Hope you find these interesting. They just sort of tumbled out, without a lot of sweat needing to be expended. The first three are new, while the fourth is an older one that I have revised a bit.
All photographs were taken by me on a recent trip through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.
He's not free.
He's known that for some time.
Bars of steel reveal themselves
each and every time
he makes for the exit.
His will crumbles and the wheels fall off
every single last motherless undertaking;
each and every time
he finds himself back at the start,
never having taken a step.
He suspects he is being mocked,
by something or other;
an enemy and malevolent.
Is it spirit? Corporeal?
Is it himself?
It doesn't use words.
It doesn't have to.
It has him pinned,
just like a museum wasp,
except he can still move around.
snatch away your love
and use it on themselves.
They leave you drained and smaller,
wondering if you're the problem.
and sell you the lie
that their approval matters.
Using it as a blackmail weapon,
they withhold it at their whim.
Toxic people do not care about you;
To them, you are a mirror to preen in;
nothing more substantial
than their reflected self regard.
They use put downs
aimed at your vulnerable places.
They intimidate and fight dirty.
Perhaps you shrink from confrontation,
living the life of a well behaved pet?
Toxic people hand you contempt,
but the only power they have
is what you allow them.
The thing they should fear most,
is your self belief.
Be kind to them
as you learn you have the power
to repay cruelty with love.
Wish them well
as you walk out of their lives.
(I thought it best not to include a photograph of a toxic person. It would be insensitive, and besides, such people intimidate me.)
(Sorry, no elephant photos either)
The Elephant in the Room
Years of flight from unfaced hurt.
Papered over, smothered,
controlled, coralled by scripted games.
Creeping sullage unresolved;
seeps outwards and upwards
to colonize, inflame, infect
a child sobbing silently.
Be cute, cool, superior.
Wear the mask.
Cling to mode.
Craft the scene.
Surround yourself, a queen,
with props and mirrors.
Avoid the shame, run from pain.
Close the gate and lean on it.
Deeply pierced, and not accepted.
once and serially rejected.
Pain first uncomprehended
grew by years untended.
beast writhing within.
Fed on anger unshowable.
Now cracks appear, unsealable.
News flash: The elephant is visible.
Love comes unexpected
The inner child sits cross-legged,
cries self regarding tears
and casts around
to fill an inner void.
He and she fake love
unworthy of the name;
a toy tossed and turned
with giggles and delight;
but soon mundane, discarded,
out of sight.
The inner child is unattractive;
shoved down, concealed, addictive.
Can't grasp the concept
but stops to wonder
as another looks on
and touches tender.
Pursued as a missing piece
love is featherweight.
Aimed at conquest, it misses the point;
just play acting;
dressed up in big people's clothes.
Love comes unexpected,
outside of games,
A tap of insight
reverses the me-you order
and bids entry to life.
It surprises, and evades our grip.
Simple as today;
mysterious as eternity.