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.
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.
Hello and welcome to my poetry in progress. “Glimpses Across The Barricades” is my collection of poetry and moments from my strange and unprepared life.
I had fifteen wonderful friends … damaged beyond repair. They lost their brave attempts to win a battle with a life too harsh. They removed themselves one by one from a world they had grown too utterly weary to exist in.
They were wild, wilful and wonderful.
My soul is incomplete now that they have all gone.
I would never have believed it possible that I would be the Last One Standing.
This poem is dedicated to my ‘Jamie’ … “I’ll know exactly where to find you, where the shoreline meets the sun.”
I didn’t recognize the voice when that call was made
Although that number was long etched into my soul.
How could a glowing day suddenly fall dark and forever lonely?
Why did you leave without me …
and leave me here forever … without the protection of your shade?
Why did you not keep that promise that we made?
All the echoes of your presence are shattering my soul.
Sleep no longer welcomed for the nightmares that it holds
The tears I will not permit to fall now,
Lay waiting beneath the anger
But … that anger first needs a place to go.
Why did you not keep that promise that we made?
Days have melted into weeks now,
The faint echoes of your laughter at last come welcome to my heart
Of all those crazy years together and the remorseless times apart.
They all seemed so insignificant when we did together meet
But two people with needs such as ours … cannot forever be
Not needing each others strength enough
The one thing we could never forgive.
We knew with ageless wisdom
That our great love had nowhere to live.
Why did you not keep that promise that we made?
Every year we’d meet again when summer touched our skin
When e’er we both resided in the country of our kin
And year-by-year those numbers dwindled
As fate took dear friends to its shores
We remained the last two standing
Conscious of our mortality
Like we’d never been before
We held each other and promised that our own lives we’d never take.
I know now that was a promise we should have never dared to make.
For we are all combatants on this battlefield called life,
and our individual weapons are by experience finely honed
But when life carries greater guns than ours
And battle weary … bloodied and broken we resign
It is not meant as a punishment to those we leave behind.
I need to believe that the solace of your eternal dark
Has comforted you with arms that will hold you safe
Until again I join you under that summer sun
And our dreams have a second chance of rising from the ashes of our lives.
Be at peace, My Jamie.
I’ll hold you safely in my dreams.
Until at last I rejoin you on our sacred shore.
I have included the links below to some URGENT ASSISTANCE HOTLINES and Organizations World Wide. Suicide Prevention is possible, if we know what to look for, and have qualified folks on hand to enlighten us further and offer immediate assistance.
I ask you, wherever you may be on our planet to take a brief moment if you would, and ADD to the list of bonafide Hotlines, by sharing the link to them and their location in the comments section.
I will then compile them and ADD them to a long list I am preparing for my next NON-FICTION work. Thank you so much.
I will be featuring posts over the coming months that will give insights into what signs to look for in ‘Child abuse and neglect’. Insights into how to approach a child that you suspect may be enduring abuse. How to contact the authorities and what response you may reasonably expect.
Thanks so much for stopping by. This is a collection of poetry (Still a work in progress) I share with you poetry from my yesterdays, and hints of my tomorrows.
Canyon of Dreams.
My soul soars high on thermal winds
as I gaze enraptured at earth below.
I watch as the mother gently awakens
caressed by mist in dawn’s red glow.
Deep valleys of muted green, whisper secrets,
as softly, softly ends the night.
Leaf-laden branches like lover’s arms reach out
to hold and cherish the enfolding light.
As Autumn breezes chase through her canyons
swirling leaves of amber and gold come dancing
in a twirling tango they move entrancing
as falling through corridors of color
to settle soft on the moisture laden soil
that lay untouched below her patch-work canopy
where the air is sweet and cool,
Muted perfume of liquid amber and pine
with scent of velvet moss and peat combine.
Through endless stretch of bracken fern
on blankets of golden leaf and pine
the dappled glow of morning, at last begins to shine.
The light touches all that lay there, whilst close by
the diamond water sparkles, running wild and free
as in suicidal-dance they hurtle downward
as they have for all eternity. Over steep ledges
worn by time, the sound thunders as they fall
to create a bridal-veil of mist,
rebounding off the canyon wall.
Whilst high above on sandstone castles
The proud eagle surveys his domain
with hunter’s eyes and talons sharpened
He launches into Autumn skies.
His prey begins a fruitless journey
to escape his hunters grasp or die.
Sudden cries of hunter’s jubilation
mesh with screams of capitulation
Echo off steep walls as old as time.
In this paradise I am the uninvited
humbled to witness such perfection,
as yet untarnished by the hand of man.
This endures and will continue
long after frail bodies turn to dust.
If we can but respect her, she will remain,
to soothe our troubled minds.
We who ask her the riddles of all man’s seasons.
and discover there are no answers left to find.
I always like to share a little about the author when I review one of their books.
Meet Author Bill Ward.
Bill’s love of reading commenced at a very young age. He credits his Gran for encouraging his interest by regularly taking him to the local library after primary school. At boarding school, when the lights went out in his dormitory, he was often encouraged by the other boys to tell stories. English Literature was always his favourite school subject.
A long and successful career in IT saw him live and travel all over the world. With hindsight it was the start of his writing fiction but they were called business proposals in those days!
Having always enjoyed different cultures, the one life lesson Bill has learned is “wherever you go you will find good and bad people. This is not determined by colour, race, religion or country.”
Recently retired from the corporate world, Bill has finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition to become an author and has now written two thrillers, with the expectation of many more to follow.
Bill lives in Brighton, UK with his German partner and has seven daughters, a son, two horses, a dog and two cats! When he’s not writing he’s probably watching his football team West Brom, who he has now been watching for over fifty years!
Trafficking is big business and those involved show no remorse, have no mercy, only a deadly intent to protect their income.
Afina is a young Romanian girl with high expectations when she arrives in Brighton but she has been tricked and there is no job, only a life as a sex slave.
Facing a desperate future, Afina tries to escape and a young female police officer, who comes to her aid, is stabbed.
Powell’s life has been torn apart for the second time and he is determined to find the man responsible for his daughter’s death.
Action, violence and sex abound in this taut thriller about one of today’s worst crimes.
My review 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟An uncompromising, fast paced explosion of a book!
Lets be clear from the outset, this book deals with Human Trafficking; with all its inherent violence, degradation and shattering control over freedom, using fear and pain to reach those objectives.
It is not a comfortable topic, but the Author doesn’t try and pretty it up for generic consumption, he tackles it head on with great empathy, revealing the utter degradation that keeps these girls silent, dis-empowered, and often forgotten.
The characters aren’t so much written, as they are etched, with a light touch, this author has beautifully drawn each of the central figures, with layer after layer of pain and anger simmering as an intensely volatile brew just beneath the surface.
Author Bill Ward gives us Afina, he shows us her fragility, her desperation, her fear, yet her grants her a defiant will, lest we become too complacent and write her off to the dirt of the lifestyle she was forced into.
This author makes us care about his characters including their imperfections.
Powell is a man driven by revenge. His daughter is dead, he seeks retribution, whatever it takes to achieve it.
His child died whilst attempting to save Afina. He wants Afina protected to make his child’s death count for something.
We understand the demons that drive him.
The author weaves his web carefully, constructing its threads and leading us forward, in this relentlessly fast-paced explosion of a book.
If you enjoy uncompromising thrillers, this book is for you.
Rave Reviews Book Club Writers’ Conference & Book Expo! Registrations close NOVEMBER 23rd 2016.
#RRBC is THE place to be! Join in this amazing opportunity to share and learn. Treat yourself to the Christmas gift that just keeps on giving!
Are you a Writer, Editor, Cover designer or Publicist; a Publisher or Blogger, or a an avid Reader dedicated to finding and reading a selection of the best the online world has to offer? The RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO has something for everyone!
If you checked any of the above then this post is pure gold!
There is an Exciting, ground breaking Conference on its way … DON’T miss the opportunity to take part in just some or all of the following opportunities!