Saturday, June 12, 2021

Forever is a Long, Long Time


 

Obols in Half-Measures...

 












When darkness slips in

    I do not fear the night–

there is comfort found

in the touch of bare feet

against soft cotton sheets.

I watch the pale green glow 

of digital numbers chase shadows

across the ceiling, my ever-present

passive-aggressive antagonist

ticking away the passage of my time.

Fate and fortune, joy and loss, desire, expectation

friendship, companionship, aspiration, belief—

 …we are all just shadows in the night

      our dreams dancing on reality’s  rim

   as we await the darkness to ferry us away.


© Ginny Brannan 2021


Image:Charon and Psyche by John Roddam Spencer

Monday, June 7, 2021

I Seem to Have Lost My Secret Decoder Ring...

 













We write our thoughts in metaphor

dispense our feelings cryptically

never saying what we mean

but ever meaning what we say.

Our words are chosen carefully

extrapolated to define­,

and quite specific by design.

We create their shape and form,

and mold them in our minds like clay,

while the reader’s left to ponder:

“What then does the author mean?”

Did they write with me in mind?”

 

I’ve written about joys and loss,

I’ve cleared the air on many things—

the scope of trials and their cost

emotions that have sent me reeling;

hidden secrets, hidden feelings…

And I have pondered much the same

when reading words of someone else…

when, for better or for worse,

like some beleaguered confidante

they stir connection left unspoken     

  then wait to measure my response.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

We all paint in metaphor

 in hidden codes and cryptograms:

 ever watchful what we say,

  lest we give too much  away


© Ginny Brannan 2021


I read a poem the other day and while I'm not self-absorbed enough to think it had anything to do with me, it got me thinking the about the stuff we'll never really know. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Static


 










I search for a signal

as I try to decipher 

the incoming codes—

communication is sporadic at best

at worst, non-existent.

The voices that I hear are jumbled,

no clear beacon can be found.

We used to shout from room to room

unable to understand what the other was saying

yet only a step away to clarify the sound.

How quiet the house with no voice forthcoming,

how empty the heart now locked in silence

searching for wholeness in this vacuum of grief.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Survivor's Guilt

 













Is it the giving of a life?

Or the one that’s left behind

picking up the pieces

of a torn and shattered soul?

Is it the one who gave their all,

or the ones who still remain

carrying their loved one

in a heart upon a chain?

The star that burned so bright

becomes elusive in the distance,

the song of the survivors

bittersweet in it’s refrain…

We cannot change reality

as past slips into memory

tucked away in box and frame.

How does one respond?

We only know they’re gone.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021

To Boldly Go...

 









I saw you last night

while streaming Netflix with our boy:

Star Trek “Enterprise”

fourth and final season,

final episode—

Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker, a series favorite,

self-taught, funny, wore his heart on his sleeve—

makes a conscious choice to protect those he loves. 

Even as he is rushed to sick bay 

and loaded into the hyperbaric chamber

he turns and gives a wink and a smile;

through his pain still trying to put others at ease.

And in that millisecond I saw you,

that same wink, that same smile

kidding with the nurses as you tried to ease our pain.

I guess even in fictional space, folks 

do what they do for the people they love,

just as we did for each other

—just as you did for us

 

© GB 2021


Not poetry, just thoughts to paper...because sometimes things must be written.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

After the Rain











The grass is up to my knees

along with the dandelions and weeds–

well, that may be ever-so-slightly exaggerated...

Since April, there has been an abundance of clouds.

The rains came heavily at first, and the grayness

hung like a weight not wanting to let go.

But I’ve been noticing the colors more of late,

the flowers in my yard growing with a zeal and abundance 

I have never observed before.

And interspersed with rain have come golden sunsets,

the light in the western sky stretching late into evening.

I am reminded of a thousand sunsets shared

and trust that they’re being seen through my eyes now.


So if you’re wondering how I am doing

in the midst of your own busy day,

the rain is subsiding, and I am okay.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

Sunday, May 2, 2021

No Good Answers

 

















You ask me “How are you doing?”

How am I supposed to answer?

What do you expect me to say?

My standard is “Better this week than last.”

At least I didn’t cry my way home from work 

each day, or fall apart at the end of the week.

I sigh a lot these days…

The sunshine and spring blooms

are almost too much to bear.

I am no stranger to hardship,

but this? It’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

You tell me ”It’ll get better with time.”

Crawl inside my skin and convince me.

Carry the weight in your chest, the knot in your stomach

the catch in your throat,  the hole in your heart…

till then, don’t ask me how I am doing

    unless you’ve felt the same.


© GB 2021

Thursday, April 29, 2021

No Rest for the Weary


It was a temporary patch for a permanent problem

a feel good stopgap to get you through the night;

a chance to erase the chaotic thoughts that chase,

a moment of relief from the pain of life.

 

It was a temporary fix for a permanent problem

an illusion of calm to make the hurt go away­

how quick adapts the brain that wants to shed the pain,

but faster yet the panic on instant “replay.”

 

It was a temporary patch for a permanent problem

but there are no easy fixes to get you through the day;

there is no remand, no short path to understanding

and nothing can amend what you try to belay

 

It was a temporary fix for a permanent problem

why offer it at all when it can’t really expel?

No ready relief for the heart that grieves,

no rest for the weary as they face their hell.

 

There’s no temporary fix for this permanent problem

suck it up and steel yourself, you’re in it for the haul

there are no magic pills to help you with your ills

as you muddle through the madness, and another night falls.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

Just Another Bleeding Heart
















I bear this weight, this ball and chain

impedes each step with unchecked pain.

The new day dawns yet clouds draw near

reminding me that you're not here.

 

I try to lift my thoughts, in vain

weighted down by ball and chain-

pretending that I’ll be okay

when my whole life's in disarray.

 

"One day at a time," I'm told,

and as another day unfolds

I try to break free from this chain

but sink where memories remain.

 

The wound’s still raw, it doesn’t heal.

I cannot think, I only feel.

my heart lies bleeding in the rain

my cross to bear, this ball and chain.


© Ginny Brannan 2021


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Channeling Scarlett

 













Faith is believing in something that we cannot see.

We turn to God in our darkest hours–

to what end?

We ask for healing,

when healing doesn’t come,

we ask for strength. 

I listen for an answer I cannot hear

knowing that ‘No’ is an answer, too.

One foot in front of the other, my friend,

God helps those who help themselves.

The sun will come out tomorrow

after all “Tomorrow is another day.”

Ah, Scarlett, you always landed on your feet.

  Maybe I will, too.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Riding the Waves








Now I know now why you did what you did­–

drowning your sorrow one shot at a time,

escaping what your heart couldn’t bear;

masking the truth for just a while longer,

– another drink for the pain and the loss

because anything is better than feeling.

Oh, that it would make a difference…

But I am not you;

we can’t hide from the hand that we’re dealt.

I believe the only way past something

is to go through it.

Riding the waves

But I finally understand why

 you did what you did

—because anything is better than feeling


© Ginny Brannan 2021


This refers back to the memories of my dad. Back in the day of my parents, the loss of someone dear was to be surrounded by well-meaning family and friends and a round (or two or three) of drinks to drown one's sorrow. This was brought to mind, because even though I was oh, so young,  I remember watching my dad going through the loss of my mom. I understand the "why" now, but also know there is no escape, only postponement. Doing my best to deal here, to heal here.

Bearing Witness...











Even as you walked your path, 

between this world and the next

you still thought of others.

You gave us an incredible gift, 

bearing the choice 

so we wouldn’t have to.

You, you were always our gift…

and so we send you home to wait for us

and carry you now and always in our hearts.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021

One Day at a Time...



















I sit in a vacuum unable to breathe

unable to hold you, to be at your side

not even a glimmer of what lies ahead

I cannot find solace, I can’t find reprieve

while waiting to see just what fate will decide.

 

I can’t seem to get all these thoughts to subside—

you’re not here to hold me, to say “It’s okay.”

They race like a freight train to some unknown stop;

I’ve chosen these strangers with which to confide,

as I struggle to keep all the demons at bay.

 

The world’s upside down, in complete disarray

holding tight to each message, each small ray of hope

white-knuckled, not knowing what will come next.

There’s too many outside forces at play,

I’m treading water,  yet barely afloat.

 

Where will we land? No one can say…

just trying to hold onto one. more. day.



Image by Charlie Parant at Appetite For Photos. Used only with express written permission.

 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Uncharted

 












My heart lies torn and bleeding,

my body, disemboweled;

my compass no longer points ‘true north.’

I cannot see over the rise ahead

to know what comes next.

You lie there fighting battles we cannot see,

and we are helpless but to watch.

When all else fails, we pray

searching for answers yet to come

functioning on auto-pilot

as we hang on any news.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021

 

*Image by author

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Flotsam and Jetsam


 












I hold you on the dark side of my heart

that secret place that no one else can see,

drifting with the flotsam and the jetsam

well-hidden in the wreckage and debris.

You and I ill-fated from the start­–

infecting me like some sort of disease

drawn and quartered, then hung out to dry

so different from the outcome I’d perceived.

Yet when the twilight swallows up the day

in the silent midnights we accrue,

pondering the follies of our youth

in that darkness lives a shred of truth…

hiding there where no one else can see

  ever you’ve remained a part of me.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021


A sonnet, or "something" like it...


NaPoWriMo 2021

Friday, April 2, 2021

But Only If



 










It grows like a cancer 

the darkness keeps spreading

meme by meme, 

thread by thread—

infecting the masses

impeding their values

while passing appraisals

through lies they’ve been fed.

The commandment was given

to love one another

the words of the Prophet

by which we atone.

He walked with the sinners

He spoke to the masses

He never passed judgment

this rage and resentment

  He’d never condone.

There are no exceptions

no hidden clauses

no “just if you’re white

or not gay or not trans”

How narrow the mind

of the self-righteous critic

who swallows in ignorance

what he won’t understand?

Are we being tested

to show our true colors?

I carry a rainbow

your choice is your own.

And I will remember

the voice of the Prophet

whose words and example

become my touchstone.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

 

Some things are not a choice, we are who we are.  Acceptance is a gift that we can give to others, that we receive from others. May we all be accepted and loved.

*Matthew 22:36-40, John 13:34



Thursday, April 1, 2021

NaPoWriMo 2021: An Invitation!












April has landed, the timing is nigh

thirty in thirty, or so we avow;

we sit at our keyboard inspired to write

while hoping our muses will guide us somehow.

Prompted by words or an image or two,

pouring our hearts out in thought and in deed

sharing our secrets, it’s what poets do…

where even the tiniest thought plants a seed.

Free verse or format, now which will it be?

Deliver the goods, perfect spelling be damned!

Get the words down on paper for you all to read

and later, revisions or needed revamps.

April has started, no time to concede!

The poets come out of the woodwork to play:

we rip out our hearts, in black ink we bleed—

insightful, delightful, you really should stay!

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021

 

April is NaPoWriMo: National Poetry Writing Month.  The challenge? To write 30 poems in 30 days. While some writers are dedicated and diligent, others (like me) may lag a bit behind. No matter!! Please read, follow, and enjoy the ride!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Life in Metaphor

 

Along the road past open fields

and pale grey trees wrapped in snowy shawls,

we converse about the current

and reminisce of memories past.

Our voices rise and ebb—

caught up in the moment, 

comfortable in the silences

in time spent together.

Even now I am still amazed at how

we see things through the other’s eyes.

A dark line captures our attention.

You comment how it looks like a “black satin ribbon”

in stark contrast to the winter white.

We watch as it weaves to and fro, 

at once close to the road, 

then disappearing into the tree line

to reappear further down the lane.

We are captured by its tenacity:

that despite the odds to impede it,

to slow it down, to freeze it in place,

it still moves forward.

 

Life lessons on a winter’s day.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Heartwood











I remember how you looked at me, eyes bright, dancing. Unseasoned, 

we navigated the newness of each other…likes, dislikes, discovering 

that our threads were more common than different. How fast 

the course when you are comfortable in your own skin, 

how fleeting the years when time matters not, just who you are with. 

  And just like that, forty years have passed.

Some say, “It’s a testament.” A testament to what? Longevity? Age? 

It is not hard being with you; it is a necessity, as necessary as breathing itself.  

We are akin to a tree, the seeds of which were planted in the first words 

we spoke to each other. Our roots grew from the smiles, the laughter; 

the common base of our ideals and shared beliefs.  We grew as one 

in strength through our love and convictions. Our limbs stretched 

to embrace our friends and family; who in turn have given their light to nourish 

us. And perhaps one day we will provide the pages for our son; and the seeds

for all who come after, the stories yet to be written.

 

You are my heartwood, my strength; the sap inside my veins;

and I, I am exactly where I’m meant to be.  

Time ceases to exist, everything else eclipsed

  till only love remains.


© Ginny Brannan 2021

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Good Trouble

 


 










Is it the songs of the ancients, the words of the prophets

the echoes of angels that sound in our heads?

Or perhaps it’s a whisper, the tone of our own voice

the cry of our own thoughts that we hear instead.

Yet where does it rise from, this new intonation

as we meditate on just how far we’ve come:

the escape from repression, affirmation of valor

a reclamation of spirit; what we’ve overcome.

Unless you’ve known pain, then peace has no meaning.

Without all the trials, there’s no victory.

We open this page to newfound validation;

and thus reaffirming, we’ll write history.

 

A song or a whisper, change begins slowly,

we are the builders, we carry the stones.

We rise from the ashes, creating new bridges:

with faith and forbearance, unrattled persistence,

and righteous resistance, we’re never alone.

  

© Ginny Brannan 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Wayposts











I am the quiet one

the one who hid in the background

who didn’t make waves.

I am the socially awkward one

who never got asked to dance

and hung my hopes on “perhaps someday…”

I am the one who envied

all who were not me

imagining the wonderful homes they came from

longing for their social life

–imagining I was anyone but who I was.

I am the one who learned through experience

how to stand on my own two feet

because at least I knew I could always depend on "me."

I am the one who found my voice

and who will never hide in the corner again.

They say we are "not given more than we can handle."

I say, “Yes, we are” but it’s in the handling that we either break

learn how strong we can be.

Some may still remember that awkward kid

—I  haven’t been her since I was 16.

There is no going back, only forward, we either sink or swim…

I choose to swim.

 

© Ginny Brannan 2021