Fractured Female: The Struggle


there is a wholeness here,
a unity of mind and purpose,
an unfamiliar sense of self,
an unknown strength in heart and blood.

in the solemn evening hours
it takes enormous effort
to fuse this oneness to the soul.

in the uncertain quietude
a latent terror lurks around the eyes.

at just the outer edge of vision
a quiet madness nibbles
at the aura of stability
and gnaws on peace of mind,
evokes a range of old familiar doubts,

a sense of fracture at the flaw.

there is a wholeness then
that’s held together only by sheer will,
clenched teeth and arms entwined
tightly around the body
to keep the frame intact,

like straw that’s baled by wire.


My mind is fragmented by bits of shrapnel
from a life grenade
that exploded in my dreams:
a bomb of yearning from some yesterday;
another time, not well defined,
but intrusive and pervasive.

Imbedded in my thought patterns
are tiny particles of illusion
that interrupt the steady flow of
electric streams which carry reason
to my senses and logic to my brain.

My fractured dreams, recurrent themes
from scenes awake I can’t recall,
pierce my sleep with images so sharp
my spirit is sliced clean through
before it feels the slice.

My soul was also shattered by the blast
and the jagged pieces no longer fit
into the large design.

Interspersed with all I try to do
is all I never did
but wanted, tried or should.
I struggle with my sanity
as instants disconnect from seconds
and seconds redirect themselves
from the fragments of the hour
seemingly intact,
perceptibly still whole.


what’s missing
what’s lacking

on the continuum
from past to future
there is a promise

from inside out
through eyes
that want to see it all
(need to see it all)
the whole is not
the sum of anything
let alone its parts

what’s missing
what’s lacking

the eyes, yes,
the eyes that see
but do not see
the eyes that try
to fuse
the seams of unreality

in madness,
it’s the eyes go first
from trying to hold
a world intact

what’s missing
what’s lacking


I don’t have what I had
I can’t have what I want
I don’t want what I have

Billowy pale, cottony soft,
Floating above reality in cloud formation.
Puffed up, elated, full of possibilities
Yet rife with sadness.  Deceptively dense,
Yet parting easily for jet-force streams.

Pale into paler into gray.

Weeping languidly on a day steaming
With the thankfulness of a dry parched earth;
Then the quiet whisper of rain sheets
Rustling through dry wind
Growing into steady streams of downpour,
Swelling into torrents of crashing,
Roaring, whistling bits of dream.
Cracking, angry, raging for awhile,
Then slowing quickly, starting again,
Stopping, slowing, stopping;
All quiet now but not all peaceful.

Green leaves, who upturned in anticipation before
the clouds were split asunder, are crushed now,
Wet, no, saturated with the weight of memory–
A day sparkling in sun, glistening with joy.

Quietly the trees remember love.

Clouds so recently bereft of content,
Reform and amble on in horizontal waves.

If the world is round, truly spherical,
Perhaps the same clouds will drift again into
The same vector and will again give up the same
Internal truth, and perhaps the same
Disenchanted leaves will again wait for hope,
Yet not be surprised by anything anymore;
Yes, perhaps, all will be reprised
But never the same day again,
Never again the same day.


The longest hours
are those
that lie in the middle
of the night
between yesterday’s
finished business
and tomorrow’s duty;
when sleeplessness
overtakes the mind and
the purple blackness
slowly through
ascending stages
becomes less black,
then gray, less gray,
then white
as daylight
rims the broken sky.

The darkest hours
are those
in which the soul
in deep descent
has plummeted
to the bottom of
the blackest well
for shiny copper
pennies, but
finding only
of tarnished dreams.

The loneliest hours
are those
that sleep will
not visit,
though eyelids
desire to close
and the body
cannot move
and the spirit
withered and demoralized
beseeches mercy


I study time
trying to ascertain
whether or not
it’s stealing microseconds
from my life–
that fraction of the hour
it thinks I will not miss

I study time
because I think the clock
is hurrying me to
some conclusion
I would not choose

I study time
because it talks to me
in symbols
I do not understand

I study time
and try to move
my wings
in spite of pins


from rafter to rafter
the flimsy cobwebs
strain and pull and shred
across the years of everyday.
Each time we try to move,
a little more deteriorates,
disintegrates and otherwise
disengages from the wooden beams.

Holding on to what we
cannot let go of;
to that which is not strong
enough to keep us safe,
we continue to believe.

Trapped in gossamer,
we continue to pursue.

Even a fly will look
the spider in the eye
and quit the struggle,
but we humans have
another view–
we let ourselves depend on
what we know
we cannot trust.


Drapes the chair
In the corner of the graying room
Like the old pink robe
I wore on winter nights…
To keep me warm
While reading
T.S. and Robert and e.e.

My tired limbs dangle
From my body
Stretched, with no resistance
Like lifeless arms of terrycloth
Hanging close to the floor

Evening comes…

Shrouds the windows
With translucent fibers
And clouds what’s left of daylight…
The little rays of hope still
Searching for a path

Soft, the folds of fabric
Hang from ceiling to floor
Drape the structured frame

Soft, soft, soft
Hanging folds of life

Soft, soft, soft
The fabric arms caress the chair

Muted walls surround the scene
of placid humility…

A corner chair covered with
a well-worn article
of memory’s treasure
striped with evening’s light


It’s not the dying
That makes me afraid.
It’s the going from the known
To the unknown
That I dread;
The leaving behind
Of the tangible world;
Not wanting to be
All alone
When I’m dead.
No, the dying is fine.
I even know how it feels:
No more crying;
It’s like sleeping
When I’m home
In my bed.
But, in choosing to die,
You must be very sure,
For there’s no turning back
Choosing living

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