Wednesday, September 20, 2017

An Unexpected Homecoming

Long hallways
now familiar
end in ascending elevators.

Fear turns to trust
as friendly faces
recognize my own.

Comforting conversation
wicks away worry
as I wait
   again
for my heart to survive the operating room.

[written for Rachael at HUP 8/23/17]

Bearing Witness

Tone
more than words mixed
with grunts and labored breathing is thrust
upon a teenage son too busy nursing bottled water
to help fold a mound of clothes.

A father’s face
wet with effort turns puce
as the drink is drained
and the boy fishes for money to buy another bottle.

[written 7/23/17]

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bearing Witness

Tone
more than words
mixed with grunts and labored breathing
is thrust upon a teenage son
too busy nursing bottled water to help fold a mound of clothes.

A father's face wet with effort
turns puce
as the drink is drained
and the boy fishes for money to buy another bottle.

[written 7/23/17]


Dissed By Dryer

The machine did not want my change
so I changed machines
but this one won't spin...
Closing my eyes,
I breathe--
reminding myself
that I have survived much greater rejection.

[written 7/9/17]


Surviving the Butterfly

Shooting from the hip,
I have flown by the seat of my pants
for far too long.
Now, given a moment to ground,
I keep checking my feet
for quicksand.

[written 7/9/17]


Teleporting

The sound of tires on asphalt
with little effort
transforms into waves on the shore.
A motorcycle hum
metamorphosizes into an outboard motor
as imagination conjures the cry
of a laughing gull.

For a few fleeting moments
an Allentown parking lot
captures Cape May.

[written 7/9/17]


An Einstein Moment

Eyes closed
sitting in sunshine,
I find inspiration as priorities shift like paradigms,
finally full realizing
everything is relative.

[written 5/28/17]


Cycling Wash

Two weeks and a day ago
the call came
as I sat in this laundrymat
watching clothes spin.

Sixteen days of wheels turning on the PA turnpike,
of doctors and nurses
and pharmacists and therapists;
of terror
and relief
and exhaustion.

Knowing he is at home
resting with a new liver,
I sit here again
watching clothes spin
and praying my phone doesn't ring.

[written 5/21/17]


While Waiting

The woman sitting next to me is texting
and it sounds like an energy chime.
With each notification
my mind turns toward an inner temple
and a yearning for peace.

Startled by a touch on my arm,
I jump as she smiles and shows me the message:
"Stupid people should just shut up."

The temple shatters
and I think...
maybe they shouldn't text either...


[written 6/27/17]


Yet Another Panic Attack...

Fiendishly
Erroneous
Apprehension
Returns


[poetry form: acrostic - written 6/19/17]


HUP

Ten
days
sitting
in one room...
Grateful for the care
but wanting for some sun and air.
With sunlit leaves, the tree outside beconds an escape
pleading with me to lite my mind
upon its branches--
to breathe in,
let go,
be
home.

[poetry form: Fibonacci - written at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 5/16/17]


Reus

mea culpa
   There is dust on the journal.
mea culpa
   The ink has congealed.
mea culpa
   Promises made from the self to the Self
   not yet broken
      but strained
   and I fail to wrench the flail from my hand...

mea culpa
mea culpa
mea maxima culpa

[written 4/4/17]


Black

It's paralyzing--
this gravity that presses
three dimensions into two.
Unable to breathe.
Unable to think--
  but to feel
every pore, every nerve
overstimulated
     and howling.

[written 3/29/17]


"Free Time"

Sometimes I wonder
if I'm being prepared to come home to a quiet house--
to cook for one.

While he sleeps away
his pain
and the life he feels he no longer has,
I sit pretending
to enjoy some time alone.

[written 3/29/17]


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Some (rather big) News...

On May 7, 2017 my significant other of over 18 years received a life saving liver transplant by the grace of all that is divine and the unmeasureable generosity and kindness of a brilliant soul who has now passed from this life. Greg and I are both beyond grateful and cannot adequately express our thanks to Greg's donor, to his donor's family and friends, to the entire staff at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, to all of his doctors and staff here in the Lehigh Valley (especially interventional radiology), and to all the family, friends, and complete strangers who have sent positivity and prayers for Greg and for me over these very difficult seven years. Please keep the light shining... I can attest that miracles happen regardless of what you believe or don't believe spiritually. Quite simply, during the eleven days I spent with Greg at HUP as he received and subsequently recovered from transplant surgery things happened that were too serendipitous, too strange in some ways, to simply dismiss as anything but inspired. Thank you.

Greg is recovering well and, although recovery isn't easy and there is still a long road ahead, he remains positive and grateful and steadfast in his assertion to make the most of this second chance at life.

As for me... as Greg's main caregiver, this life changing experience has been exhausing physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Without my own personal take on faith, I would not have managed to endure this far. In truth, I still struggle to keep my feet under me. My nerves are more than a little frayed and I am in serious need to smell the ocean air and feel the seaside sun on my skin (something I intend to make happen very soon). I have continued to write poetry throughout this "ordeal" and will be posting most of the poems as I make the time to do so. Some posts may seem a little dark but I hope by posting the truth of what I feel in any given situation will shed some light on what this existance looks like from behind my eyes and may resonate with others who are in the midst of their own afflictions. It is my path to help others. It is my mission to heal through poetry... myself... and my world.

Again, thank you.

With gratitude, love, and a hope for peace,
Lettie

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Third-eye Nystagmus

Stress, like dirt on a lens,
has my auto focus out of whack.
Gears grind back and forth
as thoughts flitter from work
to the grocery list to work
to wondering if I should get more coffee
to work to a new craft project
to work to remembering the car needs an oil change
to work to scheduling another doctor appointment
to work...

I sit spinning still
listening to the clicks and whirls
waiting for reality's ever-ready battery to run down.

Phthalo Fantasy [Haiku]

A little blue pig
frolicking among flowers--
an imagined joy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Turning to Straw

Having passed the point of productiveness,
the little cog can no longer offer herself as grain
but chaff--
a reed floating to entice the grasp of a drowning man.


Yeah, a little esoteric. Look up the origin of "grasping at straws" if you want to better understand the inspiration behind this one.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Waiting on the Dog

Standing in the morning cold
more than half asleep,
I’m startled by the screams of a cross-eyed crow
demanding that I write
and not crawl back to nightmares.

Anticipation of Summer

The diamond sleeps beneath
a blanket of unmarred snow
as empty bleachers bask in the late winter sun
longing for cheers
and the crack of a bat.

Clawing at Sanity

Frantically searching mental corridors
for safety,
I scream silently
clambering away from the determined echo
of hallway heels and the boogeyman's pocket watch.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

An Angel Decended

Through sixteen inches
in blizzard conditions,
a middle-aged woman
with a worn plastic shovel is
unexpectedly
met halfway by a young neighbor
digging his way to her door.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Punched In

There is an underlying static--
a hum
in the semi-silence of an early morning corporate office.

An occasional rustling of papers,
the clicking of keyboard keys,
a cough from a few cubicles over...
but the hum pervades--
constant,
insidious,
and unnatural.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

da mihi virtutem Deus

Another 2 a.m.
and the demons drag me from my sleep.
Back buckling from the burden
of bearing witness,
I force myself to find water--
a vain attempt to quench
the insatiable thirst
for rest.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Nefarious Needle [Butterfly Cinquain]

Some words
slyly offered
from both sides of the tongue
strike cold without provocation
to kill.
Knowing its victim will succumb,
the hateful nettle waits
for the first drop
of blood.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sunday Breakfast

Dishes clatter
adding accompaniment
to the cacophony of conversation
as a favorite waitress waves
and the hostess gently rubs my back in passing.

Savoring scrapple
and a second cup of coffee,
I sit softly smiling
surrounded by this extended family of strangers.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Personal Place Setting

I took so many forks
  wielding knives
    in search of simple spoons
that I see myself
as a set of old china--
  mismatched
    and chipped
but loved.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Trifling Office Tanka

Three cubicle walls
offer little protection
and no privacy.
A torrent of offenses
crashes on the ill-informed.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Matryoshka

A core figure sits at the center
surrounded by numerous layers
of intricately decorated effigies.

Only the seam,
gapped and uneven,
betrays that levels lie beneath--

Only the enamel,
pressure cracked and chipping,
hints of inferior artistry and a forced fit--

Evidence made plain
in the clear light of day
that its maker is not quite the master.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Lenten Fibonacci

Gray
sky,
ashen
like the day
here at this work desk
thinking of my father's forehead--
a cross, creased and smudged hovering over his bright eyes.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Grave Marker

The cowardice
that tips over tombstones
treads heavy over history
in its steel tipped jack boots.

Phoning in anonymous bomb threats,
hiding behind hatred,
the petulant child hunkers low in murky shadows
deathly afraid
of what it refuses to understand.

Hopeless Haiku

The sewage backup --
cleaned but the drain is not clear.
The sound of flushing.

Knee Deep

Having fallen trying to fix
what isn't broken
but what is,
I pound my fists on the high well walls
of monotony.

Dragging bloody knuckles
across this cold keyboard,
I pray
for angels to turn pain
into poetry.