On days like this

Katrina Kaye

One days like this
I feel like the pills
stopped working, that
I need a higher
dose and I consider
calling my doctor,
saying I can’t
get out of bed, saying
there is nothing
here for me.

On days like this,
I hug friends for no
reason and don’t let go.
My dog’s brown eyes make
me cry when I have no time
to take him for a walk,
and I think I need a
new prescription,
to call someone,
to disappear for a while.

On days like this,
on days like this,
I think of my mother
and how she has made it
through days like this.
I must make it too.

On days like this,
on days like this,
I think of the clever words
I should have written
in bathroom stalls
in big, black sharpie marker.
I think about what
I should have be said
the last time we met
and how that moment is
forever gone.

On days like this,
On days like this,
I think of the woman driving
the bus the same age as me
and wonder if she’s happy.
I think of all the little
lost marbles and pens
that never had a chance
to run out of ink.
I think about the rock
not pretty or special enough
to be collected and
the way the world ends
when you die.
I think of the promises
I made to myself and
the silence that came
when I broke them.

On days like this,
on days like this,
on days like this,
I don’t know if I can
make another day
like this.

BURNT OUT

by Gina Marselle

“We are learning that before the body can become a temple, it first must become our home.” ― Lucy H. Pearce, Medicine Woman: Reclaiming the Soul of Healing

The field is black
The clouds are white
Burnt out
I’m alone
Dreams fade
The tunnel narrows
Like a river
And I move
One way
I’m walking
And there are no sounds
Other than footsteps
Breath
It is as if the world is empty
And death is scary
Maybe life didn’t frighten Maya Angelou—
But here I am at a crossroad again
What do I know?
What advice do I have?
Other than–

Wisdom fades with memory
Or brain fog
My autoimmune disease
Attacks relentlessly
Hashimoto is its name
It has turned my world upside down
It starts with my thyroid–the mother of my house
This disease kills my hormones
Boosters my anxiety until it is a Jedi
Until I am bedridden with a fatigue
Unexplainable to anyone not fighting for their very life
It is death with eyes open and shallow breaths
It has been too long since the green fields of joy
Touched my toes

Transparent

Katrina Kaye

I am nothing,
if not transparent;

skin a shallow
cloak
clearly
spotted with
intentions
colored and
shaded by layers
of cells
unfurling.

I am missing teeth,
the stubbornness
of religion; I am mourning
more than I thought I would.

I am combat.
I am ridiculous.
I am nothing
but a smile
and a lazy morning.

I am coated in silent patience
and an empty womb; I am settled
in the sunlight of afterthought;
a million miles removed.

I am nothing
if not easy to
see through.

I am ghost,

transparent,

nothing.

Against the tides of war

Some of the best dancing 

happens at home in the kitchen, 

in the living room. I don’t often

dance, but sometimes a body 

needs to shake off shame

of the world. Right now, I dance 

as if there were a deep ocean 

at the meeting of my thighs, 

one there to keep invasion 

at bay, a noble prevention 

of blown-out buildings, 

of bowed heads. All 

of the horrors that go 

with war. We have been 

watching them unfold, 

shocked, even though 

we knew they would come, 

knew they would be there 

in this new war. 

*

Long ago, the goddess looked 

straight ahead like a deer watching,

like a wolf, like a lion, a bear. 

She cast spells of love and justice 

with each spoken word. 

The goddesses today 

have been made into statues 

with lowered gazes 

as if the air were already dust.

*

I dance in the kitchen 

with lights on, music eases 

out of speakers. I want to dance 

hard enough to sweat, for rain 

to fall, for peace to be 

a spell we can still cast.

—Liza Wolff-Francis

National Poetry Month, blog entry; heart/garden, poem

In an effort to return to the root of my passion in poetry, I’ll be revisiting an old poem to enter into National Poetry Month; I’ve never been one to discipline myself into an agreement to do 30 poems for 30 days and so it seemed more appropriate instead to flip back in my notebook, of all the poems written from Saturday’s Sirens poetry salons, and find something that resonated with me still. I think the power in poetry is not only in the power or relief you find in writing the first draft, but also in how it sits with you, weeks or months or years later. Sometimes this is like visiting with an old friend for coffee and not skipping a beat, other times this is like meeting a stranger and somehow feeling as though you’ve known them for decades. This poem, particularly, was written on my birthday, July 17th, last year, and brought me back not only to the joyous summertime salon, but of warmer days and sunshine, while Northern Ontario spring still sits trapped beneath snow. So here’s to finding a safe place carved into the ice caverns of my heart, as I await warmer days again.

heart/garden

there is a room carved out of my heart,
a dark cave with scarlet-and-purpled walls;
there is an echo of a beat-beat
that vibrates with safe words:
passwords to my innermost soul
that whisper gateways to a place where there is

no anxiety
no lingering sadness
that drips from cavern walls
and forms stalagmites of regression.

in one of these rooms, there is a low swinging light:
a teetering stalactite,
which wards away the dark thoughts.
they can’t invade, they have no place here
in this room of scarlet
and burgundy and gold.

flowers grow in the arteries of this heart-room,
tree trunks make the ventricles;
and hollowed out inside, there is a safe place;
a secret garden of my heart-mind,
where moss grows over the places
where enemies once stayed.

here, even bitter memories
that carry the tang of copper,
that are as biting as a paper-cut,
become sweet,
eventually.
here, everything is in bloom again:

like spring,
where I lay on the soft moss
of my fallen worries
and put myself to sleep amongst the rubble
and wake to renew, repair,
resurrection.

there is a room carved out of my heart,
where everything is a garden.

© Maxine L. Peseke, July 2021/April 2022



Spring Garden

g.marselle

3.26.2022
I root and dig for bone, shell,
and radishes.
I find potatoes and worms.
The peppermint is sprouting.
Its green, creeping stolons
are stark against desert dirt.
My dogs dig.
They find little treasures.
A bird’s beak,
a steak bone.
It’s like a witches brew
instead of a spring garden.
Still, I dig
allowing the cool earth
to slip like blood
between my fingers.
The spring air is unseasonably warm
and hope travels
as songbirds whistle,
as ants wonder in and around the mint.

Disintegration

Katrina Kaye

I am no longer
tied to
the tangible.
I spread
wings. I fly.
Dripping
flesh from bone,
leaving cells
skipping
into the wind.
I wasn’t built
to be statue.
You knew it
the first time
you grabbed
my hand and
it dissipated
like sand.

 

Waiting for Tragedy

(For the people of Ukraine)

Today, we stare at the architecture of war,
how core and studs crumble and quake
after an explosion. It seems we have lost,

the ways we look at our humanity,
forgotten how to connect with wildflowers
if we don’t own them. I peek, as I can,

from my screen into the blown-out
buildings to try to uncover something deeper
about this attack, to understand

the appeal of killing another human,
of taking of their cups and saucers,
their quilts, their children, their shoes,

their photos. We can chalk it all up
to power, but it seems like we’re making it
okay again to lose lives, to invade

a country, a people, to steal a place.
The humanness that spills
from the mounting bloody rubble

of war is stuck between tanks and guns.
The couches, baby toys, wooden tables
where families sat to share a meal,

a daily routine, toasts, and memories
left behind to the bombing of humanity,
the grotesque secret of us revealed.

The unsacred sacrilege of murder
that war calls for, sketch of bravado
or terror until collapse;

the tallest bombed buildings of homes
speak first with their height,
then with a stumble in the wind.

-Liza Wolff-Francis

Sunrise

gina marselle

“The moment is constant. The moment seizes us.”

from the final scene in the film, Boyhood

moonrise at the end of the day

it’s such a miracle to see the bright

sphere through

naked tree branches

just this mornin’

sunrise swimming through

creamy clouds

we all witness this wonder

but how many actually marvel

knowing it is this moments

reminder of life

your breath

should not he taken for granted

carpe diem, better—

carpe omnia

or better, less cliché—

allow the moment to seize you.

I have learned

Katrina Kaye

We spent the first part
of Sunday digging a splinter
out of his foot on the back stoop.
A cloudy, windy morning. A painful,
yet bearable procedure.

The splinter callused over 
so we broke the skin to dig.
I began the excavation,
but after so many flinches
and moans, I let him do it
himself.

I have learned it is easier
to inflict pain on yourself
than to let someone you love
do it to you.

The splinter was a stubborn
thing and by the time it was
out there was a hole of pink
flesh and clear pus left in
its wake. I did what I do best
and cleaned the open wound.
Alcohol, antiseptic, and bandage.

He said a bandage wouldn’t hold.
It will help, I say, I have learned
it will help.