Friday, December 18, 2009

Day's End

Today came.  
Today went.

Reading. Writing. Speaking. 
Singing. Hoping. Giving. 
Receiving. Smiling. Laughing.
Working. Typing. Thinking.

Eyes now closing.  
Feet tapping.  

Pause.  Pray.
Give thanks.

 december 18, 2009
jchwelch
~*~*~
I got home from work after midnight.  My mind was swimming with all I need to get done...so many things left undone.  The things on my list that will soon have to get done.

I thought, 'Well, what did I accomplish today?' Just the small list in my little prose makes a worthwhile day.

Most of my days, and I would think most everyone's days, are spent relating.  The only way we can't relate is if we cease to exist.  Some think that we never cease.  I don't concern myself much with that.

My day began laughing with my son and ended laughing with my daughter. In between involved good conversation with others, even the dogs, Maggie and Butter.  What more can one ask for?

~*~*~

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

poetry, music, art
dances through the air
here's a flick quite smart
with you I'd like to share

Check it out:

Art-O-Mat Promo Video - Lee Fenyves from leefenvisual on Vimeo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blogging Doodles

I'm aware you read my scribbles;
at times it embarrasses me.

I think you think,
Why does she do it?

Put all these curves
and lines for folks to read?


I dunno, sometimes I wonder too;
tomorrow could be my last day.

Part of my remains would be
this stuff in cyber space,

until the net collapses
and the temporal is blipped.

So I'll just keep typing
'til I decide to quit.

tap, tap, tap
flip, flip, flip

december 7, 2009
jchw

****************
Perusing photos, and one made me think.

Yes, sometimes I think.... ;-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Until Then"

Pristine notes, words of praise
Age-old hymns bestow God's light
The dark-skinned man bellows deep
Sings with all his might

Causing my heart to swell

He sings of endurance
He sings of joy
He sings of pain in the temporal now
He sings of everlasting streets of gold

Causing my tears to roll

Well, is it true O God my Lord?
Will there someday be
This home of peace, of bliss, of joy
A place of forever harmony?

Causing my soul to cry fervently

Surely 'tis true that all shall see
Face to face and eye to eye
Surely 'tis true there'll be a time
All wrongs to be made right

Causing my spirit to yearn

Until that day, O God, I pray
Allow my heart to stay tender
My eyes to see beyond hostility
And never evil for evil to render

Your boundless love, God of Life,
Causing my breast to hope eternal

june 5, 2007
judithpiper

****
In May, 2007, my husband and I watched a televised presentation of the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.  Wintley Phipps sang the hymn "Until Then" with so much joy and life and exurberance; it was thrilling to watch.

At the time I was deeply struggling with my own beliefs as far as God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, who I was, my marriage...just a lot of things. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I embraced the words coming from what I felt/feel to be a man with a giant heart of grace and love.

Regardless of one's spiritual beliefs, songs like this which bring relief and hope and joy to the soul, can help us each to continue to strive for a better day...now and in the future.

"Until Then" was a favorite of mine while in The Way.  I recall when Rev. Cummins used to sing it at certain occasions.

I couldn't find a good youtube of Wintley Phipps singing "Until Then." However, this rendition of "Amazing Grace," another one of my favorites, gives a glimpse of Phipps' voice and presence.

Emotional Rape

(Language Warning)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"Did I hurt you?"
You innocently inquire
You fucking moron
You self-centered son of a bitch
Your arrogance inflates your ego
Your ego inflates your dick

You opened your soul
I opened mine
Then, you turned

Gazing at your back
I awaited
With tender expectation

Unbeknownsted to me
You prepared
Your mockery

About faced
Madness in your eyes
Delight in manipulation

I stood
Confused, perplexed
Mixed signals

You stood erect
Jerking off
With heinous laughter

Jism spewed, milky clear
My personal exhibitionist
I watched in disgust

Your words cut deep
"I'm here for you, sucker...
Lick it up, you trusting soul"


Did you hurt me?
I won't grant you that power
I hurt because I chose to trust
A pompous ass like you

May all your days
Be bathed by masturbation

january 26, 2008
judithpiper

~*~*~

Well, need I say I was angry?  Oh my!

In December, 2007, someone had befriended me via an online forum. After about a month of communication and me being honest and open, the other party seemed to be giving the cold shoulder.  It confused me at the time.  I didn't react like in the poem to the individual, and I later learned the other party was just going through a hard time; all ended up well.

Still, I like the prose....as far as giving expression to anger.  The prose is graphic; and so is ab-use.

I stated elsewhere, "....I don't talk like this...and seldom think like this. There was a time I would never have let anyone see this side of me. It's kind of freeing to have an outlet for it...."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I talked to God today...

I talked to God today
and asked if he was near

Breeze tickled my toes
but I couldn't see the breeze

Birds warbled among trees
but I didn't see the birds

Crickets chirped amidst ferns
but no crickets could be seen

Cars hummed on distant streets
but I did not see the cars

Stereo bass boomed from the road
but no speakers could I see
 

Golden leaves of autumn shone
but sun had moved beyond my sight

Lonely leaf drifted to earth
but gravity was invisible

I wanted to see a snake today
I like snakes in the wild

Autumn sun invites them
to bathe before they hibernate

I wondered to myself,
God, do you hibernate?

Then my telephone buzzed
a welcome friend I heard

Yet I could not see the lovely face
to whom the voice belonged

I talked to God today
and asked if He was near


november 08, 2009
judithpiper

***

It was a lovely day this past Sunday, 11/08.

I looked for snakes as I walked along the Greenway.  I thought of them hibernating soon.

I sat on my deck and listened to all the sounds around me.  I watched.  The giant tree up in the woods really did shine golden from the sun which was hidden on the other side of the house.  The sounds, though I couldn't see their makers, were very much real and alive.

That seems to be how God answered my question.

I was on my way to write the poem when my phone rang.  It was a friend.  We talked for over two hours.

Life is everywhere around us, every day.  Have you ever noticed how many seeds are produced?  Wow!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Unfinished

Oil can in aged hand
The Tender slicks the gears
"They rust when they have sat awhile
Moistened by only tears."

"I'll get them working one at a time
Squeak and turn until they're smooth
Time, patience, no rush at all
They'll almost be like new."

We sit and watch his nimble hands
Abe and Nanna at my side
His confidence always near
His quiet way soothes our minds


february 25, 2009
me
***
 It remains unfinished.

But, The Tender has his own blog.  (*wink*)

~ find me in these books ~

Some of my poetry can be found in the following books.

"Poetry for Suzanne"
"Poetry Pages: A Collection of Voices from Around the World Volume V" (Foreward by Carol Welch)
"Poetry From the Dark Side: Volume II"
"Seeking the Spiritual"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Maybe someday....

I wish the world were kind
but it's not

I wish that money grew on trees
but it doesn't

I wish I could smell colors
but I can't

I wish I had gills to breath underwater
but I don't

I wish I were thinner
but I'm not

I wish humans treated one another better
but they don't

I'm still hoping though
and always will

november 6, 2009
me

***************************
Just thinking about stuff.

Wow.  If all mankind could see all the thoughts of one day of all people....well, I just don't know about that....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Now and Then

What is it that you seek
Peering past, o'er your shoulder
If only you had rear eyes
Your neck would get some rest

Why not stop?

About face, look forward
Vista wide
Neck relaxes

Until you strain to hard

Failures, losses
Successes, gains
Some past, others future
 

This moment
The only guarantee

Time in a bottle
Moments in pictures
Dreams await in visions
 

This moment
A time to sew


january 29, 2009
judithpiper

********************************
For months I've had on my list to update my poetry archive at PoetryPages; it was last updated in March, 2009.  Today, I found the above poem in my poetry journal, the one I scribble in...words and phrases.  Though it had been written in January, I never did post it on my archive.

I asked myself, "What was the context of this poem?"  I had written it to enter a poetry challenge, which I never entered. The challenge stated certain words that needed to be in the poem.

My mom died two days after this poem was written.  Interesting timing.

I could swear I've posted this one somewhere, but perhaps not.

Untitled & Faction

Untitled
~by mightfall

breathe into me
let your soul seep inside a moment
and we'll be together,
somehow.
gather yourself in the rain
and i'll love you there,
outside in the cold velvet night
where only our arms are warm,
where we need us
and us alone.
i want to be trapped in darkness
with only your eyes the light
and our hunger the only air to breathe.
the rain wouldn't stop
i guess it never will
until our fervent touch
drives away obscuring clouds
breathe into me
we have life, laughter, love,
just breathe

****
This untitled piece is not written by me or for me; but hey, what woman wouldn't love this? Perhaps one reason it touches me deeply is due to it's reference to 'breath.'  Breath, which gives life.

When the author, 'mightfall,' requested comment on it, I simply stated words that came to mind, that which I felt.  ~ melding of souls  ~ distance is no factor ~ bond is deeper than any distance can divide ~ same rain falls upon both, yet...together...depths are unfathomable ~ two as one ~ same breath ~ no hunger ~

I first met 'mightfall' (the author's screen name) in December, 2007, on PoetryPages.com.  'Mightfall' has been another instrumental person in helping me sort through my time with and after The Way. We chat online regularly, have spoken on the phone, and visited via webcam.  He loves  his wife, his dogs, his homeland, fast cars, the beauty of life, and more.

Shortly after we met via cyber waves, 'mightfall'  learned that I'd been involved in an abusive religious group.  He had no idea regarding my involvement with GreaseSpotCafe.com  (GSC), the anti-Way online forum,  and the unpleasant manipulative experiences I'd had at GSC. He'd never even heard of GSC.  With the knowledge of my involvement in an abusive religious group; yet without the knowledge of my involvement with GreaseSpotCafe, he penned a quick prose for me entitled...

***
Faction
~by mightfall

They had you in their greasy little palms, didn't they
And they went to squish and mold you like clay
To serve their whims, will, and foul devices
But you are not clay; in their grasp you broke
Like a bird in the too large hands of a too small child
I just wonder, did you keep the pieces in a box,
and if you've a warm and loving home
and some glue?


 He must have been writing via intuitive cyber waves. :-) Ha! His choice of words definitely had my attention, and we've been communicating ever since.

Thanks to mightfall'  for his friendship and wisdom.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Tribute for Acetabular

You served me well
You grew with me
Together we ran, we jumped, we danced
We made love

Every moment you were with me

Your pain then spoke
Sometimes I'd listen
Other times I'd push through
Cursing you beneath my breath

You heard every utterance

I'm sorry for my bitter words
Still, you continued to serve
The best you could
Still, you made your pain known

Now you are forever gone

In a matter of half-hours
Incision, folds, cuts, disengagement
It was time, you see
You lived with unforgiving pain

So did I

I think you'd be pleased
With your surrogate
Your peers and I have accepted it
Welcomed it, though it can never be you

It doesn't pulse with the life you had

Yet, it is becoming one with us
And we believe it will serve well
Valiantly, and hopefully
For our length of days

I honor you

I will not forget you
Thank you for your decades
Of life and service
 

I wonder....  
Is there a hip heaven?

August 20, 2008
judithpiper


****

On August 6, 2008, I received a new hip (acetabular) via total hip replacement surgery.  The new joint and auxilaries are a combo of titanium and other materials of which I cannot recall at the moment.  My new member doesn't squeak. I've heard that some hips from previous construction days do. I can't imagine having a replacement part that squeaks.  eek!

I'm young for hip replacement surgery.  Most likely, the osteoarthritis was brought on by high doses of steroids that I had to ingest for years and years in order to keep me breathing; I had suffered with serious adult-onset asthma.  Steroids have a tendency to mess up the bones.  However, most of me bones are in good shape considering the circumstances. Nutrition and exercise played vital roles in keeping them healthy amidst the steroid invasion.

When I initially went for my consultation with the surgeon he was going over my x-rays with me and stated, "You have really small bones."  As we ended the review, he pondered the gray and black and white medical photograph.  After a moment he stated (again), "Gosh, you have small bones."  At that point I asked, "Is that a problem?"

There were a few complications. The recuperating process was rough and long.  It took over one year for me to be fully functional.  I need to get back to exercising now! The complications are mostly smoothed now.  And my hip glides well these days.  It's fun to engage some positions I'd not been afforded for years.

Yay for titanium and Dr. David Howe and Forsyth Medical Center.  They done real good!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Intersections

I like autumn
and winter
and spring
and summer

and up
and down
and sideways
and especially curves
on mountain roads

with fog it's hard to
see
the yellow line
at night

those little reflectors
help a lot

little eyes coming
up from the hardened tar

tar eyes
that's what they are

other eyes
live in the forest
whose pupils
shine like
lights

in the
dark

in autumn
in winter
in spring
in summer

september 29, 2009
judithpiper

****
One of my favorite activities at my job is communicating with artists. We mainly communicate via email, though sometimes via phone. Every so often face to face.

One artist who I enjoy going back and forth with is Ray. Ray is a collage artist, a musician, and a poet. He always causes me to chuckle, or think, or ponder. He has the most entertaining subject lines for his emails.

At work earlier this evening, I opened one of his emails entitled "M.T. Graves." M.T. Graves...hehe... I chuckled wondering what he'd be sending along. He usually always writes something about Artomat, and then throws in these side notes. This time it was about autumn, and the reality that stuff dies and decays in autumn. So I reminded him that the decay feeds the soil. It's all in good fun.

And out came the above ditty (a rendition) in response to Ray. He wrote back his own poetic verse; complex and dark with a hint of humor.

One of the visuals that came to mind was a memory of driving in thick fog at night in the North Carolina mountains some twenty-five plus years ago. The fog was so dense, I had to open my car door to look down at the middle line in order to drive; there were no reflectors on the lines.

All of a sudden the line disappeared. I applied the brake to come to a complete stop from my 5 miles per hour speed, if I was even going that fast. Panic momentarily struck my heart.

Then I realized I was in an intersection. I creeped slowly forward, and the line reappeared.

Seasons are kind of like intersections too.

Maybe that road has reflectors now, but probably not.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ford Fairlane 500

Another anniversary

I always have trouble

In the months of nine and ten
Yet I fair better these days

Today I grieve
I grieve that which is lost
It's okay to grieve
Part of being human

I wish I could hold you
In my dreams I do

I wish I could hold
The little one too
At times I do

You may not understand that
And that's okay by me

But I think somewhere deep down
You do.  Understand.
And that's okay too.

I must go to work today
I hope not to cry too much
My job is special to me
Holding the works of others' hands

Hands.  You always had magic in yours.
Even the way you tied knots
I remember that

You strapping luggage on the top of that car
The old car parked in Circle Drive
In front of Emporia Hall

I think it was called Emporia Hall

And that's okay
It's okay that I recall

It's okay to miss it
It's okay to embrace it

You did a great job, by the way
Securing that luggage

Thank you for continuing to love me

jcarol
september 27, 2009

****
I may write some context later; and maybe not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dear John (The Real Thing)

~*~*~

You've tended my soul gently,
how can I repay
the goodness you infuse in me
the trust your heart conveys?

We've been through hell and back again
weathered tempestuous storms,
internal bruises, wrenching pains
through conflict courage forged.

You saw beyond my weaknesses
horizons I couldn't see
through buffets, trials, sicknesses,
endurance, forgiveness, mercy.

My heart forever devoted
with you I'll always stay,
love of my life, my soul
until our dying day.

And then throughout eternity
our lives continue to unfold,
with peace and perfect harmony
the stories yet untold.


may 17, 2007

I love you John.
With all my heart,
Carol
****

John, my dear John.  How my heart overflows with gratitude.  You have stood beside me through thick and thin. By the time May, 2007, came along we were continuing to help care for my mom, had survived and thrived through over a decade of helping care for my dad through his quadriplegia.  You had been by your dad's side when he drew his last breath fighting emphysema.  You stood by me through years of battling to breathe and function, physically and emotionally.  Been there when both our children were birthed.  Gone to work day in and day out; a hero for our family.  You even learned to cook a little bit.

By May, 2007, we had both recently made major changes in our belief systems and had survived an online and phone affair with both of us looking elsewhere to meet our marital needs.  Our deepest pains had been exposed; our marriage had been on the verge of divorce just a year earlier.  By 2007 we were welded so intricately at our hearts, like that of a Celtic knot which holds mysteries and bonds that almost nothing can separate.

I do hope there is an eternity in which we will learn more of each other, and continue to weave stories of hope, of life, of victory.

Happy Anniversary to both of us, 25 years ago on September 15, as we exchanged vows, tasted the salt, and sipped from the cup....

~*~*~

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Poet Learns To Be Unread

~by Gerry Spoor

Some poems disappear when critics advise;
"They should vanish before they are noted",
and impassioned poets quickly surmise,
that their verses will seldom be quoted

Though most labor on, and never give in,
to the fashionable trends of the day
They'll wear thicker skins, since critic's akin,
label everything "trite, and cliche"

A poet must learn, that all his concerns
are not shared by the prosaic masses
Like Byron, or Burns, they'll often take turns
finding solace in whiskey filled glasses

Just so it is said, by masters now dead;
"Poetry written will soon be unread"

****

This is one of my favorite poems. The author is not me, but rather Gerry Spoor.

Thanks Gerry!

To read more about Gerry, click here: bag123

bags123

In upstate New York lives a man
Intelligent, witty, and kind
He gardens to harvest his land
While composing rhymes in his mind

That later spill onto the page
Keys clicking to and fro
Sometimes he must rearrange
To perfect the rhythm and flow

He likes tennis, biking, a smoke
Conversing with family and friends
I say he's a mighty fine bloke
With a heart where love never ends

If in your travels you meet him
Present him this rose from me
Thorns removed from the stem
I've gleaned much from his honesty

judithpiper
september 3, 2008


***
bags123. Who or what is that?

It is the forum name of a poet I admire and adore. His name is Gerry Spoor. (Oh that rhymed! Ha!)

In August, 2008, bags (as he is affectionately called) penned a few tribute poems for various members of PoetryPages.com . So I penned one for Gerry. It is from my heart.

In January, 2007, an ex-Way friend with whom I had recently reunioned encouraged me to find an online forum on which to post some of my poetry. This friend sent me pages of online links. I perused four links and picked one that resonated with me. It was a perfect fit. :-)

Poetry Pages was my first step outside of Way/ex-Way contacts on the internet. The forum was like a breath of fresh air - encouraging, humorous, believing in others, not trying to fix one another, and understanding that poetry is art. It is expression. Bags123, Gerry Spoor, was part of that mix, one of the wonderful souls I met on Poetry Pages.

Gerry is open, up front, kind, honest, and funny all in one. He left/leaves an imprint on me many a time to help not take myself too seriously, yet to endeavor to treat life with dignity.

I am going to post some of Gerry's poetry on my blog over the next week or so. How much remains to be seen.

To read more about Gerry, click the links below.

A Poet Learns to Be Unread
Meet bags123
Gerry's Poetry Archive on PoetryPages.com

***

Monday, July 27, 2009

Skyleidoscope

Falling through time
I tumble and float
With rhythm and rhyme
In a pink overcoat

The wind is a bluster
I drift through clouds
Of coconut custard
While thinking out loud

Alice met Hatter
After she fell
But what did it matter
By the end of the tale

What is the purpose
Of my little trip
No fuss, no muss
Light sail, loose grip


Ice crystals bright
Sparkle and glow
Prism-bent light
Creates a rainbow

Sliding down red
I slip into green
Making my bed
On rivers unseen

With lollipop dreams
And the moon on a stick
All this it seems
Is a fanciful trick

Now morning is met
I greet this fair day
And I shan't forget
Skyleidoscope Way


may 24, 2oo8
judithpiper


***

Sometimes I like to right fanciful poems. May 24, 2008, was one of those days. Around our home, we tend to make up words regularly too. ;-)

***

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open Hands

***
At times I don't feel good enough
to approach certain folks of rank
who in my eyes seem holier
where my voice begins to shrink.

In their presence I am small
yet they have been kind to me
but seldom do they let me see
that side of them that's dirty.

I cannot hide my filthy side
it's part of who I am
through it I find redemption
the need to hold a hand.

Perhaps we would be holier
if we allowed with candid face
our dirtied souls' exposures
and open hands that offer grace.

judithpiper
april 30, 2007


***

Hmmm.....

I don't really feel like explaining this now. Perhaps it needs no context.

***

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reasons

*****

silence
of nonexistence
deafens

I despise it with a passion

hush
of hypocrisy
murders

I pray I never bow again

If left unchecked they breed a rage
unjustified
to the blind audience

rage
unchecked leads to
violence

And the dazed, nescient crowd wonders
"How?"
"Why?"

silence
there's more than meets
the ear


judithpiper
july 3, 2007

****

The book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" has a photo on the front cover - a man and a woman both with their index fingers over their lips... "shhhhh." The photo doesn't show their eyes.

That's how (or one way) any abuse can continue...the hush rule. "Don't tell." It's a "private" matter. Secrets.

Yet underneath all that silencing is an abuser in control.

It happens in social groups on a continuum...at the office, in families, in social clubs, in churches, in internet chat rooms and online forums. In The Way it was known as the "lock box."

When someone escapes that power, the mindset can (will?) continue until the abused directly addresses the mindset and restructures thinking patterns. It's not an easy task; it's hard damn work.

The person may (most likely will) go through a phase of bitterness and rage. If that phase isn't addressed properly; the rage can erupt like a volcano into violent reactions, words, and deeds. It may quiet, but still boils underneath. Unless it is dealt with properly, the violence may escalate when the right catalyst comes along.

********************************************

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mile Post 168

***
The Saddle
Evening view

To the east dips the valley

To the west rises Buffalo
Astride the mountain's back
High upon The Saddle

Blustery gusts
Wind swept
Open face
Arms upstretched
Hands wide
Breezes swaddle
Magical still

Bid farewell to day star
Greet hello to orb's reflection
To the west dips Sun
To the east rises Moon

Another day
The Saddle

judithpiper
july 5, 2009


***

A place I frequent along the Blue Ridge Parkway, mile post 168. Buffalo is the name of a mountain.

Glimpse from the Saddle Overlook
Buffalo Mountain

Free Me from this Bitterness

****
Sin of lies revealed
Conscience eye left with choices
Denial - hidden reality
Justification - double standard
Exposure - surface truth
What to believe, what to discard
In this world run by lies

What rests beneath these fabrications?
Labyrinths of circumstance
Crossroads of life's decisions
Heartaches of trying to survive
In this world run by lies

The great judge inquires
Eyes filled with deep compassion
His voice resonant with virtue
"What is the plea?"
In this world run by lies

Heart engaged, I search my soul
Honestly I do not know
Some counts guilty
Some counts innocent
In this world run by lies

Poised with sobered kindness
Timbre rich with mercy
Gently smiling he replies
"I understand, I've walked the path"
In this world run by lies

His tender grace floods the soul
Cleansing streams cascade my cheeks
He carefully atones each stain-filled tear
Absorbing the bitterness in my heart
Boundless bowels of forgiveness
The only exit
In this world run by lies

july 19, 2007
judithpiper


****

Within a few months after leaving The Way, I got involved with an ex-Way online forum, Greasespot Cafe (GSC). It was a scary step, to post on that forum. I had never in my life posted anything on the web. (That sure has changed now. Ha! )

GSC was helpful for me. I was able to read about others' experiences, connect with long time friends from decades previous, read about the side of The Way that The Way kept (keeps) hidden from its followers, decompress and share some of my own emotional upheavals, and more. It was the first place I began to have a voice.

As time went on I began to feel that perhaps some of the same black/white thinking, us/them mentality was prevalent at GSC as was in The Way. I would push those kinds of thoughts aside, after all this was an ex-Way forum.

Close to a year with my involvement on the forum, I had a major disagreement with the administrator. I also began to learn of another side of GSC. A web of toxic relationships, censorship, and even scapegoating began to emerge. At 1-1/2 years of involvement with the forum, I found myself caught in the web. The experience was painful (an understatement) and I realized that the GSC forum was no longer an emotionally safe place for me in which to participate. Was I wrong? Was I right? What were my thoughts? Was I deceived again? Was I a perpetrator? Was I lying? What was true, what wasn't true? I had thought this was supposed to be a place of support for me after exiting The Way.

There were many layers and more than one answer to all my doubts, questions, internal turmoil.

One GSC member in particular caught within a GSC web, I felt was a victim and a perpetrator. I felt anger and at the same time compassion. I felt for the individual trying to put myself in their shoes.

Thus this poem was born.

Maybe someday the relationships I had there can/will be healed. I just don't know how to approach them yet; I still feel unsafe, except perhaps at a distance.

For me the only out is acknowledgment and forgiveness.

Otherwise a bitterness can devour the soul, again murdering the heart.

***

Monday, June 29, 2009

Safe Place


Photo ~

dismembered, napalmed leg
Dream ~
dismembered, bloodied appendage

I have been dismembered

To re-member is to bring back together
It's o.k. to remember

I am not in physical danger
I am safe
My physical needs are met

I am not in emotional danger
I can call for support
JK, John, friends

Sometimes I hurt
From what I am not sure
Just deep, deep pain

It's o.k. to cry in this safe place

june 29, 2009
judithpiper

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Eagle Soars

(The sequel to likeaneagle)

**********************
To Carole...
"Death of a Friend" 
by Loren Robert DiGiorgi - Composer, Performer, Producer
(click #3)
Thanks to Loren for sharing his exquisite gift.
********************************

Beauty more splendid than lily of the field
Bubbling like brook that sings
Strength of Appaloosa on the plain
Wisdom of redwood standing tall
Grace of eagle in flight

Your every heartbeat enlivened with hope
Every breath energized with life
Every cell performed its task valiantly
Some tore down
Others rebuilt
They battled the best they could
Served until the last breath

In Autumn light, red and golden hues,
A tree sheds its final leaf
Cloud lets go a snowflake
Icicle prisms dance your song
In Spring, the sweet aroma of new life
Will honor your every breath
The giant mammal will slap her mighty tail
On the ocean waters
Your laughter and awe to recall

Know you are honored
The ship in the harbor awaits
I hope one day we all shall sail
As far as our hearts desire

Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for sweet memories

November 25, 2008
judithpiper



I had written the poem likeaneagle in August, 2008. It was a prayer for Carole, a prayer for strength and tenacity to be able reach beyond the despair of the medical diagnosis of cancer, stage 4. Carole had great hope and much support from family and friends.

Carole and I kept in touch via phone, email, and some US mail.

I received a photograph from Carole via US mail around November 18. Ships were afloat in a harbor. With it was a note; it was one of Carole's favorite spots. She had taken the shot while visiting the harbor in the last few months, September I think.

Around November 23 I received an email from one of Carole's daughters wondering if I could make a trip to see Carole. Of course I felt some guilt, but Carole understood. I wasn't well enough from major surgery I had had in August, a full hip replacement with some complications. I simply couldn't make the trip.

I received an email sometime late on November 25th. Carole had drawn her last breath. My heart broke again....as it does writing this post. Yet it also smiles for the blessings Carole bestowed, her goodness and grace and sweet laughter that still echos.

I revised likeaneagle, in Carole's honor, to An Eagle Soars. Both poems were read at her memorial service which was held in Chicago, her hometown.

I hope one day there is that great ship on which to sail together. And it better serve Carole's favorite wine!! And have some Scrabble boards. :-)

To Carole. May she sweetly rest, until then....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

likeaneagle

****
To Carole....
"Stage 4" by
Loren Robert DiGiorgi - Composer, Performer, Producer
Thanks to Loren for sharing his beautiful gift.
****

Beauty more splendid than lily of the field
Bubbling like brook that sings
Strength of Appaloosa on the plain
Wisdom of redwood standing tall
Grace of eagle in flight

May your every heartbeat enliven with hope
Every breath energize with life
Every cell perform its task valiantly
Some that tear down
Others that rebuild
Harmonic choreography
For which they are uniquely designed

The bandit visitor to depart
Knowing this is not
Its time or place....
And never will be

I see you strolling the riverside, camera in hand
Basking in Autumn light, red and golden hues
I hear the crunch of snow beneath your boot
As you delight in prisms of icicles
The sweet aroma of spring with new life
Awakens your senses
Summer finds you on the sea,
Enthralled by her giant mammals
As their mighty tails slap the waters

If I could, I'd be with you now
Know you are in my heart
Day and night

August 30, 2008
judithpiper


(An Eagle Soars is the sequel to likeaneagle.)

*******************************



Carole had gone to the doctor some time in July, I think. She thought she had a hernia. The nurse practitioner that she saw told her that Carole needed to go for other testing right away. It appeared Carole might have cancer of the liver. That's a far cry from a hernia.

After further testing Carole was diagnosed with cancer (stage 4) in her colon, in her liver, and in her lung(s). It was hard to believe. My heart sank, to put it lightly.

Her family didn't like the 'C' word, though they knew it was the reality with which they were dealing.

Carole's daughters cared for Carole every step of the way. Appointments. Lifestyle changes. Family time. Laughter. Love. The basic necessities of life. Research on cancer and how they could help.

Carole and I first met on an online forum. At the time she lived in NC and we got together a few times. It was always a pleasure. Her screen name on that forum was likeaneagle.

Carole exhibited a love for life, always endeavoring to think the best of others and to give them the benefit of the doubt. One could tell Carole anything; she would keep it confidential and she wouldn't judge another with challenges as weak. She had lived through her own hell; most people were unaware of Carole's story and the heartache she had endured.

Shortly before Carole moved away from North Carolina, my husband and I gave her our van. We had been given a Ford Explorer. Carole needed a better vehicle. One of her daughters drove her to Winston to pick up the van. We went together to get new license plates; one for her van and another for our Explorer. The van and Explorer ended up with the same tag letters and numbers, except for one different number. Hers ended in the number 3, ours ends in 4. (Or is it the other way around?) After that, Carole and I used to sign some of our correspondence with our license plate numbers. *chuckle*

She enjoyed nature and photography. She was enthralled with the change of seasons and the whale of the sea. It wasn't unusual to receive emails from Carole with photos of great whale tails, icicles, autumn leaves, and ships.

I received my last photo from Carole via snail mail, less than a week before she died. That is a blog for another time.

***********************************

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Final Drum

Mother your life was rich
Your eighty-three years were full
Seldom was there a dull moment
You gave of your life and soul

Through bee stings, braces, cracked bones
We sewed our adolescent wild oats
You believed in us to the end
Until we could thrive on our own

Your commitment to family was strong
Your endurance in care unique
You taught others to see the good
During trial answers to seek

Your loved ones will dearly miss you
Your wit, your heart, your smile
We will recall the good times
And there will be tears for awhile

Your sense of humor sustained you
We reach beyond time to mourn
Our palates await the Great Banquet
To savor your green beans and creamed corn

........................................
We love you Flo Rae
Friend, Aunt, Mom, Grandma
May your rest with Albert
Companion, Uncle, Dad, Grandpa

And together dance
On moonlit shores
Until then....

Your children, your family, your friends


february 2, 2009
~piper


**********************************************

I don't want to think about Mother's Day this year. It's like I have an aversion to it. I cannot specifically identify why, other than the aversion having something to do with the death of my mom a couple months ago.

It's like I have a wall up, blocking something.

Some would perhaps say, "Tear down that wall!" But I'm not sure yet how to approach it or if I want to know why it is there. I just know I want the day to pass quickly, to get it over with.

My mom died at 83 years old on January 31, 2009. She was the last surviving sibling of 12. Her maiden name was Drum. Though she isn't the "final" Drum, she was the final Drum sibling of her family.

The following is an excerpt from Mom's obituary. (Must copy and paste the link for the link to work. Cannot link directly by simply clicking it.)
http://www.legacy.com/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=123651927

Flo Rae grew up in the Balls Creek area of Catawba County and was a graduate of Balls Creek High School. Soon after high school, she met and fell in love with a young man from Hickory, Albert W. Hamby. They were married in August 1942.

Albert's military assignments sent the couple to New York City and Miami, Fla. In 1946, Flo Rae and Albert settled in Daytona Beach, Fla., where their three children were born. The family moved to Hickory in 1961. Flo Rae and Albert joined the Adult Fellowship Class at First United Methodist Church and became lifelong friends with many fellow members. The love and support provided throughout the years by their church family was a continued blessing to Flo Rae. For the next several decades, Flo Rae was a national top-producing salesperson for Encyclopedia Britannica. Her engaging personality drew people to her and made her a trusted and very successful salesperson.

Her strong work ethic and passion for living life brought her through many challenges, the most difficult was Albert's automobile accident and subsequent disability in 1983. Flo Rae insisted on caring for her husband, a quadriplegic, at their home for the rest of his life. She and Albert were supported by a caring family and dear friends in Hickory during these years, but Flo Rae was always guiding the ship. She provided a quality of life for Albert that was truly amazing, including vacations and camping. Albert Hamby died in 1996.


I had a mix of emotions when Mom died; I still do.

I wrote the above poem in the wee morning hours. She really did make delicious green beans and creamed corn.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Child's View


O child in me 
                 awaken    
Remember to 
                    recall
The joy of virgin
                       witness
First time my eyes 
                           saw

Thrill to spy the ocean spray
   moon dictate the tide each day
Dig my toes in seashore surf
    drip sand castles along her turf
Watch the dolphin sail up high
     smile and sparkle in her eye

Heart's delight as snowflakes fall
   excitement hearing coyote's call
In wonderment watch the butterfly
    unfurl her wings at first flight
Hold tight a kite on a string
     feel the pull of wind unseen

O God I pray 
                 I never lose
Eyes to behold 
                  each day as new


december 09, 2oo7
judithpiper


***
I don't recall in detail what was going through my mind when I wrote this poem, well other than a feeling of simplicity, dolphin smiles, kites, butterflies, and sand castles.

This poem comes to mind now because I turned 50 a couple days ago. I had the thought that day, "I'm entering my 2nd childhood."

I do feel that way, sort of. I have a sense of exploration and discovery ahead. I'm excited about life, about learning, about all the colors of the leaves.

I still have a goal to hike the entire Appalachian Trail before I draw my final breath. I'll hike it in snippets. My son is going to hike a couple sections this summer starting in GA and going into at least TN, perhaps VA.

I hope I always remember to view life, at least at times, through the eyes and heart of a child.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Approval No Longer the Master

(note:  language warning)


I despise these fucking standards
Decades fed with perfectionism 
I wish I could simply erase
This god-damned approval addiction

Self-blame a constant resident 
Yet, the guilt does not all lie with me

Perhaps it's within the warped standards
Of a false-sterile society

I've grown to detest sterility
Breeding its disease in secrecy
A playground for deception
Murdering individuality

How do I flee this beguilement
Without loosing a ravenous beast
Whose been chained and finally tastes freedom
With a lusting impulse to feast

Upon the cravings denied it
Once starved of the sense to feel
To allow emancipation
Will its hunger therein be healed

Or this insatiable desire to feed
To express without repression
Will it slay that which it needs
And devour its yearned for companion

Nay, if allowed to follow its longing
The famine put out to pasture
This beast will patiently gentle
Approval no longer the master

april 1, 2007
judithpiper


Unrelenting standards are one of the customary fares in a totalistic group. To the group, appearances are more important than the individual. There is to be no hint of error, else the doctrine might be proven as wrong. There is a sickening air of a sterile, emotionless, humanless culture. Seldom are performed tasks good enough.

This perfectionism can stifle creativity and cause one to fear and box their own expression. It can lead to an incessant strive for approval.

There are duties in life that need great precision, such as a carpenter's saw or the surgeon's scalpel or even an artist's pen. But other tasks in life do not require such. Chairs don't have to be straight nor every bed wrinkle smoothed nor every place setting exactly even.

A few months prior to penning this poem I had discovered poetrypages.com. For me the site was (and is) like a breath of fresh air! To be able to express myself in a public setting was a remarkable step in recovery. Yes, it was scary (and sometimes still is). At the same time it was (is) liberating: to express and to be able to make mistakes, without fear of constant correction (from myself or others.).

The beast is slowly being gentled. However with its gentling, I'd like to not lose its wild side. :-)


btw: I've tried to find another word besides "sterility" to end the first line of verse three. But alas, I fail to find one I like. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Friday, April 3, 2009

significance beneath my sandal


one grain of rock
trampled under
crushed beneath
my sandal

no thought given
to its suffering
for it is
but gravel

yet this pebble
tossed on water
rippled pond
life aroused

one day trampled
no thought given
form concealed
underground

another day
tossed to freedom
bobbing shapes
round and round


march 31, 2007
judithpiper



As I sat thinking one March day, I got an image in my mind of gravel and dirt and what we crush underfoot. I thought of the human condition and that sadly, individuals are too often treated likewise and feel the same; ie: in a crushing under someone's foot they feel "...that their lives are of little worth" (quoting Carole King). At least too often it seems folks feel that way; I know I do.

Yet, one person's words or deeds that may seem so insignificant and small can have a profound effect when tossed upon the fluid landscape of consciousness and culture.

For me, in exiting an indoctrination system/organization where autonomy was often suppressed and stifled, this poem had (and has) deep significance.

Another aspect is something I think about somewhat regularly. That is, whose blood and life has fed the ground underneath my feet? It can cause me to feel small and large at the same time in regard to the expanse and scheme of life.

I believe each person's journey has substance and that us humans behave the way we do for reasons, sometimes unknown even to ourselves.




Eventually
by Carole King: http://www.lyricsdepot.com/carole-king/eventually.html

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Killing a Thesaurus

The following poem is not authored by me. I post it for some laughs and dedicate it to every writer. It is on my favorite poems list. It was written by Sweet Insanity. Enjoy!!

(note: contains some 'language' )


Killing a Thesaurus
by Sweet Insanity

Specks of red appeared on the leather cover
as I beat it repeatedly against a wall.
Turning on the oven to its highest possible temperature,
I did not wait for it to become fully heated
before I wrenched the door open,
threw it inside,
just to watch it burn, burn, burn.
“Die, you fucking word nazi!
Fucking die die die die die die die!!!”
My teeth grinding into one another.
Sallow is a stupid, pitiful word,
couldn’t I just say yellow instead?
The covers parted like two full, ugly lips,
bellowing “NO!” in response.
Too confident for its own good,
I knew then that I would have to kill it.
It didn’t see the hammer before I screamed,
“Goddamn know-it-all. Burn in hell you bastard!”
It made a hollow sound
as I beat it ruthlessly.
By the time I emerged from the kitchen
with a chainsaw,
it was too helpless to defend itself.
Five hours of diligent battle
until there it lay,
tattered,
shredded,
spilling out the last red
of its annoying, maddening, gigantic vocabulary.
I bent down, whispering to it,
“I win. I win you son of a bitch.”



http://poetrypages.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=49225

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Substance

I cannot find words to write
Disorientation in my mind
One side says yes and then says no.
I grasp for truth with substance

How can I believe me
How can I believe you
When the substance seems but vapor?
After so many lies it's hard for the heart to trust

But trust I must
Or else my heart will crater
My life's substance will dissipate.
For without trust, what else can I hold onto

june 11, 2007
judithpiper



June 2007. I had recently experienced triggering relationships/experiences with a certain group of people with whom I had initially turned to for help shortly after exiting The Way. Yet, within those relationships I found myself in the midst of events experiencing similar tactics I thought I had left behind in The Way. In addition to that turmoil, my personal spiritual beliefs were taking me in an unchartered direction; the truth I had clung to for so long had lost its certainty. I was confused, afraid, filled (again) with self-doubt and not sure who or what to trust.

2004- 2005. The year before I exited The Way in October, 2005, my heart was an vast, empty hole. To no avail, I continually tried to fill the void. I wanted to break the religious shackles, but was afraid. By exiting The Way I might divide my family; by deserting I'd fulfill a 3-strikes omen I had carried for decades; by exiting I'd be outside God's hedge of protection; by leaving I'd be alone. I didn't know who to trust. Would anybody be safe? Could I find help without succumbing again to manipulation, without succumbing to bitterness and victimization, without falling prey to some false doctrine, without harming my family? I was afraid and confused.

Trust is a huge issue after being involved in a high control group or relationship. One has so much doubt regarding his/her own internal direction. S/he looks to others for guidance; and when that trust is maligned, it can be devastating, confusing, lonely, gut-wrenching, scary. Perhaps black/white thinking plays into that mindset of trust.

Yet in the end, trust is vital; especially trust in oneself, which comes with time and practice. To trust doesn't mean what/who one trusts is perfect; but hopefully there can be forgiveness, openness, and accountability on all sides.

To trust in one's own heart. 'Tis a good thing!


Dis-connected

I feel disconnected
from my heart.
It's not the first time
nor the last, I'm sure.
People appear so confident
while I tremble in my shoes
where no one can see my toes.
But I'll keep walking
with a steady pretense
so as not to trip and let them know.



january 14, 2008
judithpiper

January, 2008. I embark upon a new year, new beliefs. I am letting go of 3 decades of believing that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. It has been a gradual process that is slowly developing into a different outlook on life. To have "known" the absolutes and to then to know no longer, can be disconcerting. Yet, it can also mean freedom.

It is election year and many shout with confidence there opinions. I am not sure of mine, so I stay quiet but composed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In a Fishbowl



In a fishbowl
I bump the glass
trying to swim
beyond the transparent barrier.

To survive beyond
I need a new design,
different equipment
from my gill-oxygenated carrier.

My guppy eyes stare
wondering, pondering.
How would it feel
to breathe that air?

I shrug

Swimming back to my castle I play awhile
among the faux coral and seaweed.
I ascend upon sprinkled kelp to feed,
then settle again with a contented smile.

...tap...tap...tap...

Back at the edge with my guppy-eyed stare.

In a fishbowl
trying to swim beyond
the transparent barrier

march 12, 2007
judithpiper



When in the thrall of a belief system and organization that proclaims the 'all-truth,' it can be difficult to see beyond that mindset. Upon leaving, it can still be difficult and one can be easy prey to fall back into what is known as 'black-white' thinking. Black-white thinking is similar to all-or-nothing thinking, in which one views others/circumstances/belief systems/institutions as 'all bad' or 'all good' and/or views oneself or one's group/belief as having the truth.

I wrote the above poem 17 months after exiting the organization I was involved with, The Way International. A few months after exiting The Way, I got involved with an online forum that was an anti-Way forum. The forum was helpful for me in reconnecting with folks after decades, in decompressing some of my experiences and thoughts, in learning to express myself, and in learning about different peoples' experiences who had been involved with the group. Yet, after about 10 months of being involved with that forum, I began to recognize similar tactics and mindsets that I had experienced in The Way.

I came to the realization that (for me) I had jumped from a frying pan (The Way) into a fire (the anti-Way forum). I came to see that the anti-cult movement can be just as cultish as a cult. I wanted out of the fish bowl; I wanted to understand thought-reform and to learn to recognize when I was falling prey to group-think. I became more serious about my study in that regard. I am by no means an "expert;" yet I am continually learning about social dynamics and how to better recognize and navigate my own vulnerabilities.

In fact, any organization with social dynamics is prone to some group-think. I'm not stating that as a fear, but rather simply how social groups are formed and function. A test (for me) is how much autonomy is one allowed to maintain while in the group. Autonomy can be quite difficult for folks who have been deeply indoctrinated and influenced.

I believe I am now out of the fish bowl; it is a continual process. I think I've made it as far as the ocean, which also has its boundaries. Yet those boundaries are far wider than a fishbowl, the coral and seaweed are real, and one has to learn how to feed oneself being interdependent with the abundance of ocean life. :-)

Quite evolutionary!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Leaves, Squirrels, Dogs, and Dances



~gazing out my kitchen window~
~change of seasons landed~
~nature again makes her mark~

She didn't ask my permission
nor scatter her leaves orderly.
She allowed them to fall where they may;
with great purpose she allowed it.

~squirrel~
All that matters to him is the next nut
or the next squirrel to chase around the tree.

~dog~
All that matters to her is
the next meal,
the next intruder,
or the next two-legged creature
that comes along

to caress and talk with her.


The animals do not worry
or engage in much ado.

Aye, I do think the animals
in many ways are wiser than man.

What is their secret?
Simplicity and instinct.

~oh humankind!~
Why have we allowed so much complexity,
strife, unease?

Where have our instincts gone?
Who stole them?
Why did we allow it?

Perhaps if we jump off the Jones' wheel;
perhaps if we smile and touch again;
perhaps if we quiet ourselves
long enough to observe the animals,

even in the cities;

Perhaps we can again arrive at simplicity,
arrive at instinct,
arise each day
with thankfulness in our hearts

and a skip in our step...

Perhaps then life in all its richness
and oneness can be enjoyed
and we can bask in all the goodness
with which we are surrounded.

Will you join me?

Here, take my hand

and dance with me.
Show me your steps
and I'll show you mine.
Together we can make our lives,
our families, our world
A little better place.


december, 2004
judithpiper

I stood at my kitchen window one winter day. I gazed into the unkept woods beyond the backyard, noticing how nature cares for itself. I longed for simplicity. I longed for people to live as one. I longed for the non-sterile life of the wild. I longed for relaxed standards from perfection. I longed to find me.

When I wrote this prose I was still involved with a high-control religious group which believed (and I imagine still does) that the true believers were those who believed as the group taught. To desire oneness with unbelievers was not of God and could result in becoming contaminated or possessed or influenced by the adversary (the devil and devil spirits).

I hid this poem in my journal until after I left the organization. After some of the toxicity was neutralized, I was brave enough to share the poem publicly. But even then I slightly trembled, for fear of being open to inclusiveness. How sad for the family of man to be so divided that to think of peace and tolerance among various beliefs is evil.

I'm glad to be mostly free from that school of thought; though it does try to creep in from time to time and whisper to me that I am wrong to desire harmony among humanity's many tribes. When it whispers I remind myself that I am o.k., that inclusiveness is a good thing; and to remember to dance together with those who wish to dance, to share, and to continue to reach for peace.

I also hope that mankind is the master of progress and that we do not allow progress to master our moments of life.