First Date

I’m hopefully meeting someone new today. We’ve talked a little, but never met in person. I really like the little bit I know. Here’s hoping the rest is just as good!


You’ve got me planning
Planning how to primp
How to dress
What to say
I want you to like me
I want to show you who I am
This is me
Wild hair and smiling eyes
Glowing knowing I’m alive
Crazy about everyday beauty
Loving nature-made art
Not just that sunset
All of it
I hope that when we meet
You can ignite a different passion
That all this planning won’t be wasted
This time
I hope you like me
I hope I like you too

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You Lured Me In. What Changed?

Content warning: This is about an abusive relationship. It’s not particularly explicit, but if you are easily triggered, you may want to skip this one.

I wrote this on July 29, but I waited a while to post it to make sure I was ready.  This seems to apply to a romantic relationship, but it does not. If you want to know more about the story behind this poem, please check out my post Do you know what abuse looks like?


You lured me in
Building on our shared history
Memories and nostalgia made you safe
If only I had known
You offered me protection
An escape from my frustrations
You offered me companionship
I wouldn’t be alone
I never expected it to be easy
But you made it easy at first
What changed?
I thought at first you did
But maybe you were already changed
Maybe the scars you gained in our years apart
Reshaped you
The scars I couldn’t see
Maybe all that really changed
Was your veneer cracking
Your twists and damage showing through

Thank goodness I was never in your power
Never dependent on the things you offered me
I may have seemed so to you at first
But even if I had been
I like to think I would have found a way
To escape

At the first sign of my independence
You became cold
Did you truly believe that I was the cause of your pain?
Did you in some way believe I was yours?
Your doll?
Why was my independence so threatening?
I am not your enemy
You did that to yourself
I tried to play your game
But I am done
I will not be your verbal punching bag
Your feelings are not my fault
And every time you tried to explain
It became clearer
That your rationale for blaming me
Was not rational at all

If you must twist yourself in knots
To feel justified
Have fun
I am walking free

For S

I make friends in weird ways. This was made abundantly clear to me as I prepped this poem for posting. This was written on September 21, 2009 after S, a then-acquaintance, went on a rant, in large part as a result of a mutual friend having a melodramatic pity party. S, for whom this poem was written, has been on the short end of the stick a lot. I didn’t know how much when I wrote this, though the tip-of-the-iceberg problems I heard about during the aforementioned rant were pretty intimidating on their own. Two years after writing this, I found things coming full-circle with another rant, and the perfect time to share this poem with her. S is now my closest friend, and we have shared a lot: international travels, strange edibles, learning, teaching, dressing up, dressing down, pants-free zones, and so much more. With much love…


You say you want to get off your knees
You are tired of begging
A little bit of help, a little bit of Understanding
The world seems to say they cannot be yours
I want to hold the world back for you
But it washes through me to batter at you
As though I am an insubstantial ghost
I want to be your anchor
I want to hold you back
As you look over the edge, prepared to jump
You do not know me well enough for that
I have faith in you
One day you will look over the edge
Not at death
But at a chance to spread your wings
One day you will soar

You distract me when you’re gone

Written February 28, 2008. Yes, right after Feelings that are not mine! That does happen occasionally, though usually with poems so close together, one or the other isn’t worth posting. This is about an almost relationship, during the time when I thought it was going to become a relationship. It still amazes me how true this poem was.


You distract me when you’re gone
It’s silly
Really
I have no problem focusing
When you’re sitting next to me
When you’re gone
I want you here
Everything reminds me of you
And I spend more time staring into space than working
It’s silly
Really
You should be more distracting when you’re here

Artist-hood

This one was written on July 25, 2016. There were a few years there where I didn’t write, at least not for myself, and there is literally nothing in my poetry journal between September of 2010 and this poem. This is my breakthrough, I-can’t-live-like-this-anymore piece. I’m rusty, I can tell, but getting back into it. The more I work on this blog, the more I realize how much writing is a part of what makes me functional, and how depressing it’s been to live without, having grown away from it as I did. Thank you all for being so supportive in my journey of returning to myself.

There are a few more of my old poems coming, and then it will all be new work. Most of the time I try to let things sit for a day or two so that I can polish them, but sometimes I just get too excited. I hope I’m not overwhelming anyone with too many posts. Happy reading!


It’s hard to be a starving artist
They said to me
Are you sure you want to put yourself through that?
They asked, and I let them
I let them change me

Years later, I feel lost, drained, numbed
I hold on
To moments of art like lightning flashes in a fading storm
I don’t want to put myself through
The pain
The anxiety
The frustration
Of Starving-Artist-hood

And yet…
As she said so succinctly
I’m not sure I can keep putting myself through
Non-Artist-hood
Soullessness doesn’t look good on anyone

Feelings that are not mine

Written February 26, 2008. I consider myself to be an empath, which to me means that I am easily emotionally influenced by my environment, and that I take on other people’s unfinished emotional business. Sometimes said people find that helpful, which is one reason they seek me out as a confidant. I sometimes think of myself as my friends’ external emotional liver. If you think it sounds like woo-woo crazy, don’t worry. Sometimes I do too.


I struggle to be myself
Some days it seems that everything
Every little thing I think or feel
Comes from outside myself
Feelings that are not mine
Catch me up in a whirlwind
I can’t even breathe
Would you all just stop for a minute?
I am losing myself in you
Too many feelings
Tear at the core of me
I want to help you
But I need to breathe
I need to find me
I need to be me

What You Mean to Me

I didn’t title this one when I wrote it, but I think it deserves I a title. It’s one of my longest personal/diary pieces, written on October 2, 2007. This is about a wonderful person who I connected with unexpectedly. Have you ever met someone you were convinced was enlightened? I think he might be. He has some of the clearest eyes I have ever seen on a human being. Jeff, thank you for being you.


I tried to tell you several times
Exactly what you mean to me
I don’t know if you heard what I meant
Threaded in between the words I said
Maybe you did
You’re good at listening to me
I wanted you to understand
That I’ve never met anyone like you
It seems we only just met
And yet
It seems as though I’ve known you for a lifetime
Somehow when you smile at me like that
Listening with more than just your ears
You open up my soul
Like the sun opens up a flower
And I’m not afraid
I know that you will come and go without trampling the grass
Without plucking the growing things
It took others years to find my secret garden
I don’t know how you got there so fast
But I’m glad to see you there
I’m not in love with you
But I think someday I will love you
Just as I love all my family
In you I see a road stretching out ahead
A road that is beautiful
A road that is terrifyingly new and strange
A future that has not been built on history
It just appeared when you walked into my life
So I will walk with you
To the end of that road
Where a wrinkled old woman
Smiles across a table
At a grey-haired old man and says
“I have known you for a long time”
And the old man smiles back
I tried to tell you what you mean to me
Several times
I don’t know if you could hear what I meant
But you probably could
You’re good at listening to me

We are not the people we were then

This was written in May of 2006, sometime before my high school graduation.


We are not the people we were then
We’ve grown new hair
We’ve shed old skin
But in the time between the lightning flashes
We wander the same way we always did
We are not as fluid as clouds
Nor as hard as mountains
We are but small things
We run and slide through our scattered lives
Often forgetting to breathe
To smell the rain and the river
And the salt-rich sea
Admiration and wonder are the only medicine
That can keep our souls from withering young

Communication

I had a very frustrating experience today at work, and writing this poem was my way of dealing with it. I like to think something good came out of the experience.


She never gave me the chance
To change
To improve
Or even to listen
And my mind-reading skills
Have never been reliable
I know where I started
Was not what she wanted
Now I know
Now, after the letter
Why was she silent then?
Why did she expect me
To know her mind?
Or think just like her?
Doesn’t she know
You can’t get
What you want
Unless
They know
You want it?
It’s no wonder
I think
That she works
With dead people
They don’t require
Communication

There was a way I saw the world

Another untitled and undated poem that I’m relatively certain was written in spring 2006. I have a sneaking suspicion that while I was thinking of someone specific when I wrote it, more than one person was holding space in my emotional mind when this came bubbling out of me. The first time I read it after rediscovering my poetry journal, I knew exactly what this poem was about and when, until I realized that this had to have been written in 2006, and the incident I was remembering occurred at Christmas in 2014. Weirdly, it actually fits the second incident more literally than the first.


There was a way I saw the world then
And I will never see it that way again
Your are no longer a prince
Nor I a princess
Though we laugh in the rain just the same
We sat under the stars and talked
About everything and nothing
And I loved you again, though differently
In some ways, we are twin souls
But at times you feel oceans away
How strange that we should speak
Under the stars
Together this one time
And tomorrow smile at strangers
As we hug and part
Heading home