Threshold

At twenty I stood
Upon the threshold
To my life
And I thought
Well, maybe next year.

At thirty I stood
Upon the threshold
To my life
And I thought
Did I leave the stove on?

At fourty I stood
Upon the threshold
To my life
And I thought
I should stay, for Dad.

At fifty I stood
Upon the threshold
To my life
And I thought.

Raindrop

Heavy raindrops fall
Splashing on my glasses
Blinding me to all.

Michael takes away
The lenses that warp my sight
With a tender kiss.

Giving me shelter
From the chaos of my past
I cling to his strength

His oak to my ivy.
His sun to my rain.

Poetry Battle: Bliss

The prompt and the week that it is attached to sometimes are not in sync. This is the situation reflected in this entry to the poetry battle. The prompt was : Bliss.

The word repels me.
Turned its back on me.
So I turn away in turn.
Sore.
Ignored
And bruised.
It denies me its presence
So I deny its existence.
I will be
Barren stone
To being a fool
Waiting
Longer
Longing
For rain
To bloom.

Poem: Glitter dust

Talk to me of whilom days.
Remember them as you speak.
Comfort me with simple lies
of color, joy, and laughter.
Allow me to breathe again,
in a time before the dark.
Fill my mind with glitter dust.

A brief ode to 2020

The one thing certain
About all this uncertainty
Is that all our certainty
Is now certainly uncertain.
And that
The only thing certain
Is uncertainty.

That is certainly certain.

My Voices

My voices
Speak to me
Inside my head.
They travel in a troop
Like a cloud
Of babble.
One is shame,
mud soaked,
discarded, and yet
loudest of them all,
One cries ‘look at me’,
she wears a red dress
and high, high heels.
One slips by invisible, almost.
Transparent,
made of cellophane.
One clings.
Wanting to be held.
One rages.
My angry girl,
so brave,
so vibrant.
Behind them
Walks a silent old woman
Dressed in dark oil skin.
Always prepared for disaster
She follows them
in silent solitude.
Slung across her back
In a rucksack twice her size
The colossal collection of
My lost memories.

Two Roads – ala Robert Frost

I stood upon a road facing a divide,
I trembled knowing that on one path
Without premonition, sign or guide
Both branches were equally eyed.
Filled with doubt I must choose to pass.

On both roads stood dread unknown
Faceless fears and boogie men
Childhood monsters though I’m grown
Follow me far from home
And try to draw me back again.

I was caged safe and sound
My hands could span from wall to wall
In silence I sat making myself small
Blinded to the bars that did surround
For if I did not rise then I could not fall.

When I saw the cage I had designed
Silver bars and barbed wire fence
About myself for fear I did wind
I was prisoner in my own mind
And that has made all the difference.

An Installment of Haiku

I have been participating in the Poetry Battle Friday over on Twitter sponsored by JD Greyson (@JDGreysonwrites). I’ll admit, I always say I’m not a poet at heart, but I’m really enjoying this weekly exercise.
So – I’m going to pass along some of the results. I hope you enjoy.

You can find the new page HERE!
(https://mari-stewart.com/haiku/)

Two paths diverged in a yellow wood

I love the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost which contains the line used for the title. The simple idea that we all face choices that define our lives. Those choices can be momentous or tiny. They can be so small that at the time we didn’t notice that we had made a choice.

I suspect we have all stood at a decision point in the path and tried to discern which one would be ‘better’. For me, the reality is that often I made the choice based on what I knew others expected. I did this no only because it was the expectation, but equally because I had no idea what I wanted. I spent the bulk of my life constrained by fear of the unknown, fear of punishment, fear of speaking up, fear of speaking or doing, at all.

I am learning, rather late in life, that these choices were mine or at least they were meant to be mine. I still wonder, were the choices taken from me or did I abdicate them in the hope of buying safety?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I stood upon a road facing a divide,
I trembled knowing that on one path
Without premonition, sign or guide
Both branches were equally eyed.
Filled with doubt I must choose to pass.

On both roads stood dread unknown
Faceless fears and boogie men
Childhood monsters though I’m grown
Follow me far from home
And try to draw me back again.

I was caged safe and sound
My hands could span from wall to wall
In silence I sat making myself small
Blinded to the bars that did surround
For if I did not rise then I could not fall.

When I saw the cage I had designed
Silver bars and barbed wire fence
About myself for fear I did wind
I was prisoner in my own mind
And that has made all the difference.

As the author of the poem stated, “And that has made all the difference”.

Bottom

There is
a monster
in the mirror.
I stand shaking,
clutching
at the cold porcelain
of the sink
to support myself
on withering knees.
My body is numb,
but the tears
that wash
over my cheeks
are hot.
There is
a monster
in the mirror.