Daily Prompt: Precipice

Precipice…

I balance on this precipice of life

Precarious and perilous in pain

While all around me fear whips raw and rife

Adrenaline rush coursing through my veins

I step towards abyss beyond the throng

Sense shadows in the depths begin to rise

Cold tendrils creeping stealthily along

Enveloping my soulless empty cries…

But suddenly I find myself pull free

Awareness amplified through every pore

I shudder at the thought of ending me

Am shocked at how I felt moments before

Collapsing in a pool of heart-wrenched tears

I cry until the darkness disappears…

Daily Prompt: Precipice

Disloyal Daughter?

Sink or Swim…

What hurtful daughter writes such damning words?

Disloyalty grips tight as guilt unfolds

For years my childhood fears remained unheard

Confused unworthy failings stayed untold

Unquestioning complicity required

I grew up thinking I was all to blame

My fault I wasn’t someone more desired

My female gender always cause for shame…

But now my scapegoat days are gone for good

No longer will I carry all that weight

Two generations further than it should

I leave my parents’ needs to their own fate –

Disloyalty cuts both ways, don’t you think?

It’s time I learn to swim before I sink…

I’m not generally keen on automatically blaming the parents for all the faults of the child, but I’m finally having to acknowledge that however disloyal it may feel and however much guilt it generates within me, I have to accept that some of the continued attitudes and actions of my parents have inevitably caused me (and do still cause me) psychological distress.

Years of therapy for depression, studying Psychology as part of my degree, and the experience of being a flawed parent and grandparent myself have all contributed to the growing realisation that perhaps I was not, after all, the reason for any discord within my family, but rather it may be that particular issues within certain individuals in my family have in fact helped cause the discord in me.

It’s actually quite a liberating realisation, even at the age of 53, and writing (and sharing) these poems about how it feels is really helping me process the emotional turmoil I’m experiencing at the moment. So please bear with me through the introspective doom and the gloom, and hopefully normal service will resume shortly 🙂

Daily Prompt: Avid

Beyond the Pale…

As avidly I read to understand

Why always I’ve felt never good enough

I find myself push further than first planned

Beyond the pale to landscapes raw and rough.

I struggle through harsh sentences revealed

Confront the urge to vent a latent rage

Bewildered I revisit wounds unhealed

Old hurts brought back to life across the page.

Deep narcissistic traits exposed and bare

My mother’s selfish game of life displayed

Manipulating facts; unjust, unfair

Invalidating every choice I’ve made…

I’m learning to let go of life-long guilt

As thankfully my world-view starts to tilt…

Daily Prompt: Avid

 

Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight…

Fear binds me close with suffocating hold

Heart thumping in my chest with echoed beat

Squeezed tight my halting breath grates sharp and cold

My struggling soul enveloped quite complete

Nerves jangling loud like mocking jailor’s keys

My self-made chains pull taut in fresh alarm

Tied up in knots, unable to break free

Imprisoned by my own strait-jacket arms

But life cannot be lived in such a state

Forever trapped in fear and constant fight

I know I must release this death-shroud weight

Stop trying to control with all my might

I need to learn to trust life can be kind

And flee this taunting prison of my mind…

Daily Prompt: Unravel

Unravel…

I try to keep a guiding hand on life

Prevent myself from blindly stumbling through

I minimise all threats of future strife

And wearily defend my cautious view

I draw up plans and carefully adhere

To rules that fairness states should bring success

I try to keep emotionally clear

Hold back potential tidal waves of stress

But sometimes life reminds me that control

Is nothing but illusory at best

However hard I fight to reach my goal

The real world intervenes and thwarts my quest

So sitting here in anguish, head in hands

I feel myself unravel, like my plans…

Daily Prompt: Unravel

Daily Prompt: Pattern

Since I first started blogging three years ago I’ve learned to embrace the joys of the old traditional patterns of constructing poetry.

I’ve learned the art of counting minimal syllables in haiku (5-7-5) regardless of where the stresses lay and without the requirement of rhyme. Ideally, the first and second lines together make a complete sentence, as do the second and third lines together, and the first and third lines should give some sense of opposing meaning. That’s no mean feat to fit into 17 short syllables!

I’ve also discovered the endless fun to be found in grouping together triple (and double) multiples of threes in a light-hearted limerick, with the stress on every third syllable (da-da-DA-da-da-DA-da-da-DA) in five lines of 9-9-6-6-9 syllables following a fixed rhyming pattern of A-A-B-B-A. Smutty and bawdy topics welcomed with suitably naughty sniggers and guffaws.

My latest experiment in poetry, however, is writing within the constraints of ‘iambic pentameter’ inherent in the English sonnet. Although in some ways the simplest of rhythms to use, iambic pentameter can prove quite challenging at times in finding just the right words to create the required flow. ‘Iambic’ describes an unstress/stress (da-DA) and ‘pentameter’ describes five of these iambs in each line (da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA-da-DA).

So the pattern of stresses here is fixed on every second syllable in a line of ten, with a specfic rhyming pattern set out over fourteen lines in total. These fourteen lines are further broken down into three sets of four lines (quatrains) and then two lines on their own at the end (rhyming couplet) with a rhyming pattern of A-B-A-B, C-D-C-D, E-F-E-F, GG. And for good measure, each section has its own job to do.

The first quatrain sets out the ‘problem’, the second expands on it, the third shows an inexpected turn in proceedings – a ‘volta’, usually introduced with a ‘but’ – and the final rhyming couplet sets out the ‘solution’. I’ve been playing about with using simple ideas to build up some experience with writing sonnets – here’s an example that hopefully shows my love of poetic word patterns, as well as my life-long love of sewing. For me, there’s a similar soothing rhythm to be found in both… 🙂

Make Do and Mend…

My needle pricks through over-stressed ripped seam

Thread follows, undulating in its wake

My fingers deftly working in a dream

Frayed edges dictating which route to take

My making-do-and-mend thrift-driven quest

Soon covers up the worst of fabric’s flaws

Scar visible though stitches do their best

Seam strengthened underneath with lightweight gauze

But now my task takes on creative bent

As thoughtfully I choose a matching trim

Add extra emphasis to new-healed rent

Make beautiful my mending on a whim

And soon again my lovely dress I’ll wear

A band of lace disguising jagged tear…

Daily Prompt: Pattern

Daily Prompt: Blur

Final Bow…

As menopause takes one last curtain call

Dramatic hormones exit from stage left

Such bittersweet regret holds me in thrall

Old hopes of ‘one more baby’ quite bereft

Fertility has lost its early glow

No longer bathed in lime-light, cast aside

Youth’s pregnant pauses ended long ago –

No more life’s leading-lady, ripe with pride

Theatrical hysterics fought this change

Of back-stage blur replacing spot-light fame

But though my aging body now feels strange

A peaceful calm flows deeply through each vein

And reproductive life, with final bow

Makes way for brand new role, beginning now…

Daily Prompt: Blur

Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall…

A sonnet brings a rhythmic lilt to rhyme

Creating cadence with each rise and fall

Each word flows from the other keeping time

And simple syllables convey their all

There’s something soothing in its structured form

Like watching waves wash up along the shore

Hypnotic as it fluidly transforms

And pulls us inwards, passionate for more

Just like the ocean, poetry enthrals

As feeling builds through every onward surge

Until with great crescendo each wave falls

Internal tension powerfully purged…

So cleverly that surface ebb and flow

Stirs up emotion roiling deep below

Bed

Bed…

Indulgently we lie in bed wrapped warm

Cocooned in comfort, blanketed secure

We spoon together, snuggled safe from harm

Protected from the harsh world so unsure

We intimately share our nightly sleep

Enveloped in a tender soft embrace

Caressed by darkness velvety and deep

Reposed in tandem, minimal in space

But all too soon bright morning comes to light

Disturbing slumber, causing us to stir

As restless day succeeds recumbent night

Sweet dreams retreat in all too quick a blur

And so we wrench apart with some regret

And leave our warm bed filled with promise yet…

Cold Comfort

Cold Comfort…

Though this damned cold sends shivers through my skull

I don’t feel ill enough to stay in bed

So while I feel impaired, my senses dull

I’m wrapped up on the sofa, warm, instead

Platoons of germs advance with pounding feet

Invade my body bringing misery

March through my aching bones with rhythmic beat

An occupying army I can’t see

My fevered brow is burning up like fire

The mucous in my nose impedes my rest

My throat constrained by swallowed razor wire

Breaths catching sharp like frost in heaving chest

Through streaming eyes and sneezing fit to burst

No hope but let this damned cold do its worst… 😦