Redress….

Watching the program on RTE,:Redress, breaking the silence, I was very sad, angry and upset for the victims. I wrote down words some had used and put them into this poem. For all people of abuse, institutional or otherwise, Keep fighting, keep surviving,

black and white black and white depressed depression
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Redress

  

What am I?

I ask of you, I ask of me

In the eyes and minds of others, do you see me?

Do we see the trees, in the woods?

The intricacies, the forms and shapes

Each piece, from root to tip

Some of it medicine, some of it poison

What is at the core?

Covered and disguised from and by

Outward appearance

The beauty, the ugly, the refined, the wild

Enclosed, hidden, cocooned, protected?

Still it grows, it lives, it flourishes and survives

It smiles, frowns, laughs and cries

It performs, protects, gives life and reason.

It can multiply, it is duplicitous

It is harmful, outraged, calm

Yet, there is a serenity and purity and no shame or blame

So what do you see…. Me?

Shall I concede, should I?

Is it for me, to redress, to confess the sin, of you, of them

like a virus, I am infected,

I am confident in my trauma

It is cemented in and resides within me

It guards me, it is my shield, My weapon, my curse

My shame?

So please, enlighten me

What am I?

A thing, a tool, a vessel, a release

A scapegoat for your, justice!

Money, a pay check, a sealed envelope to be locked away

75 years

I will be long dead, so tell me

Who is the criminal here?

The long dark despairing days fell on me

On my shoulders, on my soul

Where was or is my protection?

I am here

I live, I breathe, I survived

I will not be hushed or gagged anymore

I will vomit up and release this infection

And you shall set right this wrong

You will hear me when I set it free

Like a bird emerging from the tree tops

Soaring through the air, spreading its wings

Sharing to the world, what I am

I am innocent

I am grown, not a child anymore

I am injured but strong

I am bitter, but I found sweetness

I am cautious, but I am loved

I am not your victim

I am a survivor

I will not be silenced

Suicide and death, I have danced with, entertained and willed

But then you win

I am life, I am loss, I am grief-stricken,

I am decent, I am human

Tell me, what are you?

 

#abuse #redress#survivor 

#sin#justice#criminal#prosecute

#silenced

What changed me as a woman ?

What changed me as a woman

Well first we may go back

In time, for many years, no even more than that

For women have always been viewed

As the fairer but weaker sex

But there’s moments in time and history, 

That we can never forget

In times of segregation, so brutal and so stark

We cannot forget the bravery and strength of Rosa parks

A woman of integrity, who knew to stand her ground

To stand against oppression, now that is quite profound

And what of Joan of Arc, a simple peasant girl

She led the French to Victory, but is known around the world 

Faith and determination is what lead her to act

Only to be burned at the stake, convicted of witchcraft

And what of mother Teresa, she cared for the sick and the poor

She took a vow of obedience, when she heard the call

Devoted her life to helping those who were starving and alone

She strived, battled and defeated, and did it largely on her own

Then of course the suffragettes, Pankhurst was the founder

Jailed and released 11 times, but nothing made her flounder

Gutsy women, one and all, they wouldn’t stay repressed

These women and ALL women are equal and certainly not less

So what changed me as a woman, when I’ve been at ‘suppression hands’

Is to rise and stand and fight right back, cos I am equal to any man

So ladies don’t neglect your worth or feel you’re not deserving

Of parity and equality where your value is worth preserving

So yes we are the fairer sex, in many more ways than one

I think the world would be much better if it were equal since time begun

So teach your sons and daughters to respect their fellow humans

Not colour or creed, not gender or status, should determine how to treat us

Take hope and faith, and courage too with fearless and gritty persuasion

To make a stand, to slam inequality down, and banish it to damnation

©  Carrie

#internationalwomensday

#equality#girlpower

Grief

close up photography of crying woman next inside room
Photo by Ikon Republik on Pexels.com

 

How can I describe this ‘state’ that I am in?  It is easy to articulate words, adjectives, but that is not the entire picture.  It’s more than that.  For one little word ‘Grief’, means so many different things.  This one syllable word does not translate my ‘state’ of being.

At times, it is all consuming.  A feeling of sadness, deeper than any crevice or hole and the possibility of crawling out seems improbable, unlikely and impossible.  It is seismic, insurmountable, paralizing, yet ‘life goes on’.  That is what they say, and usually, they are right.  Life does indeed go on, but does the grief go away or does that go on too?  Yes, night follows day, time continues to move, people move and the world rotates.  Grief too rotates and I am at the centre of it.  I am the axis for it.  It changes me, or do I change it?

I am in the black hole and I don’t see you, I don’t hear you.  I don’t see or hear anyone.  I am remote.  I am in my thunderous, swirling hurricane and I am spiralling deeper and deeper. I lock myself away.  I curl up in a ball, I am foetal.  I am helpless.  I need an interaction, a distraction.  I need transient nourishment.    The pain is too much.  I am starving with the hunger of needing and wanting you.  I drink in the numbness.  It soothes me.  It entices me to its open arms and cradles me.  It understands my pain and for a while, it takes it away and I am peaceful, blissful, for you are with me again and we are in each-other’s arms.

I see and hear you as you come into view.  I get so excited at the recognition of you.  It’s the most wonderful, warm feeling and it envelops me.  I know you feel it too.  I see it in your face.  I watch your eyes light up, as do mine, and we embrace.  We hold and try to cling on, but then in a cruel twist of fate, you are gone again.    I am alone again, alone in my grief.

Oh people around me tread carefully, offer me the usual platitudes but I know they are getting frustrated with me.  I see it in their eyes, I hear it in their voices.  Their patience is waning and wearing thin.  They expect me to just accept it, this loss, but I cannot, it is beyond my capability to do so.  This grief is a thief of time and presence of normality and ordinary regularity.  I want that too,  more than anything, more than they want it.  What do they know about it?   They say they understand, but they don’t.  How can they?  They didn’t experience this loss.

All I have now are my thoughts and feelings of you.  My memories come and go.  My mind is distorted, somehow it forgets and regresses and then it remembers.  That is when I wish I wasn’t here either.   I just want to be there with you.  Everything is clear and calm and easy there.  Nothing makes sense here.  I try to reason, to rationalise, but it’s just too big to fathom and understand and that is why I crumble and shout and scream.  I’m afraid, I am terrified of ‘what next’?

How can I move on, just like that?  It is not that simple, it’s too complex.  I cannot get used to it, your absence.  I too wish to become absent, nothing else matters.  I will just submit to it.  I invite it and long or it to come and get me.  I wait submissively for the rotation, to bring me back to you.  It is only there that I know who I am.  When I am back there with you, that is normal, that is home, that is me, in my proper ‘state’.  I recognise myself there and I remember who I once was before this decrepitude enslaved me.  I see me clearly with clarity and I am, once again, intoxicated with happiness.   I, somehow made it back, and for a while I am not grieving.  Then, without warning, I disappear abruptly, with wanton abandon and again, find myself surrendering to grief.

Transcend

There’s a war inside me but I must remain calm
Hide vital signs, it will cause untold harm
Carry on doing all sorts of normal
Day to day bullshit keeping it formal
Bury all the secrets, desires and vices
Well hidden from them, cos you know what the price is
Tip toe outside, inhale that fresh air
Drink in the freedom, run if you dare
Dance with the devil, make a pledge with your soul
What is it now?  your ultimate goal
Keeping the peace, has its own pricey deal
Paper over the Cracks  there’s much to conceal
Passion’s in fashion it’s bubbling within
Forever told it’s the ultimate sin
Cavorting and frolicking, sounds like fun
Step out of the clouds and into the sun
Pounding and pumping expressing out loud
Not quietly and meekly, not making a sound
Dancing and drinking, smoking some weed
Walking naked, this body has needs
Take off the shakles and old rusted chains
There’s always tomorrow to start again
Today let this war just come to an end
And this new stage of life, simply transcend
Excess is what teenagers do, pushing the boundaries, rebirthing, anew
Identities are found at this turbulent time
Restless, yet fierce and disturbed of mind
Trying new things, perhaps shooting up
Drinking in life from an overflowing cup
So now it’s my time, I just want to try
I don’t want it all to pass me by
Time to run, set myself free
I spent my life, nurturing family
Go down the path, and out of the gate
Let down your hair, it’s never too late
So what if you shock them for claiming your time
Seeking out fun is not a crime
Your family is grown, their time has come
To start setting boundaries, to be the sensible one
Off you go just flee that empty nest
This life  comes just once, it’s not a test
So break out the chains and end that war
Time for adventure, walk out the door
Whatever it is that you seek or find
Discover the you that you’d left behind
Get rid of the baggage, the accumulated  faults
Your time is now, it’s time to revolt

Caroline Stevens-Taylor © 2020

Nothing matters

Thump. Click. squeeze, shoot
Get ready for it,
No thing matters
Joy, escstacy, flying high
Slump, bang, pain, no sense
No thing matters
Punch, slap, crack, bruised
Floored with numbness, what next
No thing matters
Walking one step, then another
Head down, faceless, useless
No thing matters
Itching, scratching, bleeding out
Choking, broken, staring down
No thing matters
Do it, take again and again
Worthless, scum, thing, friend?
No thing matters
Nothing else, here, now,
Dying, death, take me out……

Caroline Stevens-Taylor © 2020

My boy

Words unspoken
Stuck in my chest
Heartbroken
Sting in my eye
Wet rolls down my cheeks
Heartbroken much, unable to speak
The time was today
I knew it was coming
Still not prepared
Arguments going around in my head
What about this or let’s try that
I’m sorry she said, he’s just too bad
I feel it crack and break in two
My heart,
It’s full of love for you
But jack, my boy,
you gave us joy
As you leave us, to run and roam free
We love and thank you for your loyalty
Off you go
To doggy heaven
Heartbroken are we
But you’ll never be forgotten

Jack ❤️💔❤️

The bench

The bench….

The bench it has a year round view
As it stares out at the sea
Taking in the memories
Of all that it can see
It never fails, in fine details
Whether big or small
Memories thought long since gone, now can be recalled
A discreet yet public kind of voyeur
Where people sit and rest a while, as if they had been lured
And if you look upon the bench
Is usually an older crowd
Their mind still full of youth
With a body that’s let them down
But when I sit upon the bench
Looking out to sea
I remember all the times that you too sat here with me
This bench is for your honour
It has an engraved plaque
But how I wish we were young again
And I would have you back.

Today…

One day we going to be dead
I hope it’s not today
Yesterday may have been tough
But you got through it, anyway

There maybe a time when you reminiss
and believe it was the best
And other times you’d rather forget
Days, that you detest

One thing is certain, the end will come one day
That is why the living, must be lived today

Stress and strains are part of life
Which no one can deny
Even when it seems so bleak
Get up today and try

Don’t think about what bothers you
Because that becomes a habit
Look for something beautiful
Go get it and then grab it

It may be a simple roadside flower
That takes your minds attention
The chirping of a little bird
Just singing without pretention

The sound of children’s laughter
Stirs a warmth in your heart
Go seek the things to change your thoughts
To light from the dark

One day we surely will be dead
It will be full of sorrow
Today is all we really have
We’re not certain of tomorrow

So live today as best you can
And fill it with some pleasure
Then reminiss another day
Of memories made to treasure

It doesn’t matter if other people
Have it all together
They’ll be battling a different storm
A different kind of weather

So let’s count our blessings
For surely we have a few
Get up today and start again
Look with a clearer view

Today is all that’s promised
So grab it with both hands
Only you can walk the path
And in your shoes, stand

If you think they’re feeling tight
And squeezing out the joy
Then it’s time to throw them out
And search for the buoy

The one that gives you better thoughts
Of life’s simple treasures
To live today in happiness
Full of little pleasures

One day we going to be dead
I hope it’s not today
Yesterday may have been tough
But you got through it, anyway

There maybe a time when you reminiss
and believe it was the best
And other times you’d rather forget
Days, that you detest

One thing is certain, the end will come one day
That is why the living, must be lived today

Stress and strains are part of life
Which no one can deny
Even when it seems so bleak
Get up today and try

Don’t think about what bothers you
Because that becomes a habit
Look for something beautiful
Go get it and then grab it

It may be a simple roadside flower
That takes your minds attention
The chirping of a little bird
Just singing without pretention

The sound of children’s laughter
Stirs a warmth in your heart
Go seek the things to change your thoughts
To light from the dark

One day we surely will be dead
It will be full of sorrow
Today is all we really have
We’re not certain of tomorrow

So live today as best you can
And fill it with some pleasure
Then reminiss another day
Of memories made to treasure

It doesn’t matter if other people
Have it all together
They’ll be battling a different storm
A different kind of weather

So let’s count our blessings
For surely we have a few
Get up today and start again
Look with a clearer view

Today is all that’s promised
So grab it with both hands
Only you can walk the path
And in your shoes, stand

If you think they’re feeling tight
And squeezing out the joy
Then it’s time to throw them out
And search for the buoy

The one that gives you better thoughts
Of life’s simple treasures
To live today in happiness
Full of little pleasures

She is

She is, greatness, powerful, majestic
She is calm, soothing, raging
She is roaring, still, crushing
She is open, nourishing healing
She is vast, she is essential
She is mother
Where life began
She endured
She failed
She tried
She loved
She is strength
Circumstance gives rise to context
Resilience gives rise to survival
She is all things
Wonderful and despairing
She is stuck, she is free
She is you, she is me
She is us
She envelops us
She is mother

Devoted father

Climbing through the cavity
Pulling cable
A clostrphobe in the making
Still, it must be done
Connections
Power on
New light on the horizon
Sweat and toil
Back is aching
Kango, breaking mortar
Splints break and fall
Bounce off my face like kisses
Tiny scratches
Reminders of what it is all for
Your faces appear in the wall
I smile, determined to carry on
Devoted father
Never falter
Duty bound, honoured
What better purpose is there?
Hands blistered
Heart broken
the cord is strong
No minute wasted
I plough on, for you
My loves, My life
My reason for living
To see you smile,
hear your laughter
To save your hurt
Absent father
Connected always
Til I take my last breath
It was always for you

Carrie © 2020

Devoted father