This is not the year
for adventurous rambling
for party-down fun
for braving new experiences
for exploring new ideas
This is the year
for settling in
for warming up
for holding close
for safe hidey holes from which
to weather the barrage.
They say our traumas get encoded in our DNA,
and travel through the generations,
How much of our destiny
is granddad’s addiction, or
Daddy’s tortured in the war,
the screams of his dreams
choke his children’s children,
how is this so?
We see reverberations
of nature, but seek solace in nurture.
Can education and positive choices
eradicate the history?
Wash clean old wounds?
Slowly nurture the nature of the DNA
to create a new playbook?
The school was a haven,
if not used for the purpose intended.
Safety is more important than education,
but eventually offering safety,
is less important than throwing you through paper hoops.
Don’t they see you’re on fire?
and we argue or agree,
Placate or debate,
against the injury in your brain
against frustration and pain
Face the inevitable
and wonder if you’re able
to see the irrevocable
staring at your lap.
you will not describe.
On a non-stop eight hour drive,
we paused for fuel.
“What?” you asked
As you intercepted smirks
passed over your head,
when you climbed into the back seat
after the gas station bathroom break.
“Nothing,” we said, as we pulled
back onto the highway.
Even though your sister had been
traumatized when I left her
standing in the driveway as we tore off to the bus stop
while you waved at her from the back seat
and waited for me to notice,
when your dad slammed the car door,
and drove away,
destination in his mind,
she was the one who said,
so when you climbed into the car,
you never even knew
you’d ever been left behind.
One’s valour is in proportion to one’s fear. The man who is always entirely unafraid can never be brave. He has nothing to be brave about. One can only show real courage if one is afraid. The coward, therefore, being afraid of nearly everything, is alone capable of the highest courage .
Barbara Leonie Picard One is One, p. 134
I know a man with several brothers and sisters. He remembers being terrified as a child. He was traumatized by spankings. He remembers a lot of abuse. He is certain that he was the most beaten of all. His siblings think he was just overly melodramatic, and that he got out of real spankings because of his hysteria.
It’s interesting, because even if it’s true that he wasn’t hit as frequently or as hard as the others were, what beatings he did receive traumatized him when the allegedly more severe spankings of his siblings didn’t bother them at all.
He was more courageous because he dealt with something that was more terrifying to him.
NaNoWriMo day 14: 1710 words (Total for November: 23,291)
It’s not truth,
Not what is real,
but what’s perceived.
bored eye brows
An amused knife
© Shawn L. Bird
Being a free verse, there is no strict rhyme or rhythm pattern in this one, but you’ll see lots of examples here of consonance, assonance, and alliteration. Notice in particular the pattern of growling of the /r/s, the explosive /ex/s and the sighing /s/s which reflect the narrative persona’s emotional experience.
There is a circle pattern with the 6 sections (not quite stanzas, not being separated) being strongly consonant /r/, then assonant /e/, then alliterative /ex/, and then reversing: alliterative /b/, assonant /i/, and finally consonant /r/ again. How does this pattern reflect the persona’s emotional state?
You are welcome to use this poem in your class room, crediting the author. I’d also be pleased to see a comment indicating where and when you did. Thanks.