one woman’s truth . . .

During last Thursday’s inside writing group, in response to the prompt ‘what is your truth,’ two very different writings emerged. I put these side by side here because together they illustrate the struggle women go through day in and out to find the light even when they are dragged down and through the deepest dark.  Some days go better than others, as for all of us. On the other hand, there is a definite downward slide in attitude and energy for change as serial returns to prison mount along with the charges. The door has revolved one time too many for SS; for MG, there still gleams hope for a real future. Both are these women’s truth as of Thursday October 18, 2012.

Heart cracked. Split. Old. Dead. Self-inflicted wounds. Run deep. Life’s marks left in the sand. Every groove represents life’s struggles. Hazy cloudy forgetful. Can’t remember how I got there. Dismay. My burdens buried deep within the channel. Hidden in the cracks. My channels carry secrets and lies no one should know.

My cracks hold truths that are decaying my head from inside out. My years are young but my heart is old. If you counted all the rings, that’s the lifetimes my heart has seen. Pain in every ridge. It’s amazing it’s still whole. It loves a little less. I thought age and pain would allow me to love. But truth is my heart no longer pumps love, but pumps hate instead. It’s not red and warm. It’s not a cozy place to be. It’s grey, cold and ugly. Filled with lifetimes of truth. Filled with history, filled with past. It is no longer light with life. But heavy with death. – SS

*    *    *

I love to fish. I could sit out on the lake for hours on end with a line in the water in the blistering sun, watching and waiting for what is bound to come next. And to be able to spend this quality time with other people who share the same passion as you is exhilarating. Always looking over to your neighbor seeing what they have managed to take from the deep vast with only a hook and line.

And as the circle of life lives on, the natural beauty of the earth protrudes to the surfacing as the sky sings its lullabyes and puts the sun to rest. The creatures that belong to it nestle in their quiet dens preparing for the following day. Hoping for a better future and a better life. Reflecting on how things could’ve been and predicting how they might turn out. It’s all an endless process. The only thing you can do is make the moment you’re in bring a smile to your face. – MG

yearn

From this past week’s writing, another take on what the writer wants/does not want an other to see. This writing comes with a twist, however.

Your perception of me needs to shift, if ever so slight.

I must tell you, your view of me was definitely skewed.

However, that might possibly be my fault.

I hid who I am from you, and tucked it out of sight.

I did not trust myself or anyone else enough to let them see in.

Many apologies for my countless mistakes.

But, I will ONLY apologize just once, because we must move on.

I may have seemed flighty or foolish; but I am clever and calculating, always thinking, observing, analytical and maybe a little forgetful.

I seemed like I had many secrets and not the most honest.

Truth be told, I was! The secrets have been revealed and honestly? Well, I am ready to tell and hear it all. Continue reading

summer nights

Summer Solstice Sunset

Summer Solstice Sunset (Photo credit: erik9000)

June is rich with writing prompts, what with Father’s Day, the Summer Solstice, commencements and other celebrations. Although women inside Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility have limited opportunities to be outdoors during this or any season, they carry strong memories and associations within. Last week we wrote pieces about how summer’s proliferation of nature resonates with us. As is our custom in the week following a circle, I create a ‘found poem’ from lines shared at the previous meeting. This creates a kind of communal poem, woven from the words of each woman. Put together in this way, phrases change and merge their meanings in new and unexpected ways as women hear their words anew.

Rain moving in
spreads through the sky.
Watch it, watch it closely;

the world awakening
in this small piece of her earth
is alive! breathe it all in!

Stripped of all my identities
her story becomes my story –
she has arisen so quickly

she travels far, she climbs high
then she walks down, down, down
to what matters most
her only wish to live and be free.

Who can see day turn to night?
vines have climbed, the birds calling
a new perspective.

How complex I am!|
my heart wants
the bared truth
born with a will to live,
to dribble sand castles of longing
into the voice that was always my own

SoulJourn

It’s been a while since we posted a ‘found poem’ created by lines of women’s writing from a previous circle.

In this case, the lines were gathered at our ‘public’ reading of a number of pieces from several months. Therefore the theme is one created by the proximity of lines to one another and their entirety, rather than being in response to a particular prompt.

Behind me must be forgotten –
addiction, The Devil
critical of my hair
untamed, unhinged;
cupid’s careless arrow
plucked from the sky
swatting the air thick with
trust, love, hope and dreams
vulnerable to the game;
thinking there’s no danger is absurd. Continue reading

my heart’s deepest craving

If only we could all listen to these women inside Vermont’s prison, we’d discover, and quickly, that we are not so very different in what we want for our selves, our loved ones, our lives. The writer below addresses her yearning in simple and eloquent words:

to want to feel more than the immediate
to close my eyes and dream of more than sweet release
to hear and be heard
to touch the world with my words
to infect lives with laughter
to heal with naked truth
stripped down to a new beginning
one where the intro is worth reading
and the middle has real substance
where the end simply makes me crave
another page

JL