Category: Pain/Sadness

City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls

The vanilla sky masked a sun
desperate to break through
Dreariness hung in the air
like a wet blanket on hopes
never to materialize

Remains of life lived
lay in derelict piles of rubble
Dreams and memories scattered
Never to be retrieved
The city, a heart without a beat

Ghosts of the brave
wandering empty streets
Searching for lost souls
stolen from broken bodies
Forever haunting 


Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved


Lynda Lee Lyberg is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight tonight and has prompted us with first lines of a novel.  There were twelve to choose from.  My pick was:

The winter sun, poor ghost of itself, hung milky and wan behind layers of cloud above the huddled roofs of the town.’- Thomas Mann, Tonio Kroger, Penguin, 1955

Tiptoe Through The Tulips

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

After last night’s storm the tulip petals
are strewn across the patio
where they mortally fluttered
The stems lay where they were thrown
Deflowered, Dead-headed
as they landed in his face
falling ingloriously at his feet
Pistil and stamen in tact
Naked tulips
The deep violet petals took flight
Descending to the ground in slow motion
The storm, a tempest in a tea cup
Coming from nowhere
with a whipping wind
stirring things up
that are better left alone, 
Words cannot be unsaid
The previous night’s debris
a sad reminder that
not only flowers die


Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Linda Lee Lyberg is hosting Poetics tonight at D’Verse and has prompted us to start our poem with a line from James Harrison’s Songs Of Unreason

Here are the eight lines to choose from:

I chose the last one

“There is a human wildness held beneath the skin.”- Arts, Jim Harrison

“He went to sea in a thimble of poetry.”- Poet Warning, Jim Harrison

“In truth each day is a universe in which we are tangled in the light of stars.”- Horses, Jim Harrison

“I don’t know what happens after death but I’ll have to chance it.”- Desert Snow, Jim Harrison

“Yes, in the predawn black the slim slip of the waning moon.”- Remote Friends, Jim Harrison

“Some days in March are dark and some altogether glittery and loud with birds.”- March in Patagonia, AZ, Jim Harrison

“We’re doubtless as old as our mothers, thousands of generations waiting for the sunlight.”- Sunlight, Jim Harrison

“After last night’s storm the tulip petals are strewn across the patio where they mortally fluttered.”- Church, Jim Harrison

Don’t Forget The Caregiver

Don’t Forget The Caregiver

She asks for nothing but time
so she might remember
who she is and
that for one waking
moment she does not have
to worry about his needs
That she might be herself
The one she knows still exists
Someone carefree who brought
joy into a room with her smile
and a sense of playfulness and fun

She wishes to be left alone
to be perfectly selfish
To think of only herself for just a while
To worry not of doctors’ appointments
and transportation,
of groceries and cooking
To worry not of tending to another’s desires
To listen not to constant rhetoric
of the unfairness that has befallen him 
and hear not his reminders of her duty
bound by their marriage vows

Being constantly sapped of energy
She finds herself drowning in his pool
and litany of demands
Struggling to breathe her own air
Her face now a mask hiding
the weariness of caregiving
Her laughter silenced
and wishes go unanswered
Clinging to hope that one day
it will be different from the one before
Or she may just lose her mind


Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Lillian is hosting Open Link Night at D'Verse Poets

Recycled

Recycled

Without warning
The chilly wind of rejection
Blustered
Sweeping away a lifetime 
Of laughter and love

Fragments of a life blown apart
Jagged and sharp
scraping and scratching
at unhealed wounds
Still leaving their bloody trails

Redacted, reused and then recycled
Shelf life expired 
Dispensed without further regard
Callously and cruelly
cast away

Darkness would come soon
The relief of blackness
Veiling a pain-stricken face
Not wanting to remember
The ghosts from a past best forgotten 


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Bjorn is hosting Open Link Night at D'Verse Poets

Darkness

Darkness

The shadow falls across your face
and I lose you once more to the darkness 
Your time in the sunlight limited
by your own demons
robbing you of happiness
Once more allowing the chaos
to rule our world, destroying harmony
I watch with sadness as you are
consumed with anger and demand
retribution for wrongs only you perceive
I step back in horror as I witness
the madness consuming you
and I pray silently for the light


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Lisa from Tao Talk is hosting Open Link Night at D’Verse Poets

Photo by  Artyom Kulikov on Unsplash

Out To Sea

Out To Sea

Breathless, sinking into dampened sand
A collapsing heap of bones and skin
lays immobile, grateful for silence but for
the ebb and flow of waves washing the shore

In silence memories flood into a mind 
trying to close the gates of hell
Tears pour from eyes witness to the unspeakable 
A throat chokes on words refusing to swallow

Between heaving breasts lies a heart
piecing together the puzzle
of broken rocks that weigh it down
A wave washes over a body of disbelief
Wishing to be taken out to sea


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Word Prompts

Between - FOWC
Swallow - RDP
Puzzle - Stream of Consciousness

Where were you on 9/11?


Where were you on 9/11? It’s a common question we ask every year on this day. A tragedy ingrained in our memories and wherever you are in the world you will likely have that recollection of place and time.

Looking Back – Coincidences

There are some coincidences in my recollection of that fateful Tuesday 20 years ago. President George W. Bush was here in Sarasota, Florida, where I live. I remembered this as I was driving to work and passed some protestors on the corner of a main intersection. On that morning he was talking with a class of elementary students at a local school when the first attack happened at 8:46 AM. I was a few miles away working at a job fair. I was on the opening team of a luxury brand hotel that was due to open two months later and we were just getting ready for our second day of interviewing potential staff. Some of us were sitting together in the break area prior to opening the doors. One of the other team members put their head around the door and said “Come and see what’s on the TV. A pilot has just crashed a plane into one of The World Trade Center buildings.” We all looked at each other thinking it must be a small 2 or 4 seater private plane. There is no way a commercial pilot would do that.

That was just the beginning of the awful events that would unfold throughout that day and the following days, weeks and months and years. You know the rest. Sadly, it did not end on that day. Thousands dead and then we went to war with Afghanistan for the past 20 years and even more dead to mourn. To this day there are still people dying from the fallout of 9/11.

We also discovered in the days following 9/11 of another local coincidence. Several of the terrorists who hijacked the planes had been receiving pilot training at a flight school just 20 miles south of Sarasota in Venice, Florida. Why this part of Florida was front and center of that horrific day, I don’t know.

Fast Forward – 20 Years On

This week our local bookstore sent out an email to its subscribers to share a beautiful poem by Billy Collins, a New Yorker, who was the U.S. poet laureate at the time of the 9/11 attacks. A year later, he wrote a poem,The Names, in honor of the victims. He read the poem before a special joint session of Congress held in New York City in 2002, and here he reads it again. I had not heard it before and it is really quite moving. It is so beautifully written and you will likely want to listen to it or read it more than once. The poem is also listed below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Rest in peace all those whose lives were so tragically taken on 9 /11/2001.

Where were you on 9/11?

The Names by Billy Collins

 Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
 A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
 And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
 I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
 Then Baxter and Calabro,
 Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
 As droplets fell through the dark.
 Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
 Names slipping around a watery bend.
 Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
 In the morning, I walked out barefoot
 Among thousands of flowers
 Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
 And each had a name --
 Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
 Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
 Names written in the air
 And stitched into the cloth of the day.
 A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
 Monogram on a torn shirt,
 I see you spelled out on storefront windows
 And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
 I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
 Kelly and Lee,
 Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
 When I peer into the woods,
 I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
 As in a puzzle concocted for children.
 Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
 Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
 Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
 Names written in the pale sky.
 Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
 Names silent in stone
 Or cried out behind a door.
 Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
 In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
 A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
 A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
 And the names are outlined on the rose clouds -
 Vanacore and Wallace,
 (let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
 Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
 Names etched on the head of a pin.
 One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
 A blue name needled into the skin.
 Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
 The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
 Alphabet of names in a green field.
 Names in the small tracks of birds.
 Names lifted from a hat
 Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
 Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
 So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.

—Billy Collins (c) 2002
*This poem is dedicated to the victims of September 11 and to their survivors.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday - Where

Venting

Venting

My thoughts erratic
scattered like dead leaves
In a barren field
Flying every which way
Undisciplined
and confusing

My head spins 
As it tries to remember
Everything that needs to be done 
Not only for you but for me too
Intimidating
and daunting

My identity lost
Drowned in your pool
of needs and wants
Your incapacities
Demanding
and exhausting

My sanity teeters
On the edge of unreason
Your only responses
indifferent and perfunctory
Dismaying
and disheartening

My energy level low
When did I become invisible?
A means only to your end
Being your caregiver
Debilitating
and demoralizing


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved


Word Prompts

My - Stream of Consciousness
Discipline - Word of the Day
Scattered- RDP
Field - FOWC

Taken

I am thrilled that MasticadoresUSA has featured my poem Taken. You can read it on their site or here at Poetry For Healing.

Please check out the MasticadoresUSA site and view other poems and prose from our featured fellow writers.

Taken

Standing in silver light
of consumed moon
Staring out to sea
Hair, raven black
Lifted by the wind
 
Palmed rose, thorny
Color of blood
Clutched tightly
to a heaving breast
as tears flowed
 
Skulls of saints
calling to lost souls
in watery graves
Where pearls from tissue
calcify in salty sea
 
Lured by songs
of sailors lost
Blood trickles
from royal flesh
taken by waves

 
Copyright © 2020 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

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