Poetry and Vulnerability 

livingroom, Poetry, Wednesday writing prompt

I’ve been writing poetry more frequently for about seven years but only recently  taking it more seriously with a couple of poems in publications out later this year.  I found for me, generally poetry isn’t difficult to write, it’s can just sometimes be difficult to share.

Generally poetry is personal. Poems can be so personal that it’s difficult to get objective perspective on them.  Is the last line cheesy and predictable or poignant? Are the verses so swamped in figurative language that the message is lost to sea, unreachable to anyone? Or so literal that it becomes a shopping list that bores people away?  Is it a “good” poem….

A few years ago I shared a version of the poem below with a couple of friends to try and get some objective opinions.   The feedback was positive (my friends are lovely) but came with the advice that I should only share it when I was “Ready to have people all up in your business…” This was a fair point with everything that was going on at the time. Even though all poems are written with poetic licence, judgements and assumptions of the author are always made and I had no desire to invite people in to spectate and speculate.  I had become so concerned about who might read my poems that I had misunderstood poetry and why people share poems.

But times change.  Since then I’ve shared my poems with friends, family, publishers, editors and on social media.  I’ve realised that with vulnerability comes with freedom.  A freedom of expression and creativity that surpasses any fear or concern of judgement. A freedom and joy that cannot be taken by negative comments or even no comments or likes at all 😉 A freedom that is fulled by self love and absolute comfort in my own skin, choices, experience and expression. My poetry is my voice, my poetry is for me.

Thank you to all of my friends who have supported and encouraged me to write Xx

TBH

After the Ashes

The Phoenix gazed at her reflection

the warmth of the blaze felt like an old friend

a familiar embrace.

 

She had known it was time but

She had been afraid to ignite the flame

She knew she had needed to

But she was afraid that she would scorch in the heat

She had forgotten her nature.

 

Time passes

sparks dance in the air

the Phoenix finds her perfect Match

Who poked and kindled her insecurities and fears

With deceit and hope

to the point of combustion

Insatiable, they consumed her

abusive fires rage

Toxic smoke

clouds her brain

strangles her throat

and blinds her eyes

Isolated

The Phoenix cannot see her own reflection

Or light her transformation.

 

The wind changes

Sparks dance in the air

ember wings glimmer

heat fires her heart and clears her head

The Phoenix fights for survival.

She tastes the pain.

Drinks the humiliation,

and feeds from the silent whispers that had combined into chains to shakle her to the ground.

She releases her feathers of fire

The warmth from the blaze feels like an old flame

a familiar embrace

She is now strong enough to die

be reborn

She is now ready to live

Ready to fly

The Phoenix gazed lovingly at her glow and thanked the Match.

Cheers to the fall

livingroom

In March this year, I fell off my bike and completely shattered my forearm and shoulder.  Three hours of surgery, one metal plate, 9 pins and a stay in hospital later, I was discharged home.  Being “fairly young” (surgeons exact words), I was                    expected to make a full recovery.

Physically, the prognosis seemed likely.  I’m fairly healthy (my exact words) and not shy to exercise.   But I just wasn’t prepared mentally for the initial helplessness I felt after the injury and the impact that had on me psychologically. I had been confronted with the fragility of the human body.  My body.  My fragility. My mortality.

I had gone from being a mother and care giver, to needing someone to help me wash, bath, eat, do my hair and help me to look after my son.

In some ways as time progressed things got harder.   I walked in constant fear and hyper vigilance, permanently petrified that someone would bump into my arm.  With the sling gone, there was no visual clue to say “Please don’t barge me I’m injured”  (Which should be a general rule for all pedestrians – but like anyone who has walked the Brixton High Street gauntlet from the Tube station, past Iceland until H&M knows, it’s each person for themselves, buggy or shopping trolley during rush hour.)

Fear and vulnerability become your daily way of life and after a while it’s becomes a tough mindset to get out of.

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by love and support.  Not just from my amazing friends and family, but with small acts of kindness from complete strangers.  People would stop and offer to tie my shoe laces for me, even when insisted I was fine, or hold a doors, bags or the bubba.  Once a Good Samaritan even carried my bags all the way to my door step.  Those acts of kindness made me remember the beauty of humanity and the resilience of the human spirit, inspiring me to find the strength to push past my fears.

So I’m proud to announce that this week was first time since my accident that I got back on a bike.  Physically, I could probably have done it a couple of months ago, but we are all on our own journeys and this time mine took a little bit longer.

So thank you 2017 for showing me the beauty of true friendship, humanity, my inner strength and teaching me that it doesn’t matter how
many times you fall off that bike- GET BACK ON! Xx