Another Poem About Grief

Katrina Kaye

Stop trying  to be strong.
You do not have to make vows or resolutions or promises.
You do not have to put on a brave face.
You do not have to be patient or kind or tough.
All you have to do is allow the reality of the events to wash over you.

You will have the rest of your life
to learn how to live again,
to become the person you used to be,
or a new stronger version of your former self,
for now, survive, in any way you can.

The days won’t stop,
no matter how you may wish them to do so.
Time doesn’t stop for a broken heart,
although we wish it would,
although it feels like it might.

You do not have to listen to their
sympathies if it does do not suit you.
Be silent. Be alone.
If conversation doesn’t provide comfort,
let the calls go unanswered.
You have nothing to prove.

Let the coffee grow cold in the mug.
Look for him in the familiar places.
Reach out to his side of the bed.
Collect the pictures, all of them you can find.
Leave the television on so that you can chase off the silence.
So you feel less alone. So it can lull you to sleep.

Your armor and shield have been taken from you.
Feel shock, feel helpless, feel overwhelmed.
Feel nothing at all, if that is what it takes.

Your world will not be rebuilt in a day,
A week, a year. It will not be rebuilt the same.
It will never be the same. Nothing will.

Learn how to breathe without him beside you.
Learn how to speak to a man who will not be able to answer.
Learn to walk on your own.
There is no rush. The world will wait.
There is time.

For now,
grieve in whatever way suits you.
Survive the day, hour by hour,
survive the hour, minute by minute,
second by second.
The world will continue.
All you must do is survive,
survive, survive, survive.

Silence

Katrina Kaye

Silence sat
still on the
corner of
cheekbone
and 12th street.

It goes unnoticed,
defies the wind,
flits the skin,
begging recognition.

It is the same
silence that
barricades the
veins with oversized
platelets causing
the heart
to cease a beat.

Creating a moment
of complete
stillness between
our bodies until

with the tip of finger
eyelash is removed
and with pursed lips,
blown away.

Sunset

by Gina Marselle

The beauty of a sunset
is that it doesn’t wait for you.
If you wait a minute too long—
poof, gone.
Then you have to hope
for another chance, another day.
So don’t delay.
Take the time now.
Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Photo of the sunset taken by the poet on 8.6.2022 around 8:10 PM

Follow me on Instagram @musings_by_gina

Some Kind of Hero

Without a cape,
he flies.
Boundless love,
holding my heart
in his eyes.
He waits for my cue.
And he walks beside,
or follows with humbleness.
A gentle nudge or hug—
exactly what I need.
While he breathes,
I’ll never be alone.
My German Shepherd Dog,
never one more brave.
While I sleep, he guards.
Loving and loyal, his lifelong love
selflessly gifted to me.

~gina marselle

Follow my service dog in training, Beowulf, on Instagram: @be_like_wulf_gsd.

Beowulf. 6.5 months old #servicedogintraining

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

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.

Light

Selfie 1.28.2022

That Brilliant Blue Sky, image copyright to Gina Marselle

New Mexico Sunset, image copyright to Gina Marselle

The Last Ride, image copyright to Gina Marselle

My mom and I on our horses during a visit home from college.

My son and our dog, Strider, from 2016, image copyright to Gina Marselle

A slide in Las Vegas, New Mexico, image copyright to Gina Marselle

When I was in college in the mid 90’s, digital cameras were a novelty, maybe a bigwig newspaper had one. I had a SLR Canon A-1 35 mm Film Camera.
My dad bought it for me at a used camera shop in St. Louis, MO.

I felt like a
professional photographer.

I took a photography class
and became  obsessed.

The dark room
became my haven.
Light became my love.
Shadows and tones my drama.

Without light,
there is no photo.

35 mm film only has 24 or 36 shots per roll, and there is no room for manipulation
nor apps to fix mistakes.

In college, I worked to improve each shot, followed Ansel Adams The Zone System to determine the grey scale in all that I saw.

Fast forward to 2022, and iPhones make everyone a professional—-Instagram allows us to broadcast life with #hashtags and viral reels…

Now about that light—

I love that moment in the day where the light is so perfect. I don’t have to do anything more than aim, click. There’s my shot, a moment in time to share life for all to see.

A marvel.

Timeless.

A necessary light
to overcome despair.

A sunset to offer hope.

A selfie to offer self love,

a photo of a child to offer joy. A portrait of our favorite pet. The image of our love, a parent to remember lessons learned—-

O, to live in a time when photographs offer a distraction from anything.

And light is everything.

Gina Marselle
1.28.2022

Welcome 2022

at precisely 11:54 p.m. last night my dog woke me up–

his cold nose in my face.

then I heard the knowing boom.

fireworks.

he hates fireworks.

he just wanted on the bed.

i moved over, he curled is 110 pound body in the curve of my legs,

he breathed a sigh of relief.

usually he soothes my anxious moments, now it’s my turn to soothe his.

as midnight grew closer, so did the fireworks, gunshots,

hoopla.

everyone in my house is asleep, except me.

listening, watching, waiting.

i almost missed the new year.

10, 9…

i am desperate for a new year like a whelped pup is for milk.

the wind is cold outside,

but the fireworks pop. pop. pop.

8, 7…

the soft rain isn’t keeping the merriness at bay.

i counted down earlier in the night with husband and son,

we did sparklers, sprayed silly string and threw pop-its.

we were merry–

ate moist donuts and juicy pomegranates.

6, 5…

watched Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, played chess, sipped Shirley Temples.

discussed resolutions: stay positive. move forward.

cherish the day.

count your blessings. one. day. at. a. time.

seek joy, love, and hope. always hope.

say your goodbyes (to my mom, Betty White)

4, 3…

may we finally see this pandemic turn into an endemic.

the world is worn out.

our Christmas tree lights seem to sparkle with more heart.

the rain falls with emphasis now, as the world eagerly celebrates.

2, 1…

Happy New Year.

—gina marselle, (C) 01.01.2022

Happy New Year | Midnight 2022 | Gina Marselle

Listen to the poem here: https://m.soundcloud.com/gina-marselle/welcome-2022

Atlantic

Katrina Kaye

I always knew
you would be leaving.
The Atlantic has called you
ever since she first saw your hands,
ever since she first
watched you take a picture of her
with the photography of your mind
and place her colors to canvas.

She adores you 
and she is calling.

I am no match to her pull.

She is not alone.
Your mailbox overflows
with eager offers.
Everyone wants a piece of your madness.

Yet, I had you first,
and selfishly want to tether you near.
I want every painting to be a sunrise we watched.
I want every part to be you and me.
I want to wrap myself in
this home we have created.

But there are oceans in your eyes,
and when you look at me
I see crashing waves and city streets.
What can the desert offer such a boy
with a mind for the minute
and hands like yours
always drawing themselves.

I knew it was just a matter of time
before you work your way east,
leave me to the west.

A Fairytale

There is a toxicity that seeps into my spirit–
something already broken by you–
a thief in the night that robs me of sleep
until my nightguard reminds me:

you should not invade my dreams
as you do my daily thoughts.

And yet, during the day, I analyze old messages,
carve a path through past conversations
to see if I can find where those toxic toadstools
released their spores and told me:

“you deserved all this cruelty”
“you will never be enough”

These words are wolf-snarl in the back of my mind.

This is how I always envisioned you when we were children–
but you were never a child, always more beast–
a rabid wolf with teeth bared, saliva dripping
as you spat in my face.

There is no soothe for this kind of burn
and still I seek repair;

I dump buckets of water on a burning house
that strangely resembles our childhood home:
where the wolf lured Red Riding Hood
and told her she was always alone

but fairy tales were never real there

if they were, maybe I would stop trying
to find your most redeeming qualities.

And here is the irony:
if you were anybody else,
I wouldn’t keep following those toadstools
to the wolf’s house;

but we were borne of the same womb,
so even with your teeth bared,
don’t I owe you my survival
and my life?

Didn’t Little Red always owe the wolf
everything for leading her home?

© Maxine L. Peseke, July 2021