Schooled

Image courtesy of Daily Hive
https://amanpan.com/2020/10/12/eugis-weekly-prompt-foresight-october-12-2020/
https://godoggocafe.com/2020/10/13/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-october-13-2020/

 

In the fading light,

My hindsight schools, lectures, drills

My foresight

In how to take steps,

In how to look away,

In how to live hopeless,

In how to heal with saltwater dreams

Overflowing with hope.

Yet still with foresight

In how to guard,

My scars, my wounds,

My picked at scabs

In this

fading light of days

Unfilled,

Lived,

Cheered,

Flowering with dreams,

Left

Of life remaining.

Sights of Sunlight and Night

My Own Image
https://onewomansquest.org/2020/08/17/vjs-weekly-challenge-109-what-a-sight/
https://godoggocafe.com/2020/08/18/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-august-18-2020/

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt “Night meets Day” August 17, 2020

What a sight the years have been!

Skipped a few heartbeats

walking through the valley,

found nothing new.

I sailed an ocean

didn’t dance as I’d wanted too.

In the desert,

I played a little poker,

winning the game, some money,

but still didn’t know what to do.

Then I thought I’d found a dream,

waking from the nightmare,

I screamed to see

the sight beside me.

Now, I journey onward

to catch the sunlight

as night meets day,

greeting what new sights

I encounter along the way.

Lessons in Listening

image courtesy of Dreamtime.com

 

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/08/03/vjs-weekly-challenge-107-listen/

My lessons in listening:
To a mother’s final words—
Always remember I loved you and was proud
Tossed off, too rushed to leave work
To get to the hospital, to see her,
Always thinking of more days, time.
Not thinking all I’d see,
Her dead eyes.

To all my dogs– little tells
Of cocked heads, whines, barks,
The ways of wagging tails,
To know what meant what–
Hunger, pain, desire to play,
A need for love or to go outside.
Those I’ve always learned well.

To students, the teens I taught,
A puzzle to figure of pieces and placement
What each meant for each—
The lift of a shoulder, how the eyes met or did not meet mine,
The head upon the desk, the work done or not,
The things said, not said—
To figure needs-
Some basic, some not so,
Requiring other safety nets,
Bruised and broken,
Some I could help repair.
I knew what to listen for,
Almost by instinct,
Since I had not been listened to
When I was one of them.

To my child, a whirlwind of cries,
Hunger, diaper, cold, hot, sick—
Each cry different
A knowing, animal instinct,
Some primal thing beating
Inside knew the way
Of my infant’s need.
When a teen—
A different thing,
A new species of need,
My animal and her animal
Had no common language
Of smells, signals, or cries
In the darkened tunnels
We went through.

To my dying wife, my dying wife—
So hard to listen to, to understand
a language no longer including
My daughter or me.
Never knowing for whom
The last coma spoken words–
I’m sorry, so sorry—
Were spoken.

Now, I learn the final lesson of listening,
A lesson sixty years in the learning, 

To myself, my own heart, my own soul.

The Watcher

Image courtesy of Sue Vincent Thursday Photo Prompt Challenge
For visually challenged writers, the image shows a flower-strewn cliff-top above the sea, where a rocky outcrop, seemingly shaped into many forms and faces, looks out over the waves.
This week’s prompt ~ Guardian
https://scvincent.com/2020/05/28/thursday-photo-prompt-guardian-writephoto/

The guardian watches the sea,

Waiting patiently

For the return of old ones

Who long ago slipped away

Out to sea, speaking

Words of promise,

Words of return–

Not unlike your words to me.

Like you, the old ones

Will not return,

Lost in an ocean

Of time long forgotten.

They found new homes

Where to light their fires,

Burning away old, shriveled desires,

Burning away the salt of the sea,

And the dirt of old known shores.

 

The guardian waits,

Like a widow upon her widow’s walk,

Staring out to sea.

But as I have finished waiting,

 I must walk away.

What’s in a Name?

I know it is no big deal to many of you who use your real names on your blogs. But I have used two pens names since starting this blog shortly after the death of my wife. I was still teaching, and my daughter was still in high school. Although the LGBTQ community has made great strides in being accepted by society, there is still prejudice. Being in education, I still had to be careful. Additionally, much of my writing comes from my experiences. Hence, some of my work centers on my daughter. Therefore, I wanted to protect her privacy as well. However now that I am retired and after lengthy consideration, I have decided to dispense with the pen names I have been using. I changed the domain name a few months ago when the old domain encountered issues with being shared on Facebook. I never did figure that problem out but changing the domain which included my real surname fixed the problem. I believe it was the April Writing Prompt Challenge—I am more than Breath and Bone– from Christine Ray, Brave and Reckless.com, that provided the impetus which spurred me to use my real name. What came out of me for that prompt was a recognition of what my mother and foremothers have done for and given me. I have tried to raise my daughter to be proud of herself, her family, and her two moms. If I hide behind a pen name, am I teaching her pride? Am I doing what my mother and foremothers have done for me? If I hide behind a pen name, am I “holding up the mountains” for her as was done for me? But I needed it to be okay with her. So, I asked her how she felt about it. What if her friends stumble across some of my work? What if they saw something that was about her? She responded with complete honesty and clarity, “Well, Mom. It’s your writing. If they do, they do.” So, with that, my name is Annette Kalandros, and I will be using my real name from this point forward.

Catacomb of Colors

Wikipedia image of Rosh HaNikra grottoes

I can hide in catacombs of colors and never look to the sky.
My blood shed, bled out in tiny droplets of all the years of parting,
dripping, draining in the darkness
And carried away, scattered to the winds,
Leavings upon the ground, seedless seeds,
Sprouting up in colorless flowers of summer without colors,
Without the dreams of sunlight on their faces,
Without fragrance sweet, divinity in scents we can never forget lost.
We learn to live with regrets taken, earned, packed away
With the mortgage of things within our hearts, within our lifetimes of meaning,
Within our trying just one more damn time,
Drifting up in clouds of long-ago cigarette smoke.
Crush this dried out husk of me,
Scatter those particles of dust to the wind
And see if colors sprout once that dust settles upon the ground,
See if there’s meaning left within their regrets,
See if there’s fragrance, some elegance of divinity within a scent
To be remembered when there is nothing,
Nothing left but this wisp of memory
Within your breath.
Let go my hand, love. Leave me wrapped in the shroud
Of all my days and regrets shared along the way
To here, this time of parting. Leave me to hide away
In this catacomb of colors.

Could You, Would You

image courtesy of jens at pexels

Could you, would you
know the darkness too?
Or would you try to erase it
as others do?
Would you ignore it?
Say you wanted it gone?
Say your touch
should drive away
the darkness within?
The darkness is there–
inside me,
it has always been,
I need it, need it to be there,
just a spot or two.
I need it to visit, take a trip with it.
Occasionally—
ride a night, a day, all the stars at times,
sleep and wake with it.
It keeps me strong,
this steel skeleton of my heart and soul,
keeps me whole,
makes me who I am.
My darkness does not need
some antidepressant elixir.
My darkness is a shit pile of things,
years, and incidents I keep
tucked away–
a part of me.

Could you, would you
know it?
Keep it, if given?
Or tell me to let it go and get over it
like others have?
Could you, would you
understand how happiness can be had
and yet keep the darkness
for creating, repairing,
reinforcing the steel railings
of my spine,
my soul,
my heart,
my mind,
my all that I am.
Could you, would you
understand, without the darkness,
I cannot give you all that I am?