Not a Villain

This is a reflection on anger, written in villanelle form, inspired by a challenge from DVerse as well as by the difficulties that I have had in my life with expressing all types of emotions. Often I try to ignore or squash anger, thinking it is bad and frightening, but that only makes it stronger and scarier. Anger is like a fire: It can be scary when misused, but it can also be helpful.


For too long I’ve been loath to let it in:

I’d feared its heat, its size, its strength, this fire —

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Emotional health under construction:

The spectrum of emotions is entire;

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in.

 

The Scriptures say “Be angry; do not sin,”

To hide anger away makes God a liar,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Engaging in a fight I’ll never win:

Anger is angry, and it does not tire

Until I open up to let it in.

 

It teaches and it gives motivation,

It will not burn up as a funeral pyre,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Anger is a part of being human.

It wishes to be seen and be brought higher.

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in,

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.

Quadrille: Pepper

Today’s quadrille prompt was to write a poem of exactly 44 words, one of which is the word “pepper.” It was a bit of a challenge to think of a topic for this one, but I ended up writing about how my family used to make jalapeño poppers using the jalapeños from my brother’s garden.


We’d take the jalapeño peppers

From the garden and make jalapeño poppers:

Carefully cut and seed them,

Stuff them with cream cheese and

More cheese and coat them with

Corn flakes, bake them and eat

Piping hot, with our family —

The spice of life.

Haibun: Sport

This week’s haibun prompt was to write about sports. I am not a big fan of sports, so this was rather difficult to get inspiration for, but I like what came out of being open to this. Though I am not into team sports, I did karate for about 12 years when I was younger, and nowadays I really like activities such as yoga and hiking.


My brothers and I started doing karate when we were young, 8 and 12 years old. I often enjoyed class but didn’t think I was following my passions, since, from the beginning, I wanted to take dance. However, my brothers liked karate, so — two against one — I was outvoted. In my teenage years, karate became a place of self-criticism for me, yet I couldn’t bear to leave. At the ages of 19 and 20, with an eating disorder developing, over-exercising became a snare to me. Finally, I had no choice but to give up karate and start fighting the scariest and strongest enemy I’d ever encountered: Monsters in my own mind. And I’m still fighting but am training and gaining strength every day.

 

Summer turns to fall,

Black belt becomes a novice,

New, personal strength.

Lai

This poetry form, the lai, is a French, 9-line poem with the rhyme scheme aabaabaab and syllable counts of 552552552. This is written for DVerse’s “lai it on” prompt.

It was inspired by some difficulty last night and harshness from other people who don’t like a certain path that I have chosen. I’m just trying to be true to my beliefs and to live in the whole truth.


Today’s a new day:

Fervently I pray

For peace.

Hoping to not stray,

Waiting for the gray

To cease.

Others may say nay,

Breathe, that judgment may

Release.

Storm — Quadrille

A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words that includes a specific word. Today’s quadrille uses the word “storm.” The poem does not have to rhyme, but mine does because sometimes I like to challenge myself a little bit.


Rage on, fearsome storm, my Captain steers!

Howl, shout loudly, assail my ears,

For calling on my Captain frees from fears.

 

With Him as guide, what matter other voices?

On seas of life, He knows the ideal choices,

And so my stormy soul rejoices.

Gift of Love

Today on DVerse we are writing poems about gifts. The greatest gift I ever received was a person (well, more like several people) who helped me to realize how deeply I was and am loved.


The gift of love you’ve given me,

Still present when I cannot feel

Your strong arms holding me closely,

Immeasurable, yet very real.

Eyes of my heart can daily see

Something that a kiss need not seal:

Love is more than passing romance,

But joining another in life’s dance.

Kintsugi: A Haibun

This week’s Haibun Monday challenge on DVerse is about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of taking the broken pieces of something and putting it back together by adding gold lacquer, creating a work of art more beautiful than before. This haibun is based on a true and fairly recent happening in my life. I almost didn’t write it but am glad that I did.


While trying to wake myself up with some coffee, filling the reservoir with water, I knock off a glass candle holder from it’s perch on the mahogany end table. I can see it falling, hear it clatter as it reaches the tile floor, all the pieces unevenly breaking and scattering, as from a fearsome predator. I stand still and silent for a moment. I yell for help but there is no one here. Timidly I tip-toe over the top of all these pieces and grab the vacuum, which sucks up all the tiny pieces, all the shards of what once was beautiful and useful, but was something I never paid much attention to, ungrateful, until the unused candle holder flung itself to the floor.

I wonder, even then, if there was a use for all the pieces, if they needed to be cast into oblivion​, or if, like Humpty Dumpty and the king’s men, nothing could put them together again.

No longer springtime,

But summer of my life: I

Treasure all pieces.