Thursday, November 24, 2022

Must Love Freakishly Wild Things

not-quite Journaling, 46

11/9/2022: Such a pretty specimen, isn’t it? But pretty is as pretty does, and this pretty spotted lanternfly can do pretty ugly things to certain trees. I found this one in the hospital courtyard. And since I’m a bit of a coward (when it comes to murdering living things in cold blood), I put it in a cup and handed it to a groundskeeper. He took one look at my face, and said, “It needs to be done.” Still, I feel a wee bit bad about it.


Autumn is looking rather spring(y). Beautiful and slightly terrifying, isn’t it?


Become your curiosity.

11/16/2022: Someone who just joined the Crohn’s disease crappy club, said to me, “I’m f*cking overwhelmed by how much I don’t know about this shit!” (I’m almost sure the pun wasn’t intended—his frustration didn’t sound amused). Anyway, I told him that everyone gets tired of the unwanted ways in which being chronically ill changes one’s life. And that the best way to stick it to the chronic illness monster is to learn as much about ourselves and our illnesses as we possibly can. Because cliché or not, “knowledge is power”. And when one lives with a disease that dictates what one eats, where one goes, how one travels… one needs all the power one can get.


Rommy asked me for ordinary. But I was feeling quite contrary. So, I said:


Compulsions can be chains

or wings.

11/21/2022: Most souls living with OCD are probably baring their teeth at these poem bit. On my bad days, I have trouble believing it too. Still, the words are true. For instance, physical exercise helps me deal with intrusive thoughts and anxiety, even when my flesh and bones aren’t really in the mood; the more I’m attacked (and trust me, it is an ATTACK), the more I exercise. And goodness knows my chunkalicious, chronically ill self really benefits from it.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #54: Writing to a Stranger.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Out of the Shadows

Since the hot, sandy winter
of your continuous goodbye

burst with a red pop

that filled my screams with copper,

I’ve been seeing your face

behind oozing scarlet


The calendar lies,
saying that only years have gone by—
my heart, my flesh wounds
have ached for centuries.

Century-long winters
of nightly cold sweats

looking at your ageless face
behind clotting scarlet


Then, last night, I spoke
your picture into the mind of another.
He didn’t say,

“It’s okay to hurt”

“Have faith on faith”

“You must forgive yourself”

“It wasn’t your fault”

If it wasn’t my fucking fault,
what is there to forgive!

He only voiced the kind wisdom
of those who have been there.
He stood by me—
holding memory’s hand,
listening to pain,
speaking through deep silences,
reminding my old scars
that his hurt understood
they sought no consolation,
just the chance
to share our yesterdays with another.

Today, at sunrise,
I pulled your face out of my soul
watched you wave another last
felt the sun
wipe copper out of memory
and banish scarlet shadows,
as you hiked
(MOLLE pack full of smiles)
towards the Summerland.

photo by Aurelie Tack, on Unsplash

- for Poets and Storytellers United - Friday Writings #52: Dialogue.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

I Am Easily Distracted by Autumn-Kissed Leaves

not-quite Journaling, 45

“Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly.

They take their time and wander on this,
their only chance to soar.”

Delia Owens


10/25/2022: This morning, when I left to see someone in a white coat (and a scope fixation) about my crappy gut, New York City was all fog and rain. When I returned home, my gloriosa daisy and forget me nots were hosting a sunbathing party. I promptly declothed… and joined them—life is good when your living room is blooming (and your digestive system is not being a total bastard).


 when the veil is thin,
I brew poems for dead souls
alive in my heart


10/31/2022: One of my favorite things about All Hallows’ Eve in the USA is pumpkin chili. Growing up (in the Dominican Republic), we celebrated the Día de las ánimas (All Souls’ Day) by cleaning our loved ones’ graves and eating (drinking and dancing) the things they loved while they lived. Pumpkin chili is a perfect addition to the tradition, particularly when we get to cook it and eat it together.


bare branches,
food and song in the graveyard--
to honor our dead


I have a thing for witchy hats, skulls, and audiobooks (with creepy kids in them).


“Have you ever tried to fit in? If you have, you know how heartbreaking it can be. Twisting and turning into something other people would like is humiliating. I don’t recommend it. In the end even if you win their approval, you’ll be so disgusted with yourself you won’t like what you see in the mirror.” ~ The Weirdies, by Michael Buckley


I am easily distracted by 🍂🍁🍂 autumn-kissed leaves.

Rosemary invoked The Power of Three, so:

I like multiples
of three
brain, tongue, hand:

mind-love my flesh,
speak to my bones,
caress my soul.

Fresh, ripe, whole...
ll give you me,
times three.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #51: The Power of Three.