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.
This the eighth in a series of poems 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 seven participants who were writing on the prompt, “I have learned…”
My fear is to melt
Into the status of a nothing.
I’m already quite empty,
There’s just this comfort place inside my head.
Sick people with good intentions
Draw me back into the insanity, where
Behind the smile is a knife,
Under the mean is fear.
Fear’s right in front of me on that
Train back to hell.
I need stilts to boost me into the sky
Where I will not get sucked in.
Thoughts can be redefined —
I can be accountable,
Live without the chase to drugs.
I want to preserve humanity
Build people, walk with them
Connect with everybody,
To be a part of life, a life with hope.
It’s OK to fail –- but I passed.
The day is here and
I feel strong.
I will find peace and make
Sense out of insanity
In the cracks and crevices of my gray matter.
I keep coming back to the best of me.
There is always something better waiting.
I can give myself a break without breaking myself
I’m strong enough to live through hell.
I put this poem together from phrases written in the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. Writing down phrases that caught my ear (and heart) while they shared, snippets of poems just appeared. We all have a poet inside when we get out of our own way and let the words flow. This one is comprised of the words of six participants.
I had to lie to survive.
Gift of desperation,
A box that could never be opened.
Leaving myself behind,
Demons by my side,
Colors fading to pale.
But I don’t want to wear a blindfold.
I must stop making excuses —
I am ready for release;
Gain control by letting go of control.
Because that’s my problem: I think.
It is a gift to clean the mess.
Obstacles can be fun
When energies align.
I stepped over my dilemma
Into a friendly good morning and
A better understanding of myself.
For that I’m so grateful!
The beginning of color is here —
Brought me a new love.
So now, I speak from my heart:
Me is who I am
I’m pretty damn good
I’m bat-shit crazy.
So here I am —
I’m part of the whole
I am all and all is me…
I put this poem together from phrases written in the “Write to Recover” group I facilitate. Writing down phrases that caught my ear (and heart) while they shared, snippets of poems just appeared. We all have a poet inside when we get out of our own way and let the words flow.
Trying to get out of this body — childhood prison.
No one noticed me
dreaming of ice cream and donuts, dope –-
brain food –-
kicking my spirits into space.
Uselessness of my imagination,
ideas disintegrate into dust.
Give me a break! Why am I doing this everyday?
It’s all been said before.
I’m letting go of the demons in my head;
stop being who I am and become who I am supposed to be.
I am in control of me.
I feel love, it never left me — there are cracks I can get my fingers into.
This story has yet to see its end;
I’m onto the next right thing:
The best me I can be.