Defeat: By Kahlil Gibran

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.


(For my love of you.)

Sunstroke: A Russian Film 2014

Yesterday, I sat down to watch nearly three hours of this historic fiction that took place between the 1900’s and 1920. From the onset, there is a clear indication of something bad that is going to happen though we have no idea what it will be until they walk onto the barge. Even then, we don’t really know what is going to happen but we can suspect. You are not watching this movie thinking there will be a happy ending as it is somewhat akin to those who watched the Titanic movie. In 1920, it was the end of the Tsar. The entire family had been assassinated; including little children. The communists were most certainly not very humane in their actions. In the aftermath of annihilating the family, they set about to destroy the lives of their soldiers as well. They did not want one single person left behind from the old regime.

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For Strong Women: Marge Piercy

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.

A strong woman is a woman standing on tiptoe and lifting a barbell

while trying to sing Boris Godunov.

A strong woman is a woman at work

cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,

and while she shovels, she talks about

how she doesn’t mind crying, it opens

the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up

develops the stomach muscles, and

she goes on shoveling with tears

in her nose.


A strong woman is a woman in whose head

a voice is repeating, I told you so,

ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,

ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,

why aren’t you feminine, why aren’t

you soft, why aren’t you quiet, why

aren’t you dead?


A strong woman is a woman determined

to do something others are determined

not be done.  She is pushing up on the bottom

of a lead coffin lid.  She is trying to raise

a manhole cover with her head, she is trying

to butt her way through a steel wall.

Her head hurts.  People waiting for the hole

to be made say, hurry, you’re so strong.


A strong woman is a woman bleeding

inside.  A strong woman is a woman making

herself strong every morning while her teeth

loosen and her back throbs.  Every baby,

a tooth, midwives used to say, and now

every battle a scar.  A strong woman

is a mass of scar tissue that aches

when it rains and wounds that bleed

when you bump them and memories that get up

in the night and pace in boots to and fro.


A strong woman is a woman who craves love

like oxygen or she turns blue choking.

A strong woman is a woman who loves

strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly

terrified and has strong needs.  A strong woman is strong

in words, action, in connection, in feeling;

she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf

suckling her young.  Strength is not in her, but she

enacts it as the wind fills a sail.


What comforts her is others loving

her equally for the strength and for the weakness

from which it issues, lighting from a cloud.

lightning stuns.  In rain, the clouds disperse.

Only water of connection remains,

flowing through us.  Strong is what we make

each other. Until we are all strong together,

a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

*This poem that is one of my favorites. I think all women who have faced trauma in one way or another should read this and feel comforted by her words. It really captures the essence and beauty of a strong woman.

Your Soul

In my heart, there are tears.


Tears of joy,

Of sadness,

Of Pain,

Of love lost.


In my eyes, there are mirrors.


I can see in and out.

I can see you and me.

I can see that you do not see me.


In my ears, there are waves.


I hear music when we make love.

The rhythm of your laughter

Vibrates my soul.


In my nose, is your scent.


When you are near it is next to me.

When you are far it follows me.


On my mouth is your kiss.


I taste your passion at night,

When I am alone.

The Journey

Let me in, let me see what is inside

Let me feel that place where you are trying to hide.

Two wounded souls from different places in time

Coming together without a map or a rhyme.


As you suffer in silence, I fly around in the dark

and search for words to help you embark.

Stolen moments meet us half way

to carry us forward thru a whole new day.


Two lovers gather in the evening silence

Yearning to touch and find their way once more.

They seek solace in the arms of each other

Hoping to find what they are looking for.


The past sits on the edge of reason and doubt

While it waits to be soothed and coddled.

Confusion lurks and passions await

Time moves on in haste.


The bed feels empty; the mind is reprieved

By a thought or a gesture that provides some relief.

I wait and I ponder and I wonder as I wander

The roads are clear but the climb is steep.


The painting is finished but the oils have yet to dry.

The journey is in motion and there is still more to do.

The dancers step forward and take their cue

While the room lets out a sigh…


The sounds are released and they move

Two people together, aware of nothing

But the instruments guiding their way.

As it is…

The Truth

Is that we are who we are whether we like it or not.

The Dream

We wished for came true, then we gave it back.

The Mountain

Was tall and slippery, jaded and painful; yet we climbed and stood on top.

The Journey

Continues while we look back and take inventory, keep walking even though we limp and set goals even though the old ones have not been reached.

The Choice

To move ahead while you drag your feet behind makes sense because you follow intuition.

The Answers

Are not clear and may never be, though we must live and seek as though we will find.

The Faith

Waivers when we don’t get what we want. It is clear that we have a belief but not in ourself.

The Time

Has come to let go and be.

The Message

Is not here even though it has told you many things – that you already knew.

The Point

Was to remind you.

copyright 2005

Down By The Lake

Standing on the dock, looking out at the mossy green basin, she discards her clothes, and jumps in.  Half-way across the lake she looks up, and notices there is no gate in the distance.  Just as she is beginning to gage her sense of timing to get to the other side, a motor sounds off to the right from the lagoon.  Dr. Lion comes toward her or “Guru” as he likes to be called.  She calls him nothing. 

He has respect from his colleagues, for his papers on depression and isolation.  He alludes to having traveled extensively, to lecture about the pressures of society. No one is allowed access to the institution, without his express permission.  Dr. Lion is viewed by his clients with fear and trepidation.  Like a drill sergeant, he demands that they live by his rules.  There is a list next to each bed: 1. Rise at seven, 2. Ten minute showers, 3. Twenty minute breakfast, and it goes on to account for the day with twelve more items.  When it was time for therapy, clients would sit on the metal chairs, in order by appointment; they were alphabetized.  No talking, no listening, the room outside his office must be silent.  Each client is allowed to read the books he has chosen for them.

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An Ode to Gabriel Garcia Marquez

After 10 years of solitude, Carlotta had all but given up on the ability to imagine life with a man once more. This time of absence was her own doing, though it was largely the fault of the menopause; which was now nearing its end.  The curse had turned into a bitter coming of age story. As her words shot out of her mouth, laced with turpentine just at the tips of the letters, that would leave a mark on anyone she had an opinion about. And these days this was just about anyone. Her pheromones would emit a scent, that was not enticing any more than if she had been a rotting corpse left out on a table to dry. One by one her friends had walked away, too tired of the dark energy that stood near her, even though they too were in the crisis of aging.

Each woman can only tolerate their own pain and each man is looking for one who is not yet touched; if he is lucky. She saw herself as a hag, up in a tree in an apple orchard, throwing barely ripe fruit down; on people who came near her. She tried to explain to people what was going on; to no avail. How could anyone understand a personal crisis which is designed for the individual? While they all know that the Grim Reaper, with his sickle, can come to call any day, and this is expected, most try not to think about it until the time comes; and then it is too late. When the old woman begins to emerge, it is like looking out your window one day and noticing the neighbor has installed a new walkway, that he had been working on for weeks and you had ignored. One day Carlotta had looked in the mirror and wondered who had suddenly appeared before her.

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Who Am I

Through the passage of time, I have found my mark

And I look back to see how treacherous it was, to embark.

I recall a moment of slashed wrists and a broken plate

A baby crying in the back, while he lay in wait.


I sat in a corner as people walked by

And observed that they lived while I tried to die.

The wells of my emotions had all run dry.


The body was stiff but craved the touch of

One so great who would want so much.

And I looked and I took but they were wrong

Yet even still, I went along.


I knew in my heart that I should walk away

But I craved and I yearned for a voice that would stay.

Someone to see me for who I am

To just once get it right, even if it meant putting up a fight

Thinking I must fix it, assuming it was my fault, to hold this

Relationship and behave like an adult.


In and out of the rooms I would go

Putting on one hell of a show.

I danced and sang and praised and played

While they sucked up the juices and

Fed in to my demise.


I saw the noose hanging above the trap

While I ate and supped on all of their lies.


And when I searched for my mother once more

To give me some respite and nurture these wounds.

Hoping to get a tender embrace, instead she would slap me in my face.

She would call out the shadows from within

And laugh as they sprang forth; ripping the scars on my skin.


There I would sit in a void.

Numb to this renewed place I so wanted to avoid.

Stuck in a web from conception to light

I would scream and cry out wishing it would disappear with the night.

Alas, I am here as is she and the trees are filled with my memories.


I struggle and plod forward with all of my might

Working up the courage to make it alone; assuming that I have the right

And thinking that one day I may become known


When the stone turns and the walls collapse and out of this I won’t relapse.

I dream and I write and I scour my brain, looking for the answers out on the plain.

To imagine this is possible to think that I can,

Like the train who would and could and should make it up to that terrain.

I walked as I thought until I came up with a plan.

Would it work? I wondered as I thought out in haste,

I didn’t want this to be one big waste.


To my surprise the person inside began to emerge

And I saw the words cause the fears to purge

The rage and torment slipped behind the gate

As I felt my fingers once more and I began to create.