Sunday, April 17, 2016

Empty Souls

Pour myself open,
When will it be enough?
Anguish and heartache,
Please, no more sips from this cup.

Death and suffering surround me,
I daily hear their cries.
I want so badly to help them,
But ill-equipped am I.

I thirst for justice and compassion
Relieve their misery, ease their pain,
But there are too few answers,
And so my efforts are often in vain.

I hunger for a future,
Where those around me are whole,
Where despair and hopelessness
Lose their bite or are no more.

But I face an uncertain future
Mere survival at best.
Should I then live for only me
And forget about all the rest?

This broken vessel, dry and empty,
longs to be full once again.
I need refreshing, a quenching,
For my thirst to reach its end.

I hear their desperate stories,
Cannot ignore their pleas,
But I, too, am tired,
For I, too, live with this disease.

You all who are out there,
Healthy, safe, and whole,
You who taste freedom,
On whom illness takes no toll,

Do you see our suffering?
Does it ever touch your empty souls?
Will you not open your hearts
And offer up your overflowing bowls?

We are starving for peace and healing,
For relief from all this pain,
And we would give almost anything
To savor one more “normal” day.

So I ask for your mercy,
Your understanding, your grace.
Help us satiate our hunger,
Please, don’t look the other way.

I’ve tried my best
And have given my all.
In the end, will it matter –
Or on deaf ears will it fall?

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Every now and then,
When I am all alone,
When silence fills the room,
And my time is all my own,

Memories of who I used to be
Flood my heart and mind,
Send a torturous, cruel reminder
That I miss the woman I left behind.

I think of all the plans she made,
Her goals, her hopes, her dreams,
And I ache for what I longed to be,
Not possible now it seems.

For then I thought that I had time,
An endless bright future ahead,
Boundless energy and hopeful spirit,
Life uncluttered and free from dread.

I never envisioned this unkind twist of fate,
The way the world would turn,
The toll this would take, the price it would demand,
That for my past I would forever yearn.

If I had understood the road ahead,
The burdensome future that lay in wait,
If I had known that time was short,
Different choices I might have made.

I might have tried to live my life
Minus the anxiety and grief,
Relished every moment, paused to appreciate,
Had I known time was such a thief.

Perhaps I would have danced and laughed
Without worrying what others thought,
Perchance I would have abandoned my fears,
Grasped the ring without regret or afterthought.

I am sure I would have forgiven more,
Showed compassion and affection without end.
I would have endeavored to understand,
To be a far better friend.

I am certain I would have made it known
To family and friends alike,
Just how much they mattered to me,
How they were cherished, how they filled my life.

But try as I might, I cannot go back,
Can’t erase the damage I’ve done,
Cannot replay the reel, rewind the tape,
No redeeming the woman who is gone.

I must leave it behind me and live in this moment,
Let go of who I was then,
Savor the present, embrace the now,
Recognize that I can begin again.

I miss the woman I left behind,
The one I now barely know,
The one that hoped, and dreamed, and wished,
That could not imagine how her future would go.

But she was not some virtuous soul,
Not one to be admired or praised.
Little profundity or wisdom dwelled in her,
A woman who made many mistakes.

And “then” was not such a perfect life,
Perhaps not as golden as it once did seem.
We gloss the flaws and blur the failings,
Romanticize and believe the dream.

I am not now what I was then,
But I was never meant to be.
I dwell on the past, count the losses and costs,
Ignore what should truly matter to me.

I grieve for the things I might have done,
Weep for chances lost,
But I can still embrace, treasure my life,
And become what I know I must.

For I cannot reclaim the time,
Can’t erase my bygone mistakes,
Cannot pretend that I do not now know,
Must resign to the path I’m required to take.

Yet my journey is not without all hope,
It is more than pain, anguish, and regret;
It is also a chance to flourish, to grow,
Overcome the despair, give back, repay my debt.

For I am wiser than the woman before,
And compassion once missing and hidden,
Now dominate my heart and soul, revealed,
Free to exercise what I had once forbidden.

I have learned to pause and behold,
Take a breath, delight in each second,
And I endeavor to love and accept,
Welcome every chance that I am given.

I have value, and I have worth,
I still have much to give,
Though my life won’t play out how I once thought,
How I then believed I would live.

So when I ponder every now and then,
When I am all alone,
When silence fills the room,
And my time is all my own,

I must learn to use the time
To tell myself new truths,
To cherish the blessings that I still have,
To rest, to thank, to begin anew.

And every now and then,
When I think about “now” and “then,”
I must forget the pain, loss, regret, 
And learn to live my life again.