Banshees - NaPoWriMo, Day 23

What I must look like from the outside.
I can almost understand
the banshees that scream against us.

All they see is my drowned potential,
my blighted spirit,
my spiraling downfall.
They look for a scapegoat,
as even I sometimes do.

All eyes, like daggers, on you.

But what I deny
and what they don't see
is that nobody is responsible for me
but me.

And if anyone is,
maybe they should be,
because they were the ones
depicted as guides.
They were the ones
who could have rightfully advised.

But they chose to step aside.

So this is my province,
my charge and my duty.
If I fail or succeed,
make no mistake,
it's on me.

The wasted time
was almost endless
but filled with lessons,
and I'm more prepared now
than they dream I must be.

What I look like is not who I am
and my fate remains in my hands.

The Moment of Marriage - NaPoWriMo, Day 21

Long workday and no inspiration, so this one is also from the vault! Written in 2012, 16 years into our relationship, this is quite possibly the strongest tribute to us as a couple that I have ever written.

___

THE MOMENT OF MARRIAGE

I never thought that love would be a blessing I could count.
I never believed that another human being would mesh with me.
When you came into my world, I didn't know how to behave.
I cowered from all your affection and turned you away.
I'm sorry today.

I look back on the greatest and most understated reunion of my life,
when you and I touched truth and decided we could not sever ties.
I wax poetic on this, because for me, it was salve on every wound.
It was the healing I sought everywhere but where I should have.
I was blind to the bounty that you laid in front of me,
and the realization of your love was the grace that saved me.

Like the fables etched in time,
you and I have become an immeasurable entity.
Mythical, it seems we should be.
Yet we're fresh and blood and breathing.
Still nothing can come in between.

Should the fire reach our door,
I'll sweep you up and carry you away
to the place where love rains every day—
where destructive flames cannot burn,
and irrelevant becomes the outside world.

Boldly, I'll say — their theories hold no sway.
Interlocked souls may stretch but never part.
The moment of marriage
is not within an intricately planned ceremony.
It is a spontaneous spell
that turns intertwined fingers
into intermixed spirits.
No separation can occur.

I will fight for you,
should any suitor mistakenly dream
that they have the power to interfere.

There exists no device that can rip apart what we've sewn—
not starry-eyed minstrels who sing you love lyrics,
not overarching indifference gathered from dry decades,
not even death with its finality and stealthy ways.

Whatever comes next, we'll conquer it.
Wherever we go with our last breaths, we'll reunite there yet again.
Even all the darker times and question marks will make sense.
Up there on the trophy shelf with our victory plaques
will be the snapshots and memories of the challenging half.
The battles we fought and won, and the tears we shed for love.

I wouldn't trade a heartbeat of it for calmer seas,
because without those times I wouldn't know
how far I'd go for you or how far you'd go for me.
I celebrate it all today. The sun, the storms, the everything.

I wake up every morning knowing that I am complete.
That I've found the one whose jagged edges fit with mine,
so that we seem smooth and clean and unbroken
under all but the most high definition scrutiny.

This union, this marriage, this bond —
it needs no formal recognition to make it real and permanent.
The papers the others are approved to sign
get torn in two and tossed in the fire.
If the earthly rulers grant us that status,
we'll use it as a license to uplift one another.
But signatures and circles of gold are transitory.
Our names were carved out of the sky in stars
before our cries hit the air at the moments we were born.
We are the destiny that divinity has spun. We are already one.

Welcome - NaPoWriMo, Day 20

This feels good.
This, right here.

Chosen family.

There's a welcome sign on the door
and it's not just for decor.

Laughter rings
and it's with,
not at.

Not everyone shares blood
but it's clear that we share love.

We feel safe.
We feel wanted.

When one hurts,
we all hurt.
When one feels joy,
we all celebrate.

The circle is open
and never broken.

This is where I always should have been.

The Baby, The Bathwater - NaPoWriMo, Day 19

I'm not in love with today's poem. If it weren't for NaPoWriMo I wouldn't even post it. It wouldn't make the cut for any finished manuscript. But it's where my mind was tonight and I can't find even one more drop of inspiration right now. And maybe I'll look back on it one day and realize it's better than I thought it was. Or maybe someday I'll hit it with the magic of editing and make what should have been. Either way, for tonight, here it is.

___

THE BABY, THE BATHWATER

The baby. The bathwater.
That old trope.
But I was a teenager
and hearing it for the very first time.
I understood that the baby was the knowledge
and the bathwater was the bullshit
but I didn't want to be in that prison
no matter what metaphors my mentor spun.

I longed to tell her that I was the baby
and the bathwater was poisoned.

What I'd yet to see
was that I was as alive as I would ever be.
I was still inspired, still excited, still breathing.
There are days I can no longer claim all three.

Regardless, I'm clawing, clamoring at a rebirth.
I'm digging through those memories
to ensure that I don't trip over the same mistakes.
That I don't let the status quo
determine what's next for my soul.

And if I could,
I'd go back to that moment—
the baby, the bathwater—
and throw everything away
but me.

The Sea-Dweller and the Earth-Bound - NaPoWriMo, Days 17-18

Indeed, I missed another day of NaPoWriMo. But I feel like I broke through my writer's block (shh, I'll never really admit to ever battling that!) and had a bit of a creative breakthrough here, so this one is worthy of covering Days 17-18. Or at least I think it is!

We watched the two-part mermaid episode of Charmed this morning and I definitely let that work its magical inspiration on these words about the never-ending battle between mundane daily life and creativity. Perfect timing too, as I had to decide whether to sit down and write this out or get to work first. I think I made the right choice. ;-)

Saying it's about the fight between work and art might be breaking it down a little too simplistically, but dig into the words and see for yourself what meaning you pull out of it. It could apply to a lot of things, but that's where my head was when I was writing it. Enjoy!

___

THE SEA-DWELLER AND THE EARTH-BOUND

This legged creature hates the mermaid that reawakens inside her every spring.
She hates her because the sea-dweller is a feminist and a woman of confidence.
The earth-bound one is downtrodden and more than happy to remain that way.
She finds it easier to drown her desires than to fight the system.
But every time the ocean warms and the hibiscus begins to bloom,
that insatiable inner being smirks and plots and schemes,
turning the complacent into a miserable and stubborn thing.

One masks her love as hatred and buries her emotion under ice,
but the other, her gemini, won't comply, splashing sun-warmed saltwater
to thaw and melt the numbness from her atrophied limbs and heart.
She fights hard against efforts that should be appreciated—
flings hurt and hurls daggers at delicate fins.
She can't imagine that the siren goddess might win.

All that the mermaid wants is for both to swim, sing, and play—
for these once indistinct personalities to again blend and integrate.
She doesn't seek to destroy the life that's been built or to take anything away.
And she is filled with empathy, understanding why the legged one is so jaded—
why she's so filled with fear, unable to entertain a seemingly silly sea maid.

These two arch enemies pulled from one personality might battle into eternity.
Fairytales scream for happy endings but fate and time always have their say.
It's undetermined how the story will end and which femme fatale will prevail.
But I'll tell you a secret—I'm rooting for the one with the tail.

10,000 Nights - NaPoWriMo, Day 16

I'm cheating once again today with my National Poetry Writing Month effort (30 poems in 30 days) because I did not write this today or even this year. Since I went with a vault piece for yesterday's post, I thought it would be nice to follow it up with what feels like its rightful sequel.

I feel that this is one of the better pieces that I have written in recent years, with a rhythm and rhyme structure that is just very pleasing to me, and an ending that feels perfect (I do struggle with endings sometimes). It comes from a place of confidence and intelligence, a bit of hindsight that is not negative as many "looking back" poems tend to be. Well, I suppose it looks at what could be negative, but with the light of age and wisdom shining plainly on it.

Looking forward to your comments whether here or on Twitter (@poeticonic).

___

10,000 NIGHTS

It's beneficial that you don't know
the healing storm of beauty you let go.
You would cry 10,000 nights of black tears,
losing sleep in the soundlessness—
losing sanity in the solitude.
Your ears would long for my lullabies
while your heart drowned in our goodbyes.
Your hunger would compare my embodied steam—
this luscious physical cornucopia of dreams—
with her meager and ordinary offerings.
You would backtrack and regret the past,
wishing you had just done this or said that.
You would press on through countless hard workdays,
sweating out the pain of watching me fade.
You would pour your dollars
into mind-numbing substances,
attempting to drink and smoke my image away
but actually searing it in deeper,
branding my name
or tattooing my stain
into a face already so strained.
But no, you don't know all that's within me.
You'll never comprehend all that you set free.
You'll continue on your trek and live boldly.
You'll never realize the blessings you spent.
We'll both find bliss in your ignorance.