I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.)

They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.

11 August 2011

A Hope

Damaged people, the expert said,
have drama and confusion always
following them around; that’s the way
you know that they are damaged people.

I don’t know how this boy, our friend,
a young man now, will learn to shake
dramas and confusions from his life.
Yet he survives all, I don’t know how.

We, too, survive all: frightful tales
half farce, half tragedy; the tension
that obscures his kindness and ideals,
hard for friends ... only we two survive.

Friends only, we’re not family
but he knows that he can come to us 
when there’s nowhere else to go; and so
I guess we are more than friends only.

Must be karmic, our connection.
I know we can’t mend his damage, but
maybe we can demonstrate this thought:
positive progress must be karmic.

(The form — consisting of repetitions and syllabics — is my own invention. I haven't called it anything, and I doubt if I'd use it again. It doesn't seem to serve the poem very well.)

Posted for dVerse Open Link Night #4


  1. i think in some sense we are all damaged people, but yes there are those that drama tends to follow and to really change you just have to get out of it...nice write...

  2. Thanks Brian. I'm sure you're right; there must be few if any of us without some damage.

  3. Glad that you can be a source of friendship for this young man...we're all damaged or broken but there is hope.... Thanks for your kind comments on my blog-- let me know if you write that sestina... :)

  4. i agree with bri - and too know people that seem to attract all the evil in the world and i have no idea why...but so good for this young man he knows that he can come to you when there’s nowhere else to go...that's precious...enjoyed the write rosemary

  5. Many thanks, Anna and Claudia. Sometimes the hope is slender, but — so far so good.

  6. I think it serves this lovely insightful poem very well.

    We are all damaged people. Life, family, etc...all damage, burn us, but the human spirit will survive, as long as there is something, someone compassionate to cling to.

    Life damages, but we learn also to make better choices. We can control some of the potential damage. Sometimes we are much more normal than we realize.

    Really like your poetry. It has essence and substance.

    Lady Nyo

  7. i, too, am glad this boy has two people who are a refuge for him when he has nowhere else to go... as brian said, we are all hurt, all damaged, in some way or other. your poem eloquently expresses this hurt.

    I recently read a beautiful post by a friend of mine about her experience with woundedness as a young girl, and her subsequent spiritual and emotional healing. Perhaps it would interest you - if so, here's the link:
    curious acorn

  8. I feel your poem will give me some insight into a similar situation. THANKS!
    (And LOVED your comment!)

  9. Thanks to you too, Lady Nyo, Leslie and Timoteo, for your very complimentary remarks. It was a hard poem to write, and yet a necessary one. You make me think it must have worked better than I had believed.

    Leslie, thanks for the link, which I'll certainly check out.

  10. I think we all are damaged in one way or another....lovely piece.

  11. Thank you Ayala.

    Perhaps it's a matter of degree ... and/or learning over time to deal with it.

  12. This was raw and truthful; I agree we all are damaged. Some on the outside, some on the inside, some both~
    It is good to be there, no man or woman is an island or should be~

  13. Very true, Ella, and one of my favourite sayings! Thanks for the comment.

  14. interesting idea. some people walk under a storm system to the an exceptional degree. it makes sense that that extends backward to being hurt. valuable framing.

    chronic pain may be longitudinal in behaviour. maybe a pain before it can be seen. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2010/04/chronic-pain-patients-disobedient-children.html

  15. A very interesting idea, Pearl. This lad has certainly come from a troubled background.

  16. I enjoyed this poem. Life damages us all but it also gives us wonderful experiences.

  17. I like your style of repetition. Very original.

  18. There is a lot of empathy and understanding in this poem. Wonderful writing, and a poignant portrait.Love the last line.

  19. Rosemary, all my favorite cars had dings, my favorite bikes were scraped and traveled, my best friends had stutters, bumps and torn shirts- damaged? That is a beautiful poem, form be damned. Karma lives close by.

  20. Thank you all for reading and for your thoughtful remarks.