Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Temptation of Eve

















Good and evil, dark and light
condemned from Eden, taking flight
scorned as wicked for her sin
and all the knowledge held within

Did they blame her out of spite
for good and evil, dark and light?
Temptation spoke with forked tongue
and in that moment, she succumbed.

Punished with indignity,
in pain, she birthed eternity.
Good and evil, dark and light,
her weakness seen as mankind’s blight.

Her reputation thus impugned,
mankind’s bloody, gaping wound—
and to this day, recall her plight
of good and evil, dark and light.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Sharing at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: The prompt stated a poem in any format, or a 55-word prose.

Image prompt by Cat Schappach, who is a marvel of dark surrealism. She has kindly given permission for us to use her piece entitled Seamstress. 
 Sharing attribution to Cat, at the following link: https://www.instagram.com/catschappach/

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

From the Observation Deck



9/11/2001
My husband and I worked for the same supermarket company, at that time both in the same store. I was Customer Service at the Front End of the store. His job of Security Receiver had him at the back entrance to take in the trucks and various vendors that supply the store. The radio was on in Receiving. He was one of the first to hear the news, but it was hard to take in. Surely it couldn't be true. That couldn't happen here. The ripples came through the store. Employees passing through the backroom lingered to hear some word of what was happening. We got home that afternoon, put on the TV to find the images. Surreal. We watched again and again until our hearts were so overwhelmed and so broken we could not watch anymore...


In the weeks directly after 9/11, our local Red Cross was swamped with calls and donations. My employer generously sent volunteer employees to assist them, paying our wages for our time with them. I was honored to be one of those employees, and spent the next 3 weeks there. The flow of generosity was overwhelming. When the chips are down, we Americans do what we do. We give what we can, then do it again. The stories that came with the donations wrenched our hearts. The head of our local Red Cross would reach out to families who had lost friends or loved ones. One such story was as finding three separate checks from three separate locations given by the same man, with the notation that he had lost his daughter in the towers. No matter who you are, you knew someone...friend, family member, family of your co-workers. No American spared.

In the weeks that followed 9/11, we rallied. Heartache gave way to anger, but also a newfound pride arose. We are Americans after all. When push comes to shove we won't be intimidated. We raised our flags, we stood tall, we volunteered, we give whatever we could, we gave till it hurt because our "family" was hurting. And for awhile, we became a kinder, gentler nation. We will NEVER forget the ones lost, but we would do well to remember that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all family. No matter who tries to break us, to divide us from outside or within, we are better, stronger, more resilient than they can even imagine, and our better selves will always rise again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pathways and Passages




Ten thousand memories in my head
upon this path that intertwines;
our early days a movie reel
of small town streets we left behind,
the neighborhood where we once played
—slip past slowly till they fade.

Others come into our lives
enhancing who we’re meant to be:
the oxygen that feeds our souls
and forms into the air we breath.

I know the earth from which you come
the warmth that nourishes your soul
how together you have grown
how the other makes you whole

So every story has its seed
and every tale must have a start
you are the sapling, he your sun
inside your journey of the heart.


By those we love, our lives defined,
    upon this path that intertwines.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

So many memories! Ever blessed by forever friends.
With love on your 42nd Anniversary!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Rooted on the Wind

















I am the sworn protector of all that I hold dear
if push should ever come to shove, I’ll still be standing here
and though you may not recognize this me that I’ve become:
I'll finish what I’ve started; I’ve only just begun.

To those who sit in judgment pretending that you care,
and all the trolls with empty souls, sent out to spread despair;
we adapt accordingly, going to great lengths
to draw upon our character and play upon our strengths.

Remember how the tiny wren sings her song so clear,
the way her notes hang in the air before they disappear?
Or how the slightest little seed can turn green into gold
when it lands on fertile ground, roots firmly taking hold?

I scatter words upon the wind into the stratosphere,
and raise my voice in amplitude reminding I’m still here.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Who Watches the Watchers













Who watches the watchers who watch from afar?
Who polices the ones who are near?
Who upholds the law while the lawmakers sleep?
Who’s guarding the door that’s ajar?

How can a president dictate the rules
to favor just folks like himself–
ignoring the congress, while senate bows down
and taking the country for fools?

We sit and observe trying to follow what’s right
but the playbook is torn and redacted,
Tell me are we to wait while the circus debates,
while democracy falls in our sight?

Could be that this plan was in place all along
to take down our walls from within;
to weaken our ties with false alibis
while denying there’s anything wrong.

The eunuchs in senate are silent at best
and at worse they are part of his scheming
to break down the law, to flail us till raw,
right now this is more than a test.

We need to address this before it’s too late
not wait as more laws are unwritten,
call a lie for a lie, stop the denial
stop debating as he spews his hatred.

Who watches the watchers who watch from within
aren’t there laws put in place for this reason?
Let’s call out the liar, just stop the denial...
The infraction?  Why, that would be ‘treason.’

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Limbo










I’ve forgotten what it’s like
to feel the sun upon my face
to smell the earth after a storm
to hear the crickets singing 
underneath a crescent moon…
I’ve forgotten what it is to eat
a meal in my own home,
to not be always on the run
to not feel so alone.
Be careful what you wish for
or it may come to be…
I never, ever wished for this,
it’s nothing I'd conceive.
Time grows ever shorter
in our road from here to there,
it’s hard to reconstruct our lives
when this world’s in disrepair.
We wallow in some limbo
and have more than paid our dues
this never-ending road we’re on
is tiring, in truth.
Don’t know where we’re going to land
—or if we’ll land alone,
so I hold you in this moment
and pray you'll soon be home.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Grasping at Straws

















Hope is elusive thing…
it sprints ahead of us
never quite in our grasp;
we see its glimmer in the distance
and wonder if it truly exists
or if it is just an illusion...
and yet, we are compelled to follow
  because sometimes it's all we've got.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

We are All Warriors


When we stand up to life no matter how hard
square off with the day, what comes our way
while we ache with a sadness that will not subside,
and the goals we must reach seem so very far
as the clouds and the thunder hold sway.
When we put on our game face though we are afraid
because so many things can go wrong,
and we smile and pretend as we try to fend
and downplay these emotions displayed
with no clue where our journey will end.
When forces of nature silence our song
and threaten to eat out our soul;
when we’re overcome and we’re left feeling numb
spinning out of control as we’re pitching headlong
that we’ve somehow lost sight of our goal…
We pause and we watch our emotions unfurl
trying to focus on what is at hand;
defying the darkness, the fog that feels hopeless,
as we step to the plate once again,
with our sword in our hand to defend.
For we are all warriors no matter our battle
when push comes to shove we must stand
let the passion that guides us well up inside us
the troubles that plague us be damned
as the warrior inside takes command.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019

Through Thick and Thin














We measure life through what time’s wrought
families, children, what we’ve gained
the joy and sadness that we’ve seen
and all the little things in between.

We reminisce about the years
and everything that’s brought us here,
all the moments we’ve been through
—to just say thanks would never do.

These gossamer ties by which we’re bound
can’t be described in words alone;
it’s in the love that we have shared
and in this friendship we have found.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

For my friend Karen on this, her birthday. There's no friendship quite like the one you've had since you were 5!
Image circa 1961 or '62

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Samba














Sun slowly slides through western sky 
preened  for the eve in peach and gold.
Full moon appears in a gauzy pink shirt
to flirt across the deep blue vault;
two star-crossed lovers, unable
to conquer the sky that divides them,
caught by chance in this fleeting dance—
a very tenuous relationship at best
as moon rises in the east, 
       and sun sets in the west.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

All that Matters












1. All that Matters~

There is no time to collect my thoughts
to put down what I’m feeling.
Would it matter anyways?
I am struggling on this path,
on this endless quest of healing
where the only thing that matters
 is you.

When everything else falls away,
     you are all that matters.


2. Getting By, Getting Through

 I look at who I am compared to who I once was
and I see
— courage in the face of adversity
— strength hidden inside the chaos
—the ability to pull myself together
   even when my mind screams to fall apart

The anger that you sense is not personal…
it allows me to put on my “game face”
it strengthens my resolve to get through this.
So do not judge me by what you see
but understand what you don’t see.

This is me, doing whatever it takes
to get through this moment in time.

This is me


3. A Late Night Pondering~

And in the end
when days grow short
when the mountains fall
when the seas disappear
When we’ve done all we can,
will we still have the wherewithal
to remember our story
to remember what it was like
to love and be loved?

4. Friendship~

I don’t have to talk to you
to know you hear me
I don’t have to see you
to know you‘re there.
We are connected, you and I,
and for that I am ever grateful.

5. Repairing Ourselves

When I fell apart and shattered
you swept me up
and pieced me together again.

Sometimes we need to shatter
to expand, to grow
not only to hold on to who we are
but to become who we need to be.


© Ginny Brannan 2019

Image taken by author: Barnstable, Cape Cod Massachusetts


Monday, July 8, 2019

What's Behind the Curtain


We are bigger than this, better than this...
this image that stares back at us
is not who we are
nor who we want to be
—it is not me.

There's no place for the constant lies,
the blatent impropriety.
I won’t disguise my own disgust.
It’s sad we can’t instill our trust,
when we’re repulsed by what we see;
    – this isn’t me.

If nothing else we've been exposed
to the dark side of society:
the ignorance, unfettered hate;
the blatant disregard, the blame–
for some it’s only just a game
to shore up their hypocrisy 
  ...this isn’t me

While children sleep in concrete stalls
on the border in our keep;
and politicians fight their fight
to salvage our democracy,
this helplessness morphs to disease
a place where no one is appeased...
some alternate reality—
    This isn’t me.

And so I've shared a thought or two:
but words are words; when all is done
will our values be intact?
Or will the profligate have won?
We each make choices, you and I
but all the rhetoric is lost
when we can see the final cost.
Will you sacrifice your soul,
     morality and decency?
Or will it stay intact and whole?

 How many of you will agree...
     This isn’t me!

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.


Friday, July 5, 2019

In her "Glory" days . . .











She’d wear her hair tied with a bow
a bit of lipstick applied, just so
some jewelry to accessorize
and she’d stop and chat when passing by.
Had no children of her own
but kept a dog when she was home;
she’d left it in a dear friend’s care
and both would come to visit there.
That was in her glory days
before time stole her memories.
I choose to remember the her of “then”
to see her smiling face again:
upon her lap, her dear pup lies–
there’s no more sadness in her eyes.
We each have our own cross to bear
a twisted path from here to there,
we do our best because we must
before we fall apart and rust.
I believe when this life’s done-
that a new one is begun—
a place we shall meet again...
until then, rest in peace, my friend.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

*Image: Google images. Representative for depiction only, not actual subject of poem.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Navigating the Unknowns













Heading down the road to parts unknown,
don’t know how to get from here to there
never have I felt so all-alone
heading down this path to who-knows-where?
I would never leave you in the dust
knowing there are dangers everywhere–
you give away your heart, invest your trust,
and hope this broken mess can be repaired.
How do we go on when all feels lost,
when our infrastructure crumbles to the ground;
how much can you take and what’s the cost?
How much more until you can’t rebound?
Too late for us to live our lives unscathed,
 I look into your face and find my faith.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

With life in limbo and mind is stuck in overtime, I often just need to write my way through, and while it may not make sense to anyone else, it makes sense to me. I admire and look up to my husband. Through his seemingly endless hospitalizations he has never lost his faith. I, on the other hand, struggle to find mine, especially when nothing seems fair, and I cannot "FIX" this. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

In the Interim















I’m still here, reading between the lines—
pondering all hopes and dreams,
while stuck in these confines;
fearing what’s unknown to me
and what is yet to be—
the many things that march on by
and what I hope to see.
Oh!  All those hours that I’ve spent, 
trying to get from here to there…
waiting for the sun to break,
the storm to pass, the clouds to part
I wallow in this in-between
stuck in this empty shell…
grappling for stability,
I live my life vicariously,
in this limbo I'm assigned—
 observing others pass on by,
  I read between the lines.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Ones Who Ne'er Came Home












God bless the ones who took a stand
who stood their watch on foreign soil
duty-bound by their command
God bless the ones who held their ground
who never waivered in defeat
when fires from hell came raining down
God bless the ones who ne'er came home
the ones who paid the highest price
with grateful hearts we bow our heads
and honor what you sacrificed.


© Ginny Brannan 2019

Saturday, May 25, 2019

On Hiatus














I cannot share in your debates
the never-ending brouhaha;
combating anger and such hate
just leaves me feeling frayed and fraught.
It’s not that I have blinders on
am ignorant, without a clue,
the lies keep changing every day
out on display for our review.
My focus has turned singular
as if,  perhaps, by will alone—
I could fend away the fear
against this dark and great unknown.

So should you wonder where I am?
I’m right here where I need to be
battling unbending foe
never ceding to defeat.

And when this campaign’s finally done,
when I’ve done all I can do,
and when I’m sure that we have won
that’s when I’ll return to you.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Moonstruck




I step into the cool night air
to see her face among the trees—
her soft white light shines down on me

I pause a moment just to stare...
in quietude I am renewed
erasing burdens that I bear

Hard-pressed to let this peace recede,
I linger in the cool night air

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Finding Grace


We dwell in a place between there and here
between then and now
between now and when…
a limbo of circumstance
designed by fate to strip away faith.
The minutes tick by,
stripping away slices of us
bit by bit, piece by piece.
No one is exempt from the hands of time;
it is an ever-constant reminder
that all things hinge on us:
on who we are, on our willingness
to change, to grow past our pain
to grow past sad endings
to believe in new beginnings
to believe that there has to be more.
And somewhere in this equation we realize
that we, each of us, are a part
of someone else’s puzzle

Grace emanates from the depths of our own exhaustion,
in the willingness to reach out
and lift the weight of another
even as we struggle with our own.
We draw our strength from each other,
and somehow, through this, we go on.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Non-functional (Life On Hold)


Night now slowly dissipates to day
overhead the skies are filled with dread
nefarious, these voices in my head.

Familiar now, this rain against the sill,
under endless mantle of pale gray,
nothing seems to change, the clock stands still.
Come what may, we’ll weather what’s ahead,
together we can fend away our fears
if we don’t let uncertainties adhere.
Once more, we'll face despair and doubt head-on,
not ceding to the darkness before dawn
…and all that we have faith will come to be,
    lies somewhere in the heart of you and me.

© Ginny Brannan 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

True Lies














A world spinning backwards, who would’ve thought…
aggrandizing leader whose policies have brought
a shift to this country,  with promises grand…
while he does what he does with his head in the sand.
His defenders, they say “What a great Christian leader!”
while ignoring the porn star that proved he’s a cheater.
All the rats jumping ship to distance themselves
from the guilt just keeps building the further they delve.
A train wreck’s a coming, there’s blood on the tracks,
the avalanche is growing, there’s no turning back;
the web you have woven is falling apart,
but with all that is wrong, where do we start?
Not everyone’s lying, if I have to choose
I believe both the Post and the Times with their news.
It’s amazing to see how the country’s divided,
and how you promote this with lies and with chiding.
And your base just stands by, as Republicans waffle,
walking their tightrope ‘tween crude and unlawful
We cannot deny that this country is hurting
the lack of true leadership’s quite disconcerting.
Where will you stand when the smoke finally clears,
when the guilty are named or have lost their careers?
Can we find our way back through the anger and shame
as we try not to cringe at the sound of your name?
How long will it take the good guys to ride in;
less talk and more action, where to begin?

© Ginny Brannan  2019

Written in 2018, still current. Sharing 2019. Because "change" is slow to happen.