As Mad As A Hatter
May 20th, 2021
Cord cutting is a meditative visualization where you envision the cord that connects you with another human being, and you cut it to sever the relationship. We have cords with everyone we meet. Even if it's only a quick encounter at the grocery store, the energy in us meets with the energy in them and creates a connection. It's my belief that because we're on earth, a whirling ball of energy, we already have a connecting cord with every human on the planet everywhere. Still, cutting the cord to someone who you're trying to let go, can help you set boundaries and move on.
This is a practice I went through when I went no contact with my family back in 2017, but I recently wrote this poem to honor my process.
I decided to start with the cord from my Dad,
Thick and strong, slimy and black.
Beneath the slime, lay hurtful words,
Carved into the vine nouns and verbs.
I cut his end first, I cut with a knife,
Setting him free from the pain and strife.
Then slowly I moved, backward with care,
Correcting the words as I found them there.
Gentle hands on each of the wounds that I found,
Setting me free from the words that had bound.
When back at my belly, I cut the cord free,
And then burned the cord, black and slimy.
Next came my mom, her vine healthy and strong,
Not slimy or gross, but green and long.
No words of hurt or pain were there,
But just a long vine of love and care.
I took my time to speak words of love,
And explained I could no longer be part of,
The life she had picked with the man she had chose,
Then, I cut her end of the vine with scissors.
I didn’t destroy this beautiful vine,
But let it dissolve in a river with time.
I cast it in and watched it drift,
Until it reached the ocean swift.
Perhaps it will bring life, somewhere new.
Help something grow strong in honor of you.
Hannah, came next, a green woody stalk,
With thorns like a rose bush, but hard as a rock.
There were no roses, no flowers to be seen,
For they had died out, somewhere in our teens.
I stopped for a while to ponder my words,
I wanted to be sure I used the right terms.
Then, I explained briefly; it’s no longer my job,
To make sure you behave and don’t be a snob.
It was never my job to take care of you,
That was something our parents should have seen to.
But somehow the blame has been laid at my feet,
For how you turned out, and our friendship complete.
I’m letting you go, for I no longer want,
You in my life. It’s sad that I don’t.
But we’re both adults, and I’ll no longer chase,
After someone who lies and after someone two-faced.
Then I pulled out an ax and hacked off her end.
And as I moved back, hacked three feet sections.
When the cordwood was stacked, in a neat little pile,
I pulled out a match and lit it on fire.
Abi, came next, a purple ribbon so fine,
Except every few feet a knot was entwined.
The ribbon was silk, and soft to the touch,
Costly and rare, it felt royal and such.
It spoke so much of her, being purple and rare,
But no part of me was found anywhere.
I knew right away that our friendship was built,
On concepts like boundaries, without any guilt.
I respected her choices and stood by her pick,
But she could not support mine, which of course was the trick.
With shiny new scissors, I cut her end of the string,
Then slowly rolled up the purply thing.
Once I cut my end, I examined the ball,
So many years of me big and her small.
Had I made a mistake? This was my little sister,
Who was I to cut cords with shiny new scissors?
As I stood with the ball of knots that held strong,
I realized these were each of her boundaries, right or wrong.
I knew that she’d need these all throughout life,
So I handed it to the soon-to-be wife.
Connor, my brother, strong and true,
His cord was a rope, woven strong and blue.
Except as I passed over the rope with care,
I noticed shards of glass sticking out here and there.
It made sense in a moment, the royal blue,
Represented the caring nature of you.
But the shards of glass all intertwined,
Stood stark in contrast to a man who’s kind.
History repeats itself once more,
You’re hurt and defensive, like Dad before.
Another bruised man to fall from the branch,
A whole host of hurts to heal from the past.
Will you look inward, and will you seek healing?
That’s not part of my story, I’ll get to be seeing.
You have set things in motion and made your words plain,
Speaking things of my husband, you have no right to say.
You’ve said I owe penance for the things I have done.
Apologies to our Dad and Mom.
Without saying I’m sorry, we’ll no longer speak.
I understand. We will no longer speak.
I don’t owe allegiance to people who hurt.
I don’t say I’m sorry for things I assert.
I don’t owe my life to our parents only because,
They fed and clothed us growing up.
There is more to relationships, more to invest,
More to give, I’m not impressed.
So I bid you goodbye, as I cut this cord,
A hunting knife jagged and scored.
Then burning the rope, I take the ashes to spread,
By your house, where you’ve made your bed.
Katie, my sister, sweet and kind,
Our chain is of gold, and I’m not surprised.
Our friendship was strong and pure in its time.
Something of beauty, the light in our lives.
But now as I look closer, I see,
A shackle attached, around you, around me.
We no longer have the choice to stay.
The decision was everyone else’s to make.
I’ve said from the start, this couldn’t continue,
Which is the reason I initially withdrew.
But now as I stand here, inspecting our friendship,
I see there’s no choice, because of our kinship.
Of course, you’ll choose him, every time.
You don’t see what he did as a crime.
This is okay, and I’ll let you go,
But before I do, you should know,
That if you ever grow weary, ever want more
Ever want freedom to explore,
If you ever hear your inner child
Cry out in pain for your lost smile
If you ever grow tired of toxic comments
Ever are done with manipulative parents.
There’s a path you can take, it’s already blazed
A choice you can make, that’s already been made
And as I loosen the shackle from you,
I set you free to choose what you choose.
The chain of gold, I then, melt down
And give it to you to make a crown,
Or a necklace or bracelet, whatever you want
Whatever serves you in your conduct.
And this goes for you all, if you ever decide
That you’re tired of this and want me by your side.
If for the very first time in your life
You choose to choose me over drama and strife.
I’m here as before, I’m just free from the chains
And I don’t allow toxic behavior at play.
So if you can leave that behind, and do all the work
You can join me on this side of healing the hurt.
March 17th, 2014
This is the time, most women hate
Staring at dark, laying awake.
You lay beside me, cuddled in bed,
Slaying dragons and zombies, dreams in your head.
Dreams, goals and lists run through my mind,
The things I would if life was kind.
The passions of youth, the dreams of a girl,
Dance through the night in a mocking whirl,
The goals of a woman, the hopes for the year.
Seems I always come short, some far and some near.
The list for tomorrow, the list for today.
Will it ever be done? And is that okay?
Bills to pay and dishes to do,
And save some extra time for you.
A trip to plan and go to work.
Fold the laundry, laugh and smirk.
on the treadmill, run like the wind,
Don't slow down or fall behind.
Find a moment to read my Bible and pray,
I should focus on this every day.
Then there's the dreams, live debt free,
Have farmland of sustainability.
A pang of fear runs through my heart,
The passion and feelings flow like music and art.
then your roll over, your foot curls around mind.
I realize everything will be just fine.
My goals are yours, our dreams are the same.
Though other may think we are insane.
Now I lay in the dark, swelling with love,
Knowing that for now it is enough,
To just be in love and to toil through life,
With you as my husband and me as your wife.
Someday we'll get there, if it is God's will,
But for now in the darkness, I'll just lay still.
Feeling the passions of youth, the dreams of a girl.
the thoughts drowned out by the noise of the world.
Which isn't so loud in the darkness of night,
When these meager thoughts burn in the moonlight.
At Costco - 2012
'It whistles', 'It beeps'
'It buzzes and cheeps'
'My hearing aid's dead,'
Says a patient named Fred
At Register 79
'It worked for a while,
Then stopped with a smile,
And I have a recital,
One hundred miles,
From register 79'
'I know that I'm early,
But my hair, it's real curly,
And my hearing aid shows,
So that everyone knows,
I shop at register 79.'
'I can hear great,
It's my granddaughter Kate,
She mumbles when talking,
So she sent me walking,
To register 79.'
All these are issues
That make us use tissues
And pull out our hair,
Screaming 'life just isn't fair!'
At register 79
But it's the patient that cries,
With a light in her eyes,
The one who whispers, 'Oh dear,
I can hear!'
At register 79
'I can't work without them!'
'Hearing my grandchildren!'
We smile here
From ear to ear
At register 79
The following are all poems that I wrote in my teenage years. These years were filled with a lot of toxicity, stress, and teenage angst. Poetry was really the only way I could get my feelings out, because emotions were not okay in my family of origin. A lot of my poetry from this time are frustrated scraps of anger and confusion. Below are only a select few, and my favorites, because I see how these pieces shaped me into the person I am today.
I also don't agree with every view I held back then. So, just because something political or philosophical is mentioned doesn't mean I believe it today. I have not shared a large portion of my political poems because of this, but what is below still serves me in many ways, and I wanted to honor my teenage self for where she was standing at the time.
November 19th, 2001 (11 years-old)
I think I can live without horses
No, I don't have to ride on racecourses
I don't have to swing a lasso
Or ride with the queens in the rodeo
I don't have to herd cows in the rain
Or brake horses while gripping their mane.
But when I see quarter horses running races,
Who cares about all Matlock's cases?
When I see a Thurabred jumping a fence,
I forget about everything else at once.
When I see an Arabian with its high arch,
I forget whether it's June or March.
When I see an Appaloosa showing off it's colors,
I forget about saving pennies or dollars.
When I see Clydesdales pulling heavy carts,
I forget about all of the Wal*Marts.
You see, maybe I can't live without horses
maybe I need to ride on racecourses
Maybe I need to swing a lasso,
And ride with the queens in the rodeo.
I want to herd cows in the rain,
And brake horses while gripping their mane.
I love horses, rodeos and rain.
I love racecourses and lassos,
From Oregon to Maine.
I love horses.
Early 2002 (12 years old)
What is heart?
Can it be painted in art?
Heart is the thing that you keep fighting for,
When you're tired and beaten and sore.
Heart sticks around when no one else will,
From every last Joe to every Jill.
Heart is the thing that makes you stand up,
when your body says that you've had enough!
Heart can't be sold in bottles on a shelf.
Actually, it's probably not good for your health.
You see, heart is the thing, that makes you forget,
Pain, bruises and getting hit.
Heart is the thing that Patrick Henry gave,
And every American man so brave.
Heart is the thing that Jackson had,
With every other southern lad.
Heart is the thing that Wallace kept,
When any one else would have broke down and wept.
Heart is the thing that Patton held dear,
When everyone else shook with fear.
Heart is the thing that Davy Crockett took,
In every last little Alemoe book.
And heart is the thing that wakes me each morning,
And sometimes the only thing that keeps me going.
September 26th, 2003 (13 years old)
The mat was sitting on the shelf waiting to be bought,
Fred Meyer was the store by name,
And it a couple brought.
They had a little two-year-old who had a littler room,
But a mat she did not have,
To keep her tosies warm.
So they bought the mat that day,
And laid it on the floor,
And every single darkening night taught her to pray.
The little girl grew up fast, but still she knelt to pray
On the mat her dad had bought her
At the end of every day.
Her sixteenth birthday came with speed
And eighteen was just faster
On the mat she still did kneel and God's guidance heed.
She met a man and fell in love,
Got married soon and left.
Amongst the treasures she did take the gift that God had sent.
She spread it on the floor with care
And then she knelt and prayed
Then she climbed into bed by her husband lying there.
Soon they had a little girl and for her she did pray
On the mat her dad had given her
At the end of every day.
Faster then they believed their daughter had turned two.
A wish she did make for fun
And out the candles blew.
But after all the guests had gone there was a present left.
And by her bed her mom did lay the mat
The gift that God had sent.
With two worn holes in the sides, the girl bent down to pray
On the mat her mom had given her
At the end of every day.
March 24th, 2004 (14 years-old)
I came along three fourths through his life,
And still have memories of five.
Now I see and understand,
Much more about this tiresome troubling land.
When I was young, he gave to me,
A wealth of stories treasury.
Of ponies under low branches,
And living on Missouri ranches.
And eating watermelon hearts,
But only eating that part.
Being in the Marine Corpse,
And protecting his country from war.
And living in beautiful Oregon,
And frolicly playing under the sun.
As I grew up he gave to me,
A wealth of stories treasury.
The earliest memory I have of him,
Is when in the pool we used to swim.
And horses came there by the wall,
And he picked me up so strong and tall!
To touch their noses way up high,
And then they ran and gave a neigh.
Now he's gone as we would say,
In fact, he left just yesterday.
But don't be sade and do not cry.
It is a joyous thing to die!
Think of where he is right now,
In front of Christ his knee to bow.
You may cray because you miss and love,
The one that God took home above,
But what I would give to be in his place,
And be out of the lifelong race.
Without any more pain to feel
And before my Lord to kneel.
And with the King of Kings to talk,
And with my Lord and Savour walk!
Oh, don't be sad and do not cry,
For it is a joyous thing to die.
June, 2006 (16 years-old)
A thunderstorm is a war in the sky
Where different kinds of clouds will fight.
The lightning that flashes endlessly,
Are the cannons, guns and explosions you see.
The thunder that shouts so you can hear,
Are leaders crying 'follow me boys, and have no fear!'
The rain that dost so far fall,
Are the tears of mothers and wives who ball,
For their brave men who died for a cause,
Weeping are they for their great loss.
You'll always know which side has won,
By what happens after it's done.
If they in the right, did succeed,
Then the sun sill shine, and a rainbow be freed.
But if they in the wrong, didst take charge,
It still will rain, and leave black clouds, ever so large.
So watch the battle all through the storm,
And look for the victor, while in your house safe and warm.
July 10th, 2006 (16 years-old)
An empty notebook clean and white,
100 sheets so very bright.
An empty notebook can be filled,
With stories that are never stilled.
An empty notebook is yours to use,
Where poems you write, and time you lose.
An empty notebook is limitless,
To possibilities you choose with timidness.
An empty notebook rases my thoughts,
There's something of dreams which can't be bought.
An empty notebook helps you see life,
Written out in black and white.
An empty notebook is a writer's friend,
A listening ear to always lend.
An empty notebook clears away,
The problems of a rugged day.
An empty notebook begs to see,
The words of our great history.
An empty notebook longs to tell,
How heroes lives, and enemies fell.
An empty notebook can be used,
For anything you deem or choose.
An empty notebook holds a speech,
And explains a heritage to teach.
October 20th, 2006 (16 years-old)
Do you ever take your pen,
And dream of Robert Stevenson?
Do you ever want to start,
On something you have thought about?
You give your all, and give your best,
You write and never stop for rest.
Dreaming dreams, and finding rhyms,
Hearing birds and church bell chimes.
You pour your awouldnd your heart,
Into this rhyming kind of art.
You check your words, they all sing,
And your syllables they ring.
You read it through and through again,
But find that you cannot explain,
What you feel down deep inside,
Though you know that you have tried.
You know they listen and they hear,
Some will cry and shed a tear.
Stil, you find, you can't get out,
Your feelings whether joy or doubt.
Joy that like a trumpet shouts,
Or that 'blah' taste of Brussels sprouts.
The deafening sound that silence brings,
The blasting noise the alarm block rings.
The grief that's felt when one has died,
The smile carried by a bride.
Pride that's carried in your chest,
When you see you're family's crest.
Sheer excitement that bubbles out,
When you see your friends about.
So these feelings that you feel,
How will you show or reveal?
I don't know and don't ask me,
I'm still searching for the key.
I wonder will I ever know,
How to write about the snow.
Must you use a certain phrase,
To tell a fire all ablaze?
Tell the answer when you find,
Then I won't be so blind.
Let me know how to sound,
Like pen and paper both unbound.
C.S. Lewis, he once knew,
How to say, what I'm saying to you.
And Longfellow, he once wrote,
About the floating bridge of boats.
Hans Christian Anderson did write,
Like the Grimm's wrote Snow White.
Louisa Alcott with Little Women,
And Tom Saywer with Samuel Clemens.
Shakespeare would rhyme here or there,
Forming characters with care.
Jane Austen would write her best,
Inside of Pride and Prejudice.
Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre,
Spreading romance in the air.
If they could find it so can we,
Continute looking for the key.
Until we figure out the spell,
Of how to write a poem well.
November 9th, 2008 (18 years-old)
Written about two art teachers, at the art school I attended.
A fan was brought one day to school,
By Mrs. Barnes who is so cool!
She thought the room felt kind of warm,
Though her jacket, she had shorn.
She plugged her fan into the wall,
And breezes floated down the hall.
But Mrs. Kutcher got too cold,
And so she brought a heater bold.
She turned the heater knob to low.
Out steamed heat, though it seemed slow.
They both sat on their separate sides,
As their breeze and steam did glide.
There they sat for all the day,
And did not, for a moment stray.
They both drew on their papers neat,
As they tried to cool and heat.
All was silent for a while,
As these tools worked on the tile.
The, Mrs. Barnes felt a wave,
Which Mrs. Kutcher's heater gave.
Up the fan went one dial more,
Faster bcooler thanefore.
Soon, Mrs. Kutcher felt the breeze,
And fearing that her toes may freeze,
Up she turned her heater's steam,
To make this room sauna supreme.
Back and forth this went a bit,
Up and up as both did sit.
Soon the tools were on full blast,
Working hard and working fast.
Out came the heat and warmth so bold.
Out came the ice and breeze and cold.
Soon they had a problem big,
Out of which they could not dig.
As the cold and warm air met,
A tornado in the room did set.
It circled all around the room,
Sucking up the dust and broom.
There the teachers sat in shock,
Watching as the room did rock.
The storm moved through all the class,
As one big paper, pencil mass.
Erasers, sharpeners, and tools went up,
As this storm did interrupt.
Soon the door came open wide,
As Mrs. Fishken looked inside.
"What is going on in here?"
She asked, looking far, and looking near.
"Turn off the heater and the fan!
Turn them off as fast you can!"
The heater and the fan turned off,
Silence followed still and soft,
The storm had vanished from the room,
But took away the pens and broom.
All searched to seek out the supplies,
But 'nothing found' came the reply.
Some still talk within the school,
About the fan and heater duel.
They claim that all the pencils flew,
To the land of OZ where Toto blew.
This is why when students need,
Writing or artist's tools indeed,
There are none here to be found,
No matter where they look around.
The battle from the heater and fan,
Started the storm that far away ran.
Both teachers still do bring,
Each their cold and heating things,
But stay in different rooms apart,
To make sure that a storm won't start.
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