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Mike Hauser Feb 2015
Bound and determined where it is at
To be more of this and less of that
To take the miss and bring it back
Less of this and more of that

Bound and determined where I stand
To be more giving and less demand
To build this house on rock not sand
To give it all and also and

Bound and determined to leave the past
Where it belongs is where it's at
With no need to bring it back
In the digging of past regrets

Bound and determined to let it go
Grab the new, let loose the old
To untie the tightened that has a hold
That for so long has held life in choke

Bound and determined is the new me
With the shackles gone I'm feeling free
Free to be who I should be
Bound and determined is the new me
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Test Ting Won To Tree
By
Charles Fleischer







Rifleman decal water is to Tiny basket liners as Strained yo-yo string is to?
Dark wool glowing is to Oldest lost oddity as First genetic engine is to?
Black quail taint is to Nut curdled paint as Hemp biscuit dominoes are to?
Steam traced paper is to Lemon ash vapor as Digital ****** wig is to?
Eccentric brine mimes are to Electric silk slacks as Spark formed lava is to?
Sunchoked black hornets are to as Rescued orphan doves as Retold cat jokes are to?
Hand traced videos are to Braided rubber spines as Opal rain dancers are to?
Halogen anchor gong is to Annoying bread portraits as Soft bracelet lockers are to?
Old troll bios are to Select cherub echoes as Broken matchstick parasols are to?
Dome nine chariots are to Frayed lunar remnants as Fuming honey flasks are to?
Bluing assault operas is to Beading fluted flowers as Magnetic lawn tweezers are to?
Converted flea sponges are to Floating dog murals as Frozen Archie comics are to?
Molded road pads are to Crusty gumdrop thread as Straw ribbed pelicans are to?
Inflatable diamond vowel is to Single gender raffle as Groovy desert coffee is to?
Temporary solution radiation is to Idiotic witness mumble as Motorized marshmallow kit is to?
Panoramic utopian paranoia is to Aggravated **** silhouettes as Unhinged gun sellers are to?
Homesick ghost pajamas is to Virtuous fly fungus as Royal sandpaper gloves are to?
Gangster hayride tickets are to Deer milk Oreos as Turnip fairy maps are to?
Glue gun **** is to Nocturnal cabin mice as Cab fare corn is to?
Speckled fish nickels are to Under water bric-a-brac as Epic snakeskin paisley is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Raunchy snail kimono is to Coiled time dice as Smeared equator malt is to?
Metallic centaur franchise is to Transparent cheese chess as Spotted glacial remnants is to?
Sky fused pong is to Rustic mothers brattle as Granulated canister ointment is to?
Overgrown maze mule is to Mated smugglers hugging as Floating thesaurus exam is to?
Sliding coed sprinkler is to Soapy whitefish rebate as Precious lamb diaper is to?
Mushy acorn luster is to Lilac protein rings as Slapstick wrestler dialect is to?
Freaky plankton bells is to Rolling horse divorce as Morphing morphine lips are to?
Sticky razor sparkle is to Emerald muscle spasm as Glaring cat cipher is to?
Peppy unisex mustache is to Pelican fighter syndrome as Clumping night grumble is to?
Scanning paired pearls are to Ruby rubbed roaches as Satanic sailor flotsam  are to?
Glowing asteroid solder is to Ideal shark data as Failed frail doilies are to?
Numb nuts boredom is to Fantastic icy phantoms as Sporadic silk creations is to?
Crooks crow chow is to Loading spackled bonder as Gargled snowdrop blasters are to?
Outdid myself today is to Outside myself again as Outlived myself controls is to?
Venting shuttlecock upset is to Texting badminton kitten as Settler tested motels are to?
Prepare paired vents is to Prefer paid events as Pretender predicts fiction is to
Crunchy mental fender is to Catching mentor menace as Poorly seasoned lettuce is to?
Outside sidewalk inside is to Seaside outcast input as Sideways landslide victory is to?  
Compile fake password is to Compost world poo as Compose village anthem is to?
Crooked crotch blunder is to Loud crowd thunder as Divine vine finder is to?
Chucks’ wooden truck is to Bucks good luck as Sticky ducks tucked is to?  
Overhaul underway overseas is to Overturned downsized pickup as Underground onramp overloaded is to?
I’ll bite there is to Aisle byte their as Isle bight there is to?
Gnat gnawed wrist is to ***** show beans as See through putty is to?
Flapping floppy guppies are to Buzzing zipped dozers as Muddy ****** strippers are to?
Dark diagonal dialogue is to Diabolical dihedral die as Interesting circadian exposition is to?
Experimental flossing expectations are to Waxed dental traps as Permanent impermanence resolution is to?  
Outran ringside intrigue is to Sidetracked onboard boatload as Loaded firearm topside is to?
Phony ****** phone is to Chewy ego honey as Yogi Mama’s dada is to?
Nimble teardrop squiggle is to Humble cage curtains as Loyal truckstop morals are to?
Torching curled elastic is to Sonic neighbor clamor as Golden droplet integers are to?
Duplex pupil scanners are to Nacreous cloud clocks as Shrouded flute shops are to?
Lawn rocket tendrils are to Finding surreal borders as Sheep monarchs children is to?
Gloating ungloved squires are to Busting double doubters as Pushing woeful doctors are to?
Tricking snowbelt firedogs is to Panmixing blackened haywires as Unclothed shameful leaders are to?
Malicious ranch ritual is to Internal puppet bubble as Ornate underworld masquerade is to?
Rustic debonair Eskimos are to Mindless sassy elves as Gorgeous somber acrobats are to?
Learned earthy pimps are to Fearless sneaky Queens as Somber gentle vagrants are to?
Shocking horse wear is to Glossy sled fluid as Damaged chipmunk tongue is to?
Traditional agony chart is to Damp voodoo motel as Backwoods museum quote is to?
Magical cat cabin is to Dapper porpoise humor as Malicious graveyard foam is to?
Therapeutic gazelle cushion is to Stored alibi equipment as Stunning tempo light is to?
Fantastic rascal art is to Wasted prune dust as Jupiter’s ****** law is to?
Little nut razor is to Gigantic hyena shield as Hourglass pillow fever is to?
Coiled rain clouds are to Dizzy tycoon clowns as Lime eating cowards are to?
Possessive epicurean demonstrators are to Faded eavesdropping giants as Determined swanky drunks are to?
Aquatic preview pocket is to Soggy judicial topiary as Finicky hamster fabric is to?
Enlarged fruit cuff is to Obedient mumbling orchestra as Dark tenant tariff is to?
Recycled flash thermometer is to Botched temptation probe as Pet glider grid is to?
Seriously shy idols are to Costly driving perfumes as Ferryboat chapel wine is to?
Winged jalopy details are to Faithful spectral fathers as Sprinkled mint rainbows are to?
Spelling unneeded words is to Sprouting donut ***** as Blaming mellow mallrats are to?
Eroding loom keepsake is to Magnificent accordion canoe as ***** bongo fumes are to?
Souring violet ink is to Juvenile insult park as Periodic ferret envy is to?
Obedient boyfriend aroma is to Sanitized fat lozenges as Dramatic jailer garb is to?
Mysterious patrol group is to Dynamic maiden discharge as Captured hurricane ratio is to?
Lackadaisical bigot bingo is to Oblong care merchant as Expensive swamp shampoo is to?
Petite orifice worship is to Atomic barge pet as Plucked hair exhibit is to?
Elite officer wallop is to Automatic yard rake as Healing ****** glitter is to?
Needless swan costume is to Giant jungle goat as Organic picnic napkin is to?
Leaky jet steam is to Innovative fascist whistle as Enchanting idol evidence is to?
Plastic mascara seduction is to Greasy thermal ointment as Attractive muskrat crease is to?
Lucky camel pills are to White coral Torah as Eternal stage clutter is to?
Roasted oat **** is to Sloppy *** glue as Nylon table debt is to?
Steep nook catastrophe is to Empty dome damage as Pulsing breeze powder is to?
Empty sack power is to Hitched buck stroke as Red claw warning is to?
Ultra brief slogan is to Yummy lab mutant as Pathetic ball armor is to?
Nauseating fish splatter is to Obstinate ****** twitch as Strained ***** coffee is to?
Mezzanine intermission fossil is to Proven **** apathy as Golden duck shroud is to?
Civil tutors torment is to Thor’s posted theory as Yellow melon rain is to?
Immense olive raft is to Exploding kangaroo buffet as Ethereal witness index is to?  
Marching dark speeders are to Searing scribble fighters as **** tripping sinners are to?
Seeping viral angst is to Aged hermit tea as Murky bowl nibble is to?
Condensed blister guzzle is to Pink dorsal pie as Lavish speckled runt is to?
Needy insult poet is to Sedated acorn trader as Dry honey zoo is to?
Veiled trust flicker is to Deranged poser fashion as Flat sizzle tangent is to?
Purified diet spray is to Nebulous wishing target as Thrilling screen dope is to?
Majestic ribbon astronomy is to Bizarre formation sector as Rebel bell gimmick is to?
Sealed dart whisper is to Green silk draft as Cold vacuum varnish is to?
Clumsy raven power is to Insect island circus as Minted mink drapes are to?
Curved map ruler is to Tiny lethal radio as Blue fused metal is to?
Inverted laser invasion is to Damp sheep dump as Puffy gown smoke is to?
Saucy Channel blazer is to Leather goat filament as Starched locomotive hat is to?
Broken jumper leads are to Disgraced mini exorcists as Designer shamrock caulk is to?
Tweaked poachers smokes are to Assorted sulfur pathways as Collected bedlamp trickle is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Crawling battle worms are to Vibrating metal pedals as Mentholated matrix wax is to?
Missing meshed rafts are to Liquid rock pipes as Crinkled bean bikinis are to?
Tithing **** joggers are to Perforated buck fronds as Leather zither picks are to?
Fearing truthful cowards is to Rambling preachers mumble as Gazebo ambulance gasoline is to?
Shelving elder’s whiskers is to Poaching goalies pesto as Radical tricycle angst is to?
Mucky gunboat polymer is to Primeval maypole flameout as Cathedral greenhouse intercom is to?
Diaphanous safety prize is to Unleashed saucer lion as Dorky blonde ropewalker is to?
Tapered spring meter is to Silver silo mythology as Misguided judges medallions are to?
Alligator x-ray money is to Cherry unicorn water as Coyote cactus toy is to?
Cowardly dorm scrooge is to Atomized pewter script as Flattened spore smoothies are to?
Trash can yodel is to Flashing wired spam as Exploding chocolate pudding is to?
Sonar blasted bushings are to Threading ruined wheels as Forty shifting boxes are to?
Tiny balloon rebellion is to Softened square cleanser as Iconic soul sucker is to?
Harmony night light is to Spanish nitrogen desire as Squirrel cavern iodine is to?

Lazy winter secret is to Slow airport widget as Silly mustard binder is to?
Elephants raising raisins are to Microscopic lamb planet as Purple hay puppets are to?
Caribou venom vaccine is to Electronic lemonade choir as Demonic princess massage is to?
Beet coated bridge is to Fattened needle point as Mylar monkey spine is to?
Ashy ink dust is to Youngest rabbi planet as Orange cartoon geometry is to?
Cold green chalk is to Cobalt ladder farce as ***** river filters are to?
Sublime sheep master is to Sleeping past rapture as Subliminal bliss jelly is to?
Ocean crust slippers are to Twigged germ radar as Popping sharpie scope is to?
Zen wrapped beep is to Oak foamed code as Wicked flashing sizzle is to?
Dew eyed sleigh is to Say I do as Act as me is to?
Humpback on hammock is to Ham hocking hummer as Hunchback with knapsack is to?
Corned flag jelly is to Draped wing chewers as Tripping swan acid is to?
Futuristic Rembrandt chant is to Almond likened meadows as Asian timber blue is to?
Nap in sack is to Flap on Jack as Ducks dig crack is to?
Flowing flavored lava is to Gleaming optic layers as Enhanced goose gibberish is to?      
Flag tied pajamas are to Saline checker choir as Speed reading quotas is to?
Whipped spam spasms are to Misted shaman scripture as Testing pitched bells is to?
Cave aged eggs are to Crowded tiger cages as ****** wagon pegs are to?
Pigeon towed car is to a Man toad art as Wolf whisker wish is to?
Second hand clothes are to Minute hand gestures as Final hour prayer is to?
Slick wicked shavers are to Tricky watch boxes as Sprouting pine tattoos are to?
Waxed stick ravens are to Match stick foxes as Narrowed thermal towers are to?
Ice cave rice is to Laced face lice as Gourmet pet **** is to?
Diamond lane anniversary is to Space age appropriate as Time travel agency is to?
Lime bark violin is to Lemon twig guitar as Lunar sky waffles are to?
Fake rat **** is to Smart cake batter as Rugged fur tax is to?
Tarred raft fluff is to Flaked rafter dust as Lined liquor flask is to?
Flakes will fall is to Take Bills call as Broken maze compass is to?
First faked voter is to Entombed cartoon honey as Smallest aching smurf is to?
Fancy bared ******* are to Flaky fairy treats as Kings amp filter is to?
Bone window folio is to Whittled fake pillow as Little fitted jackets are to?
Nine nuts brittle is to Ate pear pie as Six packed poppers are to?
Incandescent playground pencil is to Elastic hand worm as Perfumed piano ink is to?
Opal shifting anode is to a Windup lion decoy as Pale paisley trolley is to?
Stacked black boxes are to Old packed tracks as a Throwing micron hammers is to?
Apricot bark furnace is to Merry Orchid Choir as an Ivory rinsing funnel is to?  
Narcotic honey nuts are to Slick flag toffees as Silk fig sugar is to?
Orange coin raisins are to Low note candies as Smelling balled roses is to?
Pocket packed monotints are to Tragic ladder hayracks as Ravishing speed traders are to?
Crayon spider resin is to Coral squirrel forceps as Wolf tumbled loaf is to?  
Silver wheat flies are to Width shifting wheels as Golden blister blankets are to?
Really tiny hippopotamus is to Masked fat podiatrist as a Sad sack psychiatrist is to?
Miniature Mesopotamian monuments are to Apple minted elephants as Raising wise ravens is to?
Lathered nymph nacre is to Sonic ion constellations as Concealed iron craft is to?  
Epic gene toy is to Ladies bubble sled as Jagged data bowl is to?
Bugged dagger bag is to Pop sliced meld as Atom bending moonlight to?  
Rural madam’s deed is to Dyed dew dipper as Eight sprayed dukes are to?
Jiffy grand puffer is to Floating altar myth as Vintage dark mirth is to?
Undercover overnight underwear is to Overpaid undertaker overdosing as Overheard understudy freebasing is to?

Black grape crackle is to Red cactus ruffle as Installing padded pets are to?
Snide snobs sniffing are to Sneaky snails snoring as Snared snipes sneezing are to?
Exploring explosive exits is to Explaining expansive exports as Expecting expert exchange is to?
Shrewd logic ledger is to Puppets dropping cupcakes as Placated topaz octopi are to?
Door roof tools are to Cool wool boots as Wood cooked root is to?
Bright fight light is to Night flight fright as Mites bite site is to?
Floor flood fluid is to Wooden door Druid as Nasty **** broom is to?
Accurate police photography is to Intelligent microbe geography as Condensed aerosol biography is to?
Cowardly cowboy grime is to Corpulent corporate crime as Bosnian dwarf necromancer is to?
Jell-O clearing shaker is to Brillo cleaning shiner as Cheerios bowling shields are to?
Mumbled mindless hokey is to Fumbled found money as Humming kinder bunny is to?
Daisy’s clock setter is to Lilly’s boxer toxin as Poodles rose paddle is to?
Watch Bozo Copernicus is to Hire Clarabelle Newton as Find ***-wee Einstein is to?
Amethyst thistle whistles is to Lapis pistol whip as Diamond bomb scar is to?
Dandelion seahorse rescue is to Crabapple dogwood farm as Faux foxglove lover is to?    
Optical poppy stopper is to Polar halo lens as Day-Glo rainbow sticker is to?
Savanna leopard spotted is to Eskimo lassos kisses as Alligator lemonade standard is to?
Bill of Rights is to Will of left as Thrill of night is to?
Baptize floozies quickly is to Useless outsized nozzles as Puzzled wizard wanders is to?        
Chaps wearing chaps are to Chaps contesting contests as Consoling concealed consoles is to?
Quiet squirming squirrels are to Aeon beauty queens as Queasy greasy luaus is to?
Knew new gnu is to Sense scents cents as We’ll wheal wheel is to?
Blazing zingers ringing are to Wheezing singers flinging as Freezing finger number are to?
Lamb tomb jogger is to Dumb numb **** as Thumbed crumb bug is to?

Blue accordion casket is to Jaded scholar ***** as German mushroom circus is to?
President George Flintstone is to Funny Fred Washington as Abraham Jetson’s dog is to?
Google Desmond Tutu is to Kalamazoo Zoo Park as Zodiac actors Guru is to?
Swamp cradled whisperer is to Cherished drawbridge cello as Bludgeoned prankster outlaws are to?
Dukes pink mittens are to Smeared nest carava
Ozioma Ogbaji Apr 2015
Like the heavens and the skies
Like the deep seas so wide
When I am confident and true
When I have faith in you
Colour me blue, colour me blue

Like the royals of Great Britain
Like the noble in truth and ambition
In my wisdom, dignity and pride
In my mystery and grandeur so wise
Colour me purple, colour me purple

Like fire and blood
Like the intensity of a flood
In my strength and passion
In my desire, love and emotion
Colour me red, colour me red

Like the warmth of the tropics
Like the sun, my daily tonic
When I am determined and creative
When I am happy and attractive
Colour me orange, colour me orange

Like a smile so warm
Like joy even in a storm
When I am cheerful and happy
In my intellect, when I am savvy
Colour me yellow, colour me yellow

When I am all these and more
When I am despised or adored
With the colours of the rainbow
With the colours that make me glow
Colour me colours, colour me colours
“The Silicon Tower of Babel”
The over utilization of technology, its abuse, is unweaving humanity at the seams. Human health, sanity, and spirituality are under attack. The boom of accessibility over technology has increasingly subtracted from the frequency of face to face human interaction as well as human interaction with nature. The result is a declining emotional and psychological health and a ******* of spiritual values. Each individual who values holistic health should limit the time he or she spends using technology that isolates them to less than twenty-four hours in a week. They should make more purposeful efforts toward interacting with nature daily and for periods of at least an hour at a time. Lastly, these individuals should labor to replace reclusive technologies with modes of technology that encourage face to face and group social interaction such as movies, Skype, etc.
Self-limitation of the use of isolating technology will begin to correct the twisting of our spiritual values and the social and physiological damage that has been caused by the overuse and abuse of technology. In James T. Bradley’s review of Joel Garreau’s book discussion of radical evolution, called “Odysseans of the twenty first century”, Bradley quotes Garreau when he says that technology will result in human transcendence. In “Odysseans” it is said that “The nature of transcendence will depend upon the character of that which is being transcended—that is, human nature.”  James. T Bradley, scholar and author of this peer reviewed journal says that “When we’re talking about transhumanism, we’re talking about transcending human nature. . .  One notion of transcendence is that you touch the face of God. Another version of transcendence is that you become God.”  This is a very blatant ******* of the roles of God and man. When the created believes it can attain the greatness of its creator, and reach excellence and greatness on par with its God, it has completely reversed the essence of spirituality. This results in the ability to justify the “moral evolution of humankind” according to Odysseans. And this “moral evolution” often results in “holy wars”. In “Man in the age of technology” by Umberto Galimberti of Milan, Italy, written for the Journal of Analytical Psychology in 2009, technology is revealed to be “no longer merely a tool for man’s use but the environment in which man undergoes modifications.” Man is no longer using technology. Man is no longer affecting and manipulating technology to subdue our environments. Technology is using, affecting, and manipulating the populace; it is subduing humankind into an altered psychological and spiritual state.
Technology, in a sense, becomes the spirituality or the populace. It replaces nature and the pure, technologically undefiled creation as the medium by which the common man attempts to reach the creator. The common man begins to believe in himself as the effector of his Godliness. Here there is logical disconnect. People come to believe that what they create can connect them to the being that created nature. They put aside nature and forget that it is an extension of the artist that created it. Technology removes man from nature (which would otherwise force an undeniable belief in a creator) and becomes a spiritual bypass. “According to “The Only Way Out Is Through: The Peril of Spiritual Bypass” by Cashwell, Bentley, and Yarborough, in a January 2007 issue of Counseling and Values, a scholarly and peer reviewed psychology journal, “Spiritual bypass occurs when a person attempts to heal psychological wounds at the spiritual level only and avoids the important (albeit often difficult and painful) work at the other levels, including the cognitive, physical, emotional, and interpersonal. When this occurs, spiritual practice is not integrated into the practical realm of the psyche and, as a result, personal development is less sophisticated than the spiritual practice (Welwood, 2000). Although researchers have not yet determined the prevalence of spiritual bypass, it is considered to be a common problem among those pursuing a spiritual path (Cashwell, Myers, & Shurts, 2004; Welwood, 1983). Common problems emerging from spiritual bypass include compulsive goodness, repression of undesirable or painful emotions, spiritual narcissism, extreme external locus of control, spiritual obsession or addiction, blind faith in charismatic leaders, abdication of personal responsibility, and social isolation.”  Reverting back to frequent indulgence in nature can begin to remedy these detrimental spiritual, social, and physiological effects.  If people as individuals would choose to daily spend at least an hour alone in nature, they would be healthier individuals overall.
  Technology is often viewed as social because of its informative qualities, but this is not the case when technologies make the message itself, and not the person behind the message, the focus.  To be information oriented is to forsake or inhibit social interaction.  Overuse of technology is less of an issue to human health if it is being overused in its truly social forms. Truly social forms of technology such as Skype and movies viewed in public and group settings are beneficial to societal and personal health. According to a peer-reviewed study conducted by John B. Nezlek, the amount and quality of one’s social interactions has a direct relationship to how positively one feels about one’s self. Individual happiness is supported by social activity.
Abuse of technology is a problem because it results in spiritual *******.  It points humanity toward believing that it can, by its own power, become like God.  Abuse of technology inclines humanity to believe that human thoughts are just as high as the thoughts of God. It is the silicon equivalent of the Tower of Babel.  It builds humanity up unto itself to become idols. In extreme cases overuse of technology may lead to such megalomania that some of humanity may come to believe that humanity is God.  Technology is a spiritual bypass, a cop-out to dealing with human inability and depravity. The misuse of technology results in emotional and psychological damage. It desensitizes and untethers the mind from the self. It causes identity crises. Corruption of technology from its innately neutral state into something that negatively affects the human race results in hollow social interactions, reclusion, inappropriate social responses, and inability to understand social dynamics efficiently.
It may appear to some that technology cannot be the cause of a large-scale social interrupt because technology is largely social. However, the nature of technology as a whole is primarily two things: It is informational; it is for use of entertainment. Informational technology changes the focus of interaction from the messenger to the message. Entertainment technology is, as a majority, of a reclusive nature.
Readers may be inclined to believe that nature is not foundational to spirituality and has little effect on one’s spiritual journey, it is best to look through history. Religions since the beginning of time have either focused on nature or incorporated nature into their beliefs. Animists believe that everything in nature has a spirit. Native American Indians like the Cherokee believe that nature is to be used but respected. They believe that nature is a gift from the Great Spirit; that earth is the source of life and all life owes respect to the earth. Christians believe that it is the handiwork of God, and a gift, to be subdued and used to support the growth and multiplication, the prosperity and abundance of the human race.
In a society that has lost touch with its natural surroundings it is sure that some believe that nature has little effect on health, as plenty of people live lives surrounded by cities and skyscrapers, never to set foot in a forest or on red clay and claim perfect health. However, even in the states of the least contact possible with nature, nature has an effect on human health. The amount of sunlight one is exposed to is a direct factor in the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been determined to be linked to an increased likelihood of contracting heart disease, and is a dominant factor in the onset of clinical depression. Nature has such a drastic effect on human health that the lack of changing season and sunlight can drive individuals to not only depression, but also suicide. This is demonstrated clearly when Alaska residents, who spend half a year at a time with little to no sunlight demonstrate a rate of suicide and clinical depression diagnoses remarkably higher than the national average.
Dependence on technology is engrained in our society, and to some the proposed solution may not seem feasible. They find the idea of so drastically limiting technology use imposing. They do not feel that they can occupy their time instead with a daily hour of indulgence in nature. For these individuals, try limiting isolating technology use to 72 hours a week, and indulging in nature only three times a week for thirty minutes. Feel free to choose reclusive technology over social technologies sometimes, but do not let technology dominate your life. Make conscious efforts to engage in regular social interactions for extended periods of time instead of playing Skyrim or Minecraft. Watch a movie with your family or Skype your friends. Use technology responsibly.
To remedy the effects of the abuse of technology and the isolations of humanity from nature, individuals should limit their reclusive technology use to 24 hours in a week’s time, indulge in nature for an hour daily, and choose to prefer truly social technologies over reclusive technologies as often as possible. In doing so, individuals will foster their own holistic health. They will build and strengthen face-to-face relationships. They will, untwist, reconstruct and rejuvenate their spirituality. They will be less likely to contract emotional or social disorders and will treat those they may already struggle with.  So seek your own health and wellbeing. Live long and prosper.
Hashim ZK Jan 2015
Let me thrive
In the flames of my unrivaled passion,
Lest I perish in the void of remorse.
Let me die in my journey if I must,
For I may die a thousand deaths if I should surrender!
Sam Bowden Dec 2018
Shucking oysters is a dangerous task.
Only skilled, determined hands may apply.
Why so dangerous a task you ask?
Well, let’s see?
There’s the salt, the grit, the unforgiving need...
the slips, the stabs, the you and the me.
Our boats rock along a forlorn sea.

Sitting on the dock of my mind,
the sun's rays slap me sober,
as it refuses to set for seven hundred thousand nights...

Patiently present in the moment, I am, totally attuned to the task at hand.

She's anything but simple,
this complexly succulent woman I've stumbled upon,
Unearthed I have, with my bare hands.
Rugged exterior, jagged edges,
a clear warning for all to see.
But a gorgeous glory awaits the determined, the brave, the patient,
I have faith...

I have faith in such a glory beyond legend,
in such beauty beyond reason.
Just because something feels like a miracle,
doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
For if jade kissed a pearl as it slipped into the sea,
it still wouldn't rival her beauty.

We are a meeting of minds that could unfurl for all time.
As she lines her eyes in paint,
and stains her lips like crimson art.
She's always ready for war,
launching a thousand ships in my heart.

Like the Greek Odysseus,
I've sailed upon contentment's shore,
sipping your wine and eating your grapes,
now I only want more.
Eros, the bittersweetness, is clawing at my door.
I want to live with you in the gap,
between consumption and desire,
between winter's ice and between summer's fire.

Unknowingly I have,
peeled the wall paper from her frame,
where ancient tapestries shown from beneath,
a secret no man could keep.
The scars cut deep into the fabric,
marks of carelessness in love.
The family ties that tear,
the tears of lovers once here,
now there.

Warmth gives way to wind,
and fire gives way to need.
She pulls me close,
then pushes me back,
rocking along a forlorn sea.

And like the sea,
she breathes life into me.
A great roiling tempest of the heart,
with a fury that blows reason from the mind.

Tame, tame, squeeze...    l e t   g o.
Give it...       t i m e.

Still though,
questions fray at the edges of her mind,
and yet,
with the passage of time,
the sea will settle,
the tide will recede.
I have faith in love.
And faith in me.   

Sure footed I am, even as we,
not yet a "we",
dodging rain drops,
dashing through the city,
hand-in-hand, we don't slip.
I think thoughts, but bite my lip.

And while I sip, I think;
“She's anything but simple,
this dandelion seed,
floating in the wind.
Walls up, head down,
a determined doctor,
a surgeon steeled for the journey,
thawing beneath me she is...”

“The most beautiful immigrant I've ever seen;
On the platform of her mind,
she longs for a home, leagues from her homeland,
while I scratch at the dirt of my own.
Do I belong here?
Does she? Do we?
Where is home? Security? Acceptance? Belonging?
Who knows what the futures holds?
Allahu alam, not you or me.”

Uncertain of answers,
is this a mirage or a dream?
I can’t know for sure,
So I take heart in the Unseen.

I crack the oyster open,
and swallow it inside.
I sip life's ambrosia,
and breathe in the sky.

I'll crack The Pearl of Persia,
one kiss at a time.
An ode to patience in love.
like know just time mind life feel world lost say we're things think love there's does people night away way thought got words long reality want better left make end eyes day man human dark experience remember really right death memory going place high good live city thoughts soul meaning great pain home sky believe shall change living oh fall light choice god consciousness existence years cause hard feeling thinking fear times 'cause dreams ask alive heart need past felt days dream sensation truth true use power knowledge wrong stars understand baby tell state thing face wave broken old you'll wave new broken nature you'll **** mental look far ah drug moment best ago air lose sleep dare try leave beautiful blue born lives escape sublime doesn't body dawn friends waiting feels young daze game control perception gone story mean sun head given writing act difference reason poetry philosophy psyche little trying touch deep greatest wonder choose drugs exist we'll moments score hold play set run self forget coming hope word future dead wish burn music emotion rain stop gaze pleasure glass one's what's lies sense wake hit remain real work bad stay open brain art seek space present happy spent acid pill social we've they're half-light used land held gotta help lie path finally listen actually longing rave water cold seeking caught energy reflection information anymore venturous goes came red hide start truly hand evil divine subtle matter kind lonely yes told eternity keeps line black edge ego context dusk horizon gonna spiritual tripping dimension data die white **** seen means care getting saw places sure freedom looking hurt fool wind flow search chance la took broke existential summer content flowing belief praise empyrean empathy discovery chemical aeon couldn't who's turn forth bit question eye judgement pray passion sound personal worth memories sanity accept universe embrace lack knows free makes rise language decide consider temporal society gain wander conscious stuff religious comprehend particle psychedelic metaphysics you've entheon absurdia entactus maybe ready fate realize family meant return perfect learn miss spirit doubt rest loved minds health moving mortal bring expression sleeping cast lines purpose quiet known strange infinite king months madness haze depths ate party patterns oneself psychedelion inside guess crowd later silent clear soft breath hours hate dust forgotten arms drink fast year war longer close searching morning ashes calm beauty darkness different justice fell friend shadows knowing fine youth heavy standing sweet enjoy explain vain simple chasing hidden ends smoke gold heaven follow point person breaking necessary today relief action cool possible bass generation lying listening machine yeah substance hath engine forlorn problem subject intangible study effort quantum definitions dopamine psychedelics we'd sigma cybran apotheon isn't empathion clouds practice gave warm wanted stand poem wait storm met asleep course skies crime surely grow depression write loose fair ecstasy knew dreaming humanity waves share taken simply faith playing sands view fix winter afraid began wise welcome comprehension sought late big zero table says bliss changed repetition everybody blame unto maze understanding mr explore states ignore addiction venture define teenage american humans billion she's wasn't 'til sonder walk smile tonight speak dance skin blood breathe fears illuminate worse peace girl crave easily emotions feelings **** having force ways lets catch meet hair doors worlds hearts destroy heard walking near hurricane wisdom lights second suicide ignorance fresh waking sadness grand happiness appear rising scared save join adventure neon outside alike liberty particles wonderful compounds killed somebody grace merely closer company desert master twisted realm respect trance ridiculous *** exile pondering noble dangerous absurd nation progress culture contradiction perceive irish urban 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ethics survived definition reasoning internet feedback vibrancy serotonin cyclone hacker sardonic surreality virtuality here's he's sunyata temporality ******'s empathos apotheotelos flash shining green forever anger carry son moon selfish written supposed feed ya quite loop hooked pure feet hole paper flag sick voice burning attention fly utter wicked tremble endless form infinity talking piece shores verse chest rules food placed plan hallelujah called gun fading drinking emotional measure inspiration suffering belong west read sly instead bear erase furious shame conclusion drunk roll ******* depressed calls taught died defined tire everyday answers sacred acknowledge speaks perfection games ground spoke stood motion sway keeping pretend hell movement magic park key spin kick sake jump hanging animal begins orange streetlights fade crazy honest warp puppet chained survive apathy chains claim prey science diamonds begging grip tale hang powerful wonderland heal dealing plant twice painful daylight mastery desires recall school conviction miracle yearn empyreal weekend actual court value chalk hurts humankind rabbit eggs potential offers temporary pupil atlas nostalgia serenity happens yearning ponder hypothesis worthy witnessed ideas azure tools alpha curiosity consume singularity typhoon revelation stimulant liberate application projection criminals communication throes fraternity enables actuality starshine ethos apotheosis sardonicism aren't mind's teleology empatheon entheos hear mydriatic transcendention fight tear ash minutes wanna taking nights forgot tales lest desire lust darkest single shine slow allow destruction money comes anxiety contemplate nostalgic offer continue happen ink brings brave created holding create thunder produce talk sail philosopher creating distant illuminating drive dancing ease wishing higher pass excuse figure essence angel hopes child ahead sigh using door vast loves awaits strong tornado ok sorrow immortal ghosts certain remains stained insane reached lot discovered plain poison streets killing ending tried session vs poor woke stare watching grass slick emptiness falling box painter series children virtues awareness clean rolling reach advice heavens rend half cherish bay started relax focus laughed ashamed fiend melody drop exhale void occurs beneath win chose robes thrall shield ended sons normal sunrise road forged onward burden actions unlike colors curious street observe chosen silence shades returns technology race vengeance swept bag civilization strive reconcile trouble cloud described replaced substances whilst finding euphoria dear chemistry events deal message eternal masses beliefs vision apparent honestly dr seeing idea domain soar books frames rule law pleasures eat dread bare blaze raise compassion kindness wandered objects expressed sin declare mistake smoking drum heavenly honor lands fountain renew happening aspect gotten issues divinity teach matters pills goal follows significant job romantic gazed envelope elements identity group sell foolish lucid dimensions brothers owe education november difficult recognition express properties glitter considering illusion appreciate discover resonance derived transcendental buzz notion risk scares riot rainy teaching drizzle direct experiences elation normality quote evolution versus lamplight method reflective endeavour cloth eats teenagers eventually haul club result relative breed threat subjective concerning solstice interpretations allows rational ultimately basis aligned numbness hypocrite charade morality dope chaser continuum undead exploits aeons research freeman appropriate ion ****** teachings dilation binge beatific intuitive transcendent escapism psychedelia metaphysical beta untitled mescaline otherworldly dreampt contextual experiential symbiosis codex dissociation cybernetic weren't life's let's mirror's well-being any-more entheogenic junkiedom signifiers mescalito zero-summing won't 'pataphysics window 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refrain renewal myths manifest nocturnal reflections limitations teenager naturally material matrix columbine giveth inseparable singular proving lifestyle coherence humane ideals starlight sincerely prudence underworld infamous perspective presented pretends excitation viewed regard enhanced zen reverence arcadia theory realization typing construct statement subjugated exploration vote hazy reaper **** streetlight artificial trespass definitive device exceed complex finality surreal petrol proposition inspiring totality originally recurring narcotic cometh juxtaposition reckoning represent inability proclamation syntax continuity nevermind avoidance irrelevant veracious arcadian commence rumination aesthetics ubiquitous nonetheless variable exploit experiencing underlying villain cola rictus ketamine corporeal electronic graciously input cannabis manifestation comprised socially proportionate insofar ethical hedonism junkies vicissitudes cognitive determining psychiatrist palindrome 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chances abuse palm week existed ignorant blind dice sheep agree joke spy spill odds immeasurable *** pushing wanderlust softly midst presents blade guided ripped round ball lovely rhythms beats cars glaze wash fates evening vein gloss juvenile sides faces graces month circular rung wheel rises permeates father supreme portal liked rip fades october sitting grin showing surrounded explored opened confused wall quietly deftly scene sighs lingering radio altered evaporated suns dreamed vibration important appetite exactly devil inhabiting brains ordinary beckons constant local organic soothing linger meditation moonlight lads height ethereal simplicity kinda cigarette suggest violence blew bombs arise trips predict surface guy movements grey car stepped large bank forward landed lied ancient purely crash direction inspired release warned melodic rhythmic telling mysticism blues riddle blur floating drama neck lover nerve poisonous glare factory wage character suburbia escaped gates suspended followed pierced hall marks ruled influence functioning contained losing stopping effect electronica relate fed temper facts dependent malleable convey bent delve horror wolves won lacking certainly fooled temple oblivious watches extension molecular random subtlety rem price sear covers truths judging stage frost conditions victory millennium realised confront trickster eve daughter defines awoke terror remembere
Composed on 00:53, 21/09/2016 using Hello Poetry's 'Words' algorithm. We don't assume this means something.
Hello there to the greatest girl
Everything about you sends my mind for a whirl
I bet you weren’t expecting that rhyme
I hope it won’t be considered a crime (excellent vocab)

Well I hope you enjoy every poem I write for you
bringing you great joy and happiness is what i strive to do
I believe the girl that is the best of the best
deserved to be treated like a princess

Jillian, you are my loving princess, so beautiful and kind
you are better than all them disney princesses combined
It would be as if we were on a magic carpet ride,
I will always want you by my side

Now wouldn’t it be pretty cute
If i just keep making these lines
with the disney princesses as the root?
I think it would be, so lets

As the prince was so determined to find
the beautiful girl that had left her shoe
As am i equally determined
to bring joy to the equivalently beautiful that is you

As the girl that swam like a fish under the sea
sacrificed so much so she could be with her love
As I am just as prepared to make sacrifices
for it to always be you and me

As the love that a man and a woman had was forbidden
yet they did not listen to what others said
As will i love you
No matter what anyone else says

As the beautiful girl and the beast of a man,
did not care about appearance and became together
For she took the time to get to know how great he truly was,
As you did with me.
This i will thank and treasure forever.

As the girl with the flowing blonde hair
and the thief that at first didn’t care,
came together to make an adorable couple,
Well, honestly I just wanted to compare her hair to your hair, they are both FABULOUUUUUUS

So you see Jillian,
I think the world of you.
I know i didn’t get sleeping beauty or snow white,
I just don’t believe you’d be put to sleep or poisoned with fruit.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.
CK Baker Mar 2017
the walls of inside passage
look the same
from sound to straight
tugs and plugs
dot the coastline
as the quartermaster rolls
giving time for evening glare  

pods are in sequence
as the high tail smashes
and jaws at the krill
white bellies and sea cows
bob and weave
as bow heads glide
over haida gwaii  

northern lights dance
and tlingit chant
as the tide settles softly
on savory shores
their getting hungry in hoonah
as the blue back and beating drums
mark the life blood of the sea  

driftwood nets
and sitka spruce
surround the cook house
ravens and tinhorns
man the scullery
kerosene lamps flicker
as clam shells roast
on open flames  

villagers stroll
on pebbled sand
in the harbor of souls
where ships set sail
on might and mass
into the steady winds
of the golden skies


ice fields (to the north)
of kryptonite blue
cutting hills at
a glacial pace
knuckle clouds
above the snowline
where warlocks
craft a hidden trade  

trappers, skinners
muscle shoals
grizzly feasts
in kodiak bowl
determined pilgrims
on a dead horse trail
in search of gold
the holy grail
Trang Nguyen Sep 2013
Municipal Gum was written by Oodjeroo Noonecaal. Municipal Gum is about the changes in society and the tendency of people to want to control everything. Oodjeroo uses various techniques to convey this idea.

At the beginning of the poem Oodjeroo is addressing the tree. This immediately creates empathy for both the tree and her people. By the last line she has emphasised this with the pronoun “us” to show that they suffer a similar fate.

This poem expresses how life in Australia has changes especially for Aboriginal people. In the first half of the poem Oodjeroo is talking about how life was for her and others. It explores the changes in society and the displacement of the Aboriginal people from their land.

“Whose head hung…Its hopelessness”, the author uses this as further re-iteration of the immorality of the situation and by the use of analogy comparing the tree to her people to further emphasise the shame and lack control of that the Europeans have inflicted upon her and the environment.

Oodjeroo uses extended metaphor technique in the very first line of the poem ‘Hard bitumen around your feet’. This means that the gumtree has been placed in the city scape where it is suppressed and not allowed to spread out and be unique in its own way. This is clear and immanently direct link to the pain and suffering endured by the Aborigines post European settlement.

Oodjeroo uses vivid language to present these ideas. For example the use of the word castrated is very effective. The connotation of the word is very demeaning. With castration often comes a sense of a loss of pride and power. The word castration is symbolic of how Oodjeroo feels the European have treated Aboriginal people and the environment. Castration also refers to the fact that what is done is done. Nothing can undo what they did and the damaged they have caused.

Other symbolism includes the title “Municipal Gum”, municipal meaning community, implies that the gumtree belongs to the community. One of the vast differences between European and Aboriginal law is that Aboriginal people did not believe in the ownership of land or of animals and plants. Municipal Gum is a reference to the Europeans assumptions that everything is theirs to own and control.

The rhetorical question, “O fellow citizen, What have they done to us?” is the conclusion of the implications that have been made throughout the poem. Oodjeroo, is advocating for her people and all things wronged by the controlling behaviour of the Europeans. Rhetorical questions are used to provoke thought and to stimulate a pre-determined response. “What have they done to us?” They have “castrated, broken… strapped and buckled” and ultimately changed things to a point that they cannot be fixed.

In conclusion, Municipal Gum is a poem about the constrictions and change that the European invaders forced upon the Aboriginal community and the environment she believes that the Europeans have deemed themselves ever powerful and practice their power in a manner that is immoral.
This is not a poem but an analysis about the poem
PoETE Poet-Pete Jun 2015
Thinking exotic, and setting goals, is so ******......
Setting goals & raising bars

All
Content
Written by
PoETEPETE
{2000 ~~ 2015}
~©~ Protected & never neglected.
Kara Cole Apr 2014
It is the worst of all emotions
Creeping in like a snake
Seizing your breath and tongue
A chill that raises the hair on your arms
Your stomach drops and your face
Turns hot
Disappointment.
It is not fleeting like anger
Or easily soothed like sadness
It's brother is bitterness and
It's sister is misery
Leaving a stain that can only be cut out
Disappointment.
It seems to travel in packs
like hungry wolves
Devouring the rays of light
Following you like a shadow
Greeting you in the morning
It is tireless, relentless, determined
Disappointment.
It is an open wound that lasts a lifetime
A series of battles in a war that must be won
So we are not consumed and buried
Holding fast to hope no matter how small
Axion Prelude Jun 2014
you are the reason and I am the cause
together existing as a single tangible flaw
staring down fate with our hearts entwined
a bitter feud of passionate irrationality showing all the signs
adorned with a conscious need to seek more with time

no time left, the clock strikes midnight
and we go, we go; we keep going on
bringing our hands closer to what we want
pushing through unto dawn with this plight

solidarity benefits the purpose of why
separating all the words between meanings aligned
defining reason alone with blank canvas minds
ready and willing to satiate this place in space and time
decimating indecision with open eyes

combined efforts sought through curiosity
the blank pages wired down with what we know
but what we want has forsaken us without a means to write it all down
carried away with doubt and fear of being burned from the bright sun
still whispering lullabies that help us both stay in the fight

this helpless inspiration is determined by the stronger voice
I wont rest until I reverberate every breath of ours by choice
solemn hours of sleepless nights breaking the lines
between life and love and a scarred heart desperate to redefine
shores lie dormant, ready to drown us under its persistence

every provocation and implication suffers from empty lies
deceiving ourselves, trying to forget the lifetime of pain
deliverance lost in the darkness, seeking to make things right
and I just want to be the one to show you the light
Tea Oct 2013
I remember crying during lunch my senior year of high school
My math teacher’s eyebrows colliding turning one plane into a fractal image
He had sat there every day for nearly four years
Helping me struggle through an unreal number of numbers
Literaly and figuratively
And again and again the numbers on my math test said
You are less than average
You
Are
Stupid.

But behind the eyes of a determined math teacher
Never read, what my insecurities where screaming
Refusing to believe the numbers, I sought one thing
Some unspoken meaning
I almost found it the day of my graduation
I almost found it between my teacher’s eyebrows
Wearing it like a point of pride
I was the first of my family to hold
Such a light thing as a diploma
Instead of a heavy head
Weighed down by ******
It nodding under all the pressure
The first to feel the lightness of feather
Instead of a sixpack
A lame back, from manual labor
I was flying
College was my next undefeated feat
Again I let an institution tell me what I was
Test scores tell me what I should meet
Intelligent measured by something
That couldn’t understand its diversity
Trying to tell me I was less than average
When I was just an individual
Above a point of comparison
Excelling in conceptual understanding
Debating and good energy

I could construct social interaction
Like gold, I learn to read people
The power in my phone
I learned that it wasn’t the diploma that I should be proud of
Not the thing I sought after
Not what I would show my little sisters and brothers
To show them how to live better, how to be stronger
Burn brighter. Burn longer.
So here I am
Red faced and scared
spoken word
was hiding, but always there
in between my math teachers scrunched brow
Was the answer
I could have cheated if I had known how
If I knew what question that needed answered
Had realized it was never in his book
I should have listened to what I saw
Not to the math test I took
I
Am
Not
Stupid
I haven’t failed by choosing something outside of school
That I am not defined by the score
By numbers or lines
By this institutional rules
Test scores or even rhymes
I am not less than average
I just don’t average out
That power isn’t really in a piece of paper
Power is found in your words
And chosen behavior
That silence and insecurity
Means nothing really
The answer wasn’t in his book
It was in his look
And his persistence to prove
I
Am
Not
Stupid
He just wasn’t good enough with words to prove it.
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
There are times when the Lord will take from us every familiar thing and send all the others away to have us to Himself, uprooting and dismantling our earthly anchors until we find no safe place of attachment but to Him alone. And though we search feverishly to secure another, He will faithfully cut off our efforts at every pass and every attempted by-pass, almost as though we could see them being escorted out the door, marching one after the other in file and possibly taking our sanity with them. “No, not another one! Where are they all going and why am I not invited?” But it is His alone to give or not to give, to give and take away.

The One Who took up the cross and took the cup of the Father’s wrath for us has the absolute right to take anything and everything from us at any time for whatever reasons might please Him. But know this for certain: concerning His redeemed, those reasons will always involve two things—glory and intimacy. They are the overriding answers to every lingering question of “Why?”.

But if we fail to understand His glorious and intimate intentions we may misconstrue our losses to be a sign that He is actually withdrawing His affection from us. The very things which He is doing for love’s sake to perfect our pathway to intimacy might be taken instead for obstacles blocking it, causing us to doubt His love. We could not be more wrong, but sometimes it's so hard to see through the veil of pain.

For it's a strange and bewildering thing to feel that you belong to no place and no person in this world, to have nowhere to call home and no one to share it with if you did. A severe untethering indeed that though meant to prepare us for flying can seem to us more like drowning. The sobering truth is that none of us belong to this life or the things of this earth; all sense of it is only an illusion, and pain and loss are simply the dispelling of the myth—the rude awakening from a bewitching dream we once had. But oh how we fight the disillusionment.

Maybe we remember a time when we had prayed to be refined, to be made more like Jesus, but we didn’t know it would have to hurt so bad and take so long and look so dark and feel so lonely. Even if we have understood and embraced His call to deeper intimacy we may after a while, when nothing seems improved either around us or in us, start to resent our belonging to such a determined and jealous Lover, though He is doing exactly what we had once asked Him to. We may start to think we can no longer bear anything except that which superficially distracts us from our grief. We may even start to give up hope, for if not anchored exclusively “behind the curtain” and if repeatedly crushed it threatens to **** our hearts for good should we have to face one more disappointment.

We may feel very much like we are flailing around in a deep and darkening ocean, repeatedly pulled under by the powerful tow and thrashing waves of overwhelming emotion and continuously knocked back by the brutal winds of confusion. Yet we can still see the unshakable boat of faith and truth standing solidly only a small distance away. We know it is real and that if we could just reach it we would be safe. We hear someone shouting through the din, “Just hold onto the boat! The boat will save you. Look beyond your feelings and walk by faith. Hold onto truth!” But can’t they see that as hard as we may try we have no strength to swim to the boat? Can’t they see that we are sinking?

And so we are left with nothing but to cry out to Jesus, to cry out to Him to bring the boat to us, to come Himself and rescue us. Do we have that much faith? Enough to just say, “Jesus, help me! I’m drowning!”? Enough to see that He is our only hope and nothing else matters apart from Him?

Because when we do, we will understand that this hope in Him alone is the very lifeline by which He will pull us to safety—back to faith, back to truth, back into His intimate arms of love, back into a peace which passes all understanding and into a joy that gives us strength for the journey.

As difficult as it can be in our grief to hear the Lord whispering truth to our hearts above the constant clanging of our feelings, we must now more than ever choose to take the time to be still and seek our soul’s rest in Him and in His promises. But how amidst such clamor and confusion?

Simply decide to cast your cares on Him, if only for the moment, by climbing into His Shepherd’s lap to look and loiter and listen. And if you have no energy to climb up, then just lift your arms and ask Him to pick you up. And if you haven’t the strength even for that, only raise your eyes toward Him and you will soon find your sanity restored as you behold His love for you. Ask Him earnestly to let you see it afresh, for perhaps you have been temporarily blinded from recognizing it.

Stop everything; cease just for this minute from all worry, anxiety, fear and anger. Forget the past and do not look toward the future. Focus only on this moment right now, as if you knew it would be your last, as if it were the very one to lead you into eternity. Inhale like fresh air the powerful promises of God’s Word. Soak in their grace and drink in their healing, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus’ face. Can you see Him longing for you? Exhale every distraction, conflict and uncertainty of this world. Then listen... What is He saying to you right now? Wait for it, then let your soul rest in it, and let go of everything else. Rest in the grace of this present moment and in His strong, sure arms. Let Him take care of you, wounded one, for you are His beloved, and He longs to tend your broken and needy heart.
~~~

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
    my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
    He is my fortress, I will not be shaken."
~ Psalm 62:5-6

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD;
    I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice;
    my cry came before Him, into His ears...
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
    He rescued me because He delighted in me."
~ Psalm 18:2-6,16-19

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf..."
~ Hebrews 6:19-20a
What is freedom?
Freedom is the ability to choose for yourself.
Freedom is a choice between what is,
and what can be.
Freedom is empowering others to love themselves.

What is your government?
Who are these impostors who speak about the need to breath,
but won’t let us?
Who fights for freedom and equality?
No one.
These men fight against us for the slice of a pie,
lining their pockets as kids in Africa die.
The people shouldn't fear their government,
the government should fear its people.

What is the value of a dollar?
Is it the freedom to eat?
Or the cement wrapped tight around your feet,
water forced between your teeth?
Who is freer?
The Baker Boy?
Scraping by on a dime?
Or old man flush with pedigree?
Drunk with greed and the taste of fine wine?
Freedom is being faced with two equally infallible truths,
and choosing deftly between the two,
which sounds better to you?

Who is freer?
Those who choose to drop f-bombs on stage,
or those who drop bombs of wisdom in its place?
Don’t be discouraged when the one locked down is you,
when the wicked wage war in your home terrain,
when you struggle back and forth,
with the pain of being raised a Jew.

Who decides your fate?
Who decides your fate when your rent is late?
Who decides your fate when you discover your son is gay?
Who decides your fate when the crest falls flat?
Who decides your fate when the tumor is malignant?
Who decides your fate when your sutures fall out?
Who decides your fate when you find you've lost your way?
Who decides your fate when the embers die down?
Who decides your fate when sorrow silently drips across your face?
Who decides your fate when the voices inside your head can’t seem to agree?
You,
your life is yours to create.

What bars our freedom?
Oppression,
Persecution,
Indecision,
Doubt,
Hatred,
Cont­ention,
Jealousy,
Addiction,
Pride,
And most importantly of all,
(Silence)
Fear.

Yes!
Fear is no friend of freedom,
Antithesis to the dream.
Fear is a struggling shadow,
Cast behind us as we gleam.
Contrast,
Darkness exists through the brightness of the sun.
Our predisposition isn't for failure,
But bursting forth grasping for freedom’s sake.
Don’t settle for sickly shadows,
Accept only warm smiles between friends at the end of the day.

Do you hear that?
That’s the sound of freedom,
The march of liberty.
Fear isn't the courage to stand up for a friend,
Fear isn't the strength to share what you believe in,
Fear isn't holding a friends hand when they've lost their sight,
Fear isn't within a friend’s victory finding only delight,
*But freedom is!
A.P. Beckstead (2013)
Taylor Aug 2014
I am artistic, and determined
I wonder what happens after death
I hear the tame wind blow through a forest
I see tall trees in a thick forest
I want to live my life in the forests of Oregon and Washington
I am artistic, and determined


I pretend that I live in a peaceful world on my own
I feel relaxed
I touch a warm, white, ceramic cup of tea
I worry about death
I cry about the sadness of a divorce
I am artistic and determined


I understand being an artist does not always result in success
I say that all people are equal
I dream about being successful
I try to produce pieces that are better than the ones before
I hope to find someone who loves me
I am artistic and determined
Dee Renee Smith Jan 2011
I’m determined to find joy
in the most unexpected places.

I hope to inspire more with my joy
than I have, so often, with my pain.

I’m not perpetually depressed
and bound to a broken spirit.

I'm just, quite often,
an expression of the emoting
of the broken who feel muted.

I do have consecutive days
of the light of grace shining
on me and on you in ways
that I can see clearly.

I do have months of risings and settings
with smiles if for no other reason
than because blindness enhances my being
so that I may become all sensing.

Yet, when blindness brings the days
of my binding to the lovers of my painful cries
and I'm too blind to even sense enhancement,
I remain determined.

There is joy all around us in places
that we never think to look until blindness
forces us to sense on all levels
the beauty that love placed around us
to diminish the sting of pain.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
The star* everybody needs
somebody_
But what needs pulling
out weeds, don't rush her
Just pamper her what!!!
"Seducing the Queen"

The curves the hot raves
The super satellite
 greeting her
bottom caves
That body fit curve appeal
How to ****** his
"King" water
He was born with
Sword dish spoon
**** shades and fifty
deeper gray's
That old black magic prays

In her young hand
became a restless pair
What was sexless
Ageless the silvery moon*

Something came way
too soon he says
"Smile you're on candid camera"

Something snaps did not
make the cut
So reducing
A spin Star Trek
Voyager of words

So time-consuming
"Seducing"
   Mixing
More producing the camera
tells the truth *******

From here on could be fatal
But the mortal life of eternity
But she is losing her waistline
Of energy

No God became swampland
Of biting men tough skin
alligators

I am the "Satellite Lady"
The winter gets hazy
But I am the Aphrodite
No touch-up "Eyes Seducing"
Our sunset the time we met
the stars

The fitting ring square hot sparks cushion
Mrs. Futurama* She knows her mission
          
High **** sigh
The best creation of
women's sexuality
Such high maintenance
Something in her voice
A powerful moment in
time business

There's no business like
Seducing the world
so ingenious
Perfect plan the genius
More space human race

What you decide at
your own pace
Wild West the
Wicked Witch

Scrooged the green
Alien money
Temptation meets
the surrender
The Oz Balloon pretender
Those pins go
Singing Pop Satellite

The high tech drama
Spaceship to the Ferrari cars
Is there fault in our stars?

Or we girls having fun
Out with the old
The new Navy
**** hot army of ladies
The New Orleans
Red Chanel lip district

A hot item everything is finer
in Carolina, she got the
special treatment
Kicking her heels off
The best southern comfort
**** Gina Lollobrigida instant
******* Jacks pops instant replay

Her voice controls her sexuality singing

Let me show you
But in all honesty, it's the
*
Satellite

Website
The king love me tender
The kiss to render
Infinite not so tender
Hot wings of butterflies
Nothing in life is free
So sure of the gravity I see
  
Aphrodite brings the pleasure  
seduction of love treasure

Being late the satellite
The bold dark hot brew
Using your smile wisely

Before you  
The Crazy Horse
burlesque show
French spy lady with her
**** trench after you
Precisely
So genuinely

Creation in unequivocal
**** creature primal
Seducing lips passed through
Whats truly fate or innate
Seducing a stranger that was
once an inmate

The stars shine so brightly
But you cannot get him
out of your headway
too painful highway
To here to eternity
expressing yourself

Going International*

Feeling sultry lovely
and swinging
On the top of the satellite
Being the fireball in the
restaurant he got a stroke
at midnight coaching her

You're the Princess, the
feast is ready
Keep your outlook steady
He spies on you his
heart flies your passionate
stars
The feeling stays and
Your heart plays the
"Satellite"

So soothing the silk guitar strings
Strumming to his lips
Your the best thing
that happened in his life

Climbing her wilderness mountain
So energetic the movie cutthroat site
The satellite became my bite of the
most passionate fruit
The lady in blue in her
highcut boots

Lord of the rings the urgency
"The Wanting" self-determined
Caring but slaving over love
Giving your heart for
emergency
You're whole undivided
attention the facts

Her highness such kindness
She loves to read get the
bright star the wish
The lush the knowledge
Like the ledger of awareness

The hot dish pleasures
His and her reaction
The perception and
The physical attraction
"The Seducing Show"
Seducing can have a lot of meaning it can be playful and fun or getting so out of touch that  had enough people use their sexuality in lots of ways make it a special Satellite to the star of his moon day
Amara Oct 2012
This is a story I created for my 5 year old niece.

During the old times, things were not as they are now.  Dangerous monsters lurked around every corner doing the ***** deeds of the gods. The innocents had no protection. Only their own wits could keep them living another day.
Such was so for Elephant, he was one of the most intelligent of all the animals in the forest. He was large and grey, wizened with age. He had dark eyes, full of knowing. He had a strong face, with a large round nose. He was the guard of the forest, a scholar, and he could even read, unlike so many of his predecessors. He protected the innocent animals from the evil ones who meant them harm. The gods envied his intellect. They were afraid that it surpassed their own.  They wanted the innocents to be consumed by their minions, the dangerous monsters that lurked around the outside of the protection circle.
They devised a plan to destroy Elephant once and for all. They got their scariest, meanest, largest, most determined beast to do their bidding. The Mushika, some called him “The Mouse”. The Mushika had never been seen before, he had only been a whiff of a rumor found in children’s stories. He was said to be as large as the biggest trees, as mean as all of the god’s combined, and as powerful as the forest itself.
The god’s were able to convince the Mushika to do their bidding, by promising to make him even larger, meaner, and more powerful than he already was. He agreed and began his journey towards the innocents’ home where Elephant stood ready to protect and defend.
Elephant could feel it in the wind that something was coming. He read the leaves on the water to be sure. He knew that danger was almost on them and prepared for battle. He stood quietly, his eyes slowly moving from trunk to trunk. The wind blew slightly, ruffling his long ears. Then, THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. It seemed as if the whole forest quaked. Far away, trees began to fall to the left and to the right. Slowly, it got closer and closer. Until the Elephant could see a looming white beast with red eyes, a pink nose, round ears, a long pink tail, and a massive body.
He roared, “Elephant, I have a bone to pick with you!!” Elephant’s face was calm as he stepped forward. The Mouse lunged stepping on the Elephant’s trunk. Elephant howled in pain, jerking and tossing away from the Mushika’s massive foot. The Mushika persisted, realizing that he had made Elephant utterly defenseless. He opened his giant mouth, full of sharp teeth, about to swallow Elephant whole.
Elephant’s eyes filled with fear, then sharp determination. He mustered all of his strength together and made one final, gigantic tug. His round nose stretched and stretched and stretched, then popped out from underneath the mouse’s foot. He realized he was free, and wasn’t focused on how his nose had become elongated. He shoved with all of his might against the Mushika who was very startled sending him back against the trees. The Mushika had been knocked out.
Elephant called out to the innocents, “Family! We must flee now before this mouse wakes up. We must go where not even the God’s can find us!” All of the innocents came out of their huts.
One of the children, Giraffe, asked, “What happened to your nose?”
Elephant replied, “It has been stretched out, but do not worry. I am fine. We must go now!”
So all of the animals packed their things and went to a hiding place. Elephant realized he could grip things with his new nose. He picked up a giant rock and began to crack the ground away from the rest of the forest. It broke off and floated away, millions of galaxies away. They decided to call this place Earth. So that was how Earth became.
Later on, when the Mushika woke up, the gods were waiting for him. “You have failed your mission, therefore you must be punished,” they said in unison. The mouse quivered as they began chanting strange words. Slowly his size diminished to the size of an apple. He squeaked, no longer able to roar. The god’s laughed, snapping their fingers. The Mushika was suddenly on Earth, where his dreadful enemy was. The Mushika had been stripped of his mighty name and put into unfamiliar territory with no allies. Forever to be called Mouse, never to be able to defend himself again.
Elephant knew that Mouse had been punished for loosing their battle, yet he was still terrified that he would change back into that horrible beast. He feared Mouse the rest of his life, and told all of his family to fear him as well. This story explains why the elephant’s trunk is so long, why mice are so small, and why such a large animal as the elephant is scared of such a small animal as the mouse.
I was thinking of a son.
The womb is not a clock
nor a bell tolling,
but in the eleventh month of its life
I feel the November
of the body as well as of the calendar.
In two days it will be my birthday
and as always the earth is done with its harvest.
This time I hunt for death,
the night I lean toward,
the night I want.
Well then--
It was in the womb all along.

I was thinking of a son ...
You! The never acquired,
the never seeded or unfastened,
you of the genitals I feared,
the stalk and the puppy's breath.
Will I give you my eyes or his?
Will you be the David or the Susan?
(Those two names I picked and listened for.)
Can you be the man your fathers are--
the leg muscles from Michelangelo,
hands from Yugoslavia
somewhere the peasant, Slavic and determined,
somewhere the survivor bulging with life--
and could it still be possible,
all this with Susan's eyes?

All this without you--
two days gone in blood.
I myself will die without baptism,
a third daughter they didn't bother.
My death will come on my name day.
What's wrong with the name day?
It's only an angel of the sun.
Woman,
weaving a web over your own,
a thin and tangled poison.
Scorpio,
bad spider--
die!

My death from the wrists,
two name tags,
blood worn like a corsage
to bloom
one on the left and one on the right--
It's a warm room,
the place of the blood.
Leave the door open on its hinges!

Two days for your death
and two days until mine.

Love! That red disease--
year after year, David, you would make me wild!
David! Susan! David! David!
full and disheveled, hissing into the night,
never growing old,
waiting always for you on the porch ...
year after year,
my carrot, my cabbage,
I would have possessed you before all women,
calling your name,
calling you mine.
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
Elaina Dec 2013
I find myself standing alone in the barren valley. The wind is cold, it burns my nose. I feel it moving my hair. Shivers run though me. The smell it brings tells me that snow is not far off.

Looking in the distance, clouds cover the mountain. It's where I must go. A new home lies beyond the tall peaks. It's calling me. Why did it send it's message now?

It's hard to explain this pull it has over me. I must get there. It's where I belong. Where I am supposed to be. Moving forward I keep my focus. Determined to survive.
...........

It's warmer now. I feel the heat of the sun. The brightness of the day has replaced the gray of the dawn. Others are making themselves known.
..................

I see the tall grass move against the wind. Rabbit moves leaving a trail of dust. The shadow of a hawk passes to the left as it chases after it's intended meal.
...................

Soon I must eat. Looking around I see the dew covered tips of tender new shoots. Putting my head down I breathe in the scent of the earth, knowing that she will always provide.

Walking again I pleasure in the warmth of the sun.
...................

Looking up, the peaks are throwing their shadow over me. I begin the climb. Steady I go, feeling more and more sure of my path. The path that guides me home, and the path that guides my soul.

The higher I climb, the colder it gets. Patches of white snow appear. The clouds of my breath fade into the space in front of me. Onward I push, my goal is true, to reach the other side.
...................

The more I struggle, the more I want this, need this. Placing one foot in front of another I make my way.

To the right, I see not far off, a overhang. A place of shelter for the night. The daylight is gone and rest is calling. When the sun rises next, my journey will take me deeper into the mountain, nearer to my home.
....................

Late into the night, stars appear. Brilliant lights such as I have never seen. The air feels new, so cold and crisp. It tells me that new beginnings are here. I sleep knowing all is well.
.....................

The morning sun brings relief from the cold. As I travel onward, it's warmth on the snow provides water to quench my thirst.

The trees are gone now. The rugged mountainside holds little in it's rocky soil. Life is scarce. This only serves to increase my drive to get home. Soon, very soon, I will be there.
......................

The sun that brought warmth earlier has crossed over the peaks. Cold is settling in, but I can see the end of the rise. In a very short time I will be in sight of my new home.
.....................

My soul is singing. Far off in the distance, I look down on a flock of birds winging effortlessly through the air. Light from the late afternoon sun is dancing off the winding river, and a heard of Buffalo graze freely among the grasses.

At last, I step down from the mountain. The overwhelming drive that guided me, has lead me home. Everywhere I look, I see what brought me here. Tears form. I am more than blessed. I am... complete.
The original running title was 'Come back for more, or is this the end?: January 15, 13, 8, 5e, 1. December 31x2, 29, 14, 9, 8'.
Mariam Paracha Oct 2012
The warmth of the sun settles, hugging the lake.
The dragonfly flies low, hovering above the tranquil water
the light seeping through the paper thin skin,
it hums across the lake, refracting light off its wings,
An array of colors make patterns on the wings,
wearing it like a cloak, a rainbow embedded within.
The colors tilt and shift as the dragonfly gracefully cruises through life,
laying close to the water but letting the air propel it forward,
floating between two different worlds,
it is like a dream where our thoughts are separated from reality,
and are scattered like refracted light for us to assemble.  

Through a screen of our dreams, a world can be seen.
A world of hopes and desires that is dormant within
The light of life just soaks us bare,
our skin turns frail,
under the scorching glare,
the glare of eyes that want you to be,
someone that is accepted by society.


the dragonfly bathes itself in the sun,
the iridescent colors shine on its skin,
flying and floating, he’s determined to win
a predator, determined to get what it wants
nothing blocking its way or paving its path
making the most out of life and never holding back

spread your wings like the dragonfly
that hums its way through life,
dipping its wings in the sun to shine,
breaking free a life of colors,
that we leave locked and forgotten,
behind a reality made of black and white,
the black ink seeping through our minds,
injecting us with ideas of the 'ideal life'
where money and fortune, and status define.
Bathe your mind in the wonders of the world,
soak your heart in life's warmth and glow,
and pave your own path,
with the dreams you sow.
Life
Lady Narnia May 2016
Oh, how dark our history is
You, my author of misery and pain
With fingers set to scribble my demise
This is our story, writ with chaotic pen

One that left calamity in its wake

You would always start the chapter
Every page inked with words of black
On the point of a pen, you'd viciously write
Using the sharp edge to stab into my being

Scripting, deeply, my eternal damnation

You erased my name and made me delusional
Always forcing me to your divine will
For the pen, always mightier than the sword
Was kept toward the edge of my neck

Swearing to strike at any given moment

Always determined, I'd end our sentences
Fighting to gain balance and bear the final period
Yet it was not without consequences
For you and I were wrought with scars

Etched into the bottom of our hearts, a burning black

If only these words painted a happy picture
But the thousand only paint a picture of pain
A dreary battle between two broken forces
On timeworn pages, brittle-ing on and on

Begging for the piece that holds our final chapter

And that chapter swiftly came for I was the ending
Leaving in the night, gone without a trace
With no words or ink left as a guiding clue
Carefully escaping from your paper prison

Free from the agony of the writer's press

On that day, I began my life again
Starting a happy story; free, original, and new
A home of letters filled with love, life, and joy
Where I'd never dare see you again, my dear, dear author

And never bleed black from your miserable weapon
Dania Elmayer Jul 2018
A dismal dystopia.

A  dissociative place .

Abducted; from normality
suppressed my thoughts , cunning
immorality .

My mind craves for instanity .

Reached.
An eerie  valley
streams beyond the tide .

In a place were birds do not fly .
I crumble in my desolation
pleading mercy.

I resuscitate , revive.

LORD.
If this was pre -determined
why does my -fatality- never arise .
Kenji Nov 2015
Classic princesses, all elegantly beautiful and charming...
All irresistible and disarming...
Like a dandelion, a rose, a tulip and a lilly,
All hold such meaningful characteristics and lovely culture.

Belle, her gorgeous yellow dress and her most adored beast,
A red rose petal drops, the more she falls inlove with him,
A love so true, everlasting and has no clue.

Aurora, beautiful golden hair and lips as pink as a Bonica rosa,
a delightful melodic voice and a heart as pure as gold, this love story will never get old.

Snow White, lips as red as an Ingrid Bergman rosa, skin as luminous as pimpinellifolia rosa, and hair as black as an ebony crow...
Naive yet loving, a spark of faith and unharming.

Jasmine, long ebony hair and beautiful big brown eyes, a magical love story with a thief she goes away with, as the magical carpet flys.
Tanned skin and an exotic Arabian look, she is a stunner, Aladdin is hooked.

Mulan, courageous and simple, strong, but elegant and delightful, brave, determined and insightful...
A love story that is oh so wonderful.

Ariel, pure red locks and soft pale skin, a tail as green as the water world corals, exotic and girly, illuminating and fiery.
She saves her true lover, she is the hero in the aqua story.

Another princess, who is bound to become a queen, deep big brown eyes, tanned brown skin, lips ever so luscious, and skin ever so soft and delicious...
Caring and loving, yet boastful and inappropriate, a love story that has no happy ending, just heartbreak and pain, and feelings of soul drain, a beautiful tragedy, lost, but is still writing her story, she loves with all of her metaphoric diamond heart and touches your soul with her cupid love dart, she touches you so magically, her soft skin is like a baby's.
She is elegantly ****** in her speech, yet thoughtful and innocent...
she just needs a main squeeze...
This princess is me, Kiara.
A soon to be indian queen.
My world
She who did not come, wasn't she determined
nonetheless to organize and decorate my heart?
If we had to exist to become the one we love,
what would the heart have to create?

Lovely joy left blank, perhaps you are
the center of all my labors and my loves.
If I've wept for you so much, it's because
I preferred you among so many outlined joys.
When you say that life is easy,
a little frustration is as bad as it gets,
I ask you what you were doing at age six.

were you running through the park?
playing with your friends?
doing nothing much?
careless of the world?

What if your whole life is determined at age six?

When I say that life is hard,
it's never been a good thing,
you ask me what I was doing at age six.

I was running through the fields, hoping I'd forget.
I talked to almost no one,
doing nothing much.
I cared too much about the smallest things and just hoped that it would stop.
It never stopped.

Six was the age I accepted that I would never be happy.
I knew I was different but I thought it would fade,
that maybe I'd forget and be able to stay.

But my whole life was determined at age six.
Alright it's fine don't believe in me
Don't encourage me
Say it's stupid

My dream is mine
I will chase it
I will live it

I'm determined.
                    *s.k.
Shyanna Ashcraft Dec 2014
I
I
Have  Survived.
Am  Surviving.
Will  Survive.­

Because I
Have been Strong.
Am  Strong.
Will be Strong.

And I
Have been Determined.
Am  Determined.
Will be **Determined.
Written 12-15-14
Ivan Brooks Sr Aug 2018
I woke up very happy
This joy isn't for me alone,
But for nearly everybody
Who calls this world home.

I woke up energized
To continue my journey
For me and those marginalized
For the poor who has no money.

I woke up determined
To continue with the hustle
My exuberance remains untamed
In spite of my personal struggle.

I woke up feeling blessed
For dear life and its woes.
I, yesterday was depressed
Today I care less about what life does.

I woke up very pumped
Determined to do better.
Yesterday I erred and stumbled,
Excellence today is what I'm after.

I woke up feeling rejuvenated
To change the poetic narratives
So I remain resolute and obligated
Hoping my poetry will impact lives.

©IvanBrooksPoetry
22/8/2018
This came from nowhere...maybe I woke up for this.
Nat Nov 2012
After moving to Windowville from a smelly pet shop,
Lord Lispy Lizard felt he would soon be on top.
The view from his new place was quite superb,
Lispy couldn’t believe he’d had doubts about the burbs.
“This year will be swell,” he thought, “It’s my time to shine.”
It was easier to think this away from mildew and brine.
However, Lispy was in for quite the surprise,
as there was a roommate in his highrise.
Shy, she had been watching from behind the plants,
nervously eating handfuls of ants.
Being alone for so long had taken quite a toll,
her former good looks had faded and left a troll.
Still, she was determined to confront this stranger,
in order to see if he presented any danger.
She was not too worried, he didn’t look like much,
and she was certain she could take him with only a touch.
Hardening her resolve, she lept out with a shout,
forgetting she had forgotten to pluck her mustache out.
This was not all, she had not bathed either,
And the yell she let out sounded like a deranged ******.
Needless to say, Lispy lept up, screamed, and bolted.
Both because he was scared, and a little revolted.
“Just my luck,” he thought, cowering behind a rock.
“But I’m a man, I’ll go out there and at least try to talk.”
So Lispy stood up and brushed himself off,
clearing his throat with a less than manly cough.
“I’m sorry…miss? I didn’t mean to run
It’s just that I’m allergic to the sun.
I got scared when it’s rays reflected off your pretty smile,
And thought it best I took off for awhile.”
The girl was a little confused, her teeth were very mossy,
she knew this because she never did any flossing.
But she decided to go along with his claim,
saying “That’s okay sir, let me tell you my name.
They used to call me Elenor, back when I feasted on Orange Roughy,
But the fatty whose cage we’re in just calls me Fluffy.”
Lispy couldn’t believe this thing had been rich,
especially when she looked even worse than a witch.
Still, he was a gentleman and did not want to be rude
so he said “What a pretty name, where does Fatty put the food?”
“I’ll show you,” she said, “C’mon, follow me.”
Beginning to think how nice it would be
if they ended up married and had lots of kids,
as it must have been fate that Lispy showed up when he did.
So later that night Elenor jumped in the pool,
scrubbing away dust, dirt, grime and drool.
She plucked out the unsightly hair on her face,
and pulled out a ribbon from inside an old case.
When Lispy was awoken by bright sunlight streams,
the vision he saw was that of his dreams.
There Elenor stood, shining like a star,
looking nothing like the former monster all covered in tar.
He couldn’t believe she had cleaned up so well,
with not even a hint of her old sour smell.
With this one look Lispy fell in love,
as if he had been struck by something up from above.
To this day Elenor and Lispy live in bliss,
even though she had not brushed her teeth before their first kiss.
Arcassin B Jun 2015
By Arcassin Burnham

I'm determined,
Lack the feeling of yearning
The desire to talk about this insecure little daddy's girl,
Yes
Like me,
Yeah you blame the world,
But comparing yourself to me,
I'll make you scratch your eyes out
And turn you back to ******* *****,
Don't leave a comment,
Just mean what you say,
If you don't have reasons,
Get out of my face,
You don't know me,
You never met me,
You look like you ****** on 82 *****,
Your a big mouth ***** you need to be stitched up,
Your skills on the pad they flock,
Must have been the time of the month when you sent that comment,
Miss Arlo Disarray get off my ****.
Clearly I don't take kindly to fake tough people
nate1990 Jan 2016
A N D
Nothing
Determined
                      Her value more
                      Than an injection-
                      Of opiates...
                                            In binary form.
It was a sad day for that lonely narcissist
When her battery decided....
                                             To toil no more.
Obsession with social media.
Umi May 2018
I will be here through the night,
Until the moon sinks, seeking rest beneath a cool dark shade,
The life which grows from light, is slumbering tight under a wonderful cover, the flowers have closed, awaiting another day,
But I cannot rest, for time has become endless for me, I can't set.
Why is it now that no one will hear my call, reflected in moonlight,
Why is it now that I feel so alive, even though I'm already long dead ?
First days, then months and finally years, pass, fall one by one, only a dim memory remains, what's left is a given; knowledge, of course.
Longing for the meaning of life, the fate was already determined,
Chains which bind me to make me carry on with my mission,
In a distorted dark sound melts into silence, losing it's colour,
Darkness in life and death carried by a curse of greed made me fear the coming day, sunlight, it burns, it hurts, I'll nevr be blessed by it,
The taste of blood on my fangs, sorrowful but also filled with hope, make me remember what it must be like to be a human, to be normal,
Even this scattered instant of a moment possesses unshakable love,
Ablaze, drawn out here in this holy world undear the nightsky,
Unable to advance or return, is there sense to believe in the future?
To face the dark clouds is the golden rule, so I don't give up,
This endless battle always was so meaningless, I forgot how it started,
The meaning of life...even it it remains unknown for me, like you it must exist and is that not very beautiful in its very own way ?
Darling, if I should perish by the morninglight, sing me a lullaby!
A lullaby for a vampire

~ Umi
Samuel Oct 2012
if you cut me open
you would hear music

— The End —