Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wayfaring Stranger

Surveying the fresh oblong finger mark bruises on my upper arm as I soak away the pain that has set in where blemishes haven’t even risen to the surface yet as they are so deep. I sit in rosemary for remembrance and healing, lavender to calm my jangled mess inside, and Epsom salts to pull out the pulsing pains that won’t let go. It is quiet. We’ve returned from a tangled trip where the Boy and I “got into it” or rather he had a sudden blush of anger and attacked and I defended myself.
Celtic music makes me very happy or it makes me very sad. Tonight I rested in the arms of a good concert at my church finding the path to grieve away my troubled soul. I tripped past the lilting lifts of violin and flute to run with the guitar pulsing in the background and keeping time with my selfish yet sacrificial sorrow for me and my Boy. He did not attend the concert with me. It was time I could cry in the dark and no one the wiser, but my husband, who was fellow soldier on the pew holding me up and binding his own wounds with the Celtic wash of wonder created by Jeff Johnson and his band.
Now at home, a broken belting Boy soprano voice breaks in on my bathing revelries as his room shares a wall with my tub time. He reaches out with his songs inviting his Mama to sing with him as he soothes himself to sleep. At first I listen, refusing to break the spell of slumber approaching, but then his volume increases and his voice cracking as he pushes to hear that familiar duet. He knows I’m there still in the tub and will I join him before he nods off? He starts sweetly crooning a song I cannot resist that I sang to him when he was a babe in my arms. This song instantly reminds me of my home, “Oh Shenandoah I long to see you…away, I’m bound away, cross the wide Missouri….” (I’m a Missouri girl.)
We sing with a wall between us, but through it we hear that “other” voice. It is the voice we both want to hear never stop singing---each other. I wish it could be as easy as singing our communication. I want this peace to last for both of us. I grieve for the solutions that haven’t come to help him not to do this thing he hates as he is so blinded by rage, fears, and his brain becomes short circuited to the point he hurts the ones he loves even knowing they are trying their best to help him. And then the weeping and worry overwhelm both of us as we break down trying to figure it all out. We hate it. We hate it so much. Autism is what the doctors tell us is the name of this block of stone that falls like a boulder on our heads.
It isn’t the “autistic” fantastic, better then sliced bread aspects of autism. There are some “neat” things that are a part of the brain wiring that makes a person so unique, but this part of it truly is puzzling. As much as some autistics hate the puzzle piece as a “symbol” of the spectrum, it is because there are those things that don’t quite fit or some things that fit together, but it is hard to assemble the whole picture. Those that object say, ”I’m whole! I don’t have any pieces missing!” I get that. We all want to be seen as whole beings. But what is that “thing” that disconnects and discombobulates a soul where they feel something is missing? Isn’t that a puzzle? I wish I could find that one piece I could put in place for my Boy that would fit easily as I declare, “All better, huh?” and he’d smile up at me and take my hand in such relief and we’d skip around giddy to have found the solution at last!
My bruises will make their way to the surface, turn colors, and then disappear again for a while. I want them to go for good as I can’t take much more. He can’t either. Tomorrow we’ll ring the doctor and research some more finding another path, one with more path this time and less overgrowth, I hope.
I stop singing with him as his voice continues to bellow out the last few strains. I say audibly, “Good night, son” and leave his voice to soldier on solo. He tries once more to engage, but I do not answer as I know sleep is the best course and he will keep reaching forth as long as I am there. I go upstairs where I’m out of range just to so he’ll settle. It works. He finishes that song and he says a few more things to himself and then no more sound. He’s asleep.
Perhaps he is what he sings. The autism wires him differently in a way that he often seems like the lyrics he loves so well. “I am a poor wayfaring stranger, while traveling through this world of woe….” And the second line which begins, ”I know dark cloud gather round me, I know my way is rough and steep, but golden fields lay out before me, where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep….”
I think he longs for something so much better as I do too in this journey. We are both so sure that God has something better for us when we are no longer in this world, but in the meantime, what can we do better is something we both are working on. I assured him, as we both sobbed out in the aftermath of the attack the other night that we will keep looking for a way to help him be in control of this lack of control so he can feel safe. We can feel safe. There will be a plan or place we get to that we  can sleep peacefully again getting past the woe and as sure as we both are of heaven we will be able to call this world for a while our home. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goodbye poetry month with 2 last ones---#34 & #35!

Not my most profound month of poetry. I just feel so dry and struggle to focus these thoughts. But here are the last two for this month of poetry. Until I write some more next year in April or the random post of a poem, if it is any good, at other times of year.

Chicken Face-Off at Sunset
One solo feathered feature
Sits quietly half cooing and half clucking
Her thoughts out into the deepening twilight
She surveys her tiny fiefdom
From up top of our chicken coop
Tonight she is ready
She guards the yard from dangers
Says our boy to all who ask
I think she is exploring her freedom
And it is fun to have her feathers ruffle
In the night air as the stars struggle
To be noticed from behind the cloud cover
She remembers the day and the two hours
That she is allowed to roam with her sisters
And fellow cooped up conspirators
That competes for bugs, slugs, and other
Creepy crawly delicious delectable
That enhances her diet and entertainment
The sounds she makes now is her satisfied humming
That tells us she doesn’t care to go anywhere
Until we get out the yellow toy shovel
To dislodge her daring
And send her back up the stairs
To what is a forced march
Our warrior chicken
Will face off with us tomorrow
In a match of magnitude
Swelling her chicken pride and heart

Before I Forget Again
I found a message in the bottom of my bag
I wanted a piece of paper
To jot down some thoughts
It was blank on one side
Perfect for that
I unfolded it and inside
The note struck a tone
Of a difficult time
That someone had reached out
On this paper opined
And written contact information
Asking me to write
I have not
I put it in my bag with that intent
Wanted to honor every bit of it
Now, a scrap, waiting for me to remember
I don’t remember what I was going to write down
The moment is gone and it doesn’t matter
I must write now
The note I did not
Before I forget

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poem #32 on this 29th day

Mega Monkey on Our Backs
Noah is more than the story
He has much to say
Than just debate today
There are animals galore
On a distant shore
But how did they get there?
The dinosaurs are mighty hard to ignore
The bones that are dug up from every floor
The ones that study them know much,
Except where did they go?
God spoke and behold the universe in place
Still, scientists are finding new things in space
Was God’s voice the explosion that began
All of this in motion?
It is difficult to discern
Against what we learned
Some want to burn
The opposite theory
Which makes me so weary
I believe God is larger
Than all of this arguing
He doesn’t need the bargaining
It takes faith to believe
In him or not
The anger changes
Not even one small jot

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another blast from the past poem

Three men named “Bub”…. Yep, I got lots of nothing tonight! Posting an old poem pulled from a random journal pull off my shelf. From August 2006

Book Bound
I collect experiences on my bookshelf
Dusty and forgotten or neglected
Never read but purchased with great intentions
To excel, succeed, and move beyond
This moment’s notice
To unstick my slow footed soul
From “habitual quick sand”
I pick up a title that particularly
Taunts my sensibilities
Looking over the title page
I find the chapter I most need
Tossing aside an hour I indulge
Playing into advice that
Formulates a new plan of sincere action
I write my list,
Stick it to my fridge
Amongst a sea of witnesses
Favorite photos of my far away family and friends
Tomorrow I shall write them about the plan
That will be forgotten by week’s end
When the book is misplaced or re-shelved
As the action plan is in my way
Of today’s work that has to get done
The books look great to those visitors
Who don’t know me
And have time to kill
They peruse my office
With the many volumes from yesteryear

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Poem #32 "Walking with Angels into the Night"

Walking with Angels into the Night
Rubbing eyes and head
To find that one more ounce
Of electric shock to keep going
My mind fuzzy from too many
Sudden jolts that come
Every hour of every day
I long for sleep
But when presented with it
I scoff at the notion
Of going there
No, there must be one more
Time, place, person, or word
To burn the night off
And see the charred beauty
After the fire takes
Everything else away
My bones sing and dance
Up from the sand
Reanimated with soul and sun
I stroll willingly into the furnace
walking with angels

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Poem #31 this month

When life gives you another kick in the head (read job rejection) write a poem!
A Path So Traveled
The walkway up to my front door
is paved with disappointments
Each stone is set in a cement mixture
of fear, anger, and dashed hopes
Somedays all I see is the path
leading to and away from my home
The path doesn’t change
but which direction I head does
When I walk away from the place I love best
it is dark and I cannot see
where I’m headed at all
I want to stay right where I am
And never stray beyond my yard
When I know it leads inside
Safe warm walls that protect
And allow me time to grieve, grow, or groan,
Till the walls close in
And I must open up the door
Then I see a bright path leading out
Into a garden, a new mountain to climb,
Somewhere beyond my little path
That is stuck in the ground
Immovable and there to keep me
Out of the mud and muck
Something to get me
From one place to another
Then I can step down
Stomp down, solid,
And dance away from home
With a new song
Joy washing all the
Desperate, doubtful, dubious, debris away
Making the path safe with no obstacles
To run back and forth on
Without slipping or new injury

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poem #30 thoughts on Dad

Since I only work about 10 minutes on most of these poem attempts, this one has some good ideas, but it is terrible form. Does it want to rhyme or not? It is clumsy and I’d need to work on it a while to get it into any kind of shape, but I think that is where my process of thinking about my Daddy is right now too---detailed, but not knowing what shape to be. Miss you, Daddy!
Fly Away Doc
My father was a funny bird
That flew the coop at a very young age
Not before working hard
At being a man while in child’s clothing
He taught his own father to read
By reading to him and teaching
A man more stubborn than
a country mule stuck in the mud
to open up his mind and become
someone totally different by believing
in what they read together
God’s word pried them both open
To the possibilities of loving
Each other and those around
Even though all they had known
Pulling up coal from the ground
Hands, faces, and insides black
They were scrubbed down
And found a way to relate
Dad still wanted more
He traveled to a distant shore
Not his choice, but the war
Dragged him onto a boat
That floated away his location
But never his ambition
He laid bets with those vets
Finding the bulk of his tuition
And the GI bill funded the rest
He did his best and became a doctor
His father found this less than fair
As he believed now that only God
Would heal him both spiritual
And physical and everything else a fraud
The thing that brought them together
Broke them apart at the start
In the end my father flew back
To Kentucky and his Dad
When his mother was sick
And his Dad was sad
Wanting anything to heal her
My father came in to assist
She didn’t make it
But it was for his and her sake
He came back to the nest
To give them both rest
And be the good number one son
When all things were done

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Alone poem #29

I saw more homeless people today in a short span of time in my suburb than I had seen before. I felt helpless and overwhelmed to try to help them. I failed miserably in doing much of anything.
The other night, I was talking to a long-time acquaintance/friend, she struck me as more lonely than I’d ever thought before and I tried harder to connect to her, but it wasn’t easy. Again, it seemed ineffectual.
I watched an episode of the History Channel’s show Alone and I thought about what surviving in this world takes and how we now deem that as “entertainment” and I felt like this is a very strange culture we live in. And a conversation with another mother talking about how hard it is to “change a culture”---all of this funneled through my thoughts tonight to form a poem to remind me that things do need to change for all our survival. I need to do more than just survive.
Lost in the Wilderness
In among the trees
Bear scat is everywhere
Showing that they live there
No person ventures here
Except creatures that growl or howl
Cold wet woods or on concreate
A man holding a homemade sign
With one word “hungry”
Looks past those that pass
Hurried customers reading the sign
Not checking-in with the man
Who holds it so tight
Night falls deep and fast
A woman types “like”
Clicking right and left
Too far away friends
Who “get” her but
She never sees in real time
She is glued to this one spot
Hoping the phone will ring
It almost never does
She sighs as tomorrow
She will walk past
The familiar spot at the store
Where that man waits
To be fed
She will run in quick
To get supplies
For her camp out with kids
that she teaches
And she knows everything
About them
But they don’t know one thing
About her
She goes out another door
So she doesn’t have to see
The hungry man again
He just wants a warm greeting
A place to wash
He wants real meeting of just one
Other person today
She has no time
To really talk and he could
Keep her too long
Though he is an expert
On how to avoid the bears
And things that go bump
In the night
She has fright
Of another kind
that the kindness
Will be taken wrong
And somehow he will tangle up
Her life and she’ll fall in a trap
By saying “hello” or “what’s your name?”
An unwritten contract will be signed
Ironclad and she’ll not know
How to end it
No, she has children waiting,
Students she has promised to teach
How to survive
In this vast wilderness

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Will! and other things...Poems #27 & #28

I usually attempt and succeed at writing some kind of sonnet to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, but my mind cannot settle into the task tonight. You get two disjointed poems and more prose than anything. We can’t all be the Bard!
Happy Birthday William and yes, thank you for your plays and many sonnets that inspire me daily!
Much Ado About Something
Come, come mist over
The water raging
And forth it goes
For pages
The flow of fast running words
That tickle and trip forward
To show past
In this present picture to make
A crack of open wounds and wonder
Our eyes leak
In recognition of our now
We lean in
Come and rest at this
Monument of feels
Our best meal
Satisfied we leave
Overfull and so very happy

Child ‘Hood
Deeper than the deepest well
Comes the toll of saddest bell
I know not how to fell
A permanent shade in my parts
Into pitch black my heart
Is thrown asunder
Under a rooted memory
Calling to me
When I hear my friends
Who also morn
The passing
Of a baby not born
Who breathed not
Whose cries were not heard
Or briefly held
To be taken
But they all remain
So close
We miss them most
The have-nots
With us forever remain

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sorry excuse of a poem #26

Just getting my required poem in before midnight. Pathetic!
Travel is the aphrodisiac
Sending a message
That this world
Continues to surprise
My every thought

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poem #25 "Swim Lessons"

I don’t think many or some nights anyone is reading what I write here. My poetry this month hasn’t been as good as some in the past, I admit. I’m not well in the zone, but I’ll keep trying as it is a good discipline. I write poetry from time to time, but April is the only time I write a poem a day or try to do so. 
This month I feel like nothing is coming up new and it is mangled forms and words of the past, but I must march on to get to the other side! Last night I cheated, because nothing was coming and I was all tapped out, so I started earlier on this one and wrote it during my son’s swim lesson as you can see from the title.
Swim Lessons
The air is so dense
It hits him from
When he walks in
with an odor
That smells like only
Its own asphyxiating mixture
Something he once trembled
Balked to enter into
Now he slips silently
Into the wet wonderland
To learn, to escape, to exercise,
Body getting the mind in line
To serve him once more
Into the breach
Of boy meets manhood
Arms turn over one, two,
Pause and under he goes
To come up for air
He pushes forward to the wall
Just a touch to turn around
And start all over again

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Way Back When Wednesday Poem from the past

I totally feel like cheating tonight and posting an “old” poem from one of my journals. Okay, here it goes! I will randomly select a journal off the shelf and turn to the first poem that is there. The winner is…written August 17, 2005. Our son was about six weeks old. And how appropriate for today! He is ever a “diamond in the rough”.
Father’s Daydream
A little bundle of grace
Arrived on my doorstep
Crying, drooling, and wriggling
from the beginning
to be a part of me
he is a meld of us
bright eyed, wide eyed,
looking so wise
but with so much to learn
he blinks at a rate
of the millions of moments
that will pass
“before we know it”
He gives us more meaning and connection
He will take our strength
Spending our youth
Like one thin dime
Our diamond in the rough
Cut by “the expert”
Spit shined with
Torn rags of love

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Poems #23 & #24 Yellow and a Boy telling me about bees!

I write in my office where I really do have a western facing window that gets super sunny this time of year. I interact with my curtains every single day.
And I interact with my boy every day also. He has days where everything is on repeat and today was like that. Today he kept asking me, “Mama, what is a honeycomb?” and “Did you know that a worker bee can go inside a honeycomb?” He couldn’t explain to me tonight why it was all about bees for a couple of hours today. Then later the subject finally turned to dinosaurs and then evolution and then creation and then we ended up somewhere in Siberia. And this was in the course of about an hour and a half. Hence tonight’s poems.

Sunshine Yellow
A yellow curtain
Hung to block out
The brightest sun
Each day I unfold it
Spreading it wide
To catch the rays
Those flood my window
Early as the sun
Rises over the trees
And stun my sleepy eyes
Like Mom shaking me
When I pull the covers
Over my head
I hide
The curtain closed
I feel like no one
Can find me
Like I’ve won
Hide and seek
In my cave so dim
Nothing on but
My computer screen
Blank waiting for warmth
From words to flow
And spread like light
Breaking the dark night
To bring on the day

Thought Building Honeycombs
Did you know?
Is the start to nearly every sentence
The light tone with a serious
Pull of wanting to know if I really do know
Or do I pretend to listen?
He repeats, one, two, three, four, five, six,
I loose count in the never ending cycle
It all whizzes by me in a buzz, buzz, buzz,
The lecture loosening his every thought
That tumbles like one pebble
That brings down an avalanche
Till I am buried under all the thoughts
Weighing us both down
He can float from subject to subject
Like a bee looking for that right flower
To land on
Yet when he does land
He can stay there
Until there isn’t one drop of nectar left
The flower has given its very life force
To be a part of his honey
And he flies back to store it
All his words are now at a full stop
I wake from my stupor
To fill-in the pause
It is too late
The silent worker bee
Is depositing his secret stash
In twisting chambers
Only he can fit into
Only he knows the path
I wait for another question
It is a long time coming
When he’s ready he flies
Out again on the hunt
For that perfect flower
Telling me when he’s found it