Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Tad Early (October 22, 2018)

It's October
Early promise
Of snow.

Almost 2 months
Before Winter Solstice
Year’s darkest/shortest day.

Lingering memory
Coming promise
More snow colder temperatures
And wind chill warnings.

Not unusual
Despite climate change cries
Southern Ontario witness this.

Children bundled up
Winter clothing
Under Halloween costumes
Trick-or-treating for candy
And UNICEF donations.

Remembrance Day
Cold slate skies
Opening up
Frozen tears falling.

For romantics
White Christmas.

Curse you
Irving Berlin/Bing Crosby
And Holiday Inn.

Settling back
Watching snowbanks
Ebb and flow.

Snowbirds flee
Points south
Respite break
Awaiting spring.

Until final storm
Marking winter’s end
In April.

Ending hibernation
Another year.

Therisa © 2018

Author’s note: Today, November 14th, I saw my first snowflakes for the winter season of 2018-2019. I wasn’t impressed, by the scattered flurries. Knowing more of the white garbage will fall before the last flake melts away. Sigh.

Anniversaries (November 10, 2018)

From the safety
Of time and distance
I write these words.

In honour and respect
To those people
(Men and women)
Who paid ultimate price
For our rights and freedoms.

Lesson taught
By my immigrant father.

Young Dutch child
Under Nazi occupation
Week prior to 9th birthday
He was liberated
(May 5, 1945).

This Sunday
Centennial anniversary
Of World War I armistice
And the twentieth
Since his death.

Whenever possible
He watched them
Marching to local cenotaph
Veterans and young children
In solemn parade.

Whether or not
My brother and I
Were involved.

As if
Keeping silent vow made
Many years ago
In another country
When a child.

Thanking
Those anonymous men
Who wore Canada
On their uniform
With pride and dignity.

From his failing hands
The torch is passed
Into mine
Still lit.

Continuing the remembrance
Of ultimate selfless sacrifice
These men and women
Have gave us.

Therisa © 2018

Author’s note: Tomorrow, November 15, 2018, will mark the 20th anniversary of the my dad’s death from brain damage, caused by a fatal heart attack on a Friday the 13rd, in 1998. My dad survived almost 36 hours after all live support equipment was removed from him, per his wishes. My dad was many things to me, the least of all, an enigma, who kept his inner feeling about his love ones, to himself. Despite of this, he was the emotional pillar that kept me going, during times of emotional distress and sorrow. Thank you, dad.

For those, who don't know me, November 10-20th, is the hardest emotional period of the year, which my chronic depression is, at its zenith. As I battle SAD, on top of this. As many people have noticed the dramatic decline in poetic output on my part.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

November 20th (November 4, 2018)



Hope is
Fragile flower
Pushing its way
Through life's rubble
Precariously.

In seeking love
That heals
And binds us
As one.

Knowing
One moment
Changes everything.

As we gather
On November 20th
Day of Transgender
Remembrance.

Honouring those
Hastily taken
By ignorance/hate
This past year.

Candlelight vigil
Speaking those names
Out loud
Forever silenced
As tears flow.

Single step
In healing process
For our shared community
Trans and cisgender.

(Shall you join us
Please remember
No cameras/recording devices
Thank you.)

Breaking barriers
Reminding us
Struggle for acceptance
Never over.

Winter’s darkest days
Stand before us
U.S. President Trump vowing
Legally defining us
Out of existence.

Leader of the free world
Indeed.

Not first
Nor last time
Our rights denied.

And yes
Mr President
Everyone is responsible
For their spoken
And written words.

Especially those
Inspiring others
To use force
Despite your claims
Otherwise.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: I wish to thank the generous support of Mary Kling (https://inthecornerofmyeye.blogspot.com), Sherry Marr (https://stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.com) and Rosemary Nissen-Wade (https://enheduannasdaughter.blogspot.com), who beta read this poem, offering suggestions for improvement and personal encouragement. All three women, are gifted poets, in their own right. Please support them, by reading their poetry and leaving your comments behind.

For more information about your local Day of Transgender Remembrance ceremonies, please contact your local LGBTQ+ centre.

November 10-20th, is one of the darkest period of the year, for myself, as I struggle with the beginning of SAD, for this fall/winter season. While observing important remembrance dates and personal anniversaries that hit me hard, every year. It's this reason, I call November, the month of death.

Undertaking the process of transitioning, is a lifequest that the ciscommunity doesn't really understand the ramifications of our needs. Knowing, we're crossing boundaries and taboos that many cultures and societies are struggling to address. Even within gay and lesbian communities, this is reflexive of the issues, facing trans/cisgender people.

Before anyone thinks, the LGBTQ+ community is, one huge homogeneous group, we're not. Too often, the transcommunity has been the sacrificial lamb, in the passage of gay/lesbian legal and constitutional rights. Often, leaving us, with the bitter taste of betrayal and frustration.

Please don't label the entire ciscommunity, as being totally transphobic. Some of our strongest defenders and fighters, are found here, whether straight or gay/lesbian. Going places, denied to us, for political and economic reasons.

For them, I am entirely grateful for their support. Knowing, I wouldn't be, in this time or place, to write about my own experiences and thoughts, as a Canadian, who is transgender. Fearing the growing backlash that's emerging from the United States and other countries, who have political extremist heads of government. May we avoid a repeat of the 1930s, in the subjectation of minority groups, like the LGBTQ+ community.

For the record,  The Rose is one of those song that I can't listen to, without seriously crying, anytime, I hear it. Having been sung at several funeral and memorial services, I have attended. Another song is Up Where We Belong.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Depression v.Whatever (October 15, 2018)

Cycle continues
Jeans slide off hips
Money not spent
Self-isolation
Going downwards.

Darkness growing
Bit by bit
Everyday.

Winter coming
Promising harsh one
Mentally/physically.

Not sure
Where I'm at
Come springtime.

Want off
This merry-go-round
Life has become.

Not suicidal
Just tired
Need change
Can't afford its bill.

Sigh.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: Conscious word of thought poem, for the wee hours of October 15th. Total time, including author's note, 30 minutes.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Behind The Mask (October 13, 2018)

My soul
Lays before you
In judgment.

Although
Haven't done
Anything wrong.

Hatred and loathing
Flow from your words
And body language.

Antithesis
Personal beliefs
Come to life
You deny existing.

Calling yourself
“People politician
Working for the little guy”.

Anger and discord
Follows you
Personal dark cloud.

Half-truths outright lies
And negative stereotypes
Spreads your gospel
Unadulterated hate.

Media manipulation
Limited exposure
Avoiding flaws
Emperor's New Clothes.

Abundantly clear
People don't want reality
When seeking truth
Preferring edited fiction
Comforting worldview.

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: Another wee hours of the morning poem. My muse, rudely awakened me,
with a 3 am wake up call. Insisting that I write this out.

Sigh.

I'm not writing about Donald Trump, rather the emerging populist politician that’s gaining
power. Often, they're found on the right of the political spectrum, but not limited to this, as
Venezuela has proven.

This poem is written for the Poets United’s midweek motif, with abundance, as writing
prompt.

Giving A Name (October 12, 2018)

I write this
Personal knowledge/experience
(In abundance)
Living with mental illness.


Good days
Never know
Looking at me.


Dark days
Simple things
Near impossible task.


Overcoming barriers/stigmas
Society erected
Seeking help.


Wait lists-year or longer
Many programs
Budget cuts.


Reluctant CBT referral
Fought for it.


And yes
Transphobic psychiatrist
(They exist).


Best intentions
Paved Hell’s Highway.


Tough love-inspiration talks
Veiled personal attacks
Mental/physical character
Mistaken thought-motivating.


Delicate vase
Shatter-wrong word
Talking blocked.


Shunned-wrongly thinking
Typhoid Mary
Infecting everyone.


Sighing.


One in four people
Experience mental illness
Starting early teens.


Statistic-by eleven
Suicide attempt.


Globally
Little/no access care
800,000 suicides
Annually.


Therisa © 2018


Author’s note: On October 10, 2018, I came across The Guardian op-ed that Lady Gaga
and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director-General, World Health Organization)
co-wrote for October 9th edition, marking World Mental Health Day. Here’s the link to
The Guardian op-ed:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/09/lady-gaga-mental-health-global-emergency-suicide


For The Record: For most of my life, I have struggled with various mental illnesses, without
realizing myself or those around me. In December 2007, I was officially diagnosed as being
chronically depressed, several anxiety disorders, agoraphobic, justifiably paranoid (I dispute
this, as the psychairist was transphonic) and PTSD. This psychological assessment was
ordered, as part of my application for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), which
supports Ontarians with mental and physical disabilities. My application was approved after
2 months of being received by ODSP. Unusually fast, as they’re traditionally known to reject
applications on general principles. Guess, it helped that I had just come out of a homeless
shelter, in July 2007, when apply for ODSP.


This poem is written for the Poets United’s midweek motif, with abundance, as writing
prompt.


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