Tuesday, 20 August 2019

If A Tree... (August 16, 2019)

They fall
Neither seen
Nor heard.

Invisible hand
Erasing existence
From collective memory
Never understanding why.

Ripple spreads
Like water dropped
In a puddle.

Each concentric circle
Grows ever larger.

Mathematical equation
Most people struggle
To understand.

Until
No longer visible.

Therisa © 2019

An Oxymoron? (August 12, 2019)

Safety.


How do I describe it
Outside - looking in.


Scared of
Panic attack
Meltdowns.


Bus drivers
Gives me
Disgusted look.


Last minute 
Backing away
From transit stop 
Almost full bus approaches.


To board
Am spinning 
Nearly empty chamber.


Blindly slammed closed
Barrel against skull
Trigger pulled.


Body - on autopilot
Should hammer strike bullet. 


Mentally and physically
Systems collapsing
Fading to black.


Other passengers
Blithely unaware 
Of unfolding drama
Before them.


And yet
True healing means
Taking risks
Outside safety zone.


Pushing envelope 
In all ways.


Times I'll stumble
Recognizing barriers
I'm not ready for. 


Self-compassion
Taking healing breaks
When needed. 


Otherwise
Multiple days lost.


Trapped
Within my apartment's 
Walls.


Restoring 
Lost physical
And mental energy.


Therisa © 2019


Author's note: On July 31, 2019, I travelled downtown, to Toronto's gay village. Where I
met up with a long time friend and supporter of my poetry, Z. In July 2006, Z and two other
transmen, helped me, after being rejected by my mom. I know, without their help and
support, I wouldn't be here, to write this. 


I arranged our get-together, so that I wouldn't have to use the TTC, during rush hour.
Having totally forgotten about the Caribbean carnival activities for the first weekend
of August. It was about 1:30ish, when I started my journey home, from Wellesley Station
on Line 1. Never expecting that I would have to let 4 subway trains past, before I can
board it.


As each subway train pass, my anxiety level rose. Scared, I would be forced to take a
northbound train that would trigger a possible panic attack. Got extremely lucky that the
subway, I boarded, was about half full to the Bloor-Yonge Station, where I transferred to
the eastbound Line 2 subway. Changing from the subway, to a transit bus, at Main Street
Subway Station. Dropping me, minutes from my apartment, around 3 pm.


Wish, I could say that my day was over, but I needed to go grocery shopping. I took
an afternoon nap to recharge myself. Figuring, stupidly that I could handle rush hour
traffic, on the route #24, given traffic would be reduced, due to summertime vacations. 


Nope, not a chance in Hell!


Although, I did get lucky. in finding a northbound bus, which  I could sit down and distract
myself, from the flow of passengers. Until I got to the stop that I needed for the super-
market.


Mental note to self, never do this again. Not worth the money saved.

By the time, I had this and another shopping trip done, it was about 9:30 pm, and I was
totally burnt out. Needing Thursday and Friday  (August 1-2), for my recovery days.
Truthfully, it felt like I had just recovered from a severe anxiety/panic attack. Given, how
my body felt and the time needed to restore myself, to normal.

Never Again, Is Now (August 8, 2019)

Please forgive me
Am struggling
Expressing myself
In recent senseless deaths
By American mass shooters.

Having abandoned
And deleted
Several previous attempts.

Wiping tears
That flow
Like a swollen river 
From my eyes.

Righteous anger
Won't restore 
These stolen lives.

For political leadership
Am divided.

Wanting to believe
Real change is possible
This time. 

Cynical voice
Questions my sanity
Espousing this thought.

Knowing
American historical record
On gun control legislation.

Graveyard filled
With rejected bills
By NRA supported Democrats
And Republicans politicians.

Yet
The US Constitution 
Is a living breathing document
That doesn't operate 
In a vacuum.

Some American politicians
Want us - to believe.

Hiding behind
The notion
You're unpatriotic
For supporting
Gun control legislation.

Polarizing the nation
With divisive rhetoric
Benefitting 
Only themselves.

How many more
Innocent people
Must die?

Before politicians 
Have the guts
To enable
Gun control legislation.

A question
Only American voters
Can answer
Come November 2020.

Therisa © 2019

Author's note: As I was writing this, I came across the story of a young Dayton,Ohio boy, who was giving away free hugs, to whomever wanted one. Can I have one, please?

Whisper, To A Scream (July 10, 2019)

Feel myself
Slowly crumbling
From within.

Soulful tsunami
Corrosive tide
Smothering me.

Pitch black
Directionless mælstrom
Endless void.

Mental illness
Reality check
That's ignored.

Only stopping
When truths
Become lies.

Therisa © 2019

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Surviving The Age Of Trump (July 9, 2019)

Know
People will disagree 
What I'm writing. 


Never comfortable 
With strong courageous 
Or inspiration label. 


Reluctantly
Accept survivor.


Often struggle
Understanding
What life means.


Placing others 
Ahead of myself
Guilty - saying "no".


As if
Personal ethics 
Morally wrong.


And yet 
Moral toughness
Necessity requires. 


To survive intact
Balancing contradictory needs
Without losing my soul.


Especially 
During this age
Of demagoguery.


People like myself
Society views
As weak.


Therisa © 2019

Author’s note: Those who read my poetry, know that I’m very emotional. Especially, over the past 6 weeks, have found me, more often than not, balling my eyes out, over the despicable conditions of the US detention centers, around its southern border. I know the Trump administration and its supporters, will disagree with the correct usage of concentration comps, which thousands of Latin American are being held, in barbaric conditions, not seen, since the liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps of WWII. A scene, no one wants to witness again.

Awakening Old Dæmons (July 6, 2019)

They're back 
My night terrors. 

In a burning room
Fire dances 
Before me.

Seductively 
Flames sway
Suffocating my body. 

Awakened
Body - locked down mode
Sporadic muscles twitching.

Otherwise 
My leaden body 
Is normal.

By-product 
Childhood electrical burn
Around my mouth. 

Don't understand 
Why now? 

Thought 
Had settled
This old PTSD trauma.

Given distance 
Between recent events
Of several years. 

I was wrong.

As sleep becomes
A feared time 
Once more. 

Therisa © 2019

Author’s note: This November will mark the 45th anniversary of the electrical scars,
around my mouth, both inside and outside of it. Have been told, I’m lucky to be alive, after
describing the events on that 1974 November night. I don’t remember the exact date, but
other details are burnt into my memory. 

My dad was working the afternoon shift, for the regional natural company, as a special
gas fitter. My brother had just turned 2 years old, the previous month. Mom was upstairs,
on the main floor of the bungalow, doing what, I don’t know. I was downstairs in the
basement, watching an old TV set, with the space heater plugged in. Feeling too hot, I
tried to unplug the heater, but failed. Instead of asking for help, from mom, I used my
teeth, to get a grip on the heater cord and the extension cord. Never realizing the danger that I was placing myself in, by doing so. 

Long story short, I ran upstairs, my mouth blown open from the electrical current that
travelled through me. Vividly remember, mom panicking, upon seeing my ruined face.
Calling our next store neighbour, the O’Connors, for guidance, where she should take
me, for emergency treatment, living in a small rural Ontario village, where the nearest
hospital was 30 minute drive, in good weather.

I remember mom placing me in the backseat, as she drove to Guelph’s St Joachim
Hospital ER, where I was placed on a hallway bed, as my face was examined by
the ER doctors. I don’t remember anything else, from that November night, except I,
now scared of open flames and sudden ignition of fire, when having to lit the pilot
flame on the family barbecue or gas stove.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Hidden Price Of Stonewall Riots (June 29, 2019)

Once home 
Anything remembered
Beyond partying 
At Stonewall Riots 
Fiftieth anniversary? 


Given bleak future 
Facing transpeople
Especially 
Those of colour. 


Some LGBTQ+ members 
Describe the United States 
A post-gay nation. 


Gay white men achievement 
Transphobic hijacking
LGBTQ+ rights movement.


Reflecting social hierarchy
Dominating straight cis-society.


Orthodox thinking/fundraising 
Primary focus 
Same-sex marriage. 


Although 
We fought 
On the front lines
Demanding the same rights.


Our needs ignored
Marginalized 
And questioned. 


United States - deadliest country 
Behind Mexico and Brazil
Being transgender. 


Especially 
If non-Caucasian
Few remember our passing 
Cases unresolved. 


To many 
Just another dead
Hooker tranny
In a pauper's grave. 


Therisa © 2019

Author’s note: By-product of my @50 research, which I often found myself crying at the hostility of the transphobia that coloured American transwomen face, on a daily basis. I do hope that this will change for you, one day soon.

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