Tag Archives: The Daily Post

An Announcement in Poetry

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He lit her fire and felt the radiating glow
that lay unkindled through the blunted, charcoal years,
and now, at 3 am, her eyes are closed, her frame in safe recline
while he and I discuss the coming celebration
as if we were alone.

I think that she’s asleep,
but David knows that when her name is spoken,
her lovely eyes will open, and she’ll surprise me with a dazzling smile
which, had I questions in my head, would reconcile them, every one.
She’ll rise up fast and cross the room to kiss his head,
then sleepily retrace her steps to lie back down again,
while both of us devour the sight of reclaimed beauty.

It happens every time.

This is no fickle game, no touch-and-go,
no trumped-up love to end in tears,
no dirty trick to try her luck,
no shameful scam to make a buck.

She’s gone so far beyond her ruinsome loyalty to dangerous desires,
and found a life that’s richer than a pirate’s buried chest of gems.
I watch and know she’ll never lose herself again.

I catch his eye, and it is like a sibling’s hug.

This marriage is no sacrifice, no grateful gift for what he did.
My daughter found a home in him, a home she never knew before.
I love this trying, loyal man who loves to disagree
with all the views I hold most dear,
this roughly mined black diamond who saved my child’s life.
I love our friendship, love our differences and little wars,
but most of all I love the way he loves my daughter,
and I’ll be proud to call him
son-in-law.

This rhyme is artlessly arranged, but I won’t change a word of it. It’s the only way I know to finally share my daughter’s forthcoming marriage to Dave.

Image: My sleepy girl before she decided it was time to lie down on my sofa and go to sleep, while Dave and I watched over her, discussed wedding plans, and generally enjoyed an all-nighter.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Devastation

Michelle #103

A furyed lake of rain recedes,
surrendering domestic secrets and children’s treats
smashed and sullied by nature’s ruination.

The silvery stars,
too far away to see the devastation,
are innocent of blame
for their untimely celebration.

Fair-weather trees in mock jubilation
display a tactless splash of freeze-framed fireworks
proclaiming sham victory
as if sarcastic imagery is a witty way
to cover up the tragedy.

Shattered lives are revealed by eyes
reflecting desolation,
as friends and strangers nobly rise
to aid the restoration.

.

Written for:

 Michelle’s Photo-Fiction 103 – with a bit of poetic licence; the above image doesn’t display a hurricane’s devastation, but I feel it’s appropriate,

and  The Daily Post’s Word Prompt: Witty

©Jane Paterson Basil

Emergence

You may think the string of incidents were diffident coincidence
in a realm of hellish dissidence where a sea of dread precipitance
threatened to consume her as she bowed down in subservience,
her subversive habit stealing all her health and wealth and sense.

You may think the chain of happenings were merely complex happenstance,
but when I confessed her story with an air of stirring urgency,
describing her submergence in that churning pool of murk,
friends and strangers prayed for her, without a word of urging,
and although it seemed at first that recovery was hesitant,
my curled-up girl was rising into gradual emergence
in increasing increments like trilling choruses in dirges,
and every surge built up my trust that balance would return.

You may think the list of incidents were accidents of chance,
when her vicious ex gave vent to his violent vindictiveness,
immediately following a solution I’d been offered
by a kindly friend who proffered his own home as her address
to give her safe support and an escape from this vicinity,
and far from being reticent about a change of residence
to an unfamiliar city, livid marks around her face
gave instant sense of danger, and wisdom took its place.

You may think the string of incidents were no more than coincidence.
You may say that it was happenstance; a strung-up chain of chance,
but whatever the reason, she’s been clean for this last season,
so I kick darkness into innocence, as I freely sing and dance.

.

Words for Peace: South Africa.

Peace in Africaans :

Vrede

Find the pronunciation HERE.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Another Day

You’d like to write, but your cupboards are empty, so you pick up your bag and dash to town.

On the way you decide to drop into Oxfam, but once there you find work to do, so you set to. Soon, all else is forgotten. You buy lunch and carry on.

Someone called Rose phones. You’ve missed a meeting. You say you don’t know a Rose, and no one told you about a meeting.
She mentions the Job Centre
and it sends you

reeling.

“The meeting is on Friday,”
you wheeze, but no, it was today,
and now it’s too late to attend, but
you get away with the mistake
since she knows you’re
halfway to

crazy.

She generously
tells you it’s okay,
and arranges to see
you when you come
back from
Spain.

While helping
carry donations from
a car to the shop you spot a man
slumped senseless on step across the road,
so you check to see he’s not dead,
and discover he’s dead

drunk.

Soon after five o’clock
Karen locks the shop. You check that the man across
the road is still breathing, then go home, where the cupboards
are still bare. You can go shopping after you’ve composed a poem.
The phone rings. You’re supposed to be at a family dinner.
Leaving the flat, you take a route past the Oxfam shop.
You’re pleased that the slumped drunk is gone.

You have a riotous evening,
returning home after

midnight

and you try to write;
try to expand on an idea which
only moments ago
seemed

inspired,

but
you need to
take your

medication,

so you go to the kitchen and
reach for the pills but
the phone rings
you press the
green icon
and
stare
at
the
screen

wondering

what to do next.
A distant voice brings you
to your senses and you hold
the phone to your ear for

fifty-five minutes.

For almost an hour
you must be the oracle,
the one who has the answers
no matter how hard the questions
No matter how your brain
may doubt your

ability.

You are Mother.
You have struggled forever to
see your children well
so you must

know

all the thoughts in your daughter’s brain, and if she can cope
with the unexpected change she made to her care plan three hours ago.
Is she being over-confident? Will her heart stand the strain, will she
collapse, will she weaken, will she sink, or will she rise to the
occasion in the amazing way you think she can? What is she
really thinking, and will the doctor support her
decision, or will he say she must carry
out her plan with precision?
Is it all going wrong, or
is it proving better
than you could have
possibly hoped?
How will it go
tomorrow?
You don’t

know.

You don’t know,
but the questioner must not know that.
Once off the phone,
you start to
write,

then
remember

your

medication.

Tomorrow,
you will

be

focused

.

Words for Peace #4

Welsh:

Heddwch

You can find the pronunciation HERE.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Kiss

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A thin mist sprinkled fine moisture
onto freckled skin, my hair
swelled with liquid gems as I held a
child’s fragile hand in mine;
I, the mighty protector.

The predator stepped with ease through the flesh
of a leaf-scented dream. Dressed
in guise of kind benefactor he promised food
and a dry place to safely  stay.
Details of the walk of gloom which led us to that hellish room
lie shrouded in my mind, yet

still I hear
the grating click of iron in the lock; still I see
the disorderly scheme, still I feel
the shuddering agony of his punishing kick
to my child’s shins, the sharp slap across the face as he spat
out an accusation of laziness, and demanded
my son clean the place. On a naked

mattress that shamelessly displayed
a sordid history in every thread of stained ticking
two women, each with a young son, lay passive
their stoned eyes betraying
blurred focus while slack mouths
slurred flattering words;
burred crumbs scattered by the vanquished,
to placate the jailer.

I silently swore at the
folly of my faith in generous acts; we three females
were slaves, captured for sex, while our children
were taken as drudges of a another sort.

Finding us all trapped, I began to hatch a plan to stab
the villain in the back and smash the door to
make an escape, but as I glanced around I spied a
silent man crouching in a corner, almost
screened by a drape, his forlorn gaze aimed
at the floor. Turning in his direction to determine
what role he played, I saw his face, the face
I see when velvet sheets of sleep gently envelope me;
the face I’m sure I’ve adored for centuries and more;
the soul-mate I have always known and yearned for.
I knelt before him, and as our eyes met
he recognised me. Our mutual joy
erased all fearful thought.

I reached for him,
and our lips joined.

In fuming rage, the predator
pulled me from that short embrace. He threw me
down, and leaped upon my shuddering frame. In his eager haste
he tore my clothes while needled fingernails
clawed blood from my veins. I fought
in vain against the filth and pain as he came
closer to forcing his way into me, my
feeling of degradation reaching a peak. With a jolt I

woke to find myself at home, the ghost of
ravaged rags and ravening attack softened by
the honeyed phantom
of a loving kiss upon my lips,
but as I rose to consciousness, a searing surge
of grief and loss
swallowed sweet relief.

I’m not sure I want to analyse this particular dream, but if anyone out there feels like having a stab at it, be my guest… and maybe you can give me some clue as to who that idealised dream man is. I can describe him, if that would help… 🙂

Words for Peace #3

Norway and Sweden share the same word for peace. It should be an easy one for English speakers to learn, since it’s a commonly used masculine name – and it makes me giggle, since I know a rather angry person who goes by that name.

Swedish and Norwegian:

Fred.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The Low-Down.

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Oh Gloria, you’re glorious
your face is quite adorious,
but it must be most laborious,
to paint it up just foree us.

Please bear with me – I have a point to make…

I’ve been reading my old posts, with a view to deleting some. It’s a time consuming task, since I keep going to the posts, and reading the comments below. I’ve come to the conclusion that, with the exception of three or four which I shouldn’t have posted, I’m going to leave them be, since they are a part of my story.

What comes across more than anything, as I read, is how traumatised I was, up until this year. My honesty was less a virtue than a response to stress and grief. My life has changed dramatically since then. For some years my addicted son and daughter gave me little cause to hope that they would survive for much longer – let alone go into recovery – and whenever hope presented itself, its visit was brief, leaving me more devastated than before.

I had to take tough action, so I pretty much cut myself off from them. It was recommended by my support group, my family and my friends, and I knew it was the right thing to do. It’s called ‘release with love’, but it didn’t feel like love, and apart from the freedom from daily crises, I didn’t feel particularly released. Although I knew that my abandonment might give them an opening into recovery, I suffered a terrible sense of guilt. I feared that they might give up on life, thinking I didn’t love them, that they may genuinely need me, that they may die because I wasn’t there to resuscitate them. At times I missed them terribly, while at other times I was furious with them. A combination of superstition and shame prevented me from speaking of these things, even at my support group.

My refusal to engage with their addictions was part of a series of good and bad events which occurred in a serendipitous order, and resulted in them both going into recovery. So in the last six months, my life has changed dramatically. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I am now well – every time I make that claim a physical or psychological crisis follows – but I’m often happy. It feels as if I have had a reprieve. However, I am all too aware that this reprieve could be taken away, since recovery is a precarious condition. I celebrate the strides my children are are taking, but these celebrations are sandwiched between panic attacks and debilitating hours of both horror and depression.

If you speak to any realist in my position, I think they would agree that, although there is less cause for trauma, anxiety levels can increase, or rather change shape, when someone they love goes into recovery. Hopes are raised, the stakes become higher, and we often find ourselves in a state of shock. It’s a strange twist that is all to familiar to many of us.

I am recovering, but life contains a series of falls and recovery; it carries us along particular routes, and we are shaped by our experiences along the way. I am not the person I may have been in different circumstances; I cannot guess who that person would have been. Come to that, I can’t know how any other circumstances may have shaped up. As my eldest daughter said to me a year or two ago, when my life was atrocious: it could be that what we have now is the best possible result of our lives so far.

Since my children went into recovery, I have found it increasingly difficult to write. When I manage to write, I often don’t finish what I have started, or if I do, I don’t like it enough to post it, and this brings me to Gloria. I wrote the ridiculous rhyme about Gloria in response to yesterday’s word prompt. When it was inside my head, it seemed funny – albeit inane – but typed out I could see that it wasn’t. It’s a perfect illustration of my current state of mind, and the reason I’m not posting much.

Today’s word is ‘tentative‘, which is appropriate, since I feel a tentative pride in having managed to compose this, and I will post it, even though a large part of me doesn’t want to. It has taken me hours of tentative writing to finish this post and when I press ‘publish’, I will do so tentatively. This is a tentative step towards getting back into a proper blogging routine, and overcoming my recently acquired, literary shyness.

Press publish, Jane…

Press publish…

NOW!

PS. I forgot to add today’s word for peace, dedicated to Raili, who kindly supplied it. Maybe you can engineer an opportunity to use this word in the next twenty-four hours.

Words For Peace #2
 
Finnish:
 
Rauha

 

©Jane Paterson Basil