Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Maybe some questions shouldn't be asked because you might not like what that person has to say, or how long they will go on!!!

Well,  Anthony over at dversepoets.com  asked for it___(sorry, but had to write this for my response and get it out of the way) for us to write a poem that is influenced by certain times in your life that made you the poet you are today or how in any manner we have evolved as poets.  Gosh, I'm a poet? Probably the inclination stemmed from roots planted from before,  but by in large with the onset of mental illness in my family that began when I was 20, I went into a shell, so to speak -  first my  husband, then my son at the age of 15.  Creativity   seemed an impossible option then.  Some of you may have read a previous poem regarding this.  I apologize in advance for it's being so long...understand if one doesn't want to read it....it won't happen again.

Born with need to express ourselves,
let me count the ways -
tantrums, crayons to finger-painting,
doodling in notebooks in idle time, writing letters, 
But for years my artistic libido went,
 for the most part, unsatisfied,
and I realized I was inside
the "Snake Pit" with Jane Wyman
hearing the echoing cries within
mental hospital with antiquated procedures
I felt like a prisoner of war
Circumstances had me taking a detour 
through tunnels with little light
For a long time I felt I was leading 
the Underground Railroad or a revolution
In my family there were those 
who needed to get safely to the other side;
while the mental health system cracked
we struggled in it's wake
My creative faucet shut off when
I became their advocate,
 being wife and mother, breadwinner

Looking back to the time in my life,
when all pathways were usurped 
by forces out of my control
Random acts of disturbing behavior
led me on a bizarre journey,
took me for a scary ride
(that theirs was scarier than mine is a fact)
Voices radioed via tangled ganglia,
sent them off course, 
one crisis on the heels of another,
sapping my energy
All the love in the world doesn't change things
I was their support, 
and for the doctors and clinicians a guide
For 35 years and more it took all I had
to raise my daughter and maintain my own sanity
Hence, I stepped outside myself,
relied on my reserve,
focused on a different world, 
 "Living With Schizophrenia"is a good book
 and I can recommend one for bi-polar disorder.
I was engaged daily with confusion,
and a wayward minds,
learning to let go over and again;
 when the fog began to lift 
and I had done all I could

I needed time to find new footing,
with wavering polio little used legs,
Time to filter, sift through the debris,
I was vulnerable, tired;
others could not relate, understand,
 they stigmatized
No personal issues were to interfere-
rule number one for work atmosphere
Not unlike an amnesiac, I had to reclaim my life.
At times I felt I was the one
in a straitjacket most of my life...well not quite,
but as a metaphor it works just right.
Anyway, some people abandon you - 
you abandon them, too.
In an ideal world that's 
the last thing you want or need to do!  Right...
Small steps brought less stress
In 2000 I emerged as a grandmother, 
began to enjoy life again
Not healthy to be in a state of unresolved grief
Both feet were wanting to be in the same world
like before when I was 18?
Was there a place in line where
I could squeeze myself in again?

I stretched anew  
muscles of my heart and mind,
signed up for a creativity class online.
Suddenly there was much to say!
Crosswords became my obsession, 
I started to read books again
A desire to push myself further was rejuvenated
I stuck out my neck, picked up my camera, 
got excited that I was creating 
something called art.  
So I got started on the road to following my Bliss;
I started to play with pen and paper
           A fresh deep desire to write            
came from deep pockets of my soul
Words tapped free from the heart
found their way out, fit into place
my mind soared
Unnecessary guilt subsided
I wrote haiku and poems and dared to share them,
joined a poetry website (many poets juggle more) 
Gradually I poured my thoughts onto paper, 
creating something uniquely mine
I did not just get off the Mayflower
but it was as if my native language
had started to come back to me;
 after smoking a peace pipe with myself
I got out paint, brushes, sketching pad -
and pen

Hence, my poetry, stories, artwork, 
such they are, forget graduating summa cum laude,
but I could now use tools I had
not unlike Helen Keller
Today I can function
as the full person I was meant to be
Poetry empathizes
We witness in awe and record 
the nuances of the world around us 
We capture moments for art's sake - 
we write to portray and express what's deep inside 
I always hoped I would
help to raise the spirit of man 
so that others might benefit,
 describing the indescribable - 
through poetry 


  1. It's a long painful and yet astonishing journey - everyone follows a different learning curve for creativity and yours is a great example.

  2. these needed to be long, actually... so don't apologize for its length!

    you had a world of weight on your shoulders, and you are most definitely a hero for taking care of your loved ones... my heart was aching as I read, but I am so glad that you found art and gave yourself some well deserved personal enjoyment... it's hard not to lose yourself when you have to be a caregiver, that I do know.

  3. finally who i was meant to be...you took us on the full journey here...it was cool and makes me feel i know you a bit more...i am glad you came to that place...through it all..being an advocate or caregiver is not easy...esp when mental health is involved...i worked in MH for a good while....

  4. Oh I was totally captivated and so tenderly touched by your poem. I am so happy that you found your way back...maybe not in that same line where you got out...but maybe even a better one that was waiting for your creativity to emerge. We all need to follow our bliss however that shows up for us. There was pain in your words but also a strong spirit. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey.

  5. What a story of courage and bravery, I think that art is an answer to confusion - beauty breaks things like walls and fear down, and at the same time considering it allows a freedom and a way of organizing your thoughts, your hopes, your past, your future, and mapping new dreams and adventures. An emotional write which evokes a strong response. Kudos!

  6. Katy you have opened yourself to us the readers, your load has been a heavy one throughout your life and I am glad that you are now able to relinquish some of that in your writing. How could we not read all of this, raw and powerful with sadness. Thank you.

  7. that is a long journey of life........ but still we have to live it and pic it..... God gave us the power to restate it .............

  8. A fabulous tale Katy, we lead lives in so many different chapters of life, and each one brings new experiences and often new beginnings. I enjoyed your poem very much well done.

  9. A long and painful journey . Happy you found your way.

  10. You have taken quite a journey, Katy. It is good that you have now reclaimed yourself and began to enjoy life again after having lost track of yourself for so many years. Also nice to hear that poetry has been a part of your discovery of yourself and your talents!

  11. You have written a very honest poem, Katy! I am glad you are now able to appreciate life again. We, in the poetry blogosphere , are lucky that this involves your writing poetry.

  12. I'm so glad for you now that you can 'breathe' for yourself. Thank you for your poem (not so long). I appreciate your revelations here, and I appreciate all you don't say about the pain and heartbreaks of advocating for family members who are mentally ill. Take care Katy, enjoy your life now.

  13. Poetry is certainly important, as you write! Nice work!

  14. out of the pain... healing... thanks for sharing from your heart

  15. Healing, sharing, caring...you have captured this journey so well! I am glad you found your foot and I hope you tap dance on your songs and keep leaving a few steps for us to tap along :)

  16. What a journey through life.. the bliss of poetry to lift the heaviness .. and reclaim yourself... wonderful.

  17. A sad, sad poem with a happy time, not at the end, but at the beginning of a new phase of your life. I look forward to reading more of your work as you continue to spread your wings.

  18. and we do enjoy your writing. This is perfectly descriptive:

    I did not just get off the Mayflower
    but it was as if my native language
    had started to come back to me

  19. What a powerful story, Katy. You have told it simply, using so many strong images and metaphors.

  20. I echo the sentiments written above. Sometimes we loose sight of how wonderful it is to create. Especially under the weight you've carried for so long. I'm glad you found your way here and I greatly appreciate that you've shared such an intimate part of your journey with us.

  21. i think the longing to create is so deeply anchored in our soul - and it is so satisfying if we're able to use those gifts... glad you found poetry... and cool that you're painting as well


All comments, constructive and otherwise, are welcome and appreciated here. Thank you to those who show an interest in my quirky style of writing, photography, painting, and presenting a feeling or thought and for stopping by A Dwelling by the Sea..