The Preening Self

i like to color
fill in the spaces with
my heart-shades of
silvers, or hues
shades of yous

but somewhere
along the way
it got complicated,
became a contest
and the templates changed

now there are
places to color that never
even used to be places!
now people tense up
tighten up and yet another
competition has begun

give me places to color
but not too many
lest I get lost
in the preening self
tumblr_n5b204pQP61s5neh1o1_1280

IRISH THANKSGIVING

 

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: IRISH THANKSGIVING


It was a year ago on this day that I read this poem, and I am struck just as strongly today as I was on that day a year ago…by this work of such stunning power and beauty and longing and fulfillment.

Melissa Shaw Smith is a poetess that I respect immensely, and a woman that I aspire to be like.  I have never met her, except thru her work, and thru a few emails in which she graciously allowed me to bloviate opinions about her work which in hindsight seems to me a bit like the 2nd grader who can do the times tables up thru her 5s talking to Madam Curie about the wonders of science!!

No matter…Constance, if you think my poetry is any good, just know that it is as if it were a child’s lego creation side by side with El Capitan compared to Melissa’s work.

Mel, if you are reading here…I love this poem with the marrow-bones of my tears.

Much much love…
Charissa

 

My Heart’s Heart

the way you talk, what you write
like acid in my mind dashed
against my face and in my eyes

I wish I could eradicate
the you you have become
and keep in tact the other one.

but you are blood inside my soul
you are my heart drawn and quartered
and existing here within, unbidden

inescapable because you sprang
off from my heart’s heart
from my heart’s heart

which hopes eternal for
the return of spring
and the red songbird to sing
tumblr_nybh66BQWP1s7s6ngo1_r1_1280

If It Were Not

I remember a time
when it seemed
quite obvious to me
that God was
what I wanted.

God-shaped vacuums
hearts restless til
they rest in God
the Holy God of faith.

But did I dare to sit
before this God
without this mask

(the one I didn’t know I wore)

is this longing
in and of itself
an assurance
of God’s presence?

What would longing be
if it were not?
tumblr_ny2ysgDXFQ1qat5pio1_500

Your Approaching Presence

Dressed in red
and wrapped in white
I wait in warmth,
wait in splendour
for the high and shivery
delight of your approaching
presence, in your silver
laughter, in your ringing
song that echoes off the stones
and reaches here inside
these ermine furs
so soft.

Advent Poem: To Go To Bethlehem

Uncanny, peculiar,
uncomfortably strange,
I tend my fires and tell my story…
tumblr_n40izwKWgH1s5neh1o1_1280the story of
this quirky girl
overly-intelligent
and stuck in time
that is not time, so
unreconciled to time
so bound up in its realm.
tumblr_n5np124LJd1s5neh1o1_500I am strapped there
on Your wrist (watch)
a condor in a cage
passing from quick present
to some furious future
and thus so fast becoming
dim, and dark, and past
and wondering if I amtumblr_n3ng7oK9xj1s5neh1o1_1280ever?  present?
ever a moment?
ever a significant occasion
or an immeasurable quality?

I want real time!tumblr_nyhnrwYzEl1qllucco2_1280time which breaks through
with a shock of joy
like a leap into Crater Lake
on a snowy New Year’s morning,
time where we are completely
un-self conscious and far more
real in some eternal now
I thirst for a moment jeweled!
tumblr_nycmluCX5a1qat5pio1_500a moment
so sweet or magnified
it seems to stop time
but doesn’t because time
becomes a point so limply moot
and thus no longer dirty moat
between me and my true self
tumblr_mz5pbxrvwe1slvh08o2_1280And here I sit, beside time’s bonfire
tumblr_nvpeukM0QC1u7b31go1_1280and sparks fly up
and away so quick
to join the stars
and glimmer and
I poke at this fire
hot and tender
and tend it…
with my tinder636e5f6d27dbf806212c969a3560ca33and wonder how to be
here in this already
and not yet, between
That Eternal Now
and this one,
and the One
Who There Inhabits?tumblr_nxgij6jzXP1rnl2wvo1_1280wonder how to be aware
of life while I am living it?

wonder how to limp courageous
and relinquish all control
of self and self awareness?

wonder how to laugh courageous
and look for glory
in the storied
wonder of the ordinary?

wonder how to live courageous
and be surprised by One
who dares draw near?

wonder how to love courageous
and take off rings and watches?
tumblr_n1uzzfw14n1s5neh1o2_1280
I burn calendars and open
my heart uncanny,
strange peculiar…
tumblr_nfi2j2A3Sf1t043jao1_500to see eternity in
the midst of time
to go to Bethlehem
today and everyday
in this time and place

where glimpses of the eternal
come quiet, unexpectedly
they come and they upset
our every notion static about time
and all we discover there within.
and in the east her long shroud trailing
I open
my Uncanny Peculiar
Uncomfortably Strange Heart
to the story of All and Ever
ending Never

I choose
to live somewhere between
the already and not yet,
caught and held
by the One who
dwells within Outside.
tumblr_ny2xn8zBkj1trdezwo1_540And so the fire burns away the moments
And we must choose our portion:
whether here we tarry or if
we choose to journey
Pregnant by some God

To Go To Bethlehem
tumblr_nygiapTyw51qat5pio1_1280

I Am A broken girl And I Am

I am a broken girl and I am

not so easy to love like
carefree normal confident girls
next door in cotton and flannel and lace.

I live inside a fortress and I hide

inside shields and my soul
lives centuries in seconds
I am a survivor of wars
that break the strongest
men so flimsy.
tumblr_nydpaoedn41qas1mto1_1280
Can you love me so strong that mountains
collapse into the dust of quiet surrender?
Can you melt my doubts and burn my soul
hotter than cold death and abandonment?

Can you endure my very worst days and stand

me not knowing that I am beautiful,
can you erase the thousand tormenting words
the sibilant whispers from hell’s pits of isolation and horror? tumblr_nycmluCX5a1qat5pio1_500
Can you stand that I am thinking even now “Why would you?”

Why would anyone?

I run from you,
but do you see that I run
far slower than I could?
Do you even know
what that means?

Why won’t you chase me?
tumblr_ny2eewVQ1e1tbryhwo1_1280

Could you provide me anything
that I can rely on, any routine
that will be as sunrise and sunset
again and again?

Could you give me a pet name?
Could you kiss me, touch me?
Then do it again, and again.
tumblr_nu4grakCop1rthbito1_540
I am a broken girl and I am
thirst itself so strong that Sahara is oasis.

I am a broken promise but I love
with loyalty that is the stars’
commitment to shine in the night.

I am a broken girl and I am
dust_and_ashes_by_art_de_viant-d6ci8m9

Nothing To Lose

You take everything away from someone,
expecting them to crumble like sand in your palm.
You forget though, when someone has nothing to lose,
they have nothing to fear.  You forget, that in the right heat,
sand becomes glass and the broken glass you hold has edges
sharp enough to cut through you.
Abi Ashra

tumblr_nxdkyouSzQ1rp7yhio1_500h

Heartbreaking Every Time

When I read that article…the gas-lighting kind, that retells my past in the worst of ways in order to paint the writer as the most burdened most fragile but simultaneously most strong survivor ever…we readers are all supposed to get all hushed and quiet and be in awe that somehow the writer survived such horrors…such horrors…

and me, my Baby, with thousands upon thousands of memories utterly different, totally opposite…

The only thing that gets me thru is what my therapist has taught me, that these things are not actually designed to try to tell the truth about history

…rather, they are spoken in the desperate attempt to explain the writer’s own experience of the present, and much of that experience produced by brain trauma from the past…not the fabricated events.tumblr_nxkbeuPHhR1tpcnfko1_500
I get it…as a person who experienced epic brain trauma from conception…

But it hurts, and is its own form of erasure, of the theft of my agency.

It cracks me up in a way, because 10 years ago the stories painted us as lovey dovey neo hippy refugees from the 70s.  That fit the need of that moment.

It is especially heartbreaking that the hour of my becoming is the hour of unbecoming for the writer…and I am powerless to change that, and held by grudges and judgments in those chains in that place, but only inside the writer’s soul.  For I have slipped my leash at last, and now run free.  And yes…there is a holographic overview of how dysphoria affected those around me, no doubt about it.  They just cannot (or won’t) see the battle I fought to keep greater horrors away.

Yes, there are greater horrors.

I pray that someday the Truth can be partaken of together, and the Truth will set us free.
275ee585fa36e3a42337fbfcb3f030d1

SO WHAT!!!!!

Well now,
everything you got is in excess
and it goes without sayin’s got to be the best
from your swimming pool to your daddy’s racing car
to that defenseless useless bomb shelter in your back yard
well I guess there ain’t too much you haven’t got
well all I can say to you about that is
SO WHAT!

Hey that house you’re living in is really nice
Now that I been shown all around it once or twice
I been raced around it on a guided tour
try not to miss any of the handmade rugs or fancy furniture
you got a electric typewriter so you don’t haffa work alot
All I can say to you about that is
SO WHAT!

To My Children, Thanksgiving 2015

I won’t take clothes that are hand me downs,
I won’t smile cus I wear a frown
Once I get going, you can’t hold me down
Cus once I get started I go to town.

I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.

Cus I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
Cus I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.

Darling, you know that I love you true,
Confess all my sins if you want me to,
But there’s one thing I wanna say to you,
If you want to love me my whole life thru

I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else

I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else.

Darling, you know that I love you true,
Confess all my sins if you want me to,
But there’s one thing I wanna say to you,
If you want to love me my whole life thru

I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else

I SAY IT!!!!!
I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else).
Like everybody else (like everybody else),

LIKE EVERYBODY ELSEEEEEEEEEEE

My Heart On The Plate

I love to cook.

No, I do not aspire to being a chef.  GOD NO!  Who in their right mind would want to put up with the awful crap that people who work in restaurants put up with?

*Although, I have to admit…if I were independently wealthy I would indeed found a restaurant and not run it the way everyone else runs theirs.  It would be in Charissa-space and time…and customers who didn’t like it would simply be sent on their merry way.*

No…I love to cook, because it is the tangible way that my love becomes incarnate and then consumed by my loved ones.

The greatest gift you can give me is to let me cook for you.

The deepest cut you can slash me with is to reject my food that I made for you.

And the strongest Othering you can extend to me is to deny me the opportunity to cook for you if I love or am in love with you.

This year, I am both happy that I get to cook for 2 of my loved ones, bereft that I cannot for the 4, and truly puzzled and drained that I have been denied the chance to prepare a feast for the angels in my life one and all.

My heart on a plate, carved up for you, and reborn in me as you partake and are renewed.

(No…I didn’t feel like making this into a poem.  It’s right there, in plain sight.  Have at her if you wish!  🙂  )
raison_detre_by_ezorenier-d5kixva

I Am Burning

I’m on fire,
burning in words
burning in images
burning in thoughts
and torched again
by the why why why
why? Why do they say,
do, laugh, eye roll?

I honestly do not know

tumblr_msxsk66e3S1rk0k2jo1_500

In Lonely Woods

I walk alone in lonely woods
fading from fall to winter snows
moving from the warmth of home
to wander lost and barren
tumblr_nwnwb4dcit1t5g5c1o4_1280
I wonder as I move from tree
to tree and touch the scratchy bark
concealing living wood within
and warm there in the cold
tumblr_ny3xkfB8xB1qgo20mo1_1280
if I can find a home inside
this tree or that one, twisting in
the gloamy air I wander thru
and thus root down to earthMAC_AUG08_ 033But no, this tree is walking still
moving and not going there
stuck here but there and not here
I walk alone in lonely woods.
tumblr_nwnwb4dcit1t5g5c1o2_1280