Dark Cave Haikus

Hatred without cause
Is not protected under
The Constitution


There is no such thing
As passive hate. Apathy
Has no cause to act.


Love cannot exist
Where light does not reach in us
Rescued from the cave


Hope can be rescued
From deep inside this dark well
Love is the strong rope


Where a life is found
Brave beats furious to save
Scraps of decency


Rains may flood and drown
But humans will still reach through
The dark clouds for sun


Swim through this mountain
Dive deep for love, buoy life
Brave this river, Boy


Wipe my tears and cuts.
Dry my hands and feet. Set firm
Life upon this rock.


I wait in the dark
For splashes from brave heroes
I will not despair


Can I be found deep?
I will wait for news and sleep.
Hope is what I keep.


Deep earth womb of rock
Traumatic birth of thirteen
Life will rise through pain

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Smile and Burn

Money does not buy happiness.
A smile can’t stop the rain.
But when you’ve confronted the past,
You can smile through the pain.

A smile isn’t an umbrella.
Peace isn’t purchased with cash.
Happiness is burning down hate
And rising from the ash.

So take this fire,
And beat those wings.
Fan these flames.
Embrace the change it brings.

candles

WARNING

WARNING: This post will contain ridiculous amounts of profanity. I apologize in advance if I offend. I try to avoid it, but sometimes the Hillbilly Redneck falls right out my mouth.


Yesterday, my husband told me my friend from the past tried to contact him on Facebook. Can I just say, “Leave me and my family the FUCK alone. Please.”

What?? I said please.

A little history:

I grew up with a girl from my hometown. She was popular, funny and so very sweet. She had a natural charisma and sharp sense of humor. Everyone liked B. She was welcoming, nice, open. I met B on the bus in Kindergarten. I fell in friendship love from the first morning on the first day. I’ve known B since the age of 5. Our birthdays were only 1 month and some odd days apart. I didn’t know it at the time, but we were going to be closer than sisters. Any sister I ever knew.

B had a strange, rare ability to make fun of herself, laugh at her mistakes and put herself in such a vulnerable position that just about everyone could not resist the B Show. Lunch buddy status with B was highly coveted. Sleepovers were even more exclusive. B was the shit.

During the middle of 5th grade, B left. She moved to the next town and I was heartbroken. I was lost. I was so sad. But we vowed to keep in touch. Several girls did. But I may have been the only one to actually write fanatically.

People asked me about B. How is she? What’s she doing? I seemed to be the only one staying in touch. I had a friendship leg up with B. We were destined to be friends, but I didn’t understand it, this attraction to specifically her, or even expect it. But I truly hoped for it. To be and remain her best friend.

B and I had a few sleepovers after she moved, but then she moved, not just a town away, but an entire state. We kept in touch, wrote consistently and one day, I got the good news. B’s coming back!

Expecting B’s arrival and to see her again was the most exciting anticipation I had experienced to that point. The waiting seemed to go on. She said she would let me know when they had settled and I was welcome. It really was like having a boyfriend. A long-lost lover. She was only ever my friend, but I cared about her more than any other human being except my mother. When you’re a girl, before sex, your best friend is your soulmate.


What’s better than a soulmate?
Someone to talk about your soulmate with. 🙂


She finally wrote to let me know the date. As soon as she got her phone number, she let me know her digits. I still remember the number. 816-(555)-4356. I remember the prefix, but I replaced with those fake Hollywood numbers so as NOT to disturb the current phone owners of 4356. 🙂 I remember it because I blew that number up. Daily. For years. It was my suicide hotline, my Phone-a-friend. My whole, stinking life was on the other end of that ring.

I hung out at their house so often to escape my own that I seriously irritated their mother. B’s mom was sometimes fussy and sometimes cruel. She had a hot temper at times, sometimes was physically violent, but her husband was away so much on business and the girls constantly had friends over.

I would beg to come over just to be a part of their dynamic. Good food, lots of laughs and a beautifully comfortable home. The mother being grumpy or even irate at times was just a small price to pay to be near B. I was used to it. My own house was even more chaotic. Just being at B’s house was fun. We didn’t have to do much to have a good time.

We played and sang in the yard. We made up games. We rode bikes, laid in the cool of the basement, primped in the bathroom. Drank soda. Unintentionally spit-laughed said soda through our noses on bed sheets. We were entranced by MTV and Atari. Entranced by waving, summer-breeze curtains and tired, old bed quilts. We swam in the neighbor’s pool. Swung on the back porch. We told the worst jokes. AND I witnessed the most heinous bathroom toilet adventures ever produced by two girls.

We went to college together. We went to bars together. I went to all of her theatre and music shows every weekend she was starring, singing, or just appearing. We did stupid, stupid stuff together. And then she did the stupidest thing of all. She got married.

It was like losing her all over again. Just like 5th grade. Keep in touch! We’ll hang out.

Except. It was never the same. Hanging out always included New Husband or talking about New Husband. Makes sense. But during that time, I turned to S. Her sister.

We were both still single. Both irritated with her husband choice. Both overweight. And we shared the same history. Wanting to be with B and being left by her. We were the jilted standbys who turned to each other for comfort. AND we didn’t have to learn a new friendship. I was already part of their family. We knew all the dirt, all the names, all the connections, all the jokes. And S was so like B that it was basically the same. A comforting substitute for Best Friend as my BFF made a new relationship.

As we all grew, we matured in different ways. I was always more intellectual than the sisters. Even by their own admission. I liked nerdy things. Books. Philosophy. School. Poetry. High-minded thinking. Art. We shared a love of theatre, music and crude humor. But the small differences started to grow when I got older: needed a job, was unsatisfied with small town life, wanted something more than just the next Tom-Dick-Harry for a partner. I was lost.

In some ways, one’s friends are okay with a person being lost because that’s who they fell in like with. Plus, any friend’s failure is a reassuring reminder of our own success. We can feel sympathy and relief all in the same emotional experience. A reassurance that we won’t be left behind. Left in the dust. Or surpassed.

One thinks of a friend as Savior. Finder of lost souls. But at some point I realized–the sisters are just junk collectors of broken people.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Except. Junk don’t work right. And junk has no value.

I had no value.

I was doing really screwed-up things to myself because I didn’t have value. I didn’t even assign value to myself. If I did, it was very little.

Why do I matter, what does anything matter, if I have no value?

I eventually broke from my toxic relationship with Little Sister. She was competitive, jealous and manipulative. She would say the same about me. WE were a toxic cocktail. Both of us. Our relationship, in part, was founded on neediness. Not a good start.

She was an attention whore. She was a liar. Thief. Cheater. She fucked around with a guy I liked and was jealous when I did the same. We broke up. Later, we gentled up to each other again after a 9-month break. She talked shit about another friend who engaged in the very same behavior that broke us up. I glossed over her hypocrisy at the time because we were trying to mend fences. She had toxic relationships all over the place. I was just one of them.

She monopolized my time and resources. She made big promises, but always let me down emotionally. I devoted my life to these sisters and they rarely showed up for me in the important things. After I married and had a child of my own, I just did not have the same energy to devote to this needy relationship. She gossiped constantly and talked trash about everyone. Everyone. I eventually realized, “If she’s talking trash about her family and every single friend to me, what does she say about my life to everyone else??”

Sobering thought.

But the final straw was almost 3 years ago. I had drifted in and out of the sisters lives. We had taken breaks before. But as of late, we were right back to besties. All of us. Sisters, new women, me. The sisters brought us all together. A hodgepodge of ladies from all walks. It was a great sisterhood of several women. Or so I thought.

I was in a play. I invited my friends to come see me in the show. It was important to me. It was a highly dramatic show and I had a really good part. It was some of the best acting I’ve done as an adult. It meant so much to me. I told them so. I had recently had cancer, thyroid surgery, just got my voice back and wanted to celebrate this moment with these women. Not one person came.

These aren’t my friends.

After all the BULLSHIT that I showed up for?? And you can’t come to the one thing I ask you to?? FUCK YOU!

YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!

And even as I write that, I still care. I care so much that when I found out Little Sister was sick and her husband lost his job/insurance, I gave to her medical fund. I gave anonymously online and wrote a small note of explanation to B, her sister, (fund manager) in private. I care. I don’t wish ill will. I actually want the best for her. I want her life to change. I want her to be honest. Stand up. Get better. Get physically well. Stop manipulating others. Stop talking shit about everyone because you feel horrible inside. But.

Just leave me alone. I can’t help you, Friend. I really tried.

I’m the best thing that will have ever happened to you if you don’t get better.

I have value. I value myself enough to know I can’t fix broken. I have to help myself. Good luck to you. You can’t have any more of my short time on this planet. Sorry. I truly wish you well, wellness, wealth. Without me.


She contacted my husband to tell me after 1 year thank you for the money and that a friend of a friend (someone I met and talked to only a handful of times, perhaps a total of an hour or more) that his son died. Also sorry. But I’m so far gone from Hometown USA that it truly doesn’t matter to me at all. I moved a town, a state, a whole world away this time. I wish it mattered to me. I really do.

When We

When they hate
We shall love

When they argue
We shall listen

When they act
We shall pray (and protest)

When they injure
We shall heal the whole world

When they kill
We shall inherit heaven

“When they go low,
We go high.”


They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me.
Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.–Mahatma Gandhi

Fat

Lost my inflatable armor.
Nothing but skin and bones.
Nothing to protect me now
When they start throwing their stones.

I finally dropped my baggage.
I’m certainly much more thin.
The only problem now?
Unfortunately, so’s my skin.

I built that big wall high.
Tall enough for you.
Only a few who really knew
Could see the courtyard view.

Fat feelings of disappointment
In how I was rejected.
Only accepted when
I embraced what they expected.

I remember who you are.
I never will forget.
Those who leave a scar,
Those who owe a debt.

You pay me back
By feigning love.
One thumb up
From that little white glove.

This may surprise you,
I always deserved your like.
You were hateful and mean,
Only now does sympathy strike.

Outside? I may look tough.
Wrinkly, worn and old.
But this is recycled flesh.
Inside? I’m a newborn soul.

To those few who bothered to know,
They who loved me without fear,
I couldn’t have made it alone alive.
So. Thank you. I’m still here.

Haters Gon’ Hate

It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. So shake it out.–Florence and the Machine

Haters gon’ hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…Shake it off. Shake it off. Ah, ah.–Taylor Swift

Thank you, Taylor.


Feeling a bit uneasy this morning, which is rare these days, but not extinct. Mainly because I thought of one particular hater from just last year.

Just before my weight loss surgery, I announced on Facebook my intention to get gastric bypass. Everyone supported me. Some even wondered why I had waited so long to go for it.

My yearly struggle to drop pounds for my heart health concerned many. Since May 2012, I had been seriously, aggressively trying to get healthy. I was diagnosed with heart failure in August 2012. I had a slew of friends and family encouraging me to work out and eat right. Everyone accepted me for me: what I looked like, how much I weighed. I never felt pressured to undergo surgery. Especially those closest to me accepted me–my husband and my daughter. I felt safe.

So when I finally decided on weight loss surgery, it was my decision. No one prompted me to get it. It was a choice 11 years in the making. I had considered some form of weight loss surgery since 2005.

Things conspired to put off the surgery. Insurance coverage. Being a mom. Going back to school. Many things. But last year, it was finally right. And then one person challenged me.

This person was also extremely overweight. Super morbidly obese. She was a self-proclaimed fat advocate.

Everyone should accept all fat people, no matter what. Doctors should never treat anyone for obesity or blame symptoms on obesity. Fat people have rights.

I had started down this path years earlier. (Of course fat people have rights. Not debating that.) I even wrote a play about it. Won an award for that play. Synopsis: working through all of my eating disorder issues, I’m fat. If you have a problem with my being fat, get the f— over it! But that was not the solution. For me. This was not my path for long.

This person even saw my play. That’s how we met.

She knew about my heart failure. In fact, we were supposed to meet the Tuesday after I went into the hospital. We had made plans earlier in the month and just before our friend date, I wind up in the ER. So obvs, I didn’t keep our meeting. I’m glad.

When I announced my gastric bypass, she came out strongly against it. She was the only one.

She told me to wait. Try other things. Try different foods. Accept myself and fight for my rights with doctors and others. Did she not follow me on Facebook?

I had been actively posting for 5 or more years about my weight loss/gain, thyroid cancer, heart failure, un-diagnose-able gastro-gall bladder pain, arthritis, diet, exercise, health trouble/struggle.

Where has this bitch been?? I asked myself. Sorry. LOL But really.

I tried to reason with her. Explain. Counter. Inform. Be patient. Be neutral. Ignore. But she hounded me.

“Don’t do it!” was her repeated harp.

I finally blocked her. I had to move forward without her negativity. I knew the decision for weight loss surgery was a serious one, but right for me. It was time. And I didn’t need someone telling me otherwise. Doubting me. Doubting my ability to make an informed decision or to calculate risk. It was well beyond time for surgical intervention.

Sometimes, you just have to shake it off. Shake off doubt. Shake off negativity. Shuffle off people, attitudes and bad energy just to move forward on your own path.

I am so thankful for my surgery. So very blessed to have my life back. Able to ride, swim, live, serve, love. WORK! Not be a drain on my family, friends or society. I’m at 309.6 as of yesterday. That’s 147 lbs since surgery. 204 lbs since heart failure in 2012. I am confident, if I hadn’t had surgery, I’d be dead in the next 5 years. Absolutely.

So who on Earth would want to kill me? Deny me my life? Encourage me to accept less than a healthy, full life to appease their own view of fairness or health? Not a friend. I can tell you that.

Get behind me, Devil. I won’t give in to fear. I won’t give in to hate. No more doubt, negativity, criticism. I won’t give in to dwelling on past hurt or slights either. I’ve got too much living to do. Watch me dance.

 

Doxxed

You want to wave your Nazi flag?
You want to scream “Nigger” and “Fag”?
You were taught to fear the Jew.
Prepare to be brought into full ugly view.
Prepare to be doxxed.

You should have somewhere learned
Grace and freedom is not burned.
Someone should have taught you love, not fear.
Someone should have made that clear.
Prepare to be schooled.

You want to privately hate.
You want to march and congregate.
But you don’t want anyone IRL to know.
You don’t want your bigotry to show.
Prepare to be fired.

It’s not okay to hide behind
A blazing torch of hatred blind.
You want to stand up for your rights?
But you want privilege for Only Whites.
Prepare to be rode out of town on a rail!

Tarred and feathered online.
Exposed as a racist for all time.
We don’t cotton to your kind.
A safe harbor you will not find.

Prepare to be doxxed. Exposed. Fired. Rejected.
I would never share your information, but I will remember your face.
Americans, don’t let it happen again.

Troublesome

Cities on fire,
Sliding into the sea.
Countries bleeding
From Killing spree.

Forests catch flame.
Humans to blame.
Cars take aim.
Hate makes claim.

To every place your attention settles,
The world will so finely, kindly remind–
No matter where you travel,
Your searching eyes will Chaos find.

Students shot.
Violence wrought.
Journalists caught.
Fraught, taut, distraught.

Children attacked.
Homes blown apart.
Families destroyed.
Bombed-out, cut-up heart.

Crumpled on the ground,
Freedom is downed.
Goodness unfound.
Wicked abound.

With absolute certainty,
One thing I know,
Resilience from tragedy
Is something you grow.

Plant your feet.
Shout from the street.
Pull down the sheet.
Bring love where hate and evil meet.

If your crops are burnt?
If your shores are black?
If your bodies are dying?
We can’t go back.

We can only move forward with knowledge and the rejection of evil. We can no longer passively ignore the bullies of the world. To stay silent is to participate.

Rage Against

Dylan wrote about the dying of the light.
Rage against fading sight.
Don’t gently go into the night.
Keep those fires burning bright.
Right to the end.

And I say rage again.

Rage again at hatred’s wave.
Rage again at a black man’s grave.
Rage again at racist rave.
Rage again at the killing of brave.
To-bloody-day.

It’s not too late to turn around.
Our love isn’t buried in the cold, hard ground.
As humans, as Americans, as Christians–we’re bound
To breathe back life to Liberty drowned.
Now.

No man has a right to steal.
Our freedom under heavy boot heel.
I’d rather die than ever kneel
To pay for a politician’s shady deal.
You’re dying for money.

No man has a right to kill.
And Washington isn’t going to foot the bill.
This is no longer an exercise or drill.
This is the sound of the People’s will.
No more!

Rage against this political machine.
To do nothing is supporting the obscene.
It’s time for us to intervene!
Remember the words from 1634 Racine,
Malone (The Untouchables) asks,
“What are you prepared to do?”