Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Be Careful - Don't Die

A Zen Center Priest told me
To run at my pain directly
Just as an ancient reincarnated
Child monk ran at a vicious dog
And tamed it.

What if he's wrong?
What if my pain is toxic?
What if my pain kills me?

My psychiatrist told me
To stalk my pain carefully
Just as an experienced hunter
Stalks a dangerous cat -
With exquisite care.

What if she's wrong?
What if I take years
And never get better?

My heart tells me
To be careful
That being gentle is
I don't want to be suicidal again.

What if I'm wrong?
What if my fear
Keeps me from healing?

I listen to them all.
Mostly my heart.


  1. I don't know if this poem is really about you, but it has a personal air about it (which makes it even more heart wrenching) and I feel that, although it's probably none of my business whatsoever, I want to advise... Just like everyone else usually does... In Swedish we'd say that you need to pick the raisins out of the cake (sounds better in Swedish, I promise) and that sounds like the best advise.

    Anyway, I wasn't here to advise on life, but to peer curiously at your poetry. You moved me with your words and they really resounded with me. Very well done! Love it!

    1. Thank you, it's hard some times to put my words out and get nothing back. It means so much to me that you saw me. What does it mean to pick the raisins out of the cake?

  2. The vulnerable, honest nature of the voice in this poem resonates with me. It is a we-crafted poem. If any of this comes from actual experiences, I hope you find peace.

    1. Thank you, me too. Thank you for your voice.

    2. Wow. I couldn't even reply honestly about how that touched me at first. When you described me as vulnerable and honest I felt so vulnerable I had to look away. Thank you. I'm trying hard not to try to deflect your beautiful comment. It's so hard for me.

  3. Wow. Powerful, emotional, balls-out there writing. Love it. You say what many of us feel and think. It is indeed scary to work on stuff without being sure of the outcome, or if we'll survive the pain. Thank you for sharing!!!!

    1. Oh, Wyoming Diva, you just made my month with your description of my writing. You're welcome, that you for seeing me.

  4. this was an amazing piece of honesty. We can't always know exactly what will happen long-term but it never hurts to be aware of what your gut and other parts are advising.

    Re picking the raisins out of the cake, I'm guessing it's like cherry-picking - to sort through and take out the best of the options for yourself. Not a bad thing when you have a range of choices - give yourself permission to follow your heart.

    1. Thank you. I don't think it's so amazing. It's driven by fear. It's desperation. Honesty is all I have. I need to find a way to make some things better and it's kind of time critical I think. That's why I do yoga and meditate (with Buddhists!) and do therapy and got on Welbutrin and write poetry and stories and draw and shoot photography and marvel at beauty, and got a ukulele, and get excited about green and blue hair, and bizarrely for the first time in my life painted my toe nails (a light pearlescent blue). I'm kind of throwing everything against the wall to see if something will stick because I got desperate. My still life of quiet desperation was about to shorten itself. It's time for me now I think. Whatever that means.

  5. I'm responding more to your last comment than to the poem. I'm also responding to the first commentor who said it is not his business etc. I feel it is my business to give advise. Oftentimes we all sit back and see that someone is going down the wrong path, but our fear of retaliation or rejection (or heavens political correctness) keeps us from reaching out and helping another person. I feel this poem is about you, and I hear your confusion and desperation in it. I see that you've tried "everything" and yet you can't find direction. But I ask you, besides having spoken to your centre priest; your psychiatrist; and your heart, what has YOUR wisdom told you? You see Patrick, I firmly believe that we all come with the answers. I know I'm being pushy by saying this....but, if it helps someone out, then I will push away. :)..............And I like the poem.

    1. I like the poem too. I'm trying to listen to myself.