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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.

A Small Detour

If you are familiar with my blog, then you know I have been posting a new series of recorded poems, starting with my publications in 2015, which came after a lengthy hiatus.  I am going to continue with the older poems, but at the suggestion of my friend Kim, I have recorded my most recent Visual Verse contribution.  And, if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Kim’s poetry and her blog, I Tripped Over a Stone, you absolutely must!  Kim is a fiercely loving, kind and talented woman, who I am grateful to know and to learn from.

If you would like to read the original publication of this poem, with the image that inspired it, you can do so here.

How to Say Goodbye

 Promise you won’t forget me,
even when my name
has faded from your tongue.
Remember how I looked
into your eyes,
a season of storms
passed from a mother to a child,
how the strength of an ocean
helped you feel
less afraid.
I would have reached through flames,
cast thunder into a sky
filled with the stench of despair,
to save you
from the horrors of violence and greed.
Promise you won’t forget me,
even when my voice
has turned into a whisper of petals,
caught by a spark that changed
the shape of time.
Feel the imprint of my fingertips
wiping the tears from your cheeks,
and remember,
I will always love you.

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Lies of the Light

I am so tired.  Tired of the weight in my heart that makes every breath an agony.  Tired of the wicked machinations of my mind.  I am tired of feeling numb, of trudging through the muck of writing that feels soulless and without pulse.  I feel as if I am supposed to love to write, but I am not sure I do. I feel very disconnected from it, from the catharsis of it.  The result seems to be that everything I write has no essence, no feeling. I am tired of feelings.

Some may call this place darkness.  I used to call it darkness, but that isn’t the truth.  In darkness I feel safe and alive.  It is in the light, the oppressive and bright light, that I feel unbearably heavy, exposed, frail.  The light makes me want to hide, to fall to pieces and turn to dust.  It weighs on me and mocks me, a foot pressed like a noose against my throat.  It blinds me.  It lies.

I crawl on my knees through a maze that always leads me back to the door of a mind that has been severed.  I am a rat in a trap.  I am not special.  I am not different.  Life doles out cruel strokes to everything that breathes.

I am so tired.  The words that come next have been trapped beneath the light.

Lethargy

In continuing my recorded poetry series,  I am sharing the second of three poems published in Stepping Stones Magazine in 2015.

If you are interested, you can subscribe to my YouTube page here.

Lethargy

I am silenced by grief.
By shadows and blindness and the infernal heat wave
that coats my city like an itchy, heavy blanket.
I am coming unhinged.
I try to climb up through my lethargy,
snap my pieces back into place,
but the gravity of your absence pushes me
down on the floor, where blindness doesn’t matter
and the silence is intoxicating.
If I am perfectly still, the chaos won’t touch me
and my ghosts can’t find me.
If I rise to the occasion of my creative pulse,
I may burn up in the greedy spark of my fear.
Darkness chases me through the passages of my life,
whispering that I am useless and defective.
The sacrifice is my voice.
It is a sacrifice I am not yet willing to make.

 

Twenty Five

This is the official beginning of my Recorded Poetry Series.  I am starting with a poem that I have posted here on the blog, numerous times; in fact, the very first version of it was here, but it was also the poem that began my relationship with an amazing editor, Heather Lenz, and marked my reconnection with poetry and a writing life.   This version is from the official Stepping Stones publication in 2015.  The poem is called, “Twenty Five”

Twenty Five

Twenty- five years ago, I watched strangers
lower my mother’s body into the ground.
It was raining that day.
The soil swallowed up her oak and pink satin casket.
Heavy.  Cold.
Not a place for a woman whose laugh lit up rooms,
whose touch soothed even the deepest aches.
My breath and heart plummeted into the hollow earth and
I broke into pieces that scattered in the rain.
For twenty- five years I have been collecting them.

 

 

Please feel free to check out and subscribe to my youtube page.

Recorded Poetry Series

I was thrilled and grateful to get such a positive reaction to the recordings of my poems, and so, I have decided to continue and turn it into a proper series.  Here is the introduction.  More poems coming soon.

You may hear a little meow in the recording of this; that is my youngest cat, Poppy!

How to Say Goodbye

I am honored, as ever, to have my work in Visual Verse, alongside so many talented writers.  If you would like to read my poem, you can do so here.

The Sun Creeps Up and Swallows Joy

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to read and listen to these poems from The Opiate Magazine.  I am, as ever, so moved by the kindness and support of this amazing community!

This is the third and final poem from the 2019 Winter issue of The Opiate Magazine, along with the recorded version from my YouTube page (to which you can subscribe if you choose). Continue reading “The Sun Creeps Up and Swallows Joy”

Road Trip

I am contemplating doing a series of spoken versions of my previously published poems.  The three poems from The Opiate Magazine are my test run.  I have never done a reading or an open mic, or read my poems to anyone except Joe and the dogs and cats, so please bear with me as I work out the kinks.

This is the second of three poems from the 2019 Winter issue of The Opiate Magazine, along with the spoken version from my YouTube page. Continue reading “Road Trip”

Counterfeit

I recently received my copies of the Winter 2019 issue of The Opiate Magazine and I am super proud to have 3 of my poems in the issue, next to the work of so many great writers. This is the first of those 3, along with my first attempt at an audio track via YouTube. Continue reading “Counterfeit”

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