Let the river take me: Learnings from facilitating an at-risk group

I originally wrote this article for Chrysalis, The Journal of Transformative Language Arts (which is currently under maintenance), April 2016 

 

Let the river take me,  a compilation poem

Let the river take me —

Even when it hurts, it breathes with the joy of laughter, undulating.

I choke on life, I’m really here in the world.

I keep trying. I am a survivor.

Manipulate the truth; truth to be heard.

The road to hell is as slow as molasses.

Sometimes it feels like a web of pointlessness — all shit.

I keep trying. I am a survivor.

Let the river take me, to be free.

I’ve come to acknowledge that… my life has been heavily influenced by broken relationships, terrors of my past bad influences or bad teachings from my childhood. Breaking free of the twisted mold of my childhood is no easy task. Knowing, acknowledging, and a desire for change is a beginning. – Grant, “Write to Recover” participant

I can’t deny it: I’ve lived a sheltered existence. I have seen only glimpses of the tougher sides of life – a couple screaming at each other as they walk down my street, an addict sitting in a car on my corner before the dealer’s house was busted, the child at the street fair asking for more free cotton candy because she’s hasn’t eaten all day. 

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Hear myself out

This is one poem in a series from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read, adding nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of four participants who were writing on the theme, “Your own voice.

Distractions of the necessary,

Ants scurrying around the concrete of life.

 

But I am not spineless;

My spirit can fly.

A shimmer of aliveness,

Fresh,

Like a baby carries a big lot of love.

 

I remain quiet

To protect my being,

The true essence of me;

This gnarly mess–

My very “I am” self,

A fresh flowing fearless frequency.

 

Sit gently like

A grain of sand in time — rock time

To hear myself out,

Another human hand holding hope, and

Nurture lovingly and meaningfully

Because I am real and worthy of love.

Scars to prove I showed up

This is one poem in a series from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read, adding nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of five participants who were writing on the theme “Overcoming an obstacle.”

mountainI am a letter written to the world,

Trying to be self among all this chaotic happening,

Scared to be anyone but me.

`

Madness, the veil of darkness,

The gift of my mother,

My normal has been misconstrued.

My demons pretend they have healed me,

Then I blow away on the next strong breeze.

`

My biggest obstacle has been me,

Sinking down of my hopeful self.

What do I trust? What is real?

`

I have scars to prove I showed up,

Survived to face another one,

Another corner to turn.

I keep the breath coming,

Attempting to win completeness.

`

Take three steps away from me and see me,

Inside I am all good,

I am beautiful —

Like an old leather shoe.

Focusing on being focused,

Awaring I am.

`

I will always be part of that mountain,

Breathing through the gap.

Release the sunshine,

Come out to shine.

Shape of shade and shadow

This is one poem in a series from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read. I add nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of four participants who were writing on the prompt, “A fellow traveler…”

(Note: This particular poem is a first. This is exactly how I wrote it down during the session. I haven’t rearranged the lines or added a thing.)

shadows

To be in conflict with self is a horror

I want to be the conqueror

Not be controlled by the mess

Unloveable because of my stuff?

I am an aware person

Allow myself space

Under the sky and crows

Sharing presence

Alive face

Intensity and thought

Evil self, have his way

But I did not follow him

To be alone and to be with God

Showing and glowing with love

Fluid and rigid

Molding me into this Unbeing

Not be in fear of the loud bully

Beside the love that wants to blossom

The No-thing of being

Shape of shade and shadow

I will survive and remove his presence

The struggle is tiring

God and friends to help me

It is nothing but the first

This is one poem in a series from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read. I add nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of three participants who were writing on the prompt, “A gift…”

sunrise

First sun —

Primal shine of first —

Floating in a pink paradise,

It will always be the same sky.

.

Trapped in my own mind,

Silence covers everything.

I push back, rush forward;

Expecting mind be gone!

I am fearsome!

(Not fear-more or fear-less.)

.

Nuggets of joy, nuggets of time,

It is nothing but the first.

Happeningness

This is one poem in a series from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. I put them together from phrases that resonate with me while participants read. I add nothing but punctuation and the occasional conjunction. This one is comprised of the words of three participants who were writing on the prompt, “This I Know…”

flagstone

I am an insoluble riddle,

A caught thought.

A merging, a happeningness.

.

I am the strong and aware one

With a solid world view of the river.

I am strong among the crazies.

.

But at mind’s length, I am a

Wandering consciousness.

I flounder,

I have fear.

I am solid fluidity, a skin sack of ego;

Multiples of movement in an

Entanglement of influence.

.

Abundance?

Let’s find out.

Realize the truth.

May I have a Wordle?

This wordle (www.wordle.net) was created from the twelve poems  I’ve posted so far from the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate (see below). Presented with no further comment except… 

wordle

All the poems can be found here: https://wisdomwithinink.com/category/write-to-recover/