Mother (poem)

Lonely as the quiet of the winter,
her body stood like the ghost of a skyscraper –
once strong, now empty.
Emerald leaves whisper in the breeze –
lullabies grounded in comfort.
She knows her station in this world –
stoic and still.
Her strength and beauty
a fixture in the backdrop –
forgotten but always present.

Are you fascinated by what frightens you?

I think I’ve asked this question before but for some reason, this topic seems to blow my mind. I’m just so fascinated with how our brains and emotions work – especially in tense situations. I have put in so much effort over the years to learn how to cope with anxiety. It’s really been a lifelong battle and the solutions are often unique to each individual suffering. Anxiety definitely serves a purpose, even though sometimes it seems irrational or at the very least inflated. Does learning about what scares us ease anxiety? Maybe. It’s just so interesting where our minds take us.

I’m terrified of tornadoes. We’re in tornado season right now and from what I see on the news, it’s been a rough one. I live in Middle America so severe weather is unavoidable.

Here in Ohio, tornado season starts in April. To amplify my fear, I had knee surgery on April 2nd and am unable to get to the basement. Well, at least not quickly. My plan when I hear the sirens is to try and get in the bathtub. Luckily, my neighborhood hasn’t had any tornado warnings yet this year. I was happy to have surgery in April so that I would recover by summer, but the ability to get to the basement was always in the back of my mind.

Despite the fear, I am so fascinated with tornadoes! A few years ago, I signed up to take the SkyWarn Storm Spotter training, but I got strep throat and couldn’t go. I was so upset! I haven’t seen it offered locally since.

I think what’s so frightening as well as fascinating about tornadoes is that they are still so unpredictable. Yes, you can see rotation on radar, but we still rely on sightings from the ground, too. When you hear the siren, you could have ten minutes to take cover or thirty seconds. You just don’t know. A lot of the time you’re lucky – tornado warnings are lifted and nothing happened, but at the same time, one minute your house can be standing and the next minute everything you know can be gone. You just never know. Tornadoes happen every year and there’s no escape. You never know when it’s your turn to feel Mother Nature’s wrath. I love living in the Midwest but you can’t help but feel vulnerable. 

No one can predict the future, so I guess this applies to a lot of things in life. (Yes, this is my struggle with anxiety.) 

I’m just curious, are you fascinated with things that frighten you?

Last year on April 5th, I wrote a poem about tornadoes. It’s been a while since our area was hit by a big one, and we’re due. The news had been warning us about severe weather for a few days. Everyone was saying this was going to be bad. I was at the office and around lunchtime, everyone just left. We all went home to hunker down for what was supposed to be a very stormy afternoon.

Nothing happened. There was a collective sigh of relief. But here’s the poem:

 

Twisted Storm

 

Unavoidable risk
of uncertain danger –
there’s nowhere to run
but do your best to hide.
My life dangles in time.
The forecast tells us
to prepare for something
you truly can’t prepare for.
An afternoon of mental chaos
and impending disaster –
the day was unsettling
from the start.
Wake up to seventy degrees
on the fifth day of April –
for once the warmth
is unwelcome.
Fear comes
from an unforgiving sky.
Scattered brain.
Scattered home.
What will the world
look like tomorrow?
Dreams broken.
Goodbyes unspoken.
Until next time –
please pass over me.

 

So, is everyone outside of America (or the Midwest and South) wondering why I live here now? The truth is I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I grew up here and storms are just a part of life. I just think it’s so interesting that I’m fascinated by something I’ve been scared of my whole life. I get excited every time it storms – both good and bad excitement. I kind of love storms in a way. The nervous energy can be such a rush! I can’t exactly explain why I feel this way. Have you ever experienced something like that?

NaPoWriMo Day #27 — “Free”

Free


My two feet
ignite flames
scorching the earth
for the miles I have covered.
What happens when the fire
goes out?
When I was left
with smoke and ash
my lover carried me.
Everywhere I went
I was helpless,
dependent on his strength only.
Until the day
my stride burns again,
he takes me with him –
thousands of steps
until I’m free again.

 

Only two and a half more weeks of crutches!

NaPoWriMo Day #19…Recovery Day # 29384756

Them

Can a sweet and sour love
live happily ever after?
How far can the fire’s embers reach?
Life is in an aquarium
for all the spectators to see.
Naked,
exposed –
like a dandelion in the breeze
I dissipate into a million pieces
carried off by an invisible force.
The spectators grab their popcorn
laugh nervously
and pray it doesn’t happen
to them.

 

When my knee is finally healed, I’m going to get a new couch. I can’t stand this one anymore.

Anyone got any Netflix or Prime Video recommendations?

Writer’s Block and Paint Chip Poetry

It’s been a week since my knee surgery and I’ve pretty much stayed camped out on my living room couch. I’m hooked up to a DVT pump and ice machine. I only get up to use the bathroom and to shower every other day. Obviously, I’m a little bored.

It’s hard for me to find things to write about. I very rarely write fiction; everything’s based on my life and when I’m not leaving the house and doing things, there’s not much to write about. 

But this is NaPoWriMo and I am dedicated to writing poetry every day. Enter the game Paint Chip Poetry. Paint Chip Poetry is a game where you use color names to write poems. It comes with prompt cards and then you draw your colors. You know how you can get those free paint sample cards at Home Depot with the fun color names on them? That’s basically what you are using. It’s a lot of fun. Sometimes my poems turn nonsensical but I’ve noticed the color names are great for developing similies and metaphors. It’s really just great practice when I can’t think of anything to write about.

It’s day #9 of NaPoWriMo and thanks to Paint Chip Poetry I’ve written nearly fifty poems. It’s keeping me going when the rest of my life has basically come to a halt. 

If you are interested in Paint Chip Poetry, you can purchase it here. I was bummed when I bought the game two weeks ago because the price had gone up. I first purchased this game several years ago for work for ten dollars. I decided before my surgery that I wanted to buy my own copy since I was going to be spending so much time at home. It had gone up to seventeen dollars! I really shouldn’t complain. I don’t have much money but it has been well worth it to have something to do during my recovery.

If you decide to give Paint Chip Poetry a try, I’d love to see what you come up with! 

Next Monday, I have my follow-up appointment and return the DVT pump. Hopefully, then I can start driving again and get out of the house. I will be on crutches for six weeks which is frustrating, but I am definitely looking forward to getting my butt off the couch.

NaPoWriMo Day #8 — “Hometown Girl”

Hometown Girl


I’m not your cookie-cutter
small-town girl.
I waffled between expectations and freedom.

Your Jesus doesn’t save –
he divides.
Frosty images and sharp tongues
over here,

me over there.

Generations of hometown girl misfits –
I’ve lived here for years;
you know me but not.
You denied me my purpose, my curiosity,
and your asses in pews never made it right.

Forty acres in the dappled sunlight –
you never made me a home.
Home isn’t a physical place –
it’s love,
it’s belonging,
it’s acceptance –
and it isn’t with you.

I finally chose freedom.
I escaped and I survived.
I celebrate by making my own home.

NaPoWriMo Day #7 — “I Flourish”

I Flourish

Break me.
Knock me down.
Every heartache is a stepping stone
and my future is under construction.
Pick me like tulips in spring
and watch me wilt.
I come back every year
stronger, steadfast.
I’m grounded in my roots,
nourished by the storm,
and at dawn, I flourish again.
Remember my beauty
in the long winter months.

 

This surgery has been painful but I’m doing okay. I’m just lying on the couch filling up journals.

Update…Pain Poetry

Hi guys! My surgery was successful. My doctor was able to repair my knee. Unfortunately, I am experiencing some pain. I didn’t want to take my pain medication, but I broke down and took it. Before my surgery, I knew I really didn’t want to take something so strong and addictive, but I just didn’t know what the pain would be like. I just have to remind myself that this is temporary and I will be better off in the end.

 

The Other Side

Everything stops.
Distractions no longer work.
My body is stiff,
my breathing shallow.
I’m heavy —
wounded by the weight of the world.
The clock ticks slowly
as I wait for a release.
This recovery seems daunting
but my loved ones are near.
It’s temporary.
The other side is waiting.

Tomorrow (Pre-op Poetry)

Pain —
what stirs us to change.
Tomorrow I’ll arrive
walking,
but won’t leave on foot.
It’s time to rest,
heal.
Regenerate the old,
breathe in the new.
Tomorrow everything changes
but life’s demands.

 

NaPoWriMo day one was good! I wrote so much! In fact, I wrote extra just in case I don’t feel like writing tomorrow after my surgery. 🙂