Welcome to ‘Glimpses Across the Barricades’ This poem was included in the epilogue of my book “Faint Echoes of Laughter”.
In A Perfect World
As I lay snugly warm and safe
Within my families womb
My heart begins a slow sad ache
For another child will cry tonight
Another child will die tonight
What was once their home
will become their tomb
Anger tears me as I read The desperate plead of a child in need How can we continue to ignore The deafening cries from every land? Can the balance be restored or Are we so desensitized to pain That we can’t give Without thought of gain
If I had but one wish to make Then that wish would surely be That when my own sweet child has grown, and if fate so decrees
I’ll hold her own children on my knee And when I lay them in their beds No sad thoughts will fill their heads
For our world will have become a place Where all its children have their space Where no ugly thoughts will touch their minds When faith is restored in humankind
No sweet child will need to cry No hungry child will need to die
We have that power in our hands To make these changes throughout all lands If we can but clearly see That our world is not What it needs to be
Once the changes have been made Each child may sleep with sweet child dreams
Each child will wake to see the dawn Each child will be thankful they were born.
Welcome again to my Poetry in Progress. This particular poem was written in the days after the last of the valiant kids I’d lived with on the streets ended his life. It is one of many poems I’ve written for and about those dear people. All damaged strangers, they took me into their hearts, their home, and their lives. My journey through life was forever altered by their existence and forever bereft at their loss.
Glimpses Across The Barricades
The Tears We Just Can’t Cry.
Dedicated with love to all the kids from ‘The Palace’
Welcome again to “Glimpses Across the Barricades” my poetry in progress.
Today I share with you a brief glimpse of my dear friend, Jenny. I met her on the streets when she was barely eight-years-old. I was eleven. She took her own life several years ago. The world is a darker place now that her sweet soul no longer lights it.
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.
MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 An engaging, unpredictable Page-turner!
This is my first venture into the world of Author Mae Clair.
Eclipse Lake caught my attention, partly because of the excellent blurb, and partly because I rarely review anything remotely connected to Romance, and a Mystery Romance seemed a great place to start.
Having said that, I was utterly unprepared and seriously delighted by what lay between these beautifully written pages.
This author has a deceptively elegant writing style. Deceptive only in that the flow of words have iron hidden within the dialogue.
The conversations between the central characters are pivotal and the author utilizes that marvelous skill by allowing the characters souls, dreams, and despairs to be communicated clearly each time they speak.
Wonderful characterizations of each player, you’ll find nothing one dimensional here.
Meet Dane Carlisle. This is a man driven. His complex layers are composed with intricate threads of sorrow and longing, regrets and secrets he has never revealed. He comes from a dark childhood and through the actions and intervention of a mentor he reveres, he establishes a company, and makes a great success of it. A promise to his dying wife finds he and his teenage son journeying back to Danes home town of Onyx, a place of dark and closely held secrets.
Meet, Jesse his adopted son, seventeen and beginning those years of questing against and questioning everything that touches their world. The growing respect and understanding between he and his father is a pure joy to read. It is neither rushed nor formulaic, these folks are permitted to breathe, bleed and suffer as they rediscover each other.
Meet Jonah, Dan Carlisle’s estranged brother. Jonah is an angry man, his brother and he have a history, and his resentment of his brother Dane is both palpable and pivotal to this well thought out plot.
Meet Ellie: Successful photographer on assignment to Onyx. Enter the romantic element, and I must say I was delighted at the endearing and memorable way the growing love between she and Dan Carlisle is handled.
Combine all the splendid ingredients with the Sheriffs long missing daughters body being discovered, fingers being pointed, and nasty gossip doing its usual harm; that will launch all the characters into the unexpected conclusion.
Suffice it to say that that conclusion is a jaw dropper! I am now firmly committed to reading many more of this talented authors works.
Yes, I did say privilege. Why? … Because it must be so! Motherhood must be regarded as the greatest joy of your combined life experiences.
We hand out special licenses to folks wishing to drive a car. A car is a potentially lethal weapon.
A child created and raised by unfit parents is also … a potentially lethal weapon.
I have written much about the woman that gave birth to me. For that is all she ever was. I spent many, many, soulless, and empty years hoping to find a different, a more palatable and convenient truth. For I so badly needed to believe, that She was damaged, and accordingly had no control over what she caused to come into being.
That thought kept me reasonably sane, in a violent, pain-filled world … that hated world, that world that made no sense to me at all.
But the years have peeled back the blinders that I used for safety, and I have come unwillingly to believe, that rather than an illness that caused her to inflict pain, I was instead her living sacrifice, to be punished upon the ‘altar’ of the train-wreck of her own life.
In order to accept that, I needed to lose the hate. Whilst I’ll never be indifferent, to even the mere mention of her name … that bitter bile of hatred has been tempered over time. Not ever fully understanding what caused her to inflict such vile pain, is simply now just something I have learned to bear. Losing the hate I have accomplished. Forgiving her is a whole other journey I have at last been at least willing to begin.
The joy of giving birth will never leave my mind. Into my freshly awakening soul, a precious girl-child was permitted entry. I have yet to feel a more all-encompassing need to protect another living being. For the very first time in my life I was grateful to have been born a woman.
The greatest love I’ve ever known erupted into my unprepared world.
Her laughter and that boundless lust for life colored my planet with sunshine … as did the never ending fear that I would somehow let her down. That reflected in much darker corners in sombre tones.
My husband and I created ‘Magic’ for her newly awakened self. Her fathers’ loving parents, his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews all became our willing accomplices, as they fell captive to her joyous laughter. We reconstructed ‘Neverland’ and housed her as the reigning princess within its seemingly impenetrable walls.
All those marvelous days we’d celebrate with the ‘Magic’ element firmly in its place.
Christmas, and Birthdays, Easter egg-hunts, and Halloween. We never granted any excuse to miss a single one.
We sheltered her like a fragrant Frangipani, never allowing even a hint of the cold touch of frost to damage those tender flowers.
And when unheralded, the end of the reign of the King and Queen ruling together united … stormed into her life, at the as yet untested age of eighteen; that precious ivory tower melted like chocolate into untried sands.
She staggered into a world she was unprepared for, for we’d never handed her the weapons or the skill with which to use them.
We lost some years she and I, whilst each of us learned to both grow, and let go. Time was an ally then, and softly the healing leaves were sown.
Please know we’ve journeyed far in those intervening years, and know too, that life is joyous now, and we share our tears our truths and fears.
She asked me to be there, in that precious, priceless, unforgettable time as she gave birth to her son. How lucky am I to be so loved.
My Child’s Child.
He came screaming into his world two weeks earlier than expected. My child’s child … my grandson. I had the utter joy of seeing that look on her face as she craned to see and experience that ageless ‘falling in love with your first child’ moment.
We live together now, my daughter, my grandson and I. She has done me the great honor of asking me to assist her to raise her son.
Wise beyond her years she knew that living with my grandson’s daddy would only end badly for all three of them.
I’ve watched on proudly as she works tirelessly with the little ones’ father to be as utterly fair to each other as is humanly possible.
You will never hear one negative word about him. NOT in the house where his son lives, and grows. The young one loves his daddy unconditionally, which is as it should be for now. My child, grants, to her child, the right to ask questions, and she answers them with as much honesty as an almost five year old can handle. She gives him the ‘fairy tales’ with a hefty dose of magic …. but she also reads to him the darker ones, age appropriate to him.
Which does he prefer? I’m smiling here. For as long as there is no blood shown, or discussed, he’ll choose the dark stuff, every time. He’s relentless in the joy that he sheds when he’s just being a boy.
My daughter yesterday repeated something she says on occasion, which I will never tire of hearing. “Mom, I had the happiest childhood of any kid ever.”
She gives to me freely the greatest compliment I have ever heard.
Her way of parenting is uniquely her own, she teaches and creates using magic, and world truths tempered by her own life experiences, and above all things her all encompassing and unconditional ability to show and give love.
We’ll make quite the proud trio on Sunday Mothers Day May 14th …. My Child … Her Child … and I.
I’m here and overjoyed to be so. I have so many marvelous reasons to celebrate.
I wish you happiness, and the ability to share it with people that you love, on that special day. I am, and will remain, forever grateful for the privilege of being graced with the title of “Mother”.
It is possibly the hardest earned and most rewarding of any title you may have been granted.
When I began writing my book, Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, I thought I would simply tell my story. But as the words found paper, I realized that we all traverse a familiar terrain of joys and sorrows. Perhaps we have passed each other on our journeys.Figuratively or literally, we travel long distances in search of happiness,meaning, or love. We climb the highest mountains, we trek across the deserts,and we explore the ocean’s depths. We are restless until we find our heart’s desire.
My book is about how we craft our way through triumphs and tragedies, achievements and mistakes.Over the years, I have learned that we are never alone. Sometimes kind strangers or healers or friends show us the way, and sometimes we are visited by angels.
Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.
Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgiveable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.
The story that unfolds is not a blow-by-blow account of savagery hidden within a twenty-five-year marriage; rather, it is a walk through innocent dreams betrayed–to courage found. “Tragedy spares no one;” Gwen points out, “it just courts each of us differently. One way or another, it finds a path into our hearts, and there we do battle with the intruder.” As a survivor who came out of her unhealthy relationship determined to start over, Gwen artfully depicts the challenges of balancing the obligations of motherhood and career with her family’s healing process, while offering hope to anyone facing monumental challenges.
Integral to Gwen’s journey is her faith. Because of her Catholic upbringing, she struggles with the scandal of divorce, but finally makes her peace. When her daughter reveals her molestation by clergy, however, her fragile sense of serenity dissolves. We walk with Gwen as she tries to make sense of this horror. The agony experienced by the entire family is devastatingly palpable. Against all odds, Gwen emerges confident of her faith and begins to see the threads of meaning in even the darkest moments.
This is a book for all. But, for those who have been in a destructive relationship, Gwen’s story will be heartbreakingly familiar. For those who have been spared such diminishment, it will provide insight into the often misunderstood phenomenon of domestic violence. Since one in every four women will experience such threat in her lifetime, understanding that murky world may provide the reader with the skills needed to help his or her sister or friend or neighbor. Whether victim or friend, though, readers will be inspired by the author’s courage and ultimate resolution of her predicament. And, you may see your own challenges a little differently.
MY REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Powerful, Provocative and potentially life-altering!
Each of us come to the place where we will read this work from such diverse directions. We will each interpret and attempt to define it in our many alternate ways. I bring to this reading a history of abuse; accordingly my belief system was shakily formed and has remained under question for much of my life.
When I read the blurb, and several of the very eloquent reviews I almost stopped … I wanted to run like hell. My guts were telling me I’d feel every nuance of pain … my guts were uncannily right.
Author Gwen Plano has not simply invited me to read this book, from the opening pages, this author compelled me to read it. I figured if this woman has the courage to write it, then at the very least I should demand of myself the courage to read it.
Author Plano took me firmly by the heart and guided me through the occasional nightmarish quality of her life. Her honesty shook me, and I rejoiced to find an author unafraid to show herself as imperfect, willing to lay her soul bare in an effort to help others that may well be undergoing a similar horrendous, fearful and ultimately life-altering journey.
I have not yet experienced the great joy that comes from trusting so implicitly. However now, and largely thanks to the gift of author Gwen Planos writing, I have at last, again begun to question. It is a powerful work indeed that can have caused that to eventuate. Please … do yourselves a favor … read this compelling book and open your heart. Take this journey with Author Gwen Plano and perhaps come to a new understanding of just what true courage can do.