So with this Shadow of May is finished, though a day late. I haven’t found anything for June in either poetry challenges or tarot challenges, so I might take the month off as I’ve got to finish up my sister’s book and begin learning Blender to help a friend out on a game she’s developing. If I do take off I will most likely be back in July – I don’t want to leave this place dead for too long. Plus. I like writing semi-daily, it’s become a nice, relaxing habit I’ve developed for after I get off work. Anyway, enough with all the babble. The last prompt for Shadow of May was: What do I need to explore?
My life is all about the cost
Of living, living modestly, and working well
For long hours. I leave the living in the little bit
Left over between one work day and the next.
I’m methodical an I’ve no reason to rebel,
I swear, It’s one of those painful sort of comforts-
I got a job and I pay the right price everyday
To keep it, and most days, most days
I only get off feeling sort of dead for it all.
It’d be perfect, if only my heart wasn’t nostalgic
For a place I’d never been but in my dreams,
Of the day and night variety, a dream where I live
And work happily, without conflict and worry
How I’ll balance my bills and what I want to be.
I didn’t want to be late, but whoops. Here’s day thirty of Shadow of May. The question asked was: How do I listen? How do I speak?
I learned when young not to listen
To the other kids on the playground-
I was in second grade, aged just eight.
I was tongue-tied – I was born
With my tiny tongue fused to the bottom
Of my mouth, all my words were locked
On its tip, which I couldn’t lift.
They didn’t know, my parents,
The teachers, or classmates. I was slow
And special. They listened just enough
To know I wasn’t right in my words. I learned
I wasn’t right in my words,
And every day I felt betrayed by them
When they tumbled helplessly awkward
From my mouth. I had tried to explain myself
In all those uncertain and clumsy sounds
That I knew, but didn’t trust.
I became so aware of all the little sounds
I made and didn’t. Short tongued and short
Tempered, and ashamed I fought or ignored
Everyone who tried to laugh at or limit
They cut my tongue free.
Forced it upwards and disconnected me
From what I had become, but in the end,
Ultimately, I had already been taught I could only
Listen quietly to the people around me, and I
Seemed so wise in my silence, that by the time
I was a young adult I was asked often to give counsel,
To give my opinion, my secretly clumsy, distrustful Words,
And I, every time, feel deep anxiety blossoming,
Blooming under my tongue, waiting and fearing
I’d give it wrong.
Today’s Shadow of May – and it’s not late! Surprise! The question asked was: How can I learn from my mistakes?
‘A Short Story, by Me’
It’s beautiful outside, I’m sure,
But even knowing this I want to deny
My existence towards the world in a childish,
Petty anger. I’m angry – yes, of course,
Truly! Towards myself most of all,
Sure, but I want others to feel it,
I’ll hide in my room every hour instead,
Refusing noise and people by rage reading
Every book I previously stacked in awkward areas
About my room in all the nooks, crannies, and corners.
Pointless, it’s pointless – everything! but the words.
It’s beautiful outside, I know, but I made
Some little, shameful mistake, and yes, I know
That the best thing to do would be to leave
And leave my childishness on the shelf.
Late, but not by much! I’m feeling slightly more alive than yesterday and so I’m taking this chance to catch up on the Shadow of May challenge. Yesterday, day twenty-seven, prompted: How do I feel about my accomplishments?
I don’t mean to brag, but
I’ve got hands on experience
With bad luck. I was born bad,
Unlucky, never ever stopped crying,
My mother swore to me, I never stopped
Until she put me down, shut the door, and
Turned off all the lights, the t.v, and the radio
In the house we never got to live long in.
I was a bad omen baby, she,
Bless her heart, she wouldn’t pick me up
It was my fortune, and I was
Bastardly fortunate, I guess, in some ways.
I learned to lose parts of myself quickly, and
Eventually put in the wounds left behind
More usable things, more unstable limbs.
A quick learner, my teachers would say.
I was such a quick learner, and maybe I was
At some time. I’ve got a few plaques with
My name on them shoved into my closet, behind
Some things I don’t remember ever owning.
Bad luck, I’ve got the experience, so
I think I know when I tell you how
It’s bad luck, to ever assume
Okay, so I’m trying to power through these and get caught up. I’ve finished day Twenty-six of Shadow of May which asked: What is my direction in life? What is my purpose? Yesterday and today’s are just notes sitting on my desk right now – hopefully not for long.
Tell me what it is I’m trying to be,
The Queen, the King, the Knight,
Oh, night! It’s time, allow me to wash
My hair tonight in that icy, icy sea.
Tell me the truth, tell me please,
How there are many kind and gentle things,
People, really, and though I don’t always
Consider myself one of them – often,
It’s every so often that some one looks
With eyes too soft at me, telling me –
Cruel. I don’t want to talk, and so I won’t.
I refuse to be anything but cruel to me.
I like the challenge, oh, it’s a challenge yes –
Let us go wash our hair in the sea, tell me,
Why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I be anything
But cruel to me – I am driven to overcome.
Yes, I want to overcome the life I lived,
But couldn’t live. Is there not something
Beautiful, yes, and cruel, in wanting to be
Something else other than the me I’ve seen?
Many apologies – I have been ill the past few days. Still going too, but at least I’m a little livelier than before. There’s probably going to be a number of mistakes and typos, but I can check those out later. The twenty-fifth Shadow of May question was: What three things do I most value?
‘A Light Haunting’
My house feels haunted, is haunted
By me. The soft whispering of my feet are
Still just as uncertain despite the two years
They’ve brushed against the concrete floors
That have supported my slippery shadow as I ghost
Between the front door, kitchen, bathroom,
My room – a path of half-existence taken daily.
Sometimes I see the sunlight drifting
Between the semi-closed blinds by the couch,
And sometimes there is food in the fridge
Waiting for when I remember that I’m alive again-
For no mater how tranquil I feel in my incompleteness
There is an existence outside of work, books, and sleep,
Which might require basic actions of me.
It’s a calm sort of crazy, sort of madness,
Haunting myself, that is, being there and yet gone.
For eighteen years I was trained to be quiet and light
On my toes, so much so that I learned to drift from room
To room. My mother began hanging up mirrors just
So she could catch me every now and then, but years later
I forgot how to stop and, I don’t know if I can – or want to.
Lately I’ve been feeling out of it with my writing. It happens from time to time. I just haven’t been enjoying the tone that I’ve developed over the last few weeks, maybe it’s because I haven’t written this regularly in a long time and it’s spreading me thin. I like to think I get better piece by piece, but, alas, instead I usually get annoyed and feel like I write the same poem nine times. They all start to bleed together and seem… I’m not sure how to say it. They don’t read clearly for me. Anyway, my point is – I’m trying to.. move back to more solid and clearer language. I’m also not a huge fan of first person, but I suck at everything else. Lol.
Enough of the word vomit. Today’s Shadow of May asked: How do I express myself?
In the south we are taught
Hospitality is keeping to yourself
While reaching out to others, like
Cold lemonade offered in the summer.
Polite, Friendly, and just shallow enough,
Not to be intrusive, but
You would not realize it by the letters
I mix together every night and morning-
There are so many emotions that I am
Just too weak and unwilling to express.
Pen ink appears much warmer on paper
Than any ounce of forced politeness I give.
The summer is usually so warm, but this year
I have grown to love the cold,unnatural storms,
And I enjoy seeing my face in the puddles they leave.
There’s just so little time left for cold lemonade
When it storms, and sometimes it’s better this way.
You don’t need lemonade when the heavy, wet air will do.
The warm pavement, warm ink, warm everything – it hurts
And most times, I’d prefer to keep all that to myself.
Have I ever mentioned how hard it is for me to name things? Like, I’m terrible at it most days, but today I just couldn’t decide.. But I guess this will work. Today’s Shadow of May asked: What is my hatred to my energy levels?
I have learned, ever so slowly
To stay tender despite the bitterness
In the many years I’ve lived and seen.
I like believe the most terrible thing I can do
Is spit in their face by refusing to be mean.
Easily, I’ve grown to live and love
All those terribly disruptive emotions
That kinder people would find so distasteful-
All that negativity, the sour and bitter things,
Such as drowning in sadness and feeling hateful.
They’re a part of life, at least half of it, surely.
Emotions so strong and uncomfortable they sit heavily
Inside of you, in your stomach or lungs, on the tongue-
I enjoy them all in my own way, contemplating how it is
That they are there, waiting, but mostly left unsung.
They are so usually unsung, except in hate-
And it’s ironic what we’ll do to those who feel
A little less than human for more than a minute.
Tenderness comes from living painfully and knowing
That we can’t expect everyone to be perfectly absolute.
Yesterdays Shadow of May is a just bit late, but that’s okay! In theory I’ll get today’s out in time.. Maybe. The question asked was: What is the root of my hatred?
‘When I Hate’
I root my hate in the throats
Of people with abundance and health,
But who don’t know what it means to work
For happiness hopelessly empty handed.
Whoops! Looks like I spoke to soon last time I posted. Got hit working a tournament at work – work day changed to 7am until closing at around 12am. Only had to do it two days though, and yesterday I got off early – but then I fell asleep until just a few hours ago. Anyway, the twenty first Shadow of May question asked: How do I show hate?
My stepmother told me many things
About myself and my future, the ruin
I would be, and my father quietly watched
As I became less than his child, less human.
Just like my mother, I am just like my mother
She’d say, the woman who did such terrible things
The judge eventually broke down and gave me to my father.
Tired, I was so tired of living with all those expectations.
That was forever ago, and now I know that no one
Can hurt me like that again, I now bask in a soft hate
By telling them how well I am doing, I’m alive and I shun
Them often in this leisure life, but they find a poisoned bait-
And, Oh, How in their own hate they love to bite,
But now, how I have come to live out of pure spite.
I can’t regret it, no, I cannot regret my will to live-
I show my hate in gentle little moments I’m willing to give.