Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BROKEN and . . .

The images began in black and white
                     etched onto my cerebral cortex
movies....the fear, the horror, the twisted
          reality across an ocean
                                 in words black, white
                                                         read..see the red Red RED..
Hitler, Mendele, WWII,
                     JimCrow/Civil Rights,
     Women sold as slaves,
                sold a bill of goods,
                         sold as glamor objects                                    
Rome catholic
                      perverse, moneyobsessed, misogynist
                  Norris could not conceive this GREED

Stalin and Stalags, all Catch22s (see Appleby with flies in his eyes)
                   gravity broke in the Indochine
                                     horror nightly on TV..b&w as inkblack blood dripped onto the carpet
...........Cambodia died under PolPot
                 experiments that broke
                              newsprint screamed - a gun to the head of a boy -
                      I read,
                             I heard,
                                          I saw
the movies grainy
                  war, helmets, guns, blood like dirty ink that ran down the screen
Alone in the dark,
                                dark at night,
(I added starlight by ignoring the rules)
                                      Abandoned in the dark
how did I manage being
                                            that abandoned
in the dark?

                  But the cold sun followed, not warming
the soul but lighting the way
                           building courage, building a rebellious
abandonments of all kinds followed
             the chains of attachments had weak links
                       love came without
                                               repair kits
                                                            and the wars
and the discouragements marked as
                                             the losses grew
and I armored over
                  faced down what were blatant lies
                             headed committees
                                           and spent the time
seeking beauty,
                           stilling my soul
                                                     finding my bonds
                                  to life
                               with love

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 6.23.2014 * All Rights Reserved


  1. wow gay... that made me swallow hard... there is much cruelty in the newspapers or on tv...and how can a child digest it without building walls... i think that's what happens... glad you managed to break them down again, finding love - and life....

  2. I would really feel that falling apart is part of reading the news.. but somehow we have to find the beauty and go on.. but indeed the world's an ugly place...

  3. Oh I so agree, Gay - the news is so depressing, people are so cruel, there seems to be destruction and falling to pieces and wanton cruelty everywhere. I love your simple yet very eloquent expressions 'I armored over' and 'stilling my soul, finding my bonds to life and love'.

  4. A very strong response to the prompt of personal catastrophe, & your message of rehabilitation & hope is sterling; liked your line
    /lovers came without/repair kits. I really dig the line format; it felt just like mine these days, letting the words dart around the page, letting the line breaks align where they want, infusing more energy into the message, more thrust, more verve. For me this poetic epiphany descended after years of appreciating Brian's audacious forms.

  5. Yes, wow, Gay. I was an only child for the first 13 years of my life, the only child in the family. I was quiet, took in much, remained in dark corners and watched, watched, watched. We had a black and white TV for a long time - I just about remember Vietnam, and then all that came after. You have to wonder how we can see these things and then continue as normal human beings, still able to life, love and trust. You really got me with this one.

  6. whew....the chaos and cachophony of the opening...inundated with images and pain...and yes love comes with no instructions either...but...i like need to let loose in free verse more often wins, for sure.

  7. "Love came without repair kits" is what struck me here; the experiences others..some have a harder field to hoe than much depends on our degree of sensitivity...I remember the same things & am amazed we are so resilient, let alone those the events affected up close and personal...I could feel the shattering and the hope so acutely ;)

  8. Yes, it is said that anyone who can stand it all must be crazy themselves...if not now, soon will be.

  9. So many injustices in the world- it makes me sad!

  10. most of the time, I don't wanna read the news; but, I can't be blind towards what's going on - even if it is depressing or lies from the government 99% of the time...

  11. This is such a different style for you, least so it seems to me. But I revel in your ability to turn out something new. This is raw and so resonates with how so many of us feel right now with all that's wrong in the world. The feeling of powerlessness that we all feel is caught in this poem.

  12. You nearly pushed me over the edge, Gay. Powerful and riveting.

  13. This is so excellent Gay, i felt a connection with all those historical moments and a wonderful resolution in the end. Enjoyed this very much.

  14. When I read about the world news, I get depressed with so much violence, hate & greed ~ I like this line - love came without repair kits ~ Enjoyed this one Gay ~

  15. Yes... In a works as broken as ours, we need to seek beauty... and seek to bring beauty wherever we can

  16. Gay that is one big history of sorrow........ When think about it we are now in a better world ,........... Hope to get more better without any bitter.................

  17. i like how the shattered soul works hard to find that bond with love and life....i also like the spontaneous flow of the verse....

  18. I think all of America had some waking up to do, out of the narcosis of the '50s (cue the Mystic Moods Orchestra here playing "Laura"). Vietnam -- and the corporate machine behind our dream -- was an ugly thing to behold, basking in the killing fields. One fights back as they can -- out there in collective, but also inside, with what? The lover can only bring beauty to the task. Thanks.

  19. We have been very lucky in this country that many of us can choose to focus on all the terribly bad things in the world, or not--just not pay attention--or, at least, it felt that way--and there was a great sense of powerlessness that went along with paying attention. I think that is really changing now--and maybe it never was the case--as your poem brings out--these things are a part of our world whether seen as images or not, and definitely affecting us. Your poem reflects finding a sense of action as well as discrimination--i.e. holding back. Very interesting. Thanks much, Gay--we are of a similar time, I think. K.

  20. "abandonments of all kinds followed
    the chains of attachments had weak links
    love came without
    repair kits"
    As did actions and what we were called by cops and doctors if we fainted on the street in safe USA--not a red wound or a black and white image running and screaming forever--but a double message. Like a soldier, do your job and shut up if you are a patriot and not a commie something or other ... and we get up and go on, knowing that others have solved a confusion that will try to encase us til we die. Smile. You started it! Rather brilliantly,

  21. Growing up I was always afraid. When was the bomb going to drop? Oddly, I always dreamed about Nazi's and King Kong. I guess a psychologist would have fun with that.
    Powerful write - interesting form the poem took, very effective.

  22. we celebrate the sensational to extremes and rarely honor good.

    Growing up, we used to practice getting under our desks in case of a nuclear attack.... that's a real confidence builder.