Sadness, My Lover

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I am always afraid to remain still
for I know this is where sadness
will find me, there, in that place
where shadows turn rain to moss.
But today I am tired, and indolence
reigns over my sapped resolution
and no longer do I outrun sadness.
I hear her footsteps quicken, they
echo in the hollowness of my heart
like gunfire upon a corrugated iron
roof and I am caught surrendered.
“Hello, old friend,” I say to her, and
she is weight and mass and density
and I pull her compression beneath
my skin and I am comforted by the
feeling of my bones being crushed.
“Welcome home,” I say to her, for
sadness and I are clandestine lovers,
souls of the night who run together
beneath canopies of faded dreams,
and she knows no matter how often
she leaves, I will always call her back,
and beg once more for her darkness
to come closer and embrace mine.

~ © Kathy Parker ~

Paper Cuts Upon Your Lips 

I long to be the solid thing your hands reach out to hold but I am made of nothing more than flimsy pages filled with all the words I will never say.

In the faded light your eyes try to read me and I wish my paper skin held blueprints of my heart so you would know how to put me back together and maybe then I would be more intact and your love would not bleed out from the open wounds others have left behind.

Because of you I am more than I have ever been but never what I could be and even my most will never feel enough when your touch falls upon empty rooms and vacant signs. 

Your mouth presses certainty on my skin but still the night is flippant and I am left to wonder how long before your kiss is drawn to a girl who doesn’t leave paper cuts upon your lips. 

There Will Always be Those who Throw Stones 

Then there are the ones that like to hold you to the mistakes of your past. Who will try and drag you back through your own shame and make you believe you don’t deserve the dream you have fought so damn hard your whole life to achieve.

Their words will be calculated – targeted missiles they will aim at the places they know will be the weakest; the places they know have been wounded before.

This is what they will tell you:

That the person you once were is who you will always be.

That the person you were at your worst is the most you will ever amount to.

That you will never be anything more than the mistakes you once made.

That you are worthless, hopeless, useless.

Don’t listen to them.

Because here’s the thing.

Nobody has the right to judge you.

Nobody has the right to hold you prisoner to your mistakes when they don’t know a damn thing about the choices you had to choose from and how hard you fought just to survive.

Nobody has the right to shame you for your humanity. To deny you the right to be human. To deny you the grace of the human condition that sees us all fuck up at times and learn from that and do better.

Nobody has the right to take away your redemption. To take every damn drop of blood poured for your healing, your growth, your change, your becoming, and make it worth nothing.

We are not held captive to our yesterdays, to the person we once were when we knew no better. We are not bound by our mistakes, to the ways we hurt others when our hearts were hurting so damn much inside our fragile chests. We are not defined by our rock bottom, when nobody knows what it has taken us to claw our way out to become the person we are today.

We are not our past.

We are not our shame.

Nobody has the right to judge the heart they do not see.

Your heart is beautiful; made new with each day you have woken and determined to do better. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are everything they will never be.

Forgiveness, grace, second chances: these are the things we offer other humans when we understand the frailty of our own humanity. When we understand that mercy always triumphs over judgement, and that this is how we offer love.

There will always be those who throw stones. Let them. For their feet will forever be bound by the shore, destined to watch as you, my darling, become the ocean.

Second Chances

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And it never really changes.
 
The words look different. The way they form a line this time that seems straight and stable; so well-crafted, so precise. There seems to be no faults, no cracks, no frayed edges, and you feel yourself drawn to the letters that fall seamlessly from his mouth and land without effort in the aperture of your heart.
 
But it never really changes.
 
You said there would be no more chances. That the last time was enough. You look down at the scars that had just started to blend into your skin, barely noticeable now. You try and remember what every one of those scars cost you. Except, this time the words look different, and you can’t.
 
He forces his way closer, and somewhere deep inside, you still believe in second chances. You weaken. After all, the words look different. This time will be different.
 
It never changes.
 
It doesn’t take long before the words begin to reshape; after all, he’s an expert in manipulation. They become familiar threads of anger, blame, guilt and shame that he weaves around you; a web of abuse he seeks to trap you inside so he can satiate his need for power and control.
 
You’ve been here before.
 
Nothing changes.
 
Except for you.
 
You changed.
 
You realise you don’t need this anymore. You have become wiser, braver, stronger in the places he once broke you. You have become sure, resilient, steady. You pulled yourself from the ground where he said you belonged and rose – a fighter, a warrior, a survivor.
 
You forgot. Just for a moment, you forgot. But now you take one last look over your shoulder and turn your face toward the sun and remember who you are.
 
You are fire, and you blaze with the fury of all you are worth.
 
And you are worth so much more than a love that was only ever abuse in disguise.
 
In honour of Domestic Violence Awareness Month ❤️
 
Butterfly Illustration courtesy https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals

Here It Is…

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Lovely readers, here it is ❤️
 
My first published collection of poetry and prose, The Unravelled Heart, is a journey of breaking to mending, surviving to loving, and the courage to rise from our darkest places, undefeated.
 
A limited amount of signed pre-sale copies will be available November 2017.
 
Available worldwide early December 2017 through major retailers and online bookstores.
 
Thank you all for the incredible love and support you have shown. I can’t wait to share this work of my heart with you x

 

Escape 

I trace coordinates on your skin

of all the places we will never go.

My fingers map the routes along

your veins and I imagine they are

open roads that lead us far away

from the inertia of this pedestrian

life that we tell ourselves is living.

My lips graze your collarbones;

I pretend they are beam bridges

that carry us beyond the dull rush

of our mediocrity; your shoulders

the mountains we stand upon as

we gaze back at all we’ve found

courage to finally leave behind.

Beneath pastel sheets, promises

borne of maybes and somedays

falter inside our sanguine mouths.  

We are Sunday afternoon lovers,

vinyl records and faded sonnets

printed upon worn yellow pages

of books long forgotten by most.

We are the last of the romantics;

dreamers who speak of freedom,

when maybe all we really seek is

escape. 

The Courage To Choose Love, Even When It’s Hard

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I was reminded today that we can choose to be bitter. We can be bitter over how much we have been hurt, the injustice of every way we have been wronged. Over the ways we weren’t loved and how we weren’t cared for and all that we didn’t receive that we felt we were entitled to. We can carry that close to us and hold it dear and let it dictate how we treat the world. Respond in kind. Even score. Eye for an eye.

Or we can see what a blessed opportunity we have to be the catalyst for change. To be the ones to break generational cycles. To choose to no longer hurt others because of the ways others have hurt us. To do for others what was never done for us. To sow love where only hate has been reaped.

To do differently; to do better.

It doesn’t always come easy, and it doesn’t always seem fair – to be the ones to have lived without love and yet be the ones to offer love back into the world that broke us. There isn’t any justice in that. Yet we are the ones who now choose to put in the hard work of ripping out our thistles of anger, bitterness, and judgement that we have allowed to grow and have nurtured with our unforgiveness, no matter how justified we may have been. 

It takes much effort from our often weary hands to work the hardened soil of our hearts so that new seeds may be planted; much dirt under our nails and blisters on our fingers and grit that gets trapped inside our skin that we scrub, and scrub, and scrub, yet still can’t be free of. But it’s not always our own pain that matters. It’s how we choose to treat others in spite of that which makes all the difference.

It isn’t our responsibility to change the entire world ourselves – that is too much for each of us to carry. But we can change our part of it by offering love in the places we have been hurt the most. This is how we can heal not only the hearts of others, but also ourselves.

Because today, as I was able to offer love in a place I had been wounded, something was changed inside of me too. Something was released. Softened. Broken open. Healed. Restored. A work was done deep inside of me as I chose to override my own pain so that I may not cause the same pain to another.

A new seed is born.

The world is healed a little more.

Our healing comes in many ways. But always, always, our healing is found in the courage to choose love, even when it’s hard.