Janus

Janus

Which face to wear?
Looking forward
or back? The past,
both blessing and weight,
does not cease to be,
even as what will be
approaches. To know
both is not possible,
yet one gives insight
to the other. I wear both.

This is my response to Reena’s Xploration Challenge # 264. It’s January, and Reena asks us to consider Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and endings, who is depicted as having two faces.

Shared with OpenLink Night LIVE at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Jamais Vu

Jamais Vu

Should I wake
and fail to find familiarity
in the face beside me
or the arms that surely
have embraced me, know
that I would want you
to hold me even closer,
whisper in my ear words
to wake within me memories
of our moments together,
that I may once more know
the joy we have shared.

 This is my response to Reena’s Xploration Challenge #251: Jamais Vu.

Jamais Vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer’s impression of experiencing something for the first time, despite rationally knowing that they have experienced it before.  Jamais vu is sometimes associated with certain types of aphasia, amnesia, and epilepsy.

With Resolve ~ with audio

 

With Resolve

Would I be that person again?
Am I not, still?
The anger that stewed within is gone,
resolved with understanding. Loss
weighs heaviest when dismissed.
Recognized, accepted, it still lives
within me, an empty space
never to be filled yet always holding
those who cannot be replaced.

This is my response to Reena’s Xploration Challenge #241, which offers this line as inspiration: “The only ghost that scares is a past version of you.”

Shared with OpenLinkNight #321 Blast Off!

Longing to Belong

Longing to Belong

How can I belong when I long
for something different,

when life holds little
more than disappointment?

I take a deep breath every time
I wonder if I’m meant to be here,

yet I continue to listen
when my voices ask these questions.

How can I dismiss them, any more
than dreams that offer alternatives?

I am most alive when I embrace
the anxiety they hold.

Is it madness to question
whether I am where I belong?

 

This is my response to Reena’s Xploration Challenge #231. Reena offers a video poem, “How to Be Alone” by Pádraig Ó Tuama, as inspiration. I’ll embed that video, but here is a link to the text of the original poem: How To Belong Be Alone | The On Being Project

 

It Was Never You, nor I ~ with audio


 
It Was Never You, nor I

But we both know it was the children, sad as that is to say,
for the gift they have been. Your direction and mine,
different as night and day, had one exception,
their well-being and success. Discord
may have been evident, but not forefront,
as we gave to them what we could not give
to each other, a love that is true and unending.
There was no sacrifice on our part in fulfilling
the only desire we truly had and the reward it returned.

But that time has passed. It is now time
for us to follow our own directions.
Yours.
Mine.

This poem is in response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #171, which is to use the provided image/dialogue, “take it forward from the perspective of the opposite gender, not yours.” I initially wrote this as a short prose poem, but I feel it works better with stanzas.

Regarding the prompt – without trying to sound sexist – I’m not sure if this works, as I once was told that I don’t do well in capturing “the female voice.” And I don’t mean the audio recording.

It Was Never You, Nor I

But we both know it was the children, sad as that is to say, for the gift they have been.
Your direction and mine, different as night and day, had one exception, their well-being
and success. Discord may have been evident, but not forefront, as we gave to them what
we could not give to each other, a love that is true and unending. There was no sacrifice
on our part in fulfilling the only desire we truly had and the reward it returned.

But that time has passed. It is now time for us to follow our own directions. Yours. Mine.

Also shared with Did you know you’re in my circle? — the OpenLinkNight at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

 

 

Stories I Did Not Create ~ with audio

Reena’s Exploration Challenge #166 offers two short pieces as inspiration, to be coupled with an image, our own or found online. Of the offered short pieces I chose the following:

inkblots mutate
to form pictures,
alphabets,
stories
I did not create

The image is one I’ve used here in the past. It shows me on my fifth birthday, in 1958. Our family tradition has been to place an extra candle on the cake, for good luck in the next year, as mentioned in this Wiki entry. (Something tells me that blowing out candles on a cake will become a thing of the past.)

Stories I Did Not Create

Decades to come, too many to count,
when I look to the past,
see stories I did not create,
stories that unfolded before, around me

Will I follow the inkblots that mutate
to form pictures and create alphabets
to understand the elements that came
to define my perspective?

What does a child know of these things?
There is only now. Before and after,
anticipation and regret, these we create.
Will I understand this, then?

Donald Downer

Donald Downer

What deeper descent than this lift?

Falling
Falling
Falling

Our attendant
Lips pursed
Beneath brim of red hat

Offers no excuses
Only promises
Of a living hell

The doors open to reveal
A hell no different than
The last four years trapped with him

A swift kick out the door
A simple X on a ballot
And we leave him behind

What sweeter ascent than this lift?

Reena’s Exploration Challenge #160 offers this scenario:

You go down in a lift that doesn’t stop for hours.
When it finally opens, what do you see?