Friday, April 25, 2014

Headline Poem 4/25/14 Finding Your Way Back

A mother and her children (Photo credit Tyler Hicks, The New York Times)
This is a heart wrenching story about a photographer who faces death in the name of his art, particularly here during a Nairobi Mall Shooting, where he captured the vulnerability during a storm. So much stands out here in the form of powerful words and images shared, but I focused particularly on -- a mother's love during tragic times, and finding your way back afterward. Of course, this type of story also provides perspective -- what is a tragedy, really? Bodies strewn around babies hiding with their mother while singing songs to stay calm is on the top of that list. Everyday events we allow to shake and break us really are not.

Sometimes what we want most is right in front of us and it takes being shattered to find our way back. This poem is about finding your way back.

Finding Your Way Back

I always wanted seasons
the fierce heat
tempered rain
light snow
raging storm
balmy nights
The irony now of searching
for what has always been inside

I was numb
I did not feel them
changing, shifting, and evolving
I ignored them
That was my right
I turned my back on them
I chose to fight
I despised them
They were going to fade
I did not want to keep them if
they were going to leave

The seasons I sought were
so unpredictable and unsafe,
so out of control and afraid,
so tempting
I hated them, but longed for them
I hated that they were in me, and I didn't see

I lived in the anticipation of a thing
In the in-between
In the land of what-ifs and daydreams
yet, I hunted

I hunted for the seasons,
as though, they like prey, would fill me up
tasty, salty and sweet
I hunted for seasons like a starved animal
who stakes out her space,
watching, sneakily, as the enemy victim
wanders and retreats
they are real, not objects,
my prey has a heart that also beats
until I capture and kill it, it eats
this prey will not fill me up
I will say I am full
I will lie
I will eat, but I will not be satisfied

Satisfaction does not come
altering the space --
ignites no flame
rather dims the existing light
the one that is really there

Yearning for something other than what
is right in front of your face
means living the imaginary and fake,
ignoring the hands that reach for you,
the tongue that kisses you,
the heart that wraps itself around you
will only deplete and escalate and suffocate

How do you find your way back
after a storm that shatters and shakes,
and attempts to break,
while you wait,
lying with your babies,
humming in their sweet ears
along to songs
on the loud speaker,
keeping them calm, 
settling their fear?

You begin
a new quest
you break
free of the cage
you release
the anger and hate
you chose
to live
in fear of a thing
you confront 
you left you because
what you wanted was right in front of you,
and you were afraid to have it
you admit
the seasons have gone by for too long without notice
you agree
feel again even though it hurts
you look
at yourself
in the mirror and speak
honestly -- It has been raining blood and sweat,
yet nothing is in bloom!
you decide
it is time 
you find
your way back 
you see