“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

dylan
Dylan Thomas (1914 – 1953) wrote one of the most powerful and moving poems of all time, and this one has always been my favorite.

It’s been said to be about old age, but in these dark times, it has another meaning to me.

I never considered myself a patriot before, but now that my country seems to be broken beyond repair, I’m realizing I do in fact have a deep patriotic streak and am willing to fight for its survival.  This poem brings out that part of me and has the power to move me to tears.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

Book Review: “PurgeAtory” by Brieanne K. Tanner

purgatory purgatory2

A friend I met on Twitter, a young woman named Brieanne Tanner, has had an interesting life.  It’s been a crazy and enlightening journey in every sense.

In her first book, PurgeAtory: You Can Purge Your Karma, she tells the story of Liv, a fictional woman whose life experiences are based on Brieanne’s own.  Liv’s memoir-like tale starts with a near-tragedy, the suicide attempt of her sullen and rather antisocial golden-child Kurt Cobain-lookalike brother, Reid.  Liv, an INFJ–introverted, dark, artistic, and introspective–is the scapegoat in her narcissistic family, ignored by her father and constantly berated by her mother who can’t or won’t appreciate her daughter’s unique qualities.

A turning point arrives at a party at which Liv is given a date-rape drug and the unthinkable happens.   Liv grows into adolescence hardened and cynical but still open to new experiences.  She’s Gen-X personified–embracing her generation’s ’90s incarnation of who-cares grungy, gothic edginess.  She worships the Cure, the Grateful Dead, and Nirvana, wears loose black clothing, and writes dark angsty poetry.

Later, she loses herself (and sometimes finds herself) in music and for awhile, psychedelic drugs–and meets a lot of odd, scary, and unforgettable people along the way.   She suffers great losses and seems to have lived the life of an 80 year old even though she is only in her early 30s.

Through a new mentor, Liv finally discovers yoga and begins to write, and finds both of these activities to be cathartic and healing.  She begins to contemplate her own karma and the meaning of everything that has previously happened.

I won’t say more about Liv’s story so as not to spoil anything–you just have to read it for yourself.   It’s one woman’s spiritual and emotional journey from an abusive childhood to wellness and wholeness.  It’s about fulfilling one’s destiny and moving on from the limitations of the past without forgetting their lessons.  It’s a story about narcissistic abuse that is so much more than that.

PurgeAtory is not long–just 83 pages and even includes a glossary.  It’s a mix of short essays, vignettes, poetry, drawings, and profound and sometimes funny ruminations about loving and living life to the fullest.

I recommend this book to all survivors of narcissistic abuse, and all survivors of just having lived life, which is itself a potentially traumatic experience.  You don’t have to be into yoga or Eastern religion or a member of Generation X to appreciate and learn from Brieanne’s message of hope and healing.

PurgeAtory is available for purchase on Amazon.

Shattered Dreams Poetry and Book.

A reader of this blog wanted to share some of her poetry with me and I asked her if it was alright to share the poems with my readers because they really resonated for me and I think other readers of this blog who have been married to or divorced narcissistic men could definitely relate to her writings.

Rina Lynn has her own blog of poetry (Shattered Dreams Poetry) about coping with the emotional fallout of narcissistic abuse and divorcing a narcissist. Please take the time to visit her site.

She also has a book, Shattered Dreams: Poetry for Women Divorcing a Narcissist, by Rina Lynn and Kay Gardner, which is $4 on Amazon.

shattered_dreamspoetry

Here are some of her poems.

The Great Escape

There was a chick
Who pecked and chipped
A window in the wall
Scrunched she sat
Tightly packed
Smooshed into a ball

The shell seemed swell
She knew it well
But her heart knew it was time
She peered outside
While hard she tried
To pretend her life was fine

Then cracks began
To rip and span
The whole of the world she knew
She closed her eyes
And tried to hide
Spinning her lies anew

It’d be ok
If she stayed
She’d lived here all her life
Her life was hell
Inside her shell
But she was just a wife

One piece fell
From off her shell
She began to be quite frantic
She tried so hard
To fix the shards
You should have seen her antics

Then with a glance
She saw her chance
And knew it had to be
With one great heave
The halves did cleave
And all at once she’s free

puppet_master

The Puppet Master

He picks his victims carefully
Then reels them in
With hateful glee
Gives them all their heart desires
Inflames their senses…..
…..ignites a fire…..
Tells them all they wish to hear
Then he owns them…..
…..this puppeteer……
He speaks a word
And they try their best
His every whim
To manifest
It becomes a daily thing
Dangling his prey
Upon his strings
Their individuality begins to dim
Disappears into the world of ‘him’
Soon they are just instruments
Who live to make his life content….
……where did their will go?
……why do they stay?
…..why don’t they escape…..
……and leave the fray?

A war of attrition is being fought
They respond…..
…..the way they ‘ought’…..
Doing their best to please another
While their identity is smothered
You can’t see the forest
For the trees
You can’t escape
Till you ‘see’ the strings
And understand it’s just a game
…..to enslave you …..
…..and drive you insane…..
The thrill of the sport…..
…..a manipulative zest….
To prove to him
He is the ‘best’
All you are…..
…..is another conquest…..
Swelling his appetite
…..and selfish greed…..
On hurt and control
…..his evil heart feeds…..
If only his dupes
Could really see
They hold the scissors…..
……to cut the strings…..
Then……they could truly be free…..
Living a life…..free of his deeds

The Feces Inspector

I had a job i did
For fully half my life
I examined feces
In my role as a wife
My husband produced
It freely
It seemed to roll right out
I followed him discretely
Trying not to shout
I knew this wasn’t normal
it couldn’t be ok
I wondered just what caused it
Each and every day
So I began a quest
The origin to explain
I set up a lab
The truth to explicate

I wore rubber gloves
To scrutinize his manure
I checked out what I fed him
His routine & DNA
Puzzling perceptions
Grew more enormous
By the day
When digging thru the dung
Looking back it seems
The stench that it created
Stifled all my dreams
I smeared it on the slides
Peered into my microscope
The closer that I looked
The more I lost my hope
The manufactured crap
Continued all the while
When picking thru the pile
It was really hard to smile

So I resigned the job
Gave up my inspector hat
Someone else can have it
I’m not doing more of that
I cleaned up the counter
Swept & mopped the floor
Threw away my samples
Walked out and locked the door
…….then beamed with satisfaction

shattered_dreams_quote

Anger Has Been Banished. It’s Time to Go Away

There’s another person
Who lives inside of me
She’s so very bound
That she can’t get free
Her given name is anger
And she’s very strong
She stands up to deal
With the things that’s wrong
When my voice is silent
Her voice rings out loud
She can speak to bad guys
She truly makes me proud
Others do not like it
When she’s in control
But I gave her permission
To protect my soul
Until she was allowed
My life was filled with pain
I needed her assistance
My self-esteem to gain
Now my life is better
The perpetrator’s gone
But anger just won’t leave me
She feels this is her home
She’s overstayed her welcome
Now she needs to leave
Unfortunately we’re at odds
We’ve really disagreed
I think I can manage
She thinks I’ll be deceived
Serenity won’t visit
If she stays around
She says she’s rude and ugly
And wears a constant frown
I really need the comfort
Of tranquility
Poise, content, composure
And equanimity
They say that she can visit
When there is a need
But for them to live here
Anger must concede
Backbone, strength, and power
Will take her place today
Anger has been banished
Peacefulness can stay
Honor says it’s time
And I will be ok
Anger you must listen
It’s time to go away

The Scapegoat

It’s your fault!
…..from the very first…..
No matter who is punished…..
……yours will be the worst…..
Everyone else is perfect
But.….you are very bad…..
You try your best
To please the rest
But…..somehow you just can’t
You talk too loud
Or not enough
Or leave dishes in the sink
Someone else messed them up
But, it’s your job to see they’re cleaned
You’re too big
Or too small
The opposite of what is best
You work the hardest
Try the most
But never please the rest
Their evil deeds
…..are swept under the rug
…..or simply attributed to you…..
Then you’re screamed at
…..and penalized…..
For what you didn’t do
Chastised, reproved
Castigated, reprimanded
Disciplined each day
The weight of someone else’s deeds
Is placed upon your plate
The lies that are their alibis
Sound grand to all who hear
No sympathy
Will come your way
Only boos, and sneers…..
After all……who would tell…..
….such outrageous things?
No one in their right mind
Could really be so mean
So…..to others….it has a
Truthful ring
Embarrassment…..humiliation
Becomes your garment donned
There’s no way
To convince the audience
That by a NARC they have been conned……
You hang your head
Accept the shame
….while more blame is piled on……
The scapegoat……
…..who bears the sins of the home…..
…..so no one else needs to atone…..

shame

Shame

Shame is that feeling
That you aren’t enough
You feel as if
You should be
Made of stronger stuff
It’s hard to hold
Your head up
It’s like you don’t belong
No matter what you do
It seems to be all wrong
People laugh and whisper
Or.….that’s what you believe…..
To be on equal footing
Is something
You just can’t perceive
But you must remember
We are all alike
Made in God’s image
So stand right up and fight
Most of the time
When shame has held you down
Worn you to a frazzle
Esteem’s been tightly bound
It’s because of something
You’ve taken on yourself
You didn’t even do it
It was done by someone else
Maybe it’s your family
That has done the deed
Maybe it’s somebody
Else’s lifetime creed
You believe that you
Must measure
Yourself by their thoughts
But you can’t accomplish
All the things you ‘ought’
You deem yourself ‘guilty’
Picking up the weight
Shame brings upon you
It seems it is your fate
But look at this whole thing
From a different view
Why must you pay?
For things you didn’t do?
Throw off that fault
Break that felon’s thong
The offense wasn’t yours
You did nothing wrong
Let others stand in their corruption
And shame will slide right off
You didn’t do the crime
You mustn’t pay the cost!

A Little Girl

A little girl
Whose life was hell
Tried to be so good
She washed her face
And combed her hair
And did everything she “should”

And as she grew
Her “oughts” did too
The load grew hard to bear
As others refrained…
She accomplished great things…
So they handed her their cares

She took on blame…
She took on shame…
The people round her knew she would
They used
Abused
And taunted her
Because she was so good

Talented
Proficient
An expert at so much
Alone each day she waited
For a single loving touch

As life passed by
She began to cry
But none had time to listen
The family left
She felt bereft
With tears her eyes did glisten

With deep despair
She combed her hair
And did the daily chores
The song was gone
She carried on
Alone
As each day before

My head is a car wreck.

car_wreck_head

My head is a car wreck

all sharp edges painful brightness

razor blades screeching wheels

rusted edges steel on steel

chaos blood pain terror

thought-snippets nattering and chattering

scraping and scratching

trying to get out

tight jaw gray pallor heart in throat

out of body floating am I dead will I die?

was I ever alive?

brain flashing danger signs

knotted intestines

startle tremble shake and quake

suspicious paranoid hypervigilant

Take me to the junkyard I can’t be fixed

Go away go away go away go away no wait don’t go hold my hand

help me help me

help me God help me someone anyone

Save me wake me up get me outta here

wrap me up in peaceful dreams

when I finish out this nightmare

 

The gift.

destroyed_canvas
Credit: unknown artist.

You received a gift of canvas and paint
a masterpiece yet to be created
a promise for the future
that might reflect on you well

But, no:
You used the canvas for target practice
You marred its pristine surface with hideous holes and ghastly rents
like a spoiled child who didn’t get the gift they wanted
destroying the one they did

and the paints, dried in their tubes made useless
laid to waste in a dark corner
kicked away and forgotten

You told sad tales about your blamelessness
You scoffed at the cheapness of quality
Useless to you, fit only for the trash
You hated the way that ugly thing sat in its lonely corner
mirroring back your own ugliness
and mocking you with obscenities
that you wrote on it with your own feces
A gift turned curse
but it never had to be that way

You concocted lies that even you believed
to make yourself feel better
and never be held accountable

But what you don’t know
is that you sabotaged yourself;
with every act of destruction
you destroy yourself.

Unfolding.

origami_crane_in_hand_by_miaauraylea

Tissue paper origami wings
pressed down flat on the table
now unrecognizable sharp edges that cut and slice
No longer beautiful
no longer delicate
a paper thing bound for the trash
made ugly by the rage of its creator
because it didn’t come out perfect
It insulted her pride
and filled her with shame

You came along and saw beauty there
in its flattened ruins
I see you holding it gently in your hands
I see the sadness in your eyes
at what this once was and could have been

Your clumsy but tender fingers prodding its innards
working to bring it back to beauty
Wrinkles are its scars
You are so careful not to tear the aging paper
as you work the jumbled angles back to life

It will never be perfect
even so much as the day it was made
but its unfolding is a testament to your compassion
made beautiful by those who see its value
and breathe life into it
and save it from incineration.

My scarlet letter.

“There’s a killer on the road”…

This powerful, suspenseful poem chilled me.

Eye Will Not Cry

dark-man

~

Lost within his life’s direction…
He took the wrong train connection…
His destination is unknown…

His eyes survey the gathered crowd…
A quiet coach, no noise allowed…
He sees her sat alone…

Keeping her eyes on the book…
She was bewitched by just one look…
She’s chilled to the bone…

She doesn’t even know his name…
His evil crimes or hidden shame…
Or his heart that’s made of stone…

He’s craving her undivided attention…
She’s floating in an air of tension…
Into confusion she is thrown…

Trying to avoid his charming stare…
It could be fun, if she’d only dare…
Common sense on hold…

A spark of innocent conversation…
Ignites thoughts of dark temptation…
Her confidence has grown…

She begins flirting with her hair…
In his trap, shes now been snared…
She plays with her phone…

Fallen for his devilish smile…
His journey becoming more worthwhile…
But time has…

View original post 74 more words

Narcissus

Poetry by Audrey Michelle, Spoken Word Artist

deviantartecho
Esstera’s Echo and Narcissus on Deviantart.

An arrow was aimed at a Knight self-created
A man’s just a man ’till his worth is inflated

Onion

onion

skin brown like pages from antique books
tough but easily torn
falls away with papery fanfare
revealing translucent white beneath
a giant’s pearl that brings tears and blood
as the knife plunges deep in its tissue
layer upon layer is peeled away
until all that remains is a tiny nub of palest green
an embryo left to die outside
its nourishing toxic sphere.