Thursday, 17 February 2011

I am REAL - Sunday Features 13/2/11

The features today are all centred upon the theme of the discussion we have been having in The Cafe about things in our lives that make us want to scream. They may be huge issues, or just something not so big, but which keeps on happening. It may be issues about beauty, ageing or the way in which we are perceived by others.

The poems and art featured here all reflect these emotions. Every image and poem shows awareness, determination and strength.

I chose Sybille’s poem Listen to start off the features, as it so powerfully screamed our need to be REAL. I teamed it with Tamarra’s amazing image, Maid, Mother & Crone . Not an obvious paring, but in both the image and the poem, we are celebrating our own realities, and rejecting the stereotypes.


Listen by © Sybille Sterk

in the dull soup of day-to-day
we play our roles as proscribed
names become labels of the things we do
echoes of you and me fade to grey

in the world of shadows
ghosts of a brighter past float from room to room
sounds of a different life wither and die
nothing remains and nothing is what it seems

out of the white noise of
the voices on TV and cars rushing by
the wind howling and birds singing
the stair creaking and the silent tears

hear me scream


Broken by Berns, and Shackles by Laura Broussard, seemed to go so well together. The dramatic and powerful image showing to me what happens when we are shackled by others. Laura’s emotive poem is equally strong in her determination not to let this happen any more.

Broken… by © Berns

Shackles by © Laura Broussard

Oh, Shackles……...

Why do you trap me?
Only you and I, know the answers.

You entrap me.

Yes, you……., shackles…..

I won’t play by your rules anymore.
I am getting ready to throw you to the curb.

You won’t get away with entrapping me,........
..... much longer.

I am going to smelt your hard metal,
and make you into a beautiful necklace, ....
for myself.

No longer will I allow you to make me suffer.
I will make you into a beautiful necklace.
I will take the power away from you.

No longer will you “shackle” me.
Feel the heat of the smelting pot,........
as I pour you into a beautiful cast, .........
and wear you around my neck,
as a reminder of all the shit, .........
you have put me through.

No, ............
I won’t be shackled by you any longer.
I will change you,
and you will be the beautiful reminder ……..
around my neck.

I placed dmcart’s amazing and haunting image I together with Jenifer’s powerful poem Hidden Needle In The Haystack by Jenifer De Bellis because both seem to be questioning the issue of ‘Who am I?” With both the image and the poem, we ar left in no doubt about the answers. Both are about a voyage of self discovery.

I by © dmcart

Hidden Needle In The Haystack by © Jenifer De Bellis
I’m the discarded grocery bag caught on the top of the tree.
The one blowing in the wind while the world rushes by,
reaching, always reaching for a sky beyond my reach.

I’m the overstocked spoon dispenser in a knife and fork world.
Waiting in the masses of loneliness to be the lucky chosen one,
squirming, always squirming for a chance just out of reach.

I’m the nickel and two dimes when it only accepts quarters.
Summing the equation’s three parts doesn’t equal the whole –
longing, always longing for something to add up right.

I’m the odd girl out in a sea of swarming rainbow fish,
swimming while struggling to stay afloat in uncharted waters,
treading, always treading just outside the restricted areas.

But I am not the cookie cut out from the gingerbread mold.
That one was bought for a quarter, eaten with a knife and fork,
and her crumbs became lost at sea once the bag flew away.

feminine by moyo is a hauntingly beautiful photo, and speaks to us about issues of femininity, sexuality and vulnerability. It shows a beautiful young woman in her prime. It gives a background, I think, to the strong poem by April Mansilla, – My Make Up, which speaks of youth, beauty, and the inevitable process of ageing that we all face.

feminine by © moyo

And it came back
No excuse me
Just right there
Dropping the inkwell
Into my mind
Dispersing the thoughts
I have tried and failed
To keep bottled up

But I know I must take them

And all the bright colours
Won’t take this away
And bring back my once upon a time
Or I wonder about this ,that and oh the other

I have not worn my
Masquerade for ?
I dress in the same clothes
I fall asleep in
My face bare
With no trace of beauty left

You should see me now
I want to say to those who only
Took me at face value

Still want that snow white kiss?
I am decaying.

and I put on my favourite song on
and just kill time to feel
the melancholy that used to be

once upon my time

It is a fine

I open my eyes and wait

The poignant and yet powerful image Yesterday by Geraldine Maddrell so beautifully illustrates the poem by Cynthia Lund Torroll Daisy Daunted. Both the image and poem have a feeling of sadness and inevitability, but also in both there is a feeling of celebration of the lives lived. I love them both so much.

Yesterday by © Geraldine (Gezza) Maddrell

Daisy Daunted by © Cynthia Lund Torroll

At almost eighty, some petals stay -
They have turned inward, slightly curled
and yellowed on the edges.

Her golden core has turned to brown
from years of smoke and sedative
and lack of air and light.

She is toxic.
The breath from my lungs
is compromised.
It is a struggle to sit
this close, to hold her hand
and not slump also.

On good days I can shrug
and float on top, more the
observer – sending care and pats
of simple reassurance.

She needs so little really -
thirty minutes of diversion -
no conversation of
any weight or effort -
just some eye locks
to start the shift.

She sits straighter,
a few drops do it.
She is funny,
She alights
when she forgets who
she’s become…

The poem, My Way by Maggie Summers, highlights the need for us all to be ourselves. She writes so beautifully.
I teamed this with the powerful image from m-mission which I think is a real motivator for us all. m-mission explains…”VENUS HAIR..RUTILATED QUARTZ KNOWN AS THE ILLUMINATOR OF THE SOUL.” I think that both the image and the poem illuminates our struggles and, hopefully, give us the energy and motivation to keep going, however hard the odds.

THE ILLUMINATOR by © m-mission

My Way by © Maggie Summers

I have tried
so very hard
to be everything you wanted me to be
and still
I have

‘tho this time I know
it’s not my fault
nor yours
it’s just the way
life is

but I cannot compete
with a hated faceless stranger
for your attention
nor hide in the shadow
you keep me in
while you decide if
I am worth bringing out
into the light
for everyone
to see

if it’s taken you this long
to realise how brightly I shine
then you can’t be looking

no blame
no game
I let go of the need to need
and I let go
of the desperate longing
to be

there is no way forward
but mine…

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