Pretence: An Attempt To Make Something That Is Not The Case Appear True

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Cursed with the hands of an explorer,
I am persuaded by eyes as dark as caves,
always intrigued by the burial ground of people’s hearts.
I have become a professional in the archeology of pretence –
raised with dirt beneath my fingernails
I cannot help but dig for evidence beneath earth,
intention beneath word;
pick at meaning until it bleeds
then blame the wasteland for the flies.
He asks if I’m alone but not if I’m okay.
Letters fall from his tongue like charms of a bracelet;
I excavate truth not in the words he speaks,
but the emptiness between.
Pretence: An attempt to make something
that is not the case appear true.
Forgive me for wasting your time,
and mine.
I thought there would be more to find here.
I had forgotten how caves are nothing more
than vacant spaces
another would desire us to fill,
all the while left hollow ourselves.

© Kathy Parker 2019

The Silent Retraumatisation of Sexual Abuse Victims We Don’t Talk About Enough

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“There is nothing untoward in his examination yet I am not in control and this touch is not wanted and it’s too much and I am unclothed and vulnerable and overwhelmed with triggers and the only escape I have in that moment is disassociation.
 
The switch flips; in less than one second I am mentally and emotionally no longer present, retraumatised by a simple and routine medical procedure deemed necessary to potentially save my life.
 
It takes me weeks to recover and find my way back to myself again.
 
Two years later, a reminder letter comes in the mail.
 
I throw it in the bin.”
 

I don’t often publish my articles on my blog, but I want to share this one with you today.

Having a Pap smear is an uncomfortable moment for most women. For survivors of childhood sexual abuse, it’s nothing less than traumatic.

There is not enough help or support for those in this situation, with three out of four women denying themselves life-saving care because the fear of being retraumatised is greater than the fear of cervical cancer.

There needs to be more discussion, more awareness, more understanding, and more care for both victims of sexual abuse and violence and the people who care for them.

This article was incredibly difficult to write, but needs to be read.

Full article over at 10 daily today, link below x

Why A Routine Trip To The GP Leaves Me Mentally And Emotionally Shaken

 

New Spoken Word Poem Uploaded!

So, February has been crazy busy and part of that for me has been revamping my YouTube channel and recording some new spoken word poems as well as re-recording a few older ones in my swanky new studio setup, thanks to my firstborn, William Parker – Youtube – who, with over 100k views on one of his YouTube tutorial videos, is far more savvy than I’ll ever be.

Today I wanted to share my most recent poem, performed for the first time this weekend at the Paroxysm Press Showcase Series. It’s a reflection on the journey I have been on recently; the struggle to dismantle the strongholds of our survival and understand that allowing ourselves to become soft doesn’t mean we become weak; yet how tightly we cling to what we have always known.

For those of you who are new to my channel make sure you check out the other videos while you’re there – I’ll be putting some more up in the next while but for now I’m also many days behind in #poemadayfeb so have some catching up to do there first!

Much love x

Day Twenty-Two #PoemADayFeb – Sun


And when we couldn’t turn the page
we burned the book;
yet isn’t this the truth of love:
that we would rather
fill our houses with ashes
than promises;
that we would rather
curse the sun for drought
than believe for the coming rains.

©️ Kathy Parker 2019

Day Twenty-Two #PoemADayFeb – Sun

Day Eighteen #PoemADayFeb – Tanka (form)

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Rain beats like Morse code
taps the letters of your name
on tin roof pages
drenches my skin with wanting
still I wait for you.

© Kathy Parker 2019

Day Eighteen #PoemADayFeb – Tanka (form)

The Japanese tanka is a thirty-one syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. Tanka translates as “short song” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form. Tanka poems are usually written about nature, love, sadness, and other strong emotions.

Day Sixteen and Seventeen #PoemADayFeb – Cusp and Unveil


And this is where we will meet;
this place in-between, where
we will shed our clothes and
watch all we have been fall to
the floor; unspoken promise
heavy beneath our tongue.
Your lips will taste of warm soil,
my skin of summer rain;
tear-stained earth, sweat-stained
sheets, thirst-stained promise.
We will write new stories on each
other’s bodies, volumes of words
we have longed to say, but couldn’t –
unveiling flesh, unveiling desire.
Yes, this is where we will meet,
my love, on the cusp of what
we once were, eager hands
grasping for what we now become.

© Kathy Parker 2019

Day Sixteen and Seventeen #PoemADayFeb – Cusp and Unveil (missed yesterday so throwing two in for today!)

So, It’s V-Day and All That…

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Here’s the deal, guys:

I was born smack-bang on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer, which leaves me existing in a kind of constant state of ambivalence, swinging between the emotional heart of a Cancer and the intellectual mind of a Gemini.

Which means even though I have this big, sloppy romantic heart of a poet inside of me, I also flatly refuse to buy into the ridiculous, over-commercialised notion that is V-Day, and all the shizza that goes with it.

Because even though I may have had to learn about love the hard way, here’s what I do know:

Love cannot be bought with flowers and chocolate and wine; even less so on the one day of the year consumerism tells us it can. The only exception to this rule is gin. Love can be bought with gin.

When Jesus said to love thy neighbour as thyself, the dude was seriously onto something. Because if we cannot love ourselves first and foremost with every measure of love we deserve, we will never be able to love another the way they deserve. Loving others can only come from the overflow of love we give to ourselves first; to expect another to fill our well only ever leads to disappointment.

If we cannot love ourselves with this measure of love we deserve, we’ll spend our whole lives settling for those who do not love us that way either. How much we value our worth is how high we set the bar for the love we accept. Keep it high. Those who deserve to be in our lives won’t be afraid to climb. Or at the very least, buy a ladder.

Unconditional love transforms people. Like, the most incredible magic trick you’ll ever see. Love someone like that today and watch them change before your eyes.

Love does not look like abuse. The moment it does, leave and never look back. You do not destroy the people you love. Period.

Love is a decision. You will not always want to love the person you wake beside every morning. You either choose love, or you don’t. One of those choices is easy. The other is worth it.

For those actually celebrating Valentine’s Day today, I promise not to judge you. At least, not too much. It’s not that I take issue with celebrating love, or showing a loved one what they mean through grand gestures of overpriced flowers and chocolate. Love is glorious. It should be celebrated. Every day. And this is the point. I don’t want to reduce love to a once-a-year gesture, but remember to celebrate each day this force of nature that resonates through every part of our lives and makes it worth living.

K x

Day Thirteen #PoemADayFeb – Change

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I tell him I will write a poem where the letters of his name
are woven through every line; that I will not place him
in the spaces between, where I hide meaning inside
of metaphor.
I do not tell him of the way this terrifies me; to write
of such pure things, as friendship, as him,
when my native tongue is fluent in the language
of sorrow,
and his name does not belong in such dark places.
Someone once said all you need is twenty seconds of
insane courage for something great to happen
and it made me think of coins in the air;
the way we hold a lifetime of hope inside our lungs
as fate is decided, except it’s probably not a lifetime,
or even twenty seconds, but is courage just the same.
Snowboarding while listening to My Chemical Romance,
he tweets, and I have listened to them on repeat
for an entire year and I want to grab hold of this moment
of kinship
but there are wounds on my fingers still trying to heal and
bloodstains never looked good on new beginnings
and I still have not told him
how he was my twenty seconds that day;
how we spend our lives afraid
to throw our coins in the air; so unsure which way
they will fall, until we soon become tired of pockets full
of loose change weighing us down.

© Kathy Parker 2019

Day Thirteen #PoemADayFeb – Change

Day Twelve #PoemADayFeb – Summer

woman-in-rain-storm.jpgAnd this is how it happens;
months of half-descended skies
dampen our gaze and like greedy children
we clamber to see the first yellow vein
touch the surface of fleshy cloud; we drench
our shadowed bodies with light, careless
to heed the warnings of our youth –
eager gaze prolonged, cells of retina
bleached by sun’s bitter kiss.
Black spots, blind spots.
In a dream,
sky above scorches flesh
while ground below holds frozen
and the air hangs thick with a metaphor
I cannot see, blinded by beams of him
coming through the doorway of my winter.
Black spots, blind spots.
He does not notice how taut my arms
become from holding up the sky for him.
I do not notice how razor-edged the ice
against my flesh until I bleed.
Black spots, blind spots.
Blistered eyelids force my gaze away
from that which I once hungered
and I see what I did not before:
love is only born of the soft soil
beneath our feet.
The scales fall from my eyes.
I am the rain.
And he is so last summer.

© Kathy Parker 2019

Day Twelve #PoemADayFeb – Summer

Day Eleven #PoemADayFeb – First

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I lost my voice when I was seven;
buried in an unmarked grave
where all untold stories go to die.
I learned it’s quite a skill to hold
a lifetime of words beneath your tongue
and not choke on the debris of letters
that fester in the back of your throat;
to swallow truth like a hungry dog with
bared teeth;
willing another to not come close enough
to taste such foul feast upon their lips.
It turns out there is no minute of silence
for silence;
no funeral for people to dress in black
and eat jelly cakes
and cluck tongues over the tragic loss
of life taken too soon.
Innocence taken too soon.
There is only the sound of applause; let a
woman learn silently with all submissiveness.
I am thirty-four when I find my voice again,
yet it is not the first time I speak
which brings me to my knees,
but the first time I am heard.

© Kathy Parker 2019

Day Eleven #PoemADayFeb – First