Sunday, April 26, 2015

NPM: Taking Hold, Etc. (Part 1)

"Loss" circa 2010.

This is going to be one of those long posts. So roll up your sleeves, or saddle your horses, or gird your loins, or whatever it is you do when you get ready for a thing.

It has been thirteen days since I last posted here, during this month when I long to post the most. (Look, a rhyme! No, that does not count as a poem.) This is one of those times I feel like an explanation is in order, especially since it relates to the whole pre-cancer adventure and some of you might want an update.

During the first twelve days of April I started my "therapy." This involved taking a pill at the same time every day (or every night, in my case.) The first three days I didn't realize it needed to be at the same time, didn't realize that I absolutely should not have waited any amount of time between those 24-hour doses, and upon realizing my mistake worried that I had messed up the whole process.

But I didn't mess it up. Five days later I woke up mid-morning and began to experience the beginning throes of (what I've decided to call) healing. I won't give you details, because you don't need them. However, it has been tumultuous. I have been anxious, relieved, awestruck and dumbfounded and to put it plainly... I've just been a mess. 

And so during a time I wanted to be writing, and sharing, and deeply connecting with people, I found myself rather isolated. I found myself feeling abandoned. This "healing" has been a profound joy that I cannot share with the world, and the experience has left my heart vulnerable. It's day 9 of this long process, and as I'm coming out of it I want to rejoin the world with all of my words. There's not much as far as an update, except that the drugs are working. Round 2 starts May 1st, so hopefully they'll continue working.

Also, yes... I will be sharing thirteen poems. Six here, and seven in the next post. I would be so honored if you read them and told me what you thought of them--or you can tell me how they made you feel, or what they reminded you of. Not everyone likes poetry, I understand that. But right now they are my way of connecting with you, with the world, with life... so don't be shy if you have thoughts you would like to share.

1. Take Hold - February 22, 2015

We clasp together our wounded hands
and wander out here like orphans.
We hide our pain in the shadows,
we are silent and ashamed.

But you take hold and heal us,
you take us in like a son and daughter.
You raise our faces to the sun,
and we are overjoyed to be redeemed.

2. Crash Test - January 5, 2015 [edited April 26, 2015]

I am magnetized
back into your orbit.
I am drawn to the darkness
you made a house inside,
where you forced me to live
without oxygen.
I breathed only you
and thought someday
if consumed
you would simply set me free.
But all this time
I've been my own
and still I am possessed.
Still a prisoner.
Always wondering,
was I an experiment?
Did you bend me
just to break me
when the pieces didn't fit?
You let me crash and burn
but blamed me for who I am,
and now would rage
against the world
for not accepting
your love or your plan.
You told me
it was my fault
like I made the prison.
But the truth is
the chain of sin
has always been
your decision.

3. Meshed - June 3, 2014

Long ago, when we adored other men,
when the world inside our souls
was meshed without our knowledge,
when the air hung so densely
we could swim in its summer breath,
awash on the shore like
stranded changelings from the ether,
we met. A friendship swapped
between white-washed bricks
and solidified under a cherry tree.
We foraged like mercenaries
without causes for combat,
hunted madly like wild sisters
abandoned by our brothers.
The sun shone so brightly
we could taste it. So we drank
of the cherry blossoms blooming
and the green grasses reaching
and the sweet, bright rays
of that summer we fell out of love.
Today we soaked in it once more,
looking back on the storm clouds
that covered our silver linings.
A blue butterfly grazed my hand,
drifted from me to you to the sky,
as if it might have known
that in just another heavy moment
we would come full circle and
float back into the heavens.

4. Nobody Else - June 12, 2014 [edited July 2014]

**Author's note: This was originally a non-rhyming poem, but through the process of mourning a lost friend it turned into a short song on the guitar. I am really bad at playing the guitar, but the lyrics/poem aren't awful. So there you go.

I returned to life once,
having been on the run,
like a vagabond
But I came back to you
with my broken shoes and my
broken song,
wearing colors
I could not forget.
And you loved me yet.
You said,
No one could wear those
colors like you.
No one colors the world
the way that you do, you do.
And I don't want
to say goodbye
or watch you ride the train
into the sky.
But even if you asked me to
I couldn't keep you here with me.
No, there is nothing I could do
to stop eternity.

5. Be Mine - December 28, 2014 [edited April 26, 2015]

On a holiday, overcome with rage
not at my own circumstances,
I held at arm’s length the obvious,
regarding those lost second chances.
And my chest filled up
like a thirstless cup
with all the stuff a heart can hold.
The world ran for cover
as it all brimmed over
and I felt suddenly cunning and bold.
And within the confines of my body
rushed the longing for only what’s right.
Senseless with energy and without reason,
something in me just wanted to fight.
So I will look for the battle
through blitheness and prattle,
I’ll break boundaries and cross lines.
Somewhere a war needs a warrior,
and I will make it mine.

6. Make Me - May 31, 2014

My heart is stillness, it is patient
with all things, bears all things, it is
merciful and not ambitious
it exudes tranquility and peace,
it offers grace to you
and to everything
but me.

I offer myself bargains
and deals I cannot keep.
I barter and trade my best,
hating the thing inside my chest,
awake inside the void
hearing that damning voice
that just won’t let me sleep.

But I want
what everyone wants.
I want what they have
despite their faults.
So make me pick me
first in line.
Make me allow me
a second try.
Make me graceful,
or merciful, not hateful.
Make me offer it up
like a reflex I can’t stop,
make me give
the right to live
without limitations
or sordid hesitations,
without seeing failure
to go with the plan here
in my responsibilities and
unsavory obligations
to the bitter thing which holds
my heart’s place.
Someone make me give myself

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