Sleep eats my hours
Devours my moments
I awaken to find
Years and years
Lost to sleep.
Lost in a fog
I hide myself
Inside each day
Veiled by darkness
I embrace each night.
Old low burning flames
memories under the bed
like pieces of an old game
at night, fast asleep
they blister inside your head.
Upon waking, you weep.
pictures of a love lost
beneath your feet.
Regrets flash by
on your mind screen
you still pay the cost
but you’re stuck in now
lost…forever it seems.
How can that old love
still make you cry?
Was it a nightmare
or was it a dream?
Is the past ever gone
is it ever wiped clean?
Wake up, clear your mind
push old passions away
get on with your life
because today will be
by Jeanne Marie
sometimes I wish, I think, I could have lived my life
without the soul stretching exercise
i could have been a dandelion floating on the wind,
at the whim of every breeze
i would have been happy blowing across the open fields
a dandelion puff scattered every which way
for a wish by a child with a grin and scuffed knees
no heart to be broken no regrets to sleep on at night
just a hundred puffs floating this way and that.
maybe a flower opening my petals for just one day
to close, to leave
drifting on a whim as the wind carried me away.
i could have been a feather fallen from an angel’s wing
floating past your window
as under the covers you snuggled
eyes closed, not seeing me or any thing
i would have sprinkled blessing dust
across your windowsill
as I whooshed by
so no person could ever scar you
or beat you blind with lies.
sometimes I wish, I think, I could have lived my life
without the soul stretching exercise.
by Jeanne Marie
The angry feelings
shove at the door
that I want closed.
Let us out!
Let us out!
Go to sleep
is my sorry answer.
Go to sleep.
for me to fall asleep,
I hear a woman crying.
“No!” she cries out,
“No, I don’t love you!”
As she sobs
I reach out
to comfort her.
I touch a face
wet with tears.
It is my own.
by Jeanne Marie
Google sent me a text from its no such place mansion in The Cloud, asking me a stupid question in the middle of night. They asked me if I wanted to update Google Play. They asked me that question at 2:00 a.m., to be exact, and it is far from the first time that Google couldn’t sleep. Well, Google let me think about this…
I was sound asleep.
I don’t play with Google on my cell phone, only on my Android pad.
Texts in the middle of the night mean one thing to me…someone I love is in deep do-do because…
I have a daughter who makes the Hot Mug Shots page at least twice a year.
I have a great-grandson who was born less than 2 weeks ago, promptly turned yellow and we discovered that he fractured his little shoulder during his journey through the birth canal, (8 pounds, 8 ounces).
I have four kids who live in three different states. I have 15 grandkids, ages 4 to age 30, and they live in four different states.
My elderly mother-in-law lives two hours from my house.
My son almost died in a car wreck a little over a year ago.
My sister’s son almost died in a car wreck 7 days ago.
My oldest granddaughter just left after spending two weeks with me because she was in an emotional crisis and Grammy is the family tear wiper.
So Google, where ever you are, do you think I want a false alarm (2:00 a.m. panic me good) text asking me to get up and check out your new games in the middle of the night?
To make it perfectly clear, NO.
How many people actually respond to your a.m. requests?
No, don’t answer, I’m better off not knowing.
NO, I do not want to play with you, especially at 2:00 P.M. NO, I don’t want to wake up from my dream of a White Christmas 30 years ago in New England.
You have invaded my boundaries and abused the privilege of knowing my unlisted phone number.
I would notify you of my desire to be left alone when I am sleeping, but since you live in the no such place mansion in The Cloud, I don’t know even know how to get in touch with you, although obviously, you know how to get in touch with me.
My Cloud wants to talk to your Cloud. I’m sure you have his number.
Christmas is hurtling toward me again. My fifty-third Christmas season. The emotional burden of Christmas Past swoops down from the twinkling lighted trees and brightly lit homes that surround me. The blue and red flashing bulbs wring me out until I resemble a soiled, sour dish rag. I resist the waves of regret and remorse, work and work on my computer until my shoulders are on fire, EBay until my arms are no longer able to function. Work around the house until I can’t trust my twisted, deceitful hands (hands which used to be so petite, so pretty) to hold a Styrofoam cup of lukewarm coffee without letting it fall to the floor.
I’m tired. It’s time to lie down and accept my lashes. Lashes of regret for all the loved ones whom I’ve hurt, for all the loved ones who have slashed me with the tree switch of dysfunction, my remorse that has no cure, my rage that burns inward, my self-destructive urges to destroy the vessel that encloses my anguish. My sobs break free, my muscles clench, my flesh trembles from the anguish of forcing the traumatic memories back down; but still I see the cherished faces of nanas, grandfathers, mothers, daughters, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, fathers, sons, lovers and friends.
My ties bind me to people whom I’ve lost to foolish games; codependent lies, contaminated love, mine and theirs.
Each time I close my eyes, Past flashes me like a crazy pervert naked beneath his raincoat. Therein lies Justice because there is no place to hide from myself and myself is where Past lives.
I try my meditation. Relax my entire body starting with the top of my head, working down to my toes. Picture a warm pot of honey and Pooh Bear with a fluffy, yellow dipping wand. He encloses me in a cocoon of warm honey, swirling his sweet warm around me, gently starting at my head. Pooh doesn’t make it past my shoulders before I shove him aside.
I want to slice the pain away, run to the bathroom, and take a razor to my wrists until I have slashed through the skin that protects my veins. I want to cut and slice until the unbidden, unwanted memories Past forces on me leave me alone, my brain waves registering a zero.
But I can’t. After numerous botched suicide attempts, I’ve decided that life is an obstacle course with Heaven as my reward and I’ll pass God’s test if I don’t kill myself or any one else. Therefore, I am trapped, imprisoned in Earth’s orbit, each moment reminiscent of a corny Star Trek film where Captain Jim can’t break free from the aliens. I am captured by that damn, “Thou shall not kill-anyone!” clause.
So; instead, I cry raggedly into my poodle’s soft pillow which he left behind when he followed his daddy to bed. I wrap my little girl Barbie blanket over my arthritic swollen joints and I weep.
I remember the carefree crazy days when I carried two razors at all times, one in my left shoe and one tucked into my size 36 AAA bra so I’d always be prepared to self-destruct at a moment’s notice. (I broke that habit when I sliced open my pregnancy induced 38 C breast by roughly pulling off my bra before I removed the blade.)
That night, I put down the bottle too, cause hell, I was high enough on impending motherhood and each time I drank, I wanted to kill me or the baby’s daddy, maybe both.
I wasn’t able to put down the Southern Comfort the next time around, and although the scar on my mature breast has faded, my second baby still bears the thumb print of my addiction on her forehead.
Past is a stubborn, relentless enemy. He sucks, he tears and he drains, he holds me prisoner under the soft lie of a safe Barbie blanket. I wet her smiling pink face with my faucet of tears.
I get up to get a tissue though, because not even Past can force me to wipe my snotty nose on Barbie’s Sweet-n-Low smile. She’s the dream, the hope and the promise. She’s the little girl still hiding inside my haggard, worn body. I drag my butt to the bathroom for the Angel Soft tissues.
Sleep would be a blessing because I’ve learned to stop my dreams by staying awake until I’m exhausted, but Awake won’t let me close my eyes.
By the way, I just had to stop writing to go back and edit all the sentences where I had slipped into second tense in this ménage a tale of woe, because that is how I distance myself from myself, a survival trick that I learned long ago to attain comfort in chaos.
I’ve surrounded myself with pink and yellow, but the blue remains. A three foot Barbie is decorating my pink Fiber Optic Christmas tree from the Dollar General, pink dolls drip from the branches, a pink and cream handmade afghan drapes over my night gown covered knees, sunflowers burst from sky blue and sunshine yellow vases. The window behind me is open and the sharp winter’s breeze cleanses my Marlboro filled lungs and airs out my smoky living room.
Still, inside I am black. My dark, tortured soul beckons to me and my gut begs me to give in to the insanity. “Just let go,” they whisper.
Psychiatrists say that the truly insane don’t even know it, so maybe I’m simply deranged, damaged goods, but either way, I keep a viselike grip on my minute drip of reason because I’m not going down that black hole alone again. Not even I am that brave.
I decide to stay sober for just one more day. I decide to stay alive for just one more day. After all, I’ve put together over thirty years of sobriety by promising myself, for just one more day. The dream. The hope. The promise. My Barbie blanket and me.
Her hands make love to his shoulders
Caress the tension from his neck
Fingers entwined in his soft curls
Her face buried in silver and brown strands.
Inhaling the heady scent that is him
She allows her tightness to slip away
Falling, falling into a dark warm mist
A vapor of safety created by his love.
Absence of pain, regret, loss or sorrow
Blankets of tenderness and devotion
Washed worn by life’s bleaching storms
More precious than diamonds and gold.
His devotion surrounds her flesh and her bones.
Thus, sleep is a cocoon which shelters her
Pillows of passions released time after time
Cradle the woman and her fragile dreams
Rocking her to sleep in his gently flowing river
Drifting on billows of unconditional love.
Floating to euphoria, wrapped around his back
She wonders, how is it possible that her love
Could increase beyond description, young and free
When time has removed the freedoms of flesh and bone?
She loves him beyond explanation, a rare dilemma
For a woman who was born to dance with words.
She loves, she loves and as his love enfolds her, she is sheltered.
She sleeps and she is secure because he is there beside her.
by Jeanne Marie, 2013
I don’t like
eggs that are slimy and
lunch meat turned green.
Boys who are so nice and
girls who are so mean.
Ghosts who shout BOO
under my bed as I sleep,
bad dreams that linger and
sweet dreams I can’t keep.
My man flirting with another
while I’m standing so near.
A mirror reflecting my fat which
I didn’t even know was there.
Friends that are not
but I thought they were.
A hurt that won’t heal
a disease with no cure.
Alligators who get caught
and cut into Gator Bites,
sad end for a tough guy
who survived many fights.
Idiots who don’t even look
right at red lights.
Getting lost on roads
that I used to know.
A bad haircut, cause
my hair grows so slow.
by Jeanne Marie