Here’s some of the poetry I wrote last weekend at Catherine Deveny’s Gunnas Writing Retreat by the sea.
The most important thing is most easily forgotten.
Don’t find flaws
Don’t look for cause.
And when you’re struggling
When there’s nothing keeping you here
see the space around you
And swallow it as air
To revive the tiny voice inside
That asks you to push on
To run until that little spark
Begins to burn full song
The most important thing is
The thing most easily forgotten.
Just keep going.
Just keep swimming.
The bewitching hour
When dusk turns incrementally
To dawn then day
The women look as though they’re laughing
Shaking with skin on faces pulled tightly.
It is only when I approach, to ask directions or for assistance
They are flipping between laughter and crying.
I ask them if they’re okay.
They respond they’re not okay, I’m not okay
That this world we live in is not okay.
That everything is about to crumble.
That life as we know it (or think we know it)
Is about to morph almost unrecognisably
And they are laughing because what the fuck –
what a crazy cosmic joke this all is.
And they are crying because –
what a sad waste of energy and effort it has all been.
And they ask me
What I want to do with the last
dying embers of this life
This little crazy beating heart on this planet
And I shrug and say.
I think I want to love just a little bit more.
They disappear in a puff of smoke,
Leaving the cauldron bubbling on the fire,
in the woods.
pounding away for the last 49 years
often pounding ready for flight, fright or freeze
and when resting
this home I carry within
this more than mechanical pump
this locus of tidal waves of blood
some barely audible knowing
this is where that part of me
whom no one knows
that part of me that
the microscopic spirit babies knew and relied on
the one who tells me I’ve drunk too much coffee
with its insistent fast-paced throbbing
telling me it wished by Christ
I had not had that drink, coffee, joint, wine
where the tears live
and the fears live.
Everyone has one.
I think. I hope.
It has been broken at times
And felt like it wanted to give up entirely
But then, in the midst of the gasping awake from a nightmare
And being called upon to furnish the body with blood
Realises it is no longer in danger, as the nightmare fades.
This is home.
Just like the song
“In every heart
There is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds of lovers past
Until a new one comes along”
Beating longer than perhaps it should
Has found a pace
a rhythm all its own
In the quiet moments
It murmurs disquiet
If I listened
It might say
“Are we there yet?”
“Is that enough now?”
“Surely I am cleft in two
I drag it to bed
The loneliness seeping into it
From unmet expectations
Or just self pity
That beast of drains
And cold, damp, dark places.
But still it continues.
Both realised and broken
And when I wake
There it is again
Reminding me that there is still more
That I’m not done yet
And if I would just listen
And just be brave enough
To face those shadows
It may be able to rest a little more comfortably
In the internal neighbourhood.
(Oh and would I please not trash the place?)
(And if I could just listen more often
The whole community would be more pleasant for everyone).
The one who has been my constant companion through all these years
All the illnesses
The loves, full to bursting,
The belly laughs
Thank you from the very bottom of my being.
Home – (not really sure where that is apart from in my rib cage, surrounded by lungs, beset by arteries and maybe some calcium, and a little fat, spine behind and two large, pendulous breasts either side on top).