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Stories From the Edge of Blindness

In 2002, Retinitis Pigmentosa changed my life. This is my story of a slow approach to darkness.

Month

April 2018

Poetry is Where I’m From

It seems only fitting to end National Poetry Month by re-visiting an incredible poetic adventure and challenge that I had the good fortune to be a part of.  It was a journey of words, histories, friendship, illumination, trust and absolute beauty; an exercise that showed just how powerful poetry can be. It was inspired by Brooke, a woman who weaves magic into everything she writes, and who invited others to find the magic within themselves, through poetry.  What could be cooler than that?

The extraordinary poems were written by, Brooke, Tom, Wulf, Bojana, Tanya, Miriam, Brad, Elizabeth, Steve,  and Kim

The adventure began with this poem from
George Ella Lyon.

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush,
the Dutch elm
whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down.
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–
snapped before I budded–
leaf-fall from the family tree

 

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Enchantment

I came across this quote a couple of days ago, posted in a blog I read called, A Writer and Her Sentimental Muse.  I loved it and found it to be an absolutely perfect final quote for National Poetry Month!  Thank you Carrie Ann.

Poetry is the gate through which I enter the land of enchantment.  Once inside the flaming wall, my limitations fall from me, and my spirit is free.
~Helen Keller

Poetry Crush

My husband knows that I am madly in love with him and he also understands that every once in a while, I develop a poetry crush.  I can’t help it.

I discovered Jonathan Humble’s poetry last year, through some amazing poetry journals.  Every time I came across one of his poems, I held my breath and took in every word, as if each one was a gift.  His writing is achingly beautiful, steeped in melancholy and introspection, but as I read more of his work, I found out that it can also be  whimsical, satirical  and sweet.  His writing voice has immense range, and no matter what he is writing, he has an incredible power of language.  I know that, like me, once you start reading his poetry, you will develop a poetry crush of your own.

“Then it Rains”  and Invitation to Move On, are two of my favorite of Jonathan’s poems.  Read them, and then listen to him read them, and then read them again and again.  They are exquisite.

Then It Rains

You ask on my behalf to rise and leave,
to dress without the hindrance
of bootlace worms returning at our feet.

In vain we anticipate permission from spiders
who watch in shadows, spinning webs
that constrain all action.

Standing, squatting, sitting, we are opposed,
resisted. We are tangled marionettes,
linked with quantum string, each responding
with confused counter movement.

Blink my dears; so many eyes feel the tension
of our unseen bonds. These rainmaker thoughts,
connected across a web of reverberating nonsense
and countless coils, speak to me with jaded explanations;

there are no options again today. So you tell me
that we have to stay and wait.
And I have to listen. So I listen.
Then it rains.

~Jonathan Humble

The Uprising of a Guru

Bojana has a fire in her that cannot be quelled. She is brilliant and unapologetic.  She loves fiercely and is incredibly kind.  She is an immensely talented writer with a story that needs to be heard.  She dances and rages, lives with her eyes open and boldly walks her own path.  Bojana is not just a rebel, she is the rebellion.
Continue reading “The Uprising of a Guru”

Firecracker

It is hard to find words to describe Kim.  She is electrifying.  Kim is bold, strong, hysterically funny, brazen, smart as hell, the epitome of a tough cookie, and through constant pain and facing seemingly endless adversity, she wrote a book, she writes for more than one blog, and she makes everyone who meets her feel like they are special! She has an incredible history and is a fantastic story-teller.  She is caring, compassionate and beautiful. She is a total firecracker. You will love her blog!

And, I discovered that Kim has been hiding something from all of us…..Kim is a poet!

It began with the acceptance of a challenge to write a Sidlak poem, then a Love Poem in response to the Where I’m From adventure, and then Kim led me to another poem she wrote which was published in The Immortal Arts.  It is a heart wrenching poem, simple yet heavy with sadness.  It is the capturing of a moment in grief.  It is beautiful.

A Poem by K. Lynel

I walk down the familiar corridor
Their eyes meet mine then search the floor.
Even though they called for me
They cry.

I suck in my breath, my shoulders pull back
My father is seated in a white plastic chair.
My brother is quiet, he has gone
He is no longer here.

I kiss his brow, cold and salty
His eyes no longer search for me.
I whisper go home now, you are well
And you are free

I reach out to my father saying we must go
Kory is not here anymore, he is home.
I feel my breath betray me as I shutter,
And finally, I cry.

 

 

Danse Russe

Love, perspective, and the deepest emotions have been gifted to me so many times through poetry. Poems are endlessly teaching me about other people, about myself and the world. I write poetry to gain an understanding of the facets of humanity and to immerse myself in the magic of language.  I read it for the same reason.

Continue reading “Danse Russe”

Blank

I turn good things into dust, eradicate their grandeur and rebuild them into turrets of self doubt and loathing. When something good happens, something I should be proud of, I tarnish it with thoughts that it was a fluke, something that will never happen again. Whatever it is, it isn’t good enough. It will never be good enough. I will never be good enough.  I am blank.  I am afraid to write, afraid that what I believed to be in my blood is only vapor, opaque and insubstantial.  Afraid that I am insubstantial.

The affliction of self loathing, like blindness, feels like an unwelcome guest that creeps endlessly across the landscape of my life.  But, do I invite self loathing?  Is it a habit?  Some clichés are true; old habits die hard.  Or perhaps it is a stirring in my blood, adhered to my bones? Have I learned to loathe myself, or was I born with self loathing in my heart? No matter what I do, what I write, I am still the ugly girl, the child that shouldn’t have been born, the one who failed to do what she was meant to do, who failed to fix what was broken, and then broke apart from the weight of failure.
Continue reading “Blank”

2nd Quote Day

This will probably be my last day of quotes, so I have chosen 2 from one of the best writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Thank you again to the incredible person and writer, Steve, for selecting me for this!

Amy Tan has always been one of my favorite writers.  She weaves magic with a precision of language, in a way that no other writer can. And, she also seems like a super  cool lady!!!!!
Continue reading “2nd Quote Day”

Quotes – Day 1

I don’t usually do these challenge things, but when Steve nominated me, I couldn’t resist.  Steve is just a super cool, inspiring, smart, no bullshit guy, and I adore him!  Follow the link above and check out his incredible blog! Thank you Steve for selecting me to participate in this challenge.
Continue reading “Quotes – Day 1”

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