Unbridled

from an early age,
I’ve had this crazy feeling,
as if I somehow came into this deep, unexplained power,
an unbridled magic it’s taking me a lifetime to embrace and hone

it compels me,
even when I don’t want it to –
it wants to bulldoze,
excavate,
to crack me wide open,
exposing all the hidden, vulnerable places,
to break me down to my simplest form

I’ve always felt the need to stay ahead of this thing,
or it might destroy me,
and everything in its path

sometimes it feels like I’m gaining ground,
sometimes it feels like I’m losing,
but the whole point has been to just keep moving

-image via Pinterest

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Freedom

Freedom is the fragile neck of a daffodil,
after the longest of winters.
It’s the sound of your voice,
without anyone drowning you out.
It’s having the grace to say yes,
and the right to say no.

At the heart of freedom,
hope beats; a pulse of possibility.

I am the same woman I was five minutes ago;
I am rooted in the same chair.
Nothing has changed,
and everything is different.

-art by Daniel Gerhart

Student

last year,
I committed to continued work changing what wasn’t working in my life,
to letting go of things and ideas that no longer serve me,
to de-conditioning myself from a lifetime of culturally-imposed and self-imposed bullshit,
to questioning my personal stories, assumptions, and beliefs that made up my version of reality,
to showing up differently for myself and breaking old patterns

it hasn’t been easy,
and there have been so many unexpected challenges,
but this year has been a wonderful teacher

I learned to observe the voice in my head and not necessarily identify with it,
to work toward letting go of the idea that I’m doing this life thing alone,
to understand that I am valuable regardless of what I produce,
to become more conscious and present,
to work toward being more patient, embracing the growth process, and feeling all the feelings that arise along the way,
to reflect and express these feelings and lessons in writing when I’m so moved to do so,
to work toward continuing to listen to the central voice that is the core of who I am,
and to act more in line with that

I’d like to continue to move forward this year,
to further this journey by finding out what the hell ‘self care’ looks like to me,
to stop eating the things that are poisoning me and not missing them,
to forgiving myself more naturally and in healthy ways that move me forward,
to getting out of my own head and being a good friend to the people whom I hold so dearly,
to developing a different relationship with work,
to being less instinctively guarded and spreading love in as many ways as possible,
to including more of the things that feel expansive and less of things that feel draining or contractive,
and to loving myself through all phases of my evolution

I’m a lifelong student,
and I know this year will be a good teacher, too

Happy New Year! 💜

–image via Pexels

Elements

I have been beyond tired, beyond lonely –
simultaneously lonely and never alone,
with an emptiness settling in so deeply,
it was a stone inside of me,
hard and sharp

my past and my fears are the leaden shackles I have always felt a duty to escape;
my rest is formed by my waking life,
and my waking life has too often been formed by feelings of defeat,
sorrows I allow to permeate as I set forth in my duty

but, in the center of my core,
I have always known it is possible to break the old, rusted, fear-forged chains of the past,
to encourage elements to transition from one state into another,
transforming and casting an entirely new life

sadly, chains made of blood and memory are a million times more difficult to sever than those made of steel,
and the past has a tendency to overtake me when I am not paying enough attention,
or, when I pay too much,
and I’ll find myself making the same mistakes as those who’ve come before me,
with the same resentments set to boil

but, I have also been tired, yet content,
simultaneously fulfilled and alone, but never lonely,
hard-won self knowledge settling in so deeply,
silence and gratitude are all I need to feed the gentle stillness in my soul

because those old, rusty chains do eventually break,
even though the breaking is an endlessly tiresome business,
and when I look the fearful past in the face and call it by its name,
it loses its rigidity and strength,
becoming just another corroding element,
flaking away with time

-image via Pexels; shared as part of the dVerse Poet Pub’s prompt, The Art of Confessional in Poetry

Blush

it’s crazy how I’m caught off guard,
after all these years

how tearing down walls left me with no guard at all,
my smallness in the open with you

how that hungry look,
a few whispered words,
warm in my ear,
or the gentle trace of your fingers at just the right moment,
can make me blush,
and squirm,
and want

it’s crazy how being off guard feels so at home,
with you

-image credit Tumblr

Don’t See Me


opportunity doesn’t knock, it slithers,
it wriggles and burrows with its chattering teeth,
until it tunnels down, down, down,
clawing and eating away at my insides –
and I feed it

I nourish it with eyes that see,
but pretend not to,
with haunting excuses hovering in wait,
gathering to lock fingers and create a wall no human could possibly scale
alone

they hide my most precious secret

knees to chest,
arms wrapped tightly around,
and eyes unable to meet yours –

don’t see me

I am not what you think
(I am not what I wish I was)

-image via Pinterest

Glutton

I crave the soaring fly,
the savory-sweet dopamine high,
the trojan-horsed famine to feast,
fist to mouth feeding this homeless core,
my shattered beast,
desperate to numb its bitter and cold,
but its icy fingers won’t release their deadly hold

I yearn for the rolls and folds to soften the deadly blows,
for this insulation to thicken and enclose,
for this savage internal verse to shift,
becoming honeyed prose,
but the strikes never slow, never soften;
at this rate, this oversized shell will be my coffin

I hunger for the serene, obsidian quiet,
for the release of this crippling riot,
for the free fall into the sweet, thoughtless void,
but it’s unreliant;
it’s all razor-edged neon, blinking, non-compliant

in it,
there’s only me,
myself,
and I,
all hiding behind the insatiable high,
this corpulent encasement a cage for the silver-tongued blows;
I am gluttonous shame,
a faceless name I don’t quite know

-image via Plusmommy.com

Rind

I am the space beneath the mushroom caps,
tightly tucked into the cool folds of the fanning sponge,
into the spaces where the sun can’t find

like perfectly polished dew drops,
truths lay scattered and exposed all around me,
but somehow, they lie in secret,
ungraspable,
like pollen bouncing on the breeze,
and I desperately stretch for them,
but my fickle fingers keep coming up empty

I wither,
in the absence

I am nothing but a husk,
a shell,
a rind,
something the sun can’t find

-image via Pexels

Patchwork

they don’t even notice I’m a mess

the truth is,
I’m not even sure how I’m able to function,
because it feels like I’ve been splintered into a million little pieces

and today, like most days,
I’m just clumsy patchwork,
exhaustedly strung together with recycled red string,
fate stitched to the soles of my tired feet,
and they’re all scavengers,
viscously peck-pecking away at my seams,
wanting more, more,
more

-image via Pinterest, original via google images

Undoing

silence settles in like cold settles into my bones,
words, once fertile and blooming,
now become itchy, phantom limbs,
a nagging taunt,
contemptuous, even

you see,
I went so long without ripples,
and a stone had finally been dropped into the water,
every circle fanning out to move my destiny along the course of some inevitable, magical destination,
but now the moon seems to have halted the tide,
and my eyes have become an unyielding blackness,
tinting the world

that blackness had, for so long after the ripples,
become a reminder of how the night always comes before the glory of morn,
a time when the world is a beautiful mystery

but now it only reminds me that shadows are all I have,
and the crazy thing is –
maybe I’m ok with that,
maybe I always knew

I always knew that love would be my undoing

-image via Tumblr, origin unknown