Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

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Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness,
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

The above quote is one I have seen roaming on the internet for years now, always the words, never the author. I only just found our today, It was written by the Pulitzer winner and incredible poet- Mary Oliver.

I have read a lot of Mary Oliver’s poems but connected with a only few- The poem I am sharing below is one of them. But then again, my choice of Poetry is something else. Either way, reading Mary Oliver’s poems gives one the sense that she is a woman in tune with nature. She writes a lot about nature and in soothing words.

Below is the poem I chose for this week’s writer’s Poem Wednesday. I hope you like it:

What can I say by Mary Oliver

What can I say that I have not said before?
So I’ll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.

Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.

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The weight of silence-

The weight of silence-

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To the women who watched him punch me and said nothing…
To the men who watched him tear me and did nothing…

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My arms were burdened with
Two children weighing heavy on
Me,
Run to where,
to whom,
With them?

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My body was pained from bruises
And contusions and lacerations;
Words now familiar to me, all
Thanks to so many,
Too many,
hospital visits.
He’d be on me before my shadow
Was out the door.
I could run, but I couldn’t.

I could say something, but I couldn’t.
What would words impact
The eyes that have seen fists,
Gracing my skin
Like a punching bag;
Seeing is believing I heard,
You saw- but you did nothing.
What has words gotten over vision.
I could say something, but I couldn’t.

So I caress my limbs with Ice,
And swallow my words
As darkness envelopes the sky..
A coward- maybe.
But how do you sleep at night
With your silence?

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

Writer’s quote: Mother’s love

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Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed…

Do the above lines sound familiar? Most of us grew up reciting them. I cant remember exactly who taught me the poem, or where I was taught. Was it in school? At home? By my classmates? All I can remember is knowing the poem.

This famous poem was actually written by Ann Taylor in the 18/19th century. It was written at a time when maternal and child care was poor, and a lot of mothers would watch their children get ill and die from illnesses.

This poem reminds me of Love. I hope it takes you down memory lane…

My mother by Ann Taylor

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother.

The beautiful image above is gotten from: http://www.bestsayingsquotes.com/quote/who-ran-to-help-me-when-i-fell-and-would-some-pretty-story-2003.html

The Love we withhold-

The Love we withhold-

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I kept waiting for the world to hand over to me, that which I withheld from myself. I sought for it, chased it, demanded it. That fuzzy feeling which one gets from being appreciated or loved or cherished.

I stood on tiptoes awaiting that one person who would make my world all sunny again, that one person who would make me feel like my presence is needed and my absence dreaded, that one person who would make me feel good about myself.

And what I got, was a ball of spitfire. From afar, it looked like a beautiful powerful light, just the kind to elicit the feeling of stardom, but up close… It burned. And I learnt, the world is a reflection of the image I view myself in. (I saw charred skin in the mirror, and the world gave me one).

-We cannot expect love from the world until we are willing to give that love to ourselves. And when we get to know who we are, we accept who we are, we love who we are, the world as we see it would be different.

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

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Have you heard of the term “Bystander efffect”. This came about after a 28 year old woman, Kitty, was raped, stabbed and murdered outside her apartment while 38 people looked on and did nothing.

This led to a research carried out in 1969, five years after Kitty’s murder, which was termed Bystander Apathy (effect). Basically, it proved that the more people there are available in an emergency situation, the less likelihood there is for someone to intervene.

Today’s poem reminds me of this story and forgive me for starting this post with a downer. But, I thought to share it because I believe we all need a reminder that as heavy as our words, our silence is also heavy too.

Town watches them take Alfonso by Ilya Kaminsky

Now each of us is
a witness stand:

Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.
What we don’t say
we carry in our suitcases, coat pockets, our nostrils.

Across the street they wash him with fire hoses. First he screams,
then he stops.
So much sunlight—

a t-shirt falls off a clothes line and an old man stops, picks it up, presses it to his face.
Neighbors line up to watch him thrown on a sidewalk like a vaudeville act: Ta Da.
In so much sunlight—
how each of us
is a witness stand:

They take Alfonso
And no one stands up. Our silence stands up for us.

https://biologydictionary.net/bystander-effect/

Hope- a 4 letter word

Hope- a 4 letter word

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Hope-
Without it
I would be, a mess
Of a person, a shadow
Of a human, a remnant of
Someone who could have been;
Without it- I am nobody.

So I hold onto it,
Arms weary, feet dirty
And I cling onto it,
Mind boggy, heart aching
And I claw deep into it,
Fingers piercing
Last mechanism.
And I do not let go,
Despite the darkness
Building around me.

Hope-
A four letter word
Without which…

The above image is courtesy of THE odyssey online

No judgements here-

No judgements here-

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You see the scars,
Displayed upon my skin;
Each bearing a story,
(Humorous of course)
Of a rebellious kid:

The 10 stair jump,
The bull chasing scare,
The crawling on limestones,
For the reward of a lollipop.

You see the scars,
Displayed upon my skin,
The ones with most impact
Though- I hold within.
Safely guarded:
From all’s prying eyes,
From questions whose answers,
I’m not ready to divulge.

You see the scars,
I let you view;
Don’t judge the whole me, 
The real me,
From just your pieces.

 

 

At the coffee shop-

At the coffee shop-

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I look at every person and wonder
what demons they are hiding,
what secrets they keep buried,
The turmoil they are going through,
the tragedy they’ve experienced.

I wonder,
At the reasons behind
the anger,
the irritation,
The smiles,
the nonchalance.

I wonder,
As I take my spot,
Of whom I’m standing next to;
What made your life the way it is
What fuelled your coffee passion.

I take my cup,
Head out the door,
Knowing no more than my guesses.
I wonder if they wonder
What I wonder when our eyes meet.

Agoraphobia-

Agoraphobia-

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He looks like someone,
Who has seen enough of life
To know,
It is not all hunky dory;
There is no pot of gold,
At the end of the journey.

He stands ramrod straight,
slouching,
Only to give a penny,
To the old lady on the street.
A man who is more than,
What the world sees of him.
But I do… see it.

After all,
What else does a home bound,
Fear stricken, panic roped,
Woman got to do but watch.

And I watch the man across the street
Whose smile, is like a warrior
Out of a horrific battle,
Happy yet knowing-
As bad as it was,
Even worse things lay out there.

And he fades around the corner,
Into the unknown….
I look around my walls,
Imprisoned by irrational fear,
Restricted to my limited knowings.

 

Writer’s Poem wednesday: Arguments

Writer’s Poem wednesday: Arguments

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Have you ever met a person who is so vehement and adamant in his argument even though he is wrong. And that’s not all, the argument does not end until you agree, what the other party is saying is right (even if it’s wrong). Well, today’s short poem by Wendy Cope touches on that topic. Whatever happened to the good old “let us agree to disagree“?!

I have been in situations, where there was an argument and I stood by my point; and after checking the facts, it turns out I was in fact wrong. I say, just silently let the argument die out or admit that you’re wrong. It is that easy.

Talking about silence, I know I have been awol this January but, I do have a reason. My Network went off since Sunday night- No calls and no internet; something to do with a national blackout. Turns out, I can survive without my phone or internet.

Long story short, it has been fixed finally- I can post, read, like, again. I will try to post a poem tomorrow, My Mental Health Friday post on Friday and a Flash Fiction story on Saturday. Below is the poem by Wendy Cope, hope you like it.

Differences of opinion by Wendy Cope

He tells her that the earth is flat–
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learnt to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.