Category Archives: Free Write Wednesdays

Sunset Reflections

Written on the gold-speckled beaches of Coronado, San Diego
Written on the gold-speckled beaches of Coronado, San Diego

The softest sand I’ve ever felt nips between my toes

Like the downy stroke of a newborn calf

Nostrils open onto untold worlds: Salty and filled with coconut tears

I lift my soul to the sea, allowing it to thrush through my veins

Leaving markers behind, as soft whispers tend to do

I am Aphrodite with gossamer wings: Fragile but beautiful

With power burnt deep into hollow bones

Move me with your persistent trick

Your silent cry for timeless mercy

Take my hollow bones and make them your temple

So they may be fragile and weak

No more.

We Are Energetic Beings

We Are Energetic Beings

There is a sphere around us.

Translucent and weightless, it encases our every movement, clear as cellophane, invisible to all except the inner eye of our sixth sense.

It constricts around us like a second skin under times of duress, clinging to our forms as fear, anger, and pain sucks out the air cushioning the space around us until our brilliant sphere is flat and concave.

There it stays, stuck to our skins, until it can be filled again by hope, by love, by a breath of peace that gently expands our sphere like a bellow, giving us room to grow, to breathe.

And yet throughout this dizzying melee, this dance of ins and outs, we cannot see it. We can only feel it.

We feel it in the urge to step away when a stranger steps too close, their sphere pressing invasively against ours. We feel it when we enter a room and sense immediately the fight that just ripped the air with its violence, although no words have been spoken. We feel it when our loved ones approach, and everything around us gets bigger, lighter, more precious.

We live within these energetic spheres. And when they constrict, when pain or illness or death or life impedes our ability to love and live openly, we feel trapped within our own skins, our bodies becoming a prison from which we can’t escape.

This is when we must fill ourselves with love, with friendship, with purpose and passions that excite and entice us. This is when we must consider what fills our sphere, what stretches it wide with visceral energy, fizzing brilliantly around us like champagne, encouraging us to reach, to grow our sphere even further out into the world.

This is when we must name the draws, the energy thieves that pull from our sphere, making it smaller, crushing it on top of us like an avalanche. We must name them so that we can refute their hold on us. We must tell them: You no longer serve me. You are not welcome in my sphere. You take away from me, so that I, in turn, have less to give myself, my beloveds, both that I have met and those I’ve yet to meet. You constrict my world, hold it closed like a snake’s embrace, and my world is too beautiful to tarnish with your smallness.

We must name them all: people, places, objects, actions, thoughts that spin unchecked in our heads, scripts we’ve not yet learned to change. Ones that tell us we deserve less than we do, that we’re not miraculous, sensational creatures just the way we are, deep-seated beliefs that refute the undeniable truth: that we have an extraordinary gift to give the world.

We must reclaim our spheres, omitting all we can that no longer serves us, consciously feeding and filling the space with love and wonder and gratitude for the wide-open future, so full of beauty and possibilities.

We are energetic creatures. And as such, we can choose to be depleted by holding onto parts of our lives we have the ability to release. Or we can open our arms and choose to be filled, so that we may bestow our unique genius onto the world: our greater, collective sphere.

Let us choose to fill ourselves, and by extension, this sphere that holds us all, uniting our world as one.

 

** Many thanks to the incandescent Tyler Bel for providing the inspiration for this piece.

I Am Dawning

Today I got up before the sun

Breathless

My heart clanging high against my ribs in a rhythmic dance

Like the pots my parents would bang on my return after some great achievement

Fear lurked in each shadowy corner of my room

Stinking like milk left out on the counter

I didn’t know why

My heart clanged high and I didn’t know why it stretched me wide with wary fear

Up I stood

My naked feet padding against the rough nubs of my ancient carpet

Fear following close behind

Why, I asked him

Why are you here

He said nothing

Which only served to remind me that silence can be the scariest sound of all

I emerged into blackness

Turning on lights throughout every room

In hopes the glow would chase him away

The morning air blew frigid from my kitchen window

Trees outlined against the opaque sky like hulking demons

A practice in shadows

Bewitching me

As I floated in the hour between dusk and dawn

Feeling wrong, all wrong

And then at 5:54

The cock crowed

And Fear fled from its cry

As the indigo sky slowly flooded with light

Transforming the heavy canvas into a pale blue sea

And I realized as I sat there

Hot folds of steam wafting from my tea cup and painting my nose and cheeks with its warmth

That I

Trapped within the confines of my mangled body

Ravaged by illness

Have felt proverbially waiting in that witching hour

Frozen just before the dawn

Breathless

As my broken body shudders and transforms into something utterly new

And a smile perked my cheeks in tandem with the rising sun

Words so clear and long forgotten reverberating into the clean morning air

That it is always darkest

Just before the dawn

I took a sip of tea

The soothing liquid cascading down my throat

And I watched the sun rise

Bringing with it a new truth in my heart

I am not my Fear, lurking, obscure in untold shapes

Abstract and unknown

I am the rising sun

And I am

Dawning

Nature, I Reclaim You

“Nature, I Reclaim You”

Nature. I reclaim you.

I reclaim your sweet smelling grasses, your sappy stalks.

I reclaim your golden, radiant warmth, and cool, refreshing breath.

I reclaim the musky scent of earth beneath my feet, the balm of your salty oceans.

I reclaim it all, all your majesty, majesty I have quaked from in fear of one life-altering parasite, the one that stole my health without so much as a thank you, and left me bereft in the dark.

Too long have I let fear keep me from your life-giving beauty.

Too long have I denied myself the restorative serenity of your face.

Today, I reclaim this right.

I will be incarcerated no more.

I will feel your life on my face.

I will let your breezes fan my skin.

I will imbibe the ancient and breathtaking beauty that is you.

Nature. I reclaim you.

…..Bug spray. You’ll come too.

“The Face in the Mirror”

Hi, everyone! I’m back! I had a rough several weeks there, and my writing took a hit. Brain fog, am I right? (All my fellow Lymies just nodded in sage solidarity.) I did, however, manage to write this poem on a dusky April night a couple weeks back, and am finally ready to share it. It’s not a lighthearted warm and fuzzy read, but it’s real. I’ve since alighted to a better place, but I felt this was important to share.

Cheers, The Foda

“The Face in the Mirror”

I’m combusting, she said.

Like cellophane squeezed over too much bread.

I’m bursting with nothing but skin to contain me within.

These emotions

Beholden to anyone living and learning while tucked in a body that

Screams in the silence.

Each cell like a prison,

For my cells are violence incarnate.

Cells selling me out so they erect

a cell wall;

Make it tall

so the coup is complete, yet I can’t claim defeat.

Oh, to replete.

To replenish.

My stores are empty;

I’ve used all my wares,

and I’ve still so far to go,

she sighed with a far-away stare.

You’d think, she remarked, I’d get better with coping.

With overriding this ornery statue of limitations on hoping.

My world is a pinwheel;

It spins in shades of blue

and what more can I do

and will I ever be normal like you?

So give me your prayers, she asked quite plain,

and I’ll show you my heart.

It’s brittle and beaten,

But just like a gem, you won’t know its strength until it’s been

Dropped.

Do you see me now, she asked, and I nodded with her in perfect align.

And our eyes filled with dreams

long spilled

and sorted to grace a shelf of some other time.

The face in the mirror.

The face that is mine.

On Purpose

“On Purpose”

Purpose found me on a dare
I was sitting there all unaware
Blissful
Wistful
Dreaming of dreams so easily attainable I forgot to
Leap
Just a pebble’s throw and off I’d go
Into the fray
The hopscotch of wishes
Throw a stone, see the potholes, and hope that it misses
Hope you land on two feet
Hope your turn isn’t lost
Then this illness reared up and I found out the cost
The cost of living and giving your future to fate
To always being a stone’s throw away from
Purpose
Or chance
And my gamble was strong
I fell through the cracks with nowhere to belong
And now as I hobble through one-two-three-STOP
I don’t cast a stone to determine my lot
It took years of illness to teach me this truth:
The chalk may be drawn
But the jump is all you.

“Upon the Eve”

Merry Christmas to everyone whose greatest wish is to find health in a box under your Christmas tree. This one’s for you!

 “Upon the Eve” 

Picture it

It’s Christmas day

Laughter spills into the air like milk you don’t want to wipe up

Pooling in your soul ‘til the barometer reads full up

Twinkle-dee and puddings plum in your eyes and in your tum

Garlands? Check. Presents? Duh.

That little bowl of green and red M&Ms winking at you from a-top the ivory Spode tablecloth

Silly cookie names that make your inner child giggle although you’d never admit it

Case and point: Australian nut balls

Hee hee

(No judging)

And yet tonight, upon the eve

Your thoughts may string together like christmas lights

Wondering: how will I make it through the day

On a day of holiday cheer

On a day I must appear

Happy

Normal

Healthy

Content

When the other 364 days of the year

I am

Not.

I wonder this on Christmas eve

Curled up in my plaid pajamas

Worry congeals my harried thoughts like day old macaroni and cheese

Making my blood hum an out-of-tune sonata

Then he enters

(No, not Santa)

Rubbing sleep from his eyes in squeegee motions

Come to bed, he says, his hair sticking up like the grass on my second grade classes’s chia pet

And just like that

I get it

The big slap in the face

It’s not about health or gifts or wreaths or pudding I can’t eat or chores I can’t do

It’s not about whether I’m tired or how hard it is to climb the stairs to my sister’s house

It’s about just one thing

The only thing, when all is said and done, that really matters at all

Love.

 

“The Iron Wind”

“The Iron Wind”

I looked out on the frosted moor

My mind did wander, took a tour

It sent me back to days gone by

When dream I did, and need but try

Yet youth was wasted ‘fore my time

My course was jackknifed on a dime

And now I must ply dreams with fate

My choice accommodate or wait

My shell won’t go my throat won’t sing

I know not what each day may bring

Yet as I traversed through these woes

A steely iron wind doth blow

It blanketed the earth below

And shoved me where I dare not go

Into the icy wilderness

Where sharpened blades my feet do kiss

I stand in place, my breath is smoke

I’m all alone, my spirit broke

And yet the iron wind does blow

And shows me where I dare not go

Where every step the ice impales

And every breath drags in like nails

But still I stand and pray to grow

My arms outstretched, my cheeks a-glow

And through a cloud a ray of sun

Spotlights my life and tells me run

Run even if your legs cannot

Dance in your heart and with each thought

For one day you’ll be here again

Your body matching what’s within

You’ll look out on the frosted moor

And thank God for what came before

This time is rare, the journey long

But it will serve to make you strong

And then the light it did retreat

Yet in my soul was born a heat

To live where iron winds doth blow

To go where others dare not go

And so I walked in stocking feet

And thanked the icy blades as sweet

For courage coined must come through fear

And roses grow where thorns appear

“True Beauty Is”

“True Beauty Is” 

 She looked with trepidation at the clouded surface of her eye

Offset by purpled veins embossing sallow half moons below

Marking the sickness inside

As obvious as the red circle

Your english teacher draws around a misspelled word

Beauty is within, she murmured to herself

A daily litany

Used to combat the ruination of her feminine wiles

This illness had stolen from her

And so the years went on

Thinking herself less than she had been before

Because she could not prance or dance or stand up in pinched shoes and say

I am woman 

My body is an art form

That I will share with the world

And one day use to make another’s begin 

Until one day, she stood in the frigid night air

On a blustery December eve

Looking up at the inky sky

Spangled with stars, cloudless and fair

The light poured down into her still sallow eyes

Filling them with starlight and majesty

How beautiful, she thought

And it struck her then

Just how much we are moved by beauty

For true beauty will feed the soul

And her eyes opened wide

As she saw it

As plain and as poignant as silence after a storm

And her laughter spilled into the night air

For she’d been looking for beauty in all the wrong places

In faces, in inches, in health’s happy glow

But real beauty will not torment like Helen of Troy

Whose beauty sunk a thousand ships

True beauty doesn’t demand the ruination of another to support its worth

Like women who scan the room

To see whom among them is prettier than she

Her fingers tapped her forehead before raising them to the moon

A salute to the beauty that no one can tarnish

And she slowly continued on her way

Knowing that life can be beautiful

A feeding, inspiring, nourishing beautiful

So long as she steps outside the beauty that only lives through comparison

And simply steps outside

10 Lessons on How to Cure Cabin Fever from Yoda the Cat

10 Lessons on How to Cure Cabin Fever from Yoda the Cat

 #1: Stake your claim to the couch immediately. This may involve sprawling out on the centermost cushion so that no one else can possibly sit on it.

#2: Find the softest, fluffiest blanket and burrow into it, even if it means kneading at the fabric until it reaches the desired level of softness. So what if the trendy Ikat design now looks like a mohair version of Jackson Pollack’s paint splatter technique? YOU are comfy.

#3: Become fascinated by anything that moves. Ascertain that you are better than it. Then move on.

#4: Glare at all houseplants. Do not be fooled by their stoic silence. They are trying to upstage you with their prettiness. You are prettier. Do not forget this.

#5: Be that creepy neighbor who stares at passerby’s from between the blinds.

#6: Yowl if you are not fed fast enough. This transgression is unforgivable.

#7: Entertain yourself by knocking down small objects. If anyone complains, blink innocently and call it modern art.

#8: Greet any fellow cohabitants at the door and demand immediate attention. You are, after all, the epitome of cuteness, and as such, are deserving of EVERYTHING.

#9: Sleep. Stretch. Eat. Repeat.

And if all else fails…

Just poop on the floor.