Sunday, December 30, 2018

As you are now, so once was I…

Google Images: '70's Teens

I remember the days were longer then—
the skies bluer; the load lighter;
we held the future in our fingertips.
That was long ago,
    when time ran slow…

Now we’re status quo,
    go with the flow—
tripping along a perpetual loop
trying to eke out a living —
wondering where our innocence went.

I still can recall
    how we were going to change the world.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

No Further Than My Own Backyard


Image by author













The manger on the mantle—
our family history time-lined
by the collected ornaments
gracing the Christmas tree;
greens and berries…
crafts from long ago
making their annual trip
up the stairs to shine for the holidays—
the warmth of grown children in the house,
the sound of my husband turning
the pages of his book;
his occasional sigh.

All of these things remind me
of how precious and fragile life is,
how very fleeting time can be—
I pause to absorb this moment,
to take a mental snapshot; a reminder
that the most important things
are right here, right now
…family, friends, all I hold dear,
    knowing I am loved.

 My heart is full
    and I am content.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

In the famed words of Dorothy Gale from somewhere in Kansas...
“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

Monday, December 10, 2018

Taken to Task












I wallow in this mindless space
with no time left to call my own;
no time to spare, no time to waste.
I wallow in this mindless space
all work, no play…while I bemoan
the day expires without a trace.
I wallow in this mindless space
with no time left to call my own.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

No More Than You Can Handle....
















Don’t pander me with platitudes to try and ease this pain
nor pass along your empty incantations…
there’s nothing in the words that heal, and nothing to be gained:
when spoken rote, they won’t invoke your pathway to salvation.
I understand you’re just concerned and trying to express it,
but words alone ring empty in the hollows of this soul.
Sharing thoughts and prayers for things that could not be prevented;
sometimes there's just nothing that will make a person whole.
How many hurts does it take until we fall immune—
to numb this pain inside us that we carry on our own?
Is it on this rock-strewn path through which our souls are hewned,
inside such heinous places that we’re meant to tread alone?
I’m grateful for the ones who hear my pain without remark,
who listen without trying to think ahead to what they’ll say—
who, for a moment carry all the weight that’s on this heart,
knowing there are many things that words will not allay

When in the sea of empathy I feel that I might drown
I search to find the quietude, to find the strength I need.
It’s in the love I feel when all the walls come tumbling down
from those who understand and know that listening’s the key.

When life overwhelms, becoming more than I can bear,
don’t send to me your platitudes just let me know you’re there.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Image from Google Images: Masseu Learns to Sketch

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Under a Cloud










The darkness spreads like an infection
while hate and anger breed, unbound
amid the lies and the deception

Each concocted interjection
turns into a battleground—
as darkness spreads like an infection.

Acting on some predilection
his mock pretention paramount
amid the lies and the deception.

Denials, constant misdirection—
our search for truth turns tantamount
as darkness spreads like an infection.

Has this become some strange reflection
of just how far we’ve run aground
amid the lies and the deception?

Another vote, a new election
praying for some turnaround…
as darkness spreads like an infection
amid the lies and the deception.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Tribute

Be grateful for the little things
the laughter and commingling
the friendships and the fellowships
the quiet times alone

Be grateful for the scars and lumps
for life is messy, full of bumps
every wrinkle that we earn
attests to how we’ve grown

Be grateful for another breath
for all the trials and the tests
for there’s no light without the dark
honing strength unknown

And so we shed our outer skin
reveal our fortitude within
as twilight abdicates its grasp
we rise again, reborn

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Halo


Her indomitable spirit glows:
a beacon, a halo, emanating
between the broken pieces
the cracks and scars; the surface mars
from every trip, every slip,
every storm that’s threatened
to bring her down and drown her.
She is a survivor, not despite the odds,
but to spite them.
Fist first, she stands, again commands:
“I’m still here, you bastards,  
   “I’m still here.”
Living testament that it’s not about the fall,
but how many times she's stood;
how many times she's spit in the devil’s eye
and said:
   Nope, not today—
            …today is MINE!

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Image: Sculpture by Paige Bradley "Expansion, Third Life"

Inspired by two people that I know and greatly admire. That which would probably break the rest of us has allowed them to expand, to grow, to become stronger versions of themselves, and we are the better for having them with us. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Trigger Words



















Certain words turn us around
or stop us dead within our tracks,
we pick ourselves up of the ground
while trying to comprehend the facts.
We’re products of our own emotions
triggered by our past ordeals
at any moment self-imploding
by the scars that never heal.
The words you shared have struck a nerve
then scattered like a ricochet,
I hold my temper in reserve
my dissonance on full display.
Only so much one can stand
there's hell to pay on reprimand.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What Evil Lies...












Smiling face with orange skin
seems harmless on first observation—
what foul things can pumpkin do?
What rancid seeds are held within,
such benign thing with orange skin?
And yet we feel such trepidation
every time we look at him.
Expression morphs before our eyes
and slowly takes a new formation:
guileless smile, or evil grin?
As we observe we catch a glimpse
of ugly fire deep inside
blackening its pith and soul—
what once was cheerful turning grim;
what once was bright is turning dim.
Observing change, we must confide
as it decays from inside out
and melts to earth from whence it came,
that we feel somewhat mollified
and hang our hope that it's contained.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Count

















Darkness draws her shrouded cloak
releasing pheromones to flight;
assimilating to the night.
Call out monster by his name,
usurping others for his gain.
Late night when he comes to call—
acquiesce; then give your all.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Image: Victorian Artwork by Victoria Frances

And if you liked this, find another along the same classic theme here.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

In Case You Didn't Know













Your thoughts transposed upon a page
have pulled me from the deepest dark
providing footlights on a path
littered with worst-case infractions.
In hopeless moment, one small spark,
an impromptu and random action…
you can’t conceive just what it meant
to lose myself for briefest time
within that transient distraction.
A beacon on a moonless night,
a lifeboat on a bitter sea—
I've focused on your ambient light
how many times it's rescued me.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

For my friend on the other side of the mountain, thank you for “harrowing the words.”  And to all whose words have provided an escape when hope has wavered somewhere between staying on an even-keel and wallowing in the pit of despair. Words transport us, written or spoken, and often save us when we need it most.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Into the Vortex













I spend my days barely afloat
awash in darkness and debris,
circling a shallow moat
a tiny raft on tempest sea.
I walk along the knife blade’s edge
one wrong step can take me down
balancing along the ledge
it’s hard to keep to solid ground
Another day of status quo.
another day under the gun;
another day I can’t forego,
another day I’ve not succumbed.
It’s not my nature to make waves,
in silence, I let things accrue.
But to what end? I cannot stave
a tempest so long overdue.
The keel has broken from this boat,
and wind and storm may shred her sail—
yet no one really knows the scope
or fathoms if the ship has failed.
Sucked into the maelstrom's eye
they‘ll never say she didn’t try.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bobbing for Apples












Ever so quickly now, darkness falls,
along with leaves from yonder oak:
they skitter down the quiet street.
piling up against the poles
and blanketing the shrubs and grass.
Caught on the wind, the smell of smoke,
of wood fires warding off the chill
announcing colder days ahead
as jack-o’lanterns still evoke
sweet memories of childhood past.
Shhhh, quiet! You can hear them still—
those laughing children in disguise,
bobbing apples, playing games...
their trick or treat bags over-filled
at least in images amassed!

While we immerse in warm repast
reminiscing on these tales of old…
Autumn once more reconvenes
to take us back to childhood dreams!

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Happy birthday to SJM. Remembering the Octobers of our childhood. You would invite us to your house for your birthday party. We'd come in costume, bob for apples, play games. Had to love those stiff plastic masks with the elastic to hold them on. Couldn't hardly see out the eyes or breath through the nose! Ahhh, sweet memories of youth!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Testament





















Why should we believe her?
We never met her, we don’t know her
but somewhere in our lives we knew someone—
a friend, a classmate, a cousin
who experienced something:
rape, molestation, abuse—
at the hands of someone they knew
  or perhaps just met;
Someone they trusted,
or didn’t know well enough yet to trust.
A classmate, a friend, a familiar adult—
someone who took “no” as “yes”
took advantage of the situation
of their youth, their naïveté,
the fact that they were alone
   if only for a moment.
Perhaps they were drinking … perhaps not.
Whatever happened, whenever it happened
does not diminish the fact that it did happen;
   that it wasn’t asked for,
   that it wasn’t wanted.
Boys will be boys? 
How many men do you know
who would force a woman against their will?
Would you? Seriously, would you??
I believe her.

I have no doubt she remembers
          ...because I do
             I remember. 

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Views from the Past



never saw you as beautiful
you were always just there;
a vestige, a mile-marker of childhood.
When I was old enough I moved away,
escaped the dark side of my youth.
And now I see that you remained
—inventing, reinventing—
somewhat changed, but still the same.

My view of you is changing too—

Once I thought you held me back
your memory brought mixed reviews
bittersweet and interlaced
with loss and pain and awkwardness
—so many things I once suppressed
but none of which I could erase.
Was only trying to find my way 
and so, it seems, that you were too,
a place to fit, somehow belong...
I took a circumventious route—
an awkward child who found her voice.
You stayed and grew into the land,
each one making our own choice.

Full circle, how things come around…
I see the child I once knew
and see you now for who you are
awakened to the current view.
How sad the years that slipped us by,
but cannot dwell in “should-have-beens”
  you are you and I am I
  – perhaps we might begin again?

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Both personifying the place I came from,
and reflecting back on some who 
influenced who I would become.

Image taken by Photographer Anne Collins who shares her beautiful images on my hometown site called "Growing Up in Bellows Falls." Looking northbound on the Connecticut River.
Used with expressed written permission.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Three for Kersie



Blazing Her Own Trail

Her spirit rises from within
She sees the world as it should be
and sets her course accordingly

An old soul in a young girl’s skin
with steadfast gaze, new trails to blaze
a fiery storm behind sweet grin

…and so begins her odyssey
her spirit rising from within.

© Ginny Brannan 2018





Oh Captain, My Captain…

The tiny helmsman takes control—
determined, never showing fear
committed, steadfast in her role.
The tiny helmsman takes control
though course ahead remains unclear
she pushes past the rocky shoals.
This tiny helmsman in control;
determined, never showing fear.

© Ginny Brannan 2018






Tiny Pirate

Softly ceding to the night
the sun has sung itself to sleep,
while moon awakens with delight.

The fairies dance in waning light
as banshees beat a fast retreat
receding swiftly into night.

One by one the stars shine bright
across the dark expanse they sweep
as moon expresses her delight!

The sea monsters have taken flight,
again returning to the deep—
swift now ceding to the night.

The will o’ the wisps and woodland sprites
into the foggy meadows creep;
the moon observes them with delight.

Illuminated by pale light
lies tiny pirate, fast asleep;
so soft receding into night—
the moon enrapt with pure delight.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

I am totally enamored by this feisty and formidable little redhead! We recently spent a weekend in Maine with her and her grandparents where she and I spent a morning trying to "escape the sea monsters" and when that didn't seem to work we fed them "ice cream and cookies!!" These 3 pieces are inspired by her personality and her very active imagination. Such fun we had!! 
For Kersie with love.

Photos by Charlie Parant at Appetite for Photos blog
Also on Facebook: Appetite for Photos
Used with expressed written permission from photographer.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Casualties













We were young then,
kids really…unrefined,
awkward, selfish, ignorant, blind—
stumbling along toward destinations unknown
leaving behind a smattering of fractured hearts
on that shard-strewn road to adulthood.
I could blame it on our innocence,
youthful fears or ignorance
but nothing would be gained.
You were never meant to be
a casualty on the pathway to maturity.
I'm sorry if I caused you pain.
And I, in turn, have not been left unscathed—
and so, forgive the ones who’ve done the same.
For you, who from my past I still recall,
amid the many memories eroding
on the convoluted paths from there to here,
that we even crossed at all is worth the noting.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Unwoven















Pound the world with your lies,
your avant-garde tries at distraction;
your predilection for chaos, the joy
you take watching others crumble:
there’s nothing humble about you.

How you take satisfaction—
throwing insults, no retraction:
you live in denial, just file it away.
Spreading the hypocrisy, dismantling democracy,
shifting the blame in this game that you play.

You claim no collusion while stirring confusion
at best you’re delusional,  spreading the fear.
We see through the hoax of your mirrors and smoke,
each story you’re spinning seems more absurd
your followers unswayed as they hang on each word.

You no longer hide that you’re trying to divide us
and we’re left to wonder “Who pulls the strings?”
Spreading derision with each repetition,
while faking the words to the song that you sing.
You’re good at complaining, better at blaming
but what will remain of those lies that you’ve spun?
The tales that you’re spinning will be your unpinning,
the web that you’ve woven is coming undone.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Image: Charlie Parant Appetite for Photos  Used with expressed written permission.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Keep On Keepin’ On…


There’s a certain age when young turns old
when mind locks closed
when forward thought no longer progresses…
when the train stops at the station
and lingers until the wheels rust
and the engine seizes.
refuse to take a seat on this ride to nowhere.
Life has more to offer than being stuck
in a room with only one view.
There are stories to hear, points to ponder,
discussions to share…
there are paths to wander
  and so many people to get to know
—perhaps too many for just one lifetime.

We all have choices to make, we can
keep moving forward until our very last breath.
  Or we can rust on the tracks. 

What's your pleasure?

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Image: Google Images, Old Abandoned Railroad Equipment on YouTube