Monday, October 25, 2010

when lightning struck

I was turning out my beside lamp
when suddenly
my head was smashed
with an explosion of pain
and light and bright
and a wave of dizziness knocked me backwards...

I wanted to scream
to throw up, to cry
to bury myself under my comforter
to pass out and float away
to oblivion...I didn't care where that was...

It was raining outside,
a lovely lullaby of pitter, patter and ping...
Instead of rocking gently to sleep
lightning struck me between the eyes
in the shelter of my own room...
The only thing rocking me
was a migraine that legends are made of...

When did I get trapped inside a jack-in-the-box?
Up and down...Up and down...
I've had headaches like this before
but not in awhile...
Up and down...Up and down...
I couldn't remember what to do?
Let me out of here...please...please...

I rushed to the bathroom sink...
I thought that I wanted to throw up
but I didn't...
Cold water...I splashed some on my face...
As I'm drying my face off
I notice my reflection trying to tell me something
but my head starts pounding and I'm dizzy again...
All I can think is make it STOP!
Make it stop before my brain escapes... 

I put my head down on the cold bathroom counter
wrapping my arms over it and squeezing tight
as if this will hold everything in...
I need to take my pill.
I need to get my ice bag.
I need to drink a real coke.

I left my head resting on the cool bathroom counter
where I felt temporarily safe...
but the feeling was gone with a FLASH!

Fireworks...I love fireworks!
Why are they stinging?
Why are the fireworks blasting straight into my eyes?

Memory is a peculiar entity...
sticky, adaptable, adjustable, precarious...

Somehow I ended up on the family room couch
curled into myself
like a snail within its shell
hoping to protect my head
which seemed so soft,
so destructible...

Rain was falling in gentle circles
on the pale blue surface of our pool
when David came to wake me up
and guide me to the warmth
of my own bed

"Go back to sleep," he says softly.
"You need your rest after lightning strikes."
I think I was smiling as I closed my eyes...

I slept on and off
as the rain fell
sometimes gently, sometimes not
that whole gray day

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

rainy days are not free any more

I have always loved rainy days...
but now, it seems like with most things in life
there is a price to pay
for the simple pleasure of a rainy day

As the rain approaches
the air shifts and swirls
the atmosphere and
the barometric pressure are rapidly changing
and the climate inside my head
is dancing, foggy and like a thunderbolt
about to knock me over

I know that I will have to take my migraine meds
it's all the other little tiny tolls
when added together
total quite a tidy sum

My bones wine and whimper
then screech and moan
My eyes pulse and throb
I don't want to leave them open

I'm not very sociable
and I start poking around
deep deep inside myself
trying urgently, recklessly
to solve all the puzzles
of my life, salve the wounds
sort out the child

I don't know if it's the medicine
or the companionship of the rain
it just happens...

It's nothing like the "mud-luscious"
"puddle-wonderful" world e.e. cummings describes

So with one eye half closed
tucked under a bag of ice
I stare out the window
putting all the energy of the painter
and the poet inside me to work

The gray sky is translucent
shimmering like a pearl...
When the rain begins to fall again
it makes a light tapping sound...
Is someone trying to send me a message?

Then the pace picks up
wrapping my window
in a curtain of thick crystal rope...
Lightning crackles...
"Spells are being cast," I think...

I lean back against my pillow
feeling all the potent magic
I remember about rainy days
wrapping around me like a shawl

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the nice girl

Nice is one of those words...
the kind that isn't very exciting to use...
a word when paired with someones name implies,
she's boring, bland, plain, dull, prim, prissy, proper...
or she's a goody-goody, a namby-pamby, mealy mouthed,
too nice for words, she's ordinary, okay, vanilla...
Who would want to know her...
or be her...
but the truth is, lots of us are her
we just don't see ourselves that way
until the nice girl dilemma slaps our nice little face

Before I continue, I must also say
that my trusty Synonym Finder also describes nice as
agreeable, friendly, cozy, elegant, benevolent...
as well as polished, gracious, understanding and sympathethic...
I think more of us nice girls might actually see ourselves this way...

When someone is using our very niceness
as the way and means to hurt us,
over look us or keep us where they want us,
all they see is someone who is kind,
has good manners
 and would never dream of making a fuss
as they are stepped over...
anything that splinters or shatterers
collateral damage...

When I was a very little girl
I used to spank my favourite dolls
crying as I did this,
"I love you but..."

As I think back on this legendary tale
from my childhood
it's easy to trace the beginning
of my nice girl...

when butterflies made all the noise

I have been
a woman who whispers
hiding under hats
behind dark glasses
my voice still water

committed
to inverted screams
that ricochet
against my ribs
how much longer
can I survive

never offending
never defending
butterflies are making more noise
than I do

Saturday, October 9, 2010

the play dough heart

The other day, Ethan and I decided to play with his play dough...
it had been awhile
but soon the familiar rhythm
of pulling and pushing
tugging and rolling
took over
along with the intoxicating familiar aroma
and the neon colour palette
that shouts "Childhood"  "Fun"  and "Create"

We worked or played
it doesn't matter
side by side,
companionable
with Ethan needing very little help...
he's almost 7 now...
the soft pliable dough squishy and delicious
in our hands

At first we created free form, sculptural shapes
poking and prodding the dough
this way and that...
then Ethan decided we should use the cookie cutters
which was fine
until I was lifting my freshly rolled and pressed
bright turquoise heart
 from the little red heart shaped mold I had used

As a writer and poet
I confess to being thrilled
when I am working
trying to describe something in a fresh, new way
and from my pen
as if by sorcery
flows a particularly dazzling metaphor

and there I was
holding this little heart made of play dough
my heading exploding with this fantastically wild metaphor

I imagined my own heart
inside a play dough can...
had I put it there for safe keeping
during this particularly tumultuous year...

and if I was the one who put it there
why could so many other hands
take it out and touch it...
use my heart for play dough...

This year, one of the strangest
most bewildering and pain filled of my life...
my heart has been rolled over
pushed, squished, pulled,
tugged, torn and pounded...
even cut and twisted...
just like it was made of play dough

and if that wasn't enough
it was left out of the can
to crack, get brittle
and dry up
so it's no longer soft
and resilient

As I was finishing this story
about my peculiar metaphorical journey
I remembered a little verse I wrote
many many years ago
I'm not exactly sure why...
maybe my mind connected the words,
play dough and crayons
but it feels like a good way to end...
 
can we still use crayons
to make our dreams
more beautiful

I believe this...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sleepless on the moon

This weekend I was in Palm Desert, California.
We took Ethan there to visit his Grammsy-Papa...

Whenever we have a sleep over,
a pj party, he talks and talks
and then he talks some more
 until finally he drifts off to dreamland...
usually a prearranged destination
where we've planned to meet up
and share a magical, mysterious night time adventure...

I would have liked to join Ethan
 for our dreamland rendezvous
but as usual, sleep did not come
quickly or easily...

At first I was quite content
to watch his sweet face in repose
he looked so peaceful...
sweet and content
amongst his pile of animal friends...

His head was resting on Big Ducky
his suddenly longer limbs blanketed by Lilirosie
and Mischa was just beneath his toes
Besides Gaby, on top of the pillow under Big Ducky,
there was the most important Da and Amigo,
Bruiser Boy and Pancake, the stuffed dogs
 Little Gramma, Little Hempa and Little EJ, the owls,
Prince Snow Jade, his Unicorn and Golden Gamma, his dragon

It was truly a bed made of magic...perfect for dreams...

Why couldn't I lose myself in all that coziness...
The soft rhythm of Ethan's breathing,
the familiar comfort of sleeping poodles' snorts and sighs
I should have been lulled to sleep like a baby
but there I am, restless, achy, a bit melancholy...
my head a bee hive of activity
and now it's 2 o'clock in the morning...
The way my mind was jumping
it could have been 2 o'clock in the afternoon...

Overwhelmed with sleeplessness
I decided to treat myself
to the pleasures of the desert night

Quietly, I opened the door,
stepping out into the courtyard
followed by my three sleepy but nosy poodles

Desert nights are mystical, glorious, sensuous...
 looming large and feeling ancient...
I take a breathe and look up at the sky
and I'm lost in a cavern of midnight blue
stars shimmer and pulse and glow
from every corner, from every angle
high and low, so close...so close...

My only disappointment that there is no moon...

Then a silly little thought flickers by
and I grab it
and it begins to grow
taking on proportions, a sort of life force
of its own

Would I be sleepless on the moon?
Would it matter?

What makes me sleepless here, on earth...
To begin with, I don't know what to begin with...
So, I'm just making a list
and noting that the order could be rearranged
depending on the night in question...

my cluttered mind
headaches
MS pains and aches
stress
worrying aka my cluttered mind
a frayed heart

I imagine myself floating on the moon
would I be sleepless...
would it matter...