Poem –

“How strange to think of giving up all ambition!” – Robert Bly

A duffel bag lifetime of ambition,

because that was what I thought I should have.

Not just write, but be read.

Not just read science fiction,

but be scientist, astronaut.

Not just read National Geographic,

but dig up those mummies for myself.

A childhood of dreams,

around the nugget of

‘what do you want to be

when you grow up?’

Who I saw was my mother:

housewife at the sewing machine,

making dresses at all hours,

to supplement the nearly empty pay packet

my father brought home

from that mysterious place called ‘work’.

Until the question was asked,

I had no thought of doing

beyond being who I was,

experiencing each day as an ocean of lolloping waves,

to be swum through, drunk down,

buffeted by.

What did I want to be?

Who did I want to be?

Me.

Poem – Remembering Genesis

“and every memory you have – will begin

at Genesis.” – Nina Cassian

Just a small nip, sir, at the base of your skull.

Nothing more than a woman would feel

if a doctor used crocodile scissors

to break her waters.

(In other words, quick and painful,

uncomfortable in the extreme,

but we don’t say that to patients,

or in our publicity vidverts.)

Soon, you’ll remember the ninety per cent of your life

you’ve forgotten.

Superb meals, childhood friends,

all those things that have gone to mist

will be fresh as the full blown yellow roses

you can see out the window.

Why, sir, soon you’ll be remembering your own birth,

and back through time to Genesis itself.

Your component atoms will inform you

of their lives before life itself.

Overwhelm? Madness?

No, we’ve never come across those problems.

(Because we’ll be gone from your suburb

before you can complain.)

We’re so glad, sir, that you’re the first of your friends

to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Just tuck your chin down to your collar bones,

and take a deep breath.

Soon you’ll be remembering your first kiss.

My name?

Oh sir, that’s one thing you won’t remember.

Now just breathe out, and here we go.

*****

Blogging – screaming into the void

Blogging is a weird beast. I started it back in the heyday of livejournal, and used my blog as a daily journal for my whole life. It was at a time in my life when I was working three part time jobs, but still struggling for money, I wasn’t yet diagnosed or medicated for depression and anxiety, I had teenage children, and my love life was a mess. And I was shoving writing around the edges of all that.

All my old fannish friends found me on livejournal, and then more and more people started reading me, hanging off the saga of my life. When I got married, and the great adventure of Satya’s Love Life was done with, people lost interest, and drifted away.

Then, I stopped blogging so much, because life got busier.

Then, the big livejournal drama came about, of it being sold to Russian something or others, and security compromised (mind you, everyone knew who I was). Many of the old livejournalers moved to dreamwidth, and I was there a couple of years, but never did much with the blog.

Now I’m here, and am blogging about my life again. The big difference is that scarcely anyone comments on blogs any more. They like/heart/thumbs up, but no one says anything. I can’t say I’ve made one friend or connection from two years of modern blogging. I made some lifelong friends in the livejournal heyday, some of whom I’ve met in real life.

But now…..quite a few bots follow me. I hope they’re enjoying themselves. And there seems to be a breed of people who constantly like and follow blogs in the hope that they’ll get followed back, and then they can sell me something. I’m sorry, but I don’t want your course/bitcoin/frozen peas.

If you follow me, or like my posts, WHAT do you get out of them? Who are you? Why are you searching wordpress, and what for? Who do hope to connect with, and why? Are you real? Are you a person? Where do you live? What do you think of yellow roses when they’re in full bloom?

Poem: Snow White

She stands in the woods,

in a circle of elements:

earth, air, fire, water, metal, light, dark.

She stands within the circle,

a deer’s heart in her hands:

and offering to the Gods.

She calls within the circle

for protection from a woman

who wishes her dead.

The Gods take her offerings;

the elements are seven small men.

Her entreaties are not enough.

The men have knives,

and carve her like an apple.

The Gods sup their fill.

All is quiet again in the forest.

Poem: happiness

“Happiness. It comes on unexpectedly.” – Raymond Carver

Happiness. It rides in

on a keyboard, clock jangling behind,

crashing and lilting into the ground.

It’s sitting easy in the saddle,

no spurs needed,

despite a whole town’s worth of spurs

for sale in every shop.

A Lee Van Cleef of happinesses,

dark hat dusty,

to show it’s not always the good guy,

but sometimes, just needs the sun off its face.

Deep into editing, I realise I’m happy,

playing with words.

It would need a lasso to pull me off

this cowpoke trail I’ve written myself.

I trot along with the clock shot to pieces,

and the sun kept off my face

by a broad-brimmed hat.

A week spurring myself all over,

and now that I’m in motion,

it’s easy, and I’m as soft as old rawhide.

The words mill slowly, like cattle.

Poem: The Sludge Is Heavy Today

The unfortunate thing about depression –

apart from the medications that make you gain weight,

think slower, dry your skin, flatten your hair,

give you the intuition of an avocado –

is the dulling of colour.

I can see outside the red roses,

deep and dark in their centres,

like me,

as vivid as ever amongst green and yellow leaves,

one heart staring in through the window,

unblinking in its love for me.

But, the petals aren’t shining

the way they used to,

before the pills.

I used to see glow in every flower,

haze radiating out around each living thing.

Now, the curved lines or straight,

they are clear

the way my mind will likely not be

ever again.

Today is wading through warm swamp.

An afternoon’s study completed,

for nothing, forgetting everything as I read it.

The white butterfly skims the crimson roses,

while I lumber, slow as treacle,

to get my camera.

Even the rose’s eye sees faster that I do now.

Poem: after the rain

It rained all night,

but there’s no sign in the garden

that water was anywhere but with-held.

The hard grey soil cracked to drink,

but let gallons flow away

across the path and into the gutter.

Those moments you’re thirsty

for whatever isn’t in the fridge.

Water, milk, lemonade –

you sample them all,

but still your cells cry for something.

I’d give my garden what it wants,

if only it could tell me.

I crave switchel –

water and cider vinegar,

but I doubt the roses want that.

The fork plunged into the heart

of the vampire ground

still doesn’t give enough access.

What it needs is long, slow and wet,

and not what’s coming –

a desert planet.

Poem: Rapunzel

You could have been just another baby,

dead in the womb from lack of nutrition,

or an unwanted child buried in a garden.

Magic made your mother crave,

magic made your father steal.

You came into the world,

because of rampion’s good innards.

So while you pace your tower room,

cursing your birth,

cursing the witch who brought you here,

spare a thought for your salads and soups,

and that you are eating

what you are made of.

Your hair is strong,

because of rampion.

*****

Poem: Why Make It Harder?

WHY MAKE IT HARDER?

Why do that to yourself?

Why teach an old bitch new tricks?

It’s not as if he cares.

He can’t tell you.

They’ve told me for twenty five years:

not ‘boy’.

They’ve told me for twenty five years:

‘girl’.

They wanted to please their father,

so ‘boy’ to him, and the tolerance of car print pyjamas.

They wanted to please the speech therapist,

so ‘boy/girl’, and a glance to see

if they’d be punished for that.

They made choices with difficulty.

Perhaps they are a third, sixteenth,

twenty-seventh gender.

They have no words,

so I’ll not know.

There are no signs, no pictures

for where we’re treading.

Maps long out of date

say ‘everything’s fine’

when there may well be dragons

over the horizon.

I have to believe that,

on some level,

I am trying to make the world

see them as they are.

So they/them it is,

and all you old bitches,

all you old dogs

can learn a new trick or two.

It’s hard,

but maybe next lifetime,

it’ll be easy,

and it won’t matter so damned much’

who’s wearing blue or pink.

Junk Mail Junk

From the junk mail folder this morning: “Hi, I’m a separated cougarr…”

I had a vision of someone jointing a chicken. Ew. If that title was meant to seduce me, it hasn’t. Sorry porn bots.

Separated Cougar

Come back to me,

you who dwelt inside.

The one who knew she was astronaut,

writer, dreamer, dancer,

naturalist, mystic, alien.

Come back with my dreams,

pad over with daring,

adventure, heart thrills.

When did the undergrowth envelop ,

and make it easy for you to hide.

Is the river too wide,

the brambles too thick?

Cougar, come back,

and show me how to hunt

new dreams.