Category Archives: Self-Acceptance

Hide-and-go-seek

One often used technique is to take your photo in the bathroom mirror, but oops.. remember not to put the camera in front of your face.

Hide-and-go-seek

She enters my hideout and calls it her own.
Now I’ll have to move on, for my cover is blown.
I try to go deeper into my lair
but still she follows, finding me there.
I cannot escape her. She has all my keys.
She blows through my memory like a fine breeze,
usurping my details to make them her own
so I can’t reclaim them, wherever they’ve blown.
From a full-body mirror, she stares back at me.
My elbow’s her elbow. My knee is her knee.
She alters my hairdo and rouges my cheeks.
She searches my memory, looking for leaks,
then piles the lost parts up in her poems,
through her underground railroad, gives them new homes.
When I see myself spread out here in these pages,
some private part of me protests and rages,
but she doesn’t listen. She finds me too fussy.
She leaves herself open, the ungrateful hussy.
Does she not realize that it is me
who has made her whatever she’s turned out to be?
She should listen more closely when I say to stop.
Allow me to be her poetry cop.
But she doesn’t mind. She says what she wishes.
She dines out on me and leaves me with the dishes!

The prompt word today was “hideout.”

SELF ON A SHELF

SELF ON A SHELF

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On my soul like a shelf
sits my own self
small as an elf
all by itself.

These four lines have popped up in my mind at various times in my life, but they are unpinned to any further memory.  Where did I read them?  Perhaps in a poetry anthology used when I last taught poetry 35 years ago, or perhaps in college. Google fails me and I can’t find its author.  I try various portions of the poem, but still, no cigar.  Google takes the poem apart and shows me dozens of posts that contain all these words,but none where they are stuck together in order.

Finally, in an article from Southern Review, I find a piece by John Montague that references his last communication from Theodore Roethke, but it seems that once again my memory has failed me, for his version is:

In a hand like a bowl
Danced my own soul,
Small as an elf,
All by itself.

Since my favorite college writing professor was a student of Roethke’s, it makes sense that this is why I remember these lines and that it was Roethke who wrote them; but since Montague describes the lines as “Blakesian,” I have to make sure that Roethke wasn’t just quoting William Blake.  I feed the correct lines into Google and finally, win success.  They are the opening lines of the poem “Restored” written by Theodore Roethke!

So, the first two lines are my own, the second two Roethke’s–a sort of nonofficial collaboration that actually makes me think more than the original.  Could “the soul” actually be our real authentic self and the rest of us just experimentation?  If there is a ruling hand in the universe, is it playing games with us–sending us out lifetime after lifetime to see how we’ll do in various situations? Like cans of Campbell’s soup lined up on a shelf, our present life is merely the flavor of the day.  Another reincarnation, another flavor.

As I grow older,  I increasingly think of life as a game–the entire universe the amusement park of a colossal mind keeping itself entertained. If we call that mind God and profess that he sees even the smallest sparrow fall, it is a testament to both the intricacy and the incredible efficiency of that mind and the interconnectedness of nature as the organizational structure by which he keeps it all straight.

 
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shelf/

 

At Fourteen

There is a whole world out there and you’ll see it soon enough.
It is the world inside of you you’ll find especially rough.
Try to write about it, and try to tell the truth
about the things that happen that you find uncouth.

Write about what hurts you, and hurts that you have done–
all those shadows in you brought into the sun.
Ask those around you why they act in ways that might seem cruel
and try to live your own life by the golden rule.

Take chances and do not be cowed when you achieve less
than what you might have hoped for, and when you’re wrong, confess.
Don’t just do what your friends do. Don’t act before you think.
However strange the ones around you, try to find a link.

The world has enough meanness. Try not to add to it.
Try harder in environments where you seem not to fit.
People who are petty will cut you like a knife,
but the chances that you take will be what will make your life.

Other people’s rules pinch like a too-small shoe,
so don’t let other people dictate what you do.
Do not fear to step aside and go out on your own.
The fields that yield the sweetest crop are those that you have sown.

Post this advice up on your wall and read it now and then.
Use it as a means to reassess where you have been.
Then when you are older, and your life grows thin,
do what I am doing now. Consider it again.

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.” Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Tomorrow, write a letter to yourself in 20 years.

Happily


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Happily

Nothing in this world can exist happily ever after.
A house is built of lows and highs: foundation before rafter.
Up and down’s the truth of it, the brilliant and the dark.
No week is composed totally of Sunday in the park.

Existence is a pendulum that sweeps across our lives.
Worker bees die every day in service to their hives.
Good seems finely balanced by a constant lurking evil.
Roses have their aphids.  Cotton has its weevil.

There is so much that’s wonderful in the world we live in,
but no one wins at every game. Sometimes we have to give in,
playing with the cards we’re given–flush or straight or fold–
sometimes in the heat of luck, sometimes out in the cold.

Ups and downs create the whole of our amazing world,
its surface formed by contrast of the knitted and the purled.
Sometimes we’re given what is sweet, at other times the bile
as we choose moment by moment to live happily for a while.

The Prompt:“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/happily-ever-after/

Ollie Ollie Oxen: NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 18

The NaPoWriMo Prompt: write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. The WordPress Prompt: Karma Chameleon–let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

Ollie Ollie Oxen

Dreams are the playground of the day.
It is time to take that avoided journey
that sends me out
in pursuit of myself,
then gives me morning
to come in free.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/karma-chameleon-2/

Odd Little Saturday Morning Poem

Odd Little Saturday Morning Poem

I lie in bed, flat on my back, head raised by pillows,
computer raised to eye level
by a wadded comforter over bent knees.
I listen to raised voices in the village down below,
the staccato of an inadequately mufflered car revving up,
a hammer falling on wood, birds in the coco  palms.
A pianissimo chorus of dogs spread
over the surrounding hills swells to a frenzied crescendo,
then falls silent but will swell again.

I have dropped obligations
like clothes shed for a lover.
My Saturday morning pool aerobics and zumba,
I slipped out of years ago.
Group luncheons hang from doorknobs and chair backs.
Committee meetings lie sloppily abandoned in the hall.

I have retired from the running of the world
to run my own small universe on paper.
Saturday morning is my brainstorm session
with “Me,” “Myself” and “I.”
“I” suggested feeding the dogs,
but they are quiet now, so
“Me” suggested we let them lie.
“Myself” laid out some words to dry
in the heat of the fire of our communal
inspiration, laying them smoothly on the page,
rumpling up others in her fist to send them sailing
to join the crumpled singles event invitations in the corner.

This slow Saturday morning dressing of pages
and stripping them bare
is a sort of ceremony celebrating seizing time
and making it my own.
Pages  fill up with passion, angst, anger,
irritation, joy, laughter, camaraderie.
There is more than one word for each.

Imagine such control over your world–
not having to live the world of any other.
If you could have any life you wish?
Imagine a Saturday morning  building it.

 

The Prompt:  Me Time–What do you like to do on Saturday morning?  Are you doing it now?

Offers

Offers

When he asked me to marry him
and when we had to bury him–
these times inevitably set
wherein we find that we must let
nature have its way with us.
It does no good to rant and fuss.
Life’s made to reward, then abuse.
Its vagaries we can’t refuse.

All is part and parcel to
the next thing that we’re meant to do.
Good comes from bad and bad from good.
Birth, courtship, marriage, parenthood
fill our lives in marching order,
but every joy must have its border.
Birth leads to death. Love’s often lost.
To release life’s pleasures is the cost

of having and enjoying them.
Coal under pressure becomes a gem.
Remembering this must get you through
the next trial that’s set up for you.
Every day’s  an offer  you can’t refuse–
another pleasure to gain, then lose.
Life’s losses are also its seeds.
We lose our wants to gain our needs.

The Prompt: Set the timer for ten minutes and then tell us about an offer you couldn’t refuse.