Narcissism

Narcissism is not a word I have had occasion to use very much until recently.  It would seem that a culture of rights without responsibilities has slowly been developing to the point where narcissism has slipped into our daily vocabulary.  Whether it is a ‘right’ to own a gun or a ‘right to speak freely, usually with no consequence, both of these ‘rights’ come with a set of responsibilities that too many people are choosing to neglect.  In a way that is a form of narcissism.  A selfishness and disregard for others.   We experience it on a daily basis with politics and even more so when traveling by air.   We have all seen the YouTube videos of fights breaking out on planes because someone is doing something objectionable in front of a fellow passenger or a young woman thinks it is OK to perform yoga in the aisle.  It is evident in our workplace and unfortunately in some instances our own home. To me it is something that is socially unacceptable, it should not be endorsed, certainly not encouraged and never tolerated.

Narcissism

The mirror has become
Her only friend
The only one that does not
Question her choices

She is beautiful in the eyes
Of this silent confidante
She is superior
To her contemporaries

Her love of self
Is her only love
She is incapable of caring
Enamored with her own image

But in her head
She is adored by many
She will draw you into her web
With compliments and her assured way

You are good for only one thing
To be used by her
A means to an end
She has no accountability

She is despised for her selfishness
Her obsession with herself
Is insufferable
Her arrogance unbearable

She will degrade you
And she will take no responsibility
Her actions are unconscionable
She will suck the energy from you

When things do not go her way
She will blame and cry if need be
She will never be sorry
She is addicted and narcissism is her drug

Christine Bolton

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Complication

Complication

You never told me
How could this happen?
I feel kicked in the stomach
The hurt is more than you can imagine

I am betrayed by you
You have been living a lie
What was supposed to be
Will never come, so its goodbye

We spoke of love
Our future was mapped
I had started to believe
But you say you felt trapped

What is wrong with you?
That you could not explain
Your words lacking commitment
Have caused so much pain

Yes it is a Complication
What a word you have chosen
So carelessly delivered
I am left a woman broken

Go on your way I say
We have nothing left in common
Take with you your lies
You will be easily forgotten

Christine Bolton

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Life’s Treasure Map

Life’s Treasure Map

I remember as a child
What fun it was to find
Treasure of sorts
That someone had left behind

When you have not very much
This game can last for hours at a time
You would search the whole day
And maybe find a dime

As you get older
There is less of a struggle
So the child’s game gets forgotten
And you become a master of life’s juggle

You think you have it made
You now have competence
But you end up with just material things
And nothing of consequence

Life quickly becomes empty
And no one with which to share
You are lonely most of the time
You decide to send up a prayer

No, you don’t fall to your knees
Hands clasped together at your chest
You open your heart to the Universe
And it will do the rest

You get a poster board and make a treasure map
Cutting words and pictures from a magazine
Representing you and your desires
As you, and only you, have to set the scene

You choose your destiny carefully
What you would like to manifest
To be healthy, wealthy, and maybe a lover
Hoping someone will hear your request

You also write down exactly
What you are truly looking for
Address the letter to the Universe
And what you desire will come for sure

Your words must be specific
Clear and concise
Then burn the paper with a prayer
Sending to the sky without thinking twice

With this process you visualize a life
You would like to be living
Then you put the map away
And forget about it until maybe Thanksgiving

You will enjoy the process
Of this I am sure
And then one day
You will take it from your drawer

You will be amazed to find
What you have already achieved
Because what you have desired
You most likely have now received

You are what you think
Your mind is very clever
When it is open to all things
They continue to come forever

Christine Bolton

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Infect

Infect me with your disdain
So that I can feel your pain

Cover me with your words
And I will be your songbird

Infect me with your madness
I will wallow in luxurious sadness

Your attention could fill me to the brim
I don’t care if I sink or swim

Infect me with your poison
So my life’s blood flows crimson

Use me whichever way you want
I am yours to play with and taunt

Infect me with your anger
I am numb from everyone’s candor

This way I will feel alive
Even if it’s me you despise

Infect me with hope and longing
And I will come crawling

Give me just once chance
To taste the sweetness of romance

Infect me with your love
We go together like hand in glove

Destined for each other we will be
It is inevitable don’t you see

Christine Bolton

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Live and Let Live

Live and Let Live

I regard myself as a very lucky person.  I have had low points in my life along with dizzying heights of happiness only to descend back down again.  I am fortunate because I have experienced both.  I have been sad and happy, hungry and full, poor and not so poor, loved and unloved, young and old.

Our life, to others, is never what it seems, and it is so easy for us to judge each other.  When we are without, we envy those that appear to have it all.  When we are hungry we resent those who we perceive as squandering money.  It is always an “us versus them” mentality because it is easy to criticize and play victim.  We never really know what is truly going on in someone else’s life. Even though they might appear to have everything, they could well be suffering immense pain from health issues, or perhaps going through a divorce or even losing a family member. Such resentment on our part is unhealthy and cultivating negative thoughts can hurt us in the long run.  What perhaps would be an easier thing to do is to turn the negativity into something positive. When we are not struggling financially, wouldn’t that the best time to help those less fortunate?  When our stomachs are full shouldn’t we donate to the Food Bank?  I see life as an ongoing opportunity to experience everything that is thrown our way. To appreciate the highs and lows, the good and the bad, and to never forget where we have come from. Always remember that at some point in our lives someone has helped us up and the right thing to do is always pay it forward.  It can be hard work to get there but ultimately it is worth it.  Live and let live is an expression I use a lot and it inspired me to write this poem.

Live and Let Live

I look to the horizon
Where the sea meets the sky
My life peculiarly in balance
I break down and cry

Can this really be happening
To the likes of me
No one ever gave me anything
Without the third degree

For so many years
Just hitting the wall
Disappointment and failure
Avoiding the curve ball

What life always threw at me?
Ready or not
I never understood the meaning
Of this terrible plot

To knock me down
More times than I cared
Only for me to get up
As this game was not yet declared

Then you came along
And evened the playing field
So I had a chance this time
With no need to carry the shield

You made it safe so that I
Could be the best I could be
I am scared no more
And at last I feel free

I have been kicked around by life
Battered and bruised
I can see the light
And I am no longer confused

Now I am on the side
Of what I perceive is right
I will champion those less fortunate
As I understand their plight

Life is better for me
As you opened my eyes
To the beauty in the world
That is no longer in disguise

Christine Bolton

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Pedigree

Pedigree

You do what you always do
When confusion fills your head
The pain in your gut is real
And I begin to fear with dread

The cross hairs of your frustration
Had me squarely in its sight
You took aim and fired
I fell victim to its flight

You were doing what was taught
The apple does not fall far from the tree
Your mother’s anger toward you
Is now aimed at me

It causes such pain in our lives
But you cannot help your ancestry
No more than I can
Because this is our Pedigree

The lessons were taught
When we were so young
We have to break the cycle
Before more harm is done

The family tree is responsible
For more than we would care to choose
Our lineage defines us
And it is not so easy to lose

Christine Bolton

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Does the Sandpiper Fly?

I woke this morning and feeling a little tense.  I couldn’t put my finger on any one thing but knew the best way to deal with it would be to get out into nature to clear my head and find some inspiration for the day.

I headed to the beach with towels and chair in hand.  The day was bright, the sky a cloudless blue, and I knew the moment I set foot on the sand that I had made a good decision.

I felt the energy coming from the sea and with the sun on my shoulders it was like instant medicine for the soul.  Nature is always the best remedy and I can usually find the answers I’m looking for, whether I am at the beach or just walking in the neighborhood.

After finding a good spot, I took a few minutes just to do a little people watching.  I live in a resort town on the coast and the beachgoers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Some are on vacation, others are walking the beach for exercise, a few are doing yoga, a couple are cycling and others are just working on their tan.  I then turned my attention to the beach birds.  Noisy Seagulls, diving Pelicans and the fascinating Sandpiper.  This small, busy bird is tireless.  You will find him running across the sand constantly in search of food and giving the impression that he must never get wet under any circumstance!

It made me realize how similar we all are. We as humans go through the same motions day after day whether going to work or tending to our lives in general.  Just like the Sandpiper, our existence depends on these repetitive rituals that are necessary. However, every now and again we should really just stop, take a breath and appreciate why we do these things.  If we work, at least enjoy it. If we are on the run taking care of our families, remember to be thankful for the happiness they bring. If we are in school or college and are feeling the pressure of our studies or from our peers, we should take consolation in knowing this time in our life is temporary. A means to an end and it will pass quickly.

I found the little Sandpiper so intriguing I was inspired to write this poem.

 

The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper runs along the shore
Searching for insects and the odd crustacean
Concentrating hard on the task at hand
With such intent and dedication

Moving swiftly down the beach
He flirts with the water as it ebbs and flows
With seconds to spare he quickly escapes
His legs taking him quickly wherever he goes

He is tentative and unsure
Of how it might feel
He errs on the side of caution
And avoids the thrill

Up and down the beach he goes
He repeats the ritual often
This is his life day after day
Nothing is forgotten

Fascinating to watch
I am enthralled with the scene
Will he do the same tomorrow?
And will he remember where he has been?

A Pelican and Seagull cause a commotion
They are squawking on the boat dock
The Gull loses interest
And rejoins his flock

Meanwhile the industrious Sandpiper
Is scurrying on the beach
To and from the water
Everything he goes for seemingly out of reach

The ceremony of his life
So fascinating to observe
His repetitive action, over and over
Never missing a curve

I watch the tireless efforts of this little bird
Rarely do you see him on his wing
His existence is staying close to the ground
Constantly searching for any little thing

I wonder does he walk home
To his little nest somewhere nearby
Thinking about tomorrow
And whether he should fly

Christine Bolton

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Lady in Waiting

Dancing on the perimeter of your life
Constantly moving so you would
Not forget I was there
I wait for you to beckon me
Inviting me into your life

You are open and welcoming
But cautious and in control
You do not pursue me
I do not know you yet
You may love another

I will be patient because it feels so good
I’m comfortable in my state of waiting
I believe you will come to me
One day
And so it is in your hands

Christine Bolton

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Questioning Myself

I am the status quo
My temperament even
Contained and rarely sad or angry
Life is too short for either
I rationalize the ups and downs of my life
Easily, effortlessly and with thought for others
This is who I have learned to be
When your sweet soul gets lost in your indignation
The dark shadow encompasses you and all in your path
Which includes me
I dread it
It comes from nowhere and swiftly
It swallows me
Stripping me of my composure
Sucking me into the abyss of whatever has displeased you
You feel justified in your state
And question my emotions
That are now so unraveled and visible
You have no patience with me
And you are now challenging in your address
You feel justified by your displeasure and subsequent rant
And you cannot understand why I do not agree
How does this happen?
I fear it and when it comes
It is as if struck by your words
It is not a happy time
I struggle to get past it
I sweep it under the carpet and pretend it didn’t happen
I enable you
By doing so you get a free pass to do it again
What does that say about me?

Christine Bolton

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Love and Pain – How Animals Enrich Our Lives

Sienna

I know they are not, but in my opinion these two words, love and pain, should be synonymous.  One doesn’t exist without the other and they are the evil twins of vocabulary.  The good twin gives the love and the evil twin delivers the pain.

Love is our oxygen.  We breathe it in and we feel our spirits lift to the point of being light-headed and giddy. Just when we are drunk on love, it gets snatched away and we suffer with the pain like a hangover.  I much prefer love.

When I reflect on love and pain I first think of the happiness and anguish of human relationships, although the same applies to the bond we have with our pets.  We have come to rely on them for companionship and of course love, but more and more, we depend on them as service dogs or service animals to help us both physically and emotionally.  They are an important part of our lives and as a result deep bonds are formed.  I began to think about all the animals that came in and out of my life and what they meant to me.

I must say of every pet I have owned, whether cats, dogs, tortoises, fish, small birds, exotic big birds and horses, they all presented me with a personality that was suited to mine at that time in my life.  I fondly remember some of the antics of my menagerie of pets over the years and the unconditional love they gave me.

My first cat as a child became my best friend who endured hours of torture being dressed in baby clothes and wheeled around in a stroller. He was so much more fun than a doll. As I would lay on the floor doing my homework, and usually fretting over it, he would climb onto my back and park there, purring, for the duration.  He was the best buddy an 8 year-old girl could have.

One time I came home from work to find my young Golden Retriever had chewed every possible thing he could reach, from hairbrush to can opener to gnawing right through the drywall until he reached the stud.  He was actually sitting triumphantly on top of the dining room table when I came into the house.  What could you do?

Then there was the duckling that waddled out from under the couch one evening as I watched TV.  Where he came from I’ll never know and the cat just sat there washing himself nonchalantly as if it had absolutely nothing to do with him.

I still wonder how, and which one of the three cats I owned, managed to get the live pigeon through the cat door and let him live until I came home from work.  I’ll never forget unlocking the door and all three black cats were lined up in the hallway staring at me as I entered.  I remember thinking that didn’t look right.  I turned around to close the front door and there sat the terrified pigeon. Who knows how long he had been sitting there.  Poor thing.  He could have had a heart attack as they probably taunted him for hours.

Then there was my sweet Mastiff who, while carrying a headless squirrel in her mouth, tried to bring it into the house for me. This beautiful docile dog was so excited to share it!  Have you ever tried blocking a determined 150 lb. dog from coming through a door? It wasn’t easy. I still refuse to believe she decapitated it, but it still haunts me.

Every one of these wonderful, funny creatures, and others I have not mentioned, brought such pleasure to my life, and for the small price of a good home and some food, they gave me so much love and some pretty unusual gifts!  If I was sad, a head would plop onto my lap or a paw would be laid on my knee. Or that purring in my ear and a kitty cat shoulder massage would bring a smile to my face and make my troubles disappear.  I remember sitting in my horse’s stall and crying over something that would bring an end to the world, and he would nicker just to let me know it was OK.  Happy days for them would be a car ride, always guaranteed to excite, maybe picking out a new toy at the pet store, or a gallop across the fields.  Their needs were so simple and all they wanted was to be with me.  Unfortunately our pet’s time with us is not long but the pleasure they bring lasts a lifetime.  Although I never will understand how man’s best friend, can live such a short life and a parrot or tortoise can live until they are 75!

When the dreadful day comes and the Evil Twin pays a visit, some difficult decisions have to be made.  This is hard on all of us and facing the inevitable can be heart wrenching.  It hasn’t been too long since we said goodbye to our Chocolate Lab.  We were not given the opportunity to even make that difficult decision as she was taken from us so suddenly by a freakish, large dog condition and could not be saved.  It was a devastating loss and we still have moments of such sorrow when she pops into our minds or we see another Lab.  I wrote the following poem shortly after losing her and I read it whenever I am feeling sad or I’m reminded of her.  It always helps and brings a smile to my face as I remember her sweetness.

I hope it reminds you of a four-legged friend or dear pet that might have lost.

Thank you for reading this.

Christine

Sienna

Your restless feet in the morning, anxious to communicate
Always thoughtful and considerate, but you could barely wait
Even when you needed our attention, you wanted to please
But we loved you so dearly we would drop to our knees

Sienna, your sweet look, always a happy puppy-doodle-doo
Your daily ritual meant we had so much love for you
You had your order of how things should be
And we followed you through the motions because your joy was ours, you see

Our world revolved around you and your happiness was important
Whatever it took and no matter the cost, we would never be complacent
We were blessed with your warmth and goodness every day
But what a cruel world it was that took you away

Our sadness and grief are beyond unbearable
And the loss of you completely unacceptable
Our memories are fresh in our hearts and will not fade soon
Our thoughts of you warm and loving and should be placed in a balloon

We would then send it up, way into the sky
Off into the wild blue yonder where dogs might fly
With a wish that it would find you somewhere, happy, healthy and content
And you would read our words to know that for us, it was as if you never went

You will never be forgotten and hope you are not alone
Our love for you is deep, as if carved in stone
We miss you so much our sweet chocolate dog
If we spell dog backwards then there is a God

Christine Bolton

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