying to me,
who asked you poet?

discussing they, the day, when the humans will be leaving,
they tell day and season by the degree of temperature reductions,
knowing full well it harbors hints that our departure sooner,
till next we poetry nook

the Adirondack chairs, with no cushions, are now described
as “scratchy,” by the Wendy of my life,
two and something granddaughter, who returns next weekend,
with new insights and open to opportunities to “use her words”
to teach me anew how to see the loveliness that is my blessing

sometimes a human takes an inventory of life’s stuff,
the ex and in-terior terrain, wades through the moraine
that his glacier has dragged behind, the coarse detritus of his course,
de icing/deciding what to keep, what stone skip throw into the bay

I could sail from our dock to the Atlantic,
meet you over a pint or a pinot, or head down to the Panama Canal,
north to Portland or Seattle, cruise the Willamette,
go as far as Vancouver,
before the spring winter runoff,
show you my shock, the shock of well past gray,
now the white feather of my head, signifying...old warrior, as it
falls over my forehead, a new signature of my ever changing body,
the city doormen see, shocked, now call me honorifically “abuelo”

read a story from a harvard doctor who believes living past 75,
makes little sense, cause we use up more resources
than we could ever add back

no, not saying go die, but give up the meds,
the artifices to extend life
once you pass past the inflection where you’re nothing but a taker,
which maybe explains why wrote a dozen poems this weekend,
trying to expel what resources I can add to the world before I

lay this body down

the cloud bank covering the southern fork of long island,
thickly viscous like fresh honeybee secretions, after which,
some will

lay their body down

next weekend is labor day, and maybe I’ll labor more,
disgorging poems too long and too varied, perchance you will
enjoy one or two, as we both be closer to the day when labor ceases,
and we can unhurriedly

lay this body down, sheltered at last

from wind waves and gulls jabbering,
the alternating current of cloud and sun


Empire Mar 2019
Growing up sheltered
Is not what it seems
It is full
Of pain
Just like everyone else
We hurt, cry, and hate
Only we have to hide
Desperately hide

Crippling perfectionism
Became my sickness
I had to always be right
Or at least justify my wrong
Because I couldn't
Bear to let them down
Let everyone down
Let myself down

I spent every moment
Full of anxiety
Like everyone was watching
And to a degree,
They were

This sickness festered
Within my mind
It brought me a pain
That I could not explain
Because nothing was wrong
Except me
Something was so wrong
With me

Quietly, every minor failure
Twisted into hatred
A self-loathing
That started to **** me
And I didn't even see it
Until it was so big
It tried to swallow me

You see, my problems
Rooted so deep
I couldn't even acknowledge them
Because having problems
Meant failure

Now, I, the sheltered child
Sit alone trying to heal
With all of my baggage
That appears so light
In comparison
To that of those who
Had it much worse

So in silence,
I long to feel whole
Knowing how
But my strong desire for
Won't allow

My need to be perfect
Won't let me rebel
Because it would mean
Blaming no one but
So I can't let it out

I find mediums
To release the angst
Nursing a caffeine habit
Instead of *******
The destructive forces
Within me
Wouldn't mind it
Either way
nja Jan 2019
But she's exposed herself.
Flesh and bone protruding out the protective bubble.
She's only just gone and dragged herself to the margins of society.
Removed from the warmth of the gooey womb she supresses a lingering shiver.
Now she resides in a ***** dimension. Present, not quite faded yet.
Now the perfectly grown princess has self-inflicted chips on her shoulders.
Addicted to self-flagulation she tries to regress back home to her former alter.
Beyond. Reach.
A stone bleeding with pleasure weighs down the remains of her birth right.
aANotes on my sheltered upbringing and how I purposly sabotaged my background and privilidged future because of the choices I made.
Rayma Dec 2018
The silence in this world is ringing
Ringing like the unanswered phones left on the line
Because no one is home to hear
the shrill call of an unanswered voice just begging
Begging for one more shot at whatever sordid mess they’ve left behind
Because the future is ahead and it’s scaring them.

Please, just let me come home.
Home was never safe, it was never warm,
It was just a place for childhood embers burnt fast by the age of 12, no, 11, no, 10,
But then I still beg to go back because life’s ahead, mom,
And they’re calling my name but I cover my eyes
Because all I hear is the shrill call of an unanswered voice
Begging me to amount to all that I’m worth,
To take strides on horizons I can hardly fathom
Because out there, they’re looking for a shadow to their sunset.
A step away, a reach, a grasp,
But I let it fall from my hands and crash
Graceless, inelegant, twisted, metamorphosed into a nightmare I’ll never catch.
Because these walls are a sanctuary
Where the hands that cover my eyes and
The hands that cover my ears protect me
From the world’s volatility,
and the one thing I grasp;
in the highest degree.

So fire your bullets, because they’ll only ricochet,
Keep away
No way
No wait,
This isn’t invincibility,
Just conciliatory me
Bending, twisting, metamorphosed into
        a grotesque shape
        a nightmare I’ll become
When someday there’s a ringing in my head
Of an unanswered phone left on the line.
I don’t want to hear it;
The shrill call of an unanswered voice just begging
Begging for one more shot at the broken pieces,
This puzzle strewn across the floor
Like it’s always been there
just never seen before,
Because you only see the flash after you hear the bang
And it’s all over.
It’s too late.
The phone keeps ringing.
I wrote this at the beginning of the month. It's a new style for me, one I've been exposed to a lot more lately, and it's very satisfying to write in the throws of an anxiety attack x
I use to see home like a prison
A place that chained down my soul
Times have changed, I have progressed
Here, I realized I have the most control
I use to see my room as a place
Where I was trapped within 4 walls
But now it is a sanctuary, a refuge
A place where I'm almost free from it all
I wanted to get to know the world and its people
And I still haven't seen it all
Though now I see my home as somewhere
A place I can heal every time I fall
Nylee Sep 2018
little longer
a bit more stronger
and so much more
I hope for.
All the papers
I just tore
my dreams not
reaching their shore.
Well before,
so much better
heart sheltered
I, not deserted.
Everything I wore
all filtered
refined to core
Could go ahead with
all that
keep quiet
be that
watch and mimic
being sick
in head.
Isabel Nov 2017
Suburbia; picket fences as white as the faces that live behind them. Rows of houses. The balustrades made of privilege, leading up to the verandas of entitlement. Semi-detached houses, almost too close for comfort. Discord versus conformity.

In their own little worlds, unaware of the squalor on the other side of town. Otherwise aware but unconcerned. Their suburban paths paved in a circle so they stay, their children stay, and suburbia is never empty. Constant noises. The whirring of toy cars being controlled with remotes, (exactly like the people who are oblivious to the fact that suburbia is attempting and succeeding to control and mould them into perfect, upstanding citizens) doors sliding, the murmur of voices,

“mum pass us the salt please”
“can we get some ice cream?”
“I’ll be home before the street lights turn on”.
Behind the cloned houses all made from the same stencil, are partners barely tolerating each other. Smiling at the neighbourhood get together's behind undisclosed differences. Poise and status. Stand tall. Nobody can know.

“Merry Christmas here’s a camera!”
Home videos. Grainy images, recollections.
“I remember that! You tripped over right after I finished recording!”
“It was my first time on roller skates give me a break”.

Video tapes and cassettes turned memory cards and USB’s, scattered with chunks of suburbia. Purposeless clips of picket fences, swings and gates being brought to life by wind.

A man is trying to grow grass in his new front yard but the birds keep eating the seeds. He digs up the dead grassy patches and starts again. A monotonous cycle like a drum rhythm with no end in sight.

Suburbia is a ritual of routine. Everyone gets what they want. Daddy can buy them a car, a house, friends. The whole **** world, you can have it your way. Upturned noses and superiority towards the people living in filth and squalor, they could help them, they have sufficient funds to lend, but choose to do nothing instead continuing to scrutinise them and place themselves on a higher pedestal.

Children grow up in sheltered suburban lifestyles blissfully unaware of what really goes on. Homophobic jocks and flirty dancers are born. Living apart from their nearby communities,
decaying away in studio apartments and cozy bungalows, watching some reality tv show, filmed in America, and footy games on their 55-inch television screens. Eating organic strawberry and coconut gelato and still thinking that they need more.

Some stray from the paved path of concession and “have it easy’s” and the ‘other side’ leaves an impact on them. Gratefulness, compassion, understanding. “Better go back and tell your friends, it’s not so scary down here in the ghetto huh” Race, social and working classes. Segregation is back with a vengeance, though it was never really gone, was it? Only covered up with some form of guilt and then continued by white supremacy.

When someone different comes along, someone who isn't on one of Cosmo’s diets, someone who doesn't wear heavy makeup, or is a size eight or below, someone who doesn't live in a palace made of dreams, someone who must truly work hard if they want things that aren’t necessities. How do they respond? They shun, they backstab and they gossip whilst sipping exotic wine from crystal glasses on their freshly manicured suburban lawn.

Unquestionably sheltered from the world of hate and love they have to find themselves through material objects, careless people and careless, empty conversations. What they truly need is conversation that doesn’t notice or need status, background, or possessions. Lemonade stands and garage sales. One man’s trash is another man’s suburban treasure.

Numbing. Overwhelming. Rumours and lies. They can recognise every face they walk past on the footpath, and they know that every face will recognise them back. I suppose if their face is known, their mistakes are easily remembered.

Vines begin to grow and engulf a half-stained deck weathered and worn by the hot sun. Whispers and disgruntled sighs fill the street as the suburban mums express their distaste towards the house down the road with its paint peeling fence and overgrown shrubs riddled with weeds.
“That house brings down the whole street I reckon. I wonder who lives there”
“I heard that it’s an old lady that got sick”
“Yeah, I heard that her husband left her for some young woman. Imagine that!”
“Well I would leave too if my garden looked like that. Gardens show pride and they represent your personality. I wouldn’t want to get involved with them”

Flesh is flesh. There is no separation between that body and the next. No one will ever view your life the way you view it so why bother trying to provoke your neighbours and make them think themselves inferior? Repress the mask, be yourself.

Make suburbia change for you.
Suburbia; houses designed to look pleasing. Families fit like puzzles, on the surface. Mother can drop off her youngest, complete chores with her eldest and be home in time for her favourite shows.
Ritual, routine, clockwork.
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