The Moon Was My Lover

moon

The moon was my lover last night.

Like ancient lore I lay at the bay,

water lapping like a drumbeat

mezmerized against the shore,

stars illuminate and so bright

their luster waxing and waning

with the trick of my eye,

the moon so plump in the sky

I could almost pluck it,

like ripe fruit from a tree,

and I beckoned the moon to be my lover.

LittleFlower

I laid on my back and spread my legs wide,

my intention clear-

open me, lavish me,

penetrate me with your liquid gold,

a halo of shimmer cascading

down, down, down,

between my folds dripping with desire,

into the nook of never ending honey elixir,

sweet, sticky, pulsing with source,

travelling up and down, in and out,

around every canal and every crease,

igniting and lighting that fire within me,

its tiny ember swelling with each touch of light,

each spicy scent of your nectar,

the jewel of my flower growing brighter and unhindered,

each facet and fractal lustrous with your shower,

its dusty veneer washed away with your mixture,

as you slide and roll and seep into me.

berries

Oh how we rocked and rolled and whirled this night,

the moon and I!

Sculpting and clearing like fingers run through hot wax,

dips and peaks, edges and folds,

entryways circling around and around

like the spiral of a shell,

its luminous pink melting and tenderizing

parts of me that were deadened for years,

and I came alive and unfolded wide,

my fingers aching

my insides burning

my internal flame roaring

with each pathway revived as the moon flowed through me,

until I erupted with a shudder

liquid boiled to a simmer

and I lay there gasping,

spent yet full.

All the while knowing that this beach,

this time, this night under the stars will end soon,

but the moon will always summon,

travelling thousands of miles with me,

willing to ignite my fire again

willing to be my lover once more.

BigFlower

April Aronoff

Photography By April Aronoff

The Story of Tucker Dee Bored

A little ditty about welcoming color and change into life 🙂

photo 2 (18)Welcome to the house of Tucker Dee Bored

his wife is named Hazel, his son is named Ford.

Their house is all brown and so is their car,

not a color in sight, not even a star.

 

They get up at sunrise and eat oats and toast,

they make their brown beds, and put on brown clothes.

Then Tucker Dee Bored he goes off to work,

Ford goes to High School, Hazel’s a clerk.

They all do their jobs, the same every day,

without any thought to blue, pink or grey.

photo (56)Then one day a “THING” shot out of the sky,

and landed on Tucker who was home watching flies.

And that “THING” exploded and dripped everywhere,

all over his house, on his furniture and stairs.

And suddenly his life was no longer brown,

there were colors like lava, passion indigo, speckled clown.

 

At first he was blinded by all the color in sight,

for there was only brown, never mossy gem, sienna light.

But slowly he buzzed and tingled and glowed

and frowned at his brown oats and toast,

and began craving pizza and roasted plum salsa

and upside down pineapple roast.

photo 1

 And just at that moment arrived Hazel and Ford,

who’d been shopping for brand new brown beds,

And without really thinking Tucker picked up a cup

and threw “THING” all over their heads!

And as Hazel and Ford stood there dripping,

color steeping into brown clothes,

they too began craving oranges with onions,

blue ice-crème and strawberry snow cones.

 

Then they all began throwing cups of “THING”

on their neighbors and all down the street,

and soon the whole world was dripping with color

all over everyone’s feet!

And after that day, that fateful day,

the “THING” dripped all over them,

Tucker Dee Bored and Hazel and Fords

clothes never matched again.

photo 1 (14)

 April Aronoff/Diana Ray

 Photography by Diana Ray

The Lemon Who Learned To Love Himself

This is a children’s poem I wrote 8 years ago.  A good reminder to like yourself just the way you are!

IMG_2904

 There once was a lemon

who had no friends,

he lived all alone

on a tree at the end,

of a branch with no leaves

and no twigs and no bark,

never a visitor

alone in the dark.

 

And he grew kind of small

his skin faded yellow,

dis-tasting his own juice,

“Kind of bland, nothing special.”

Yet all he desired

was to be picked from his branch,

to be squeezed, mixed with others

have a party, do a dance.

And he watched as the other

bigger lemons went for sale,

and he thought, “I should fall!

I’m too small, too pale!”

photo 3 (15)

Until one day he noticed

a nub on his branch,

and it grew and grew

also small, also bland.

And when the newbie looked

at the leafless tree,

he cried, “Where are the lemons?

the birds, the bees?”

And the old lemon sighed

and said with much fuss,

“We are too tasteless,

nobody wants us!”

 

But the new lemon looked

at himself once again,

and pronounced,

“I like my taste, my skin!

I am quite small

and my flavor without sting,

but that makes me perfect

for all kinds of things!

I’m good for dressing

and salsa

and making lemonade,

and for cutting into wedges

on a hot summers day.

Little kids will love me,

grown-ups will too!

They’ll see me and cry,

that lemon’s for my stew!”

IMG_2902

And just at that moment

this new lemon got picked,

and was whisked away

with other lemons with kick.

Despite being small

told, “your inferior food,”

this lemon got picked

for he had attitude!

 

This made him bigger

and sweeter and brighter than ever,

when you looked at this lemon

you became very clever!”

It didn’t matter he was small

or pale or bland,

he was special on his own,

King Lemon of The Land.

photo 3 (14)

And as the old lemon watched

the new lemon drive away,

he finally decided, “I am ok!”

and got picked the very next day.

April Aronoff/Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

Mother Of The Flame

photo 2 (11)

Oh Violet Mother, Mother of the flame,

I blow air on your heated presence,

become entranced as you grow.

Help me to stoke your embered breath,

feel your moistened hands on my skin,

so I may stand in the middle,

the center of your lotus flames,

and just melt.

photo (5)

photo (66)

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography By Diana Ray

Freedom

photo 4 (5)

It has been there for decades.

This feeling of raw and weeping,

buried so deep

beneath a scab

so old,

I have no memory

of its original pain.

l know the younger me

needed that scab to survive,

hadn’t wanted to touch

it’s rawness inside,

and I honor Her for that.

But the me today

is ready to heal,

and it’s okay

that I’m raw and weeping.

I’m ready to surrender

to the Great Mother’s Arms,

let Her wash me,

melt my pain.

It’s going to hurt like hell,

taking this giant scab off,

all that newborn skin

exposed to the world.

But I’m weary

and it’s so heavy,

this ancient,

dead weight scab!

I want to heal,

grow my skin back,

feel the delicious air

as it blows across nerves

that have been numb

and sedated

for years.

I am ready

to finally

feel.

photo 1 (12)

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography By Diana Ray

A Day At The Beach

 

I wrote this poem 4 years ago, during a very difficult time.

IMG_2667

Today felt okay.

Sitting at the beach reading a book,

(a book about someone else’s problems for a change)

on this balmy, warm January day,

the anti-thesis of winter,

while my curly haired 4-year old

built sand castles and nests in the rocks.

He would build them up

then smash them down,

the same utter joy

replayed over and over again,

creation-destruction,

it just doesn’t matter

to the mind of a 4-year-old,

and I actually felt okay.

 

The water was still and glassy,

the sand covered in soft, spongy sea-weed,

the product of having been baked for days

in this unusual January sun,

and I read my book

and gazed out at the bay,

and took in the scenes

of other family life

out enjoying this incredible day,

and acknowledged that today was okay.

 

I don’t know what tomorrow brings,

or even what will happen later,

when my husband and difficult 6-year-old

return from their trip,

cranky and tired from their long drive

along these dusty California roads.

The sun will have set by then

and the day almost over,

but for now, I am okay.

 

Just a little bit of joy

having seeped into my center,

after weeks and weeks

of feeling nothing but gloom.

Maybe it will be gone tomorrow

maybe I’ll have to begin again,

a life of one day at a time,

a kind of mentality

designed to help me survive.

 

But maybe it will still be there

and the day after that.

Having taken root in my body,

slowly occupying more space

than anything else,

so that what’s missing in my life

doesn’t throw me into gloom and sadness,

but can instead be just like

my son’s sandcastles,

something I create and destroy

as I see fit.

photo (60)

IMG_1464

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

 Photography by Diana Ray

 

 

 

 

This Is The Tree

photo 1 (13)

This is the tree that helps me touch down when I feel I cannot stand.

This is the tree that helps me reach out when I know I am not alone.

This is the tree whose leaves and bark have ignited creative fire.

This is the tree that helps me remember that I too, come from the Earth.

This is the tree that told me in embrace that in fact we are the same;

solid

capable of anything

full of love.

Yes, this is the tree.

photo 2 (13)

photo 3 (10)

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography By Diana Ray

Self-Love #1

photo (8)

I.

You are only ever one step away from

joy,

gratitude,

love.

Take it.

II.

Like life,

love begins

and ends

with me.

III.

To love myself is to believe in myself.

In times of success,

of failure,

of starting over.

I BELIEVE IN ME.

photo (11)

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography By Diana Ray

The Forgotten Sense/Poem To My Yoni

photo 2 (15)

You have forgotten me

shut me out

put up yellow tape,

“Caution,”

“No trespassing,”

“Do not enter.”

 

A lush dense forest

unknown animals

dwelling inside,

an eco-system pulsing and untouched.

It is you from which I was born

gave life

excrete that which is not needed.

 

I peek inside and gasp-

pearly walls

butterfly wings

lotus lips.

A rabbit hole leading somewhere

I can imagine in my mind,

ecstatic

safe

snug.

 

I was born with you

and I will die with you.

Whole cultures rally shame

around your existence.

But you are simply

just another part of me,

-like a finger

-a tongue

-an eye.

Tools I would never consider disregarding.

So why do I disregard you?

 

If I can touch

and taste

and see

why should I deny

that which is my birthright,

my life-force?

 

The forgotten sense,

That’s what you are.

A sense I know only

the bare essentials of.

 

Slowly, I remove the tape.

 

photo 3 (6)

photo 4 (3)

Remembrance

photo (78)
Mother Earth,

help me to remember

your ways of old,

the tides of the seasons,

the animals,

this body,

signatures that when joined

create a melody so sonorous

I howl with joy.

photo (82)

Mother Earth,

help me to remember

the forgotten laws,

the marriage of Sun, Moon and Earth,

time that moves

when I close my eyes,

go in, drop down,

a pulsing so deep

I wish to crawl inside.

photo (79)

Mother Earth,

help me to remember

when I knew

Your Will innate,

knelt in homage,

kissed your feet,

felt your blessing seal that caress,

spiral this life

a never-ending mixing

HER-SHE-ME!

without beginning

without end

an emblem of oneness

again and again.

photo (83)

 

Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

March Flower Bowl/The Muse

 

photo (76)

(trumpet vine, primrose, wisteria, passion flower, azalea, verbena, viola,impatience, hellebore, clematis)

Mother (Earth)-

Show me your grace,

ease,

like thick liquid

pouring through every

space and crevice

of my anatomy,

scouring away

resentment,

anger,

fixity,

polishing what is light

and bright

and love

within me,

like a river whose flow

is so cold, and clean,

one drop anoints thee,

so what starts as desire

is embodied, embedded,

within this body,

as deep and familiar

as cells dividing,

memories unfolding,

dreams remembered,

of a life as She.

photo (74)

Diana Ray

Photography by Diana Ray

My Wish/The Magic of The Three

photo (80)

My Wish

To be a beautiful flower at the height of abundance,

every stem, cell and fiber

an outpouring of beauty and love;

To be a ladybug, pulled by scent to feed from that flower,

knowing that its life giving tonic will fertilize and inspire;

To be what lies between when the two come together,

a transferring of life and symbiosis from one being to another;

That is the magic of the three.

photo (82)

photo (83)

Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

 

Poem To Om Kali Ma

photo (63)

Om Kali Ma,

you filled me with rage

what seemed like endless grief

and the need to wail, scream, expend,

howl with eruption

like the blood that gushes gummy and thick,

an outpouring of death amid my heaviest flow.

 

Is it no wonder

that the moon was in Scorpio

when I felt your stinging knife

pierce through my shroud?

 

Grief, tears,

a rage so deep it felt beyond me,

this skin, these cells,

the life I have lived these past 43 years.

 

Yet despite the depth

the tears flowed easily,

my diaphragm rising and falling

like a call to some other season,

the need to shed common, understood,

a cycle of molting and re-birth,

a ceremony of transition innate to every being.

 

So close to the surface

Om Kali Ma it felt like home,

so deep in my belly and loins

I know this goes beyond me,

to my sisters, my mother,

and all the blood that lay before.

To my children and their endless fighting,

to my nieces who have suffering

in their hearts and in their minds,

to my oldest friend with cancer

growing slowly in her body.

 

Om Kali Ma,

I knew you would be powerful,

I sensed it in the days preceding,

the subtle contraction and tightening

that pounded my temples,

Your Temple really,

this body if mine.

 

Om Kali Ma,

how could I have

forgotten you when I was young?

An innocent in frantic need

of your awesome, raging power,

feeling like grief would annihilate me,

ignorant of your other faces:

Re-birth, Creation, Liberation!

So I hid, held on tighter,

fled as though my life were in danger.

 

Yet is was the hiding

and tightness that ate me away,

small and pitiful I sat in my shadow,

needing release but being unable,

my fear an enemy of my most highest self,

until desperation finally grabbed me

and forced me to cry.

 

Om Kali Ma,

I grieve in knowing

that those I love do not know you,

have never been taught

The Power That Lies

In The Flames Of Your Destruction,

out of the ashes,

the chaos,

the fire burning hell

that inflicts everyone

and anyone

at some point or another,

Sprouts New Life.

 

How could I have lived

without you before now?

How does anyone?

These are fallen leaves, or leaves about to fall, from my hydrangea plant. They are completely in the process of dying, yet so beautiful to look at. In the end, all that will be left will be dirt; food for the next time around. This plant is actually feeding itself. And so the cycle continues! Happy Solstice and Happy New Year! Diana Ray

Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

I Am

photo (59)

I am Hawk.

Fearless, beautiful,

on the hunt for that which

sustains and nurtures.

I am part of a vast eco-system

from the tiny field mouse

that gives me life,

to the immense Sequioa

I nest my fertile eggs.

I am mother,

guarding with a fierce

gentleness that which

is a continued cycle of

birth, the hunt, and death.

Feel my instincts

as old and deep

as the rings that mark time,

from beginning, to end,

to beginning again.

photo (60)

I am Sunset.

Reflective, bright,

lulling millions of stories

of beauty, tragedy,

and the seam that lies betwixt .

To look at me is searing, melting.

The power to erode

that which does not serve,

the power to turn

even the darkest moment

to light.

Watch me until you melt

into the fertile waters

I sink into,

knowing that I will

rise and fall

and rise again.

photo (62)

I am Rose.

Opulent, simple,

my many folds, layers and scents

Grace on Earth.

Inhale my scent as medicine

to heal every collapsed cell,

inhale my fragrance to heal

every distorted memory.

Inhale that which is both You and I,

our sameness a picture

of the tiniest of particles,

a tetrahedron of oneness

that exists

in all of life.

photo (9)

Hawk, Sunset, Rose.

Our differences illusory,

our stories kindred.

Each a mirror image

of the Earth we are born from,

each a mirror image of

the You that is Me.

I come from the Earth too,

my story is the same;

I too eat to survive

I too melt to create

I too inhale the scent

that alchemically changes

this body and spirit

into what is old,

what is remembered,

what is Born Again.

 

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography by Diana Ray

January 2014 Flower Bowl and Happy New Year Wish

photo (57)

January 2014 Flower Bowl

(calendula , primrose, passion-flower, viola, heliotrope, pansy)

Wishing to slide down the rainbow into a Pot of Gold

to swim in the ocean and feel the vastness of Her womb,

Wishing for sight, and smell to overwhelm my senses

for Love to gush from my heart

like a fruit so ripe it bursts into sweetness

the moment it touches my tongue.

photo (55)

Happy New Year!

Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

Addiction Is Staying With Me For The Holidays

photo (67)

Her name Is Addiction

and she’s staying with me

for the holidays.

“Dee,” we call her for short.

 

Dee slipped into

my life

right before Thanksgiving,

and now has moved into

every room of the house.

 

Dee doesn’t care

that I have kids,

or drive a car

or go to work.

She lives by her own impulses,

and makes demands

that must be met

any time

at any moment

of any day.

 

What would happen

If I said, “no” is not known,

as Dee is very persuasive,

often leaving me feeling sleepy,

and malleable just enough,

so that a boundary,

any boundary,

can be pushed with ease.

 

Dee knows her visit is mixed;

intense pleasure

alongside intense angst;

angst over my permissiveness,

my everything is okay-ness,

over admitting

that I enjoy Dee

and her presence,

no matter how much

she burn’s me out.

And that I let her

get away with more shit,

than any other being

I have in my life.

 

I hope I don’t see Dee again

for some time (undefined).

Her stay is not forever,

and even she will know

when that stay

has been out welcomed,

slipping away

in the same manner

as always;

slow, languid,

a heavy trail of essence,

fragrant in every room,

reminding me

that she has been here

or is coming

and that I better be ready.

 

Diana Ray

Photography By Diana Ray

Mother Of The Flame

photo (54)

Oh Violet Mother, Mother of the flame,

I blow air on your heated presence,

become entranced as you grow.

Help me to stoke your embered breath,

feel your moistened hands on my skin,

so I may stand in the middle,

the center of your lotus flames,

and just melt.

photo (5)

photo (66)

Diana Ray/April Aronoff

Photography by Diana Ray

On Addiction, Letting Go, and Making Space For Magic

photo (59)

I can feel it too, almost like dipping your toe into a wonderfully warm, calm ocean, where that one contact vibrates down all your bones and you know it’s going to be good.

Diana Ray

photo (56)Photography By Diana Ray

Invocation to The Great Mother

photo (51)Inspired from within,

I remember ancient wisdom.

I am everything and nothing.

I am the holder of space,

its lushness

and emptiness,

flowing in and out like

dye mixed with water,

becoming singular and many,

as dark mixes with light.

 
I am the blesser of the body,

its birth, death, and passage

the symbol of the

ultimate wheel,

its shape a reminder

of She Who Is All.

 
I am the garden from within,

each cycle of seed, growth and compost

sublime food for the body,

each memory of maiden, mother and crone

divine food for the soul.

 
I am the creator of the vessel,

the endless circle,

the womb that we call

She, You and I,

its emptiness

potent and pulsing,

the well waiting

to be filled.

 
I am the one

who makes you

whole,

and empty,

and whole again,

through girlhood

and children

and the wise old grandmother,

the eternal knowledge

of life and mystery

locked in each second,

of every memory,

of All That Is You .

 
I am the empty honeycomb

once used to its fullness,

its silence and quiet

beckoning the full

and fertile again,

the remembrance of women and ancestry

locked into every hexagonal shape,

each side touching another,

each shape morphing the image,

mixing the one with the everything

the everything with the nothing

the fullness that I Am

the She that is You.

photo 3 (12)

 April Aronoff

10/25/13

Photography by April Aronoff

Reflections of a 28-Year Old, On Her Wedding Day

photo (14)

Throughout my life

I’d look to see myself

in the mirror on the wall,

in the water out in nature,

in the window that I’d pass

as I’d walk down the street.

 

But never did I see myself

till I looked at my reflection in you,

and saw for the first time,

-my face as you touched it,

-my hands as you held them,

-my lips as you kissed me,

who I am inside this body,

whole,

passionate,

full of creativity,

and felt your hug

as familiar

as touching

my own skin.

 

Diana Ray

written to her husband on their wedding day, 15 years ago

Sacred Prayer I.

Kwan Yin, Goddess of Compassion

Kwan Yin, Goddess of Compassion

This was an affirmation I said almost daily for many years. I wrote it sometime in 2005/6, when Louis and Aiden were babies and life was terribly difficult. It was my mantra, and the thing that kept me tethered when everything else was falling apart.
Diana Ray

Sacred Prayer I.

I pray to God
to help me dig deep,
to help me find
that place of inner peace,
inside me.
Patience,
calmness,
light,
love.
To help it flow
from my center,
and touch all of me;
my toes,
my fingertips,
all of my surfaces,
so I can carry this
out into the world,
touching everything I love,
and helping that too,
find peace.

One Year Later…

One Year Later….

I began this blog one year ago, as a means of promoting myself as a writer. Over the course of 4 years, I wrote a memoir about my family of origin, something that was both liberating and incredibly painful to re-experience.  I am very thankful that I took this history of myself, that it is all in written word. My intention was and is to share this story with the world, if I am so blessed. I was a child of a Jewish middle class family through the 70’s and 80’s. This was complete with any number of atrocities that can happen within families: fraud, adultery, incest, eating disorders, mental health issues, verbal abuse… I am one of many who have lived to tell the tale.

But one year later, this is no longer my goal. What started as structured (writing essays on my crazy family-life with special needs kids), began to grow and grow, and morph and change, and grow some more. My blog, which is truly my heart’s desire, is full of many things; essay, poetry, children’s poems. I have delved into the deeply spiritual, and reflected it back in my writing. I am active with other writers through online media (new as of June 2013). I am putting it out there, that I would like to share more.

This next year is going to be about my family of origin, that much is clear. This includes not only my parents and siblings, but ancestry as well. There is much pain converging presently with my family of origin, and I know that pain runs deep in our blood-line. So much pain passed down from one generation to another, never healed, always raw… This continues to live on today, in my sibling’s family, and of course, my own.
If you want to learn more about me, continue to read “Who Am I,” for specifics. Or, you can read any of my post’s….

Diana Ray

One Year Celebration To Me (and pep talk)!

I kick off one year of blogging by getting down and dirty with life. I plan to bear my soul, I have a feeling. I hope you enjoy my writing along the way!

Diana Ray

One Year Celebration To Me (and pep talk)!
I.
The more
honest
I can be
about life,
the more
I will
become unplugged.
As the plug opens,
energy flows;
desire
senuality
fire.
Who knew
getting unplugged
could be
so easy?

II.
Being honest
about life
includes
other people
that are
close to you.
Other people
may not
like that.
What r
you going
to do?

Walking The Line

Another poem from 2011. Life is so interesting; my thoughts regarding this particular topic are quite different now. Would love to hear from readers who have enjoyed my work. Many of you are mighty talented yourselves!

Diana Ray

Walking The Line

I fought it off
as long as I could.

I picked up my kid,
came home
and pulled weeds,
met with the gardener,
and cooked dinner.
My mind went
back and forth
like a ping-pong ball
in slow motion.

I desperately wanted to,
like a runner
wants a long drink
after a 10-mile run
in 80 degree heat,
completely necessary
and ultimately satisfying.

But the tug of reason
had a loud voice too.

“If you do it,
you will be a slug.
You will listen to music
while you wash the dishes,
then watch t.v
til you are so heavy-lidded
and lethargic,
you can barely make it
up to bed.

You’ll wake up
in the night
having to pee sooo bad,
your mouth
as dry and cottony
as that humming bird nest
found in the tree
the other day.
But you won’t get up,
as the slush
in your head
anchors you to bed,
it’s heaviness outweighing
even the worst needs
to pee and drink.”

But it’s been
a long week
and I’ve worked
really hard.
At my full time job
I go to every day,
and as a parent
of two small boys
who are close in age.
One of them so sweet,
but going through
a screaming phase,
the other quite difficult
and sometimes unpredictable,
leaving me
never quite sure
how life will be.

So why can’t I relax
and just do what I want?

Is it because
I never find the time
to write or submit my work,
something I talk about often,
but have yet to do,
the knowledge that
if I give in,
nothing creative
will ever get done?

Or does it remind me
too much
of life 12 years ago,
when I gave in every day
and was truly miserable.
More because I couldn’t deal
with a painful childhood
than anything else.
I was a basket case then.

But now is different
and I’ve accomplished a lot.
I’ve gone to therapy
and learned to cry,
I’ve had it out with my folks
and still remained friends,
I’ve more than survived
a 15-year relationship
that is still going strong,
and I’ve discovered
that I love to write.

So I deserve this night
of music and boobing,
of walking out
into my beautiful garden,
and feeling so gently
that soft and tiny
humming bird nest
I found the other day,
being extra careful
not to disturb it,
as the slightest wrong move
would make it all go away.

So I retire the ping-pong ball
and put the kids to bed,
get the music playing
as loud as it will go,
knowing I have
about 30-minutes to clean,
before my favorite show is on,
and step through
the laundry room door
into the chilly night air,
the side of the house
so incredibly lush
with fresh flowers and plants
I put in last week,
its fragrance of Earth
reminding me
of how much
I love to garden,
and turn my body
so the slight breeze
will not put out my flame,
as I take a big toke.

What I Know

What I Know

So what do I know?
That I waver between feeling horribly irritable
and highly anxious,
that there is something beneath all this irritable anxiety,
a thing I can only guess is Big.
I know I must let it have a voice,
have a say,
allow its presence to exist,
despite my rigidity.
I know I must cut back on *M&M’s
or even take a break altogether,
although I really don’t want to.

How I Feel

I feel lost, like I am drifting.
I have this beautiful house and yard,
created by others
that is now my home.
Part of me is complete,
amidst the lovely views and bright, expansive rooms,
while the rest waits patiently
for solidity to come.
The ground sliding
like mini-earth quakes beneath my feet.
Good thing I know how to dance!

What I Fear

Being 100% present in this life,
makes me want to flee my body
as fast as a flea.
I see myself becoming
angry and hostile daily,
eventually changing
into a fire breathing dragon.
Not the kind of metamorphosis
I had in mind….
Sound like anyone I know?
Who have I defined
with these words
my entire life?
My mother.

The Experience

Her anger resonates through me.
Its rage really, rage over
thoughtless, countless
wrong doings,
things she let happen
her entire adult life.
(Sorry if I sound judgmental)
Trying to contain all that pain
is not possible.
So it leaked out as poison…..
and the fire breathing dragon was born.

More Fear

I had an idea earlier,
that there is another she out there,
with a garden wall like mine,
who instead of tearing it down
like her heart’s desire,
leaves it,
because everyone says
it is so beautiful.
And while it is truly beautiful,
it is not the wish…..
The wish is for lushness and life
that go beyond the boundaries of one, stucco wall.
The garden would look more beautiful than ever…..
But she never does it.
And my mother never leaves my father.
And I never let my irritability, anxiety or anger have a voice.
Except I would never that let happen.

Feeling Hope

Someone once told me
that I was the part of the family tree
where history changes,
where healing takes place,
on an ancestral level.
My great-grandmother shot my great-grandfather,
and my grandfather witnessed it as a boy.
That is only one story in a million
that exist between my two parents,
and most of the stories
I don’t even know.
This is my blood, where I come from.
So much family pain resides in our cells….
How can it not,
when pain is passed
to the next generation
like DNA?

More Hope

We inherit patterns of living
whose dysfunction becomes more etched
with each generation that is born.
When do we say, “No more!?”
When do we let grief and pain surface,
let vulnerability rise,
so they can be released
into the cosmos-
sunbeams from the the soul.
When energy flows the answers come,
the unknown becomes known,
and the floodgates of love, passion, and creativity open.
Sure, you may barf along the way,
and experience bouts of hyperventilating,
and possibly horrible dreams.
But I say, “Bring it on baby,”
I say, “Bring it on.”

Diana Ray
See the below post for more info on M&M’s
http://runninginwater.com/2012/10/19/growing-hair-on-my-chest/

Ode to Oliver (& Company)

photo (45)

I wrote this piece in my early 20’s, about my childhood experience of owning and giving away many beloved dogs. The picture I am referring to was sent to me by my mother, while at sleep away camp for 8 weeks.

 

Ode to Oliver (& Company)

In this picture you are my pal. It says, “Diana, I live you and miss you! Your pal, Oliver.” Woof! Oliver, where did you go? I miss your shaggy presence, the way you chased cars down the street, growled at the wall while you ate, licked my face leaving strands of goo across my cheek, and loved me so unconditionally. Oliver, where did you go? Oh yes, now I remember; you were dog #2 in a long line of dogs that were given away, 6 to be exact, not including the one we got and returned to the pound the very same day. Dogs that ran with me in the woods, let me lay on them while watching TV, dogs I grew to love intensely-each and every one as if they were mine forever. Until one day they were taken away, leaving nothing behind but a hole in my heart with a note stuck inside, “Tough luck kid, dogs just don’t last forever!” And the story goes that when it came to dogs #5 & 6, I gave them away, told them to go, never quite learning that something soft and fuzzy and feeling so, so good, can indeed be more than just a memory.

I am proud to say that I did finally get it! I have 2 amazing dogs, Linus and Snoopy! It was a conscious decision to get a dog, as a way of helping center our family around something positive and loving! And it worked! Linus arrived in June of 2012, Snoopy in May of 2013, and our family just glows in their presence. I now understand that giving away those poor dogs was a mirror for how dysfunctional my childhood family was.

Diana Ray

Cleaning

5/22/13: This is the first poem I have written since 2011. Funny, I had just told myself that it would be awhile before I would write poetry again. I had to “really be in that space,” and somehow that space felt far away. Yet voila! I love writing poetry. It was so au natural, I hope more are on their way!

Cleaning
By Diana Ray

My brain feels like tangled vines
in desperate need of a good prune.
“What’s going on up there?”
I yell through cupped hands.
“Come find out,” a voice looms,
a small hint of taunting just audible
around the edges.
So I go.
I grab my best pruners,
biggest compost bag,
some good for the Earth plant food,
and just go.
What I will find
I won’t know till I’m there,
and see for myself
how much I untangle
how much I cut away
how much I say, “My good-ness,
who knew you were even in there?”

It’s going to be difficult,
clearing that overgrown space
I call my brain,
but it’s time.
I need to hear my thoughts
know what I stand for,
and try to face what is presently so scary,
I can feel the edges of my resistance
every time I breathe.
“I’m coming,” I yell
as I begin to run fast.
I am scared shitless.

The Witch With No Hat

In my early 30’s I took a stab at children’s story writing. I have a couple of bi-products from this I would love to share, this one included. It makes me laugh when I read it, and given my past few days, I need some childlike humor. Really this should appear around Halloween, but in the mean time you can eat some chocolate while you read this. I hope you like it!

Diana Ray

The Witch With No Hat
written sometime in 2000

There once was a witch
who wore no hat,
she lived in a house
with a fat old cat.

She had a long broom
and a long black dress,
her tangled hair-
a nesty mess.

Now this witch with no hat
and her fat old cat,
liked to fly her big broom
across the sky and back.

They loved to do tricks
go fast and then slow,
do twirlies, write letters,
put on a broom show!

“Why bother with wearing
a big old hat?
It’ll fall off, I’ll lose it,”
she told her fat cat.

But late one night
after surfing a cloud,
that witch began sneezing
and wheezing out loud!

She went to the doctor
and was promptly told,
“My dear, what you have
is a bad witch’s cold.
If your going to fly
and do tricks with your cat,
you must keep warm–
you must wear a hat.”

“A hat?” cried the witch,
“Never, no way.
I’ve never needed a hat
when I’ve gone out to play!
I’ve done twirlies, wrote letters
flown fast with my cat!
I’ve never, ever, needed a hat!”

“Well,” said the doctor
huffing up where he sat,
“A hat you do need,
and that is that!”

So the witch went home
and moaned in her bed,
“How can I ever
put a hat on my head?”

Then one day while resting
with her cat in the sun,
she got an idea
and that idea was fun!

I will wear a hat!”
she declared all around.

“My hat will be the greatest hat in town!
It’ll sparkle and speckle
be purple and green,
be shiny and slimy-
maybe even look mean!

“I’m a witch after all!
A witch with a cat!
I fly on a broom,
I must wear a hat!”

So the witch and the cat
looked online and in stores,
they went to the mall
and searched all the floors.

“No! No!” roared the witch
looking at hat after hat.
“Too simple, too tiny,
too ugly!” she spat.
“My hat must be great,
the best hat in town!
The shiniest and slimiest
and greenest around!”

And just as that witch
and that cat gave up hope,
they spied something sparkly, and speckly
–no joke.

And as they got close
they couldn’t believe,
it was shiny and slimy
and purple and green!

“My hat!” cried the witch
as she snatched it right up,
she placed it on her head
and spoke, chin up,

“I am a witch!”
With the grandest of hats!
I ride on a broom!
With a big, fat old cat!”

“My hat is the greatest hat of all!
It sparkles, it speckles,
it stands above all!”

“It’s shiny and slimy,
and purple and green,
when I wear this hat,
I look terribly mean!”

So the witch and the cat
and their brand new hat,
flew off on their broom
to Sanscatchitat.
They did twirlies,
wrote letters,
with that hat on her head,
and she never took it off
not even in bed.

When I Was Really Depressed

Here is another poem from 2011. I remember it was the first poem I wrote that I felt proud of. Pride being one of the few feelings I was able to connect to at the time, as you will read in this poem. So funny- emotionally my life right now is extremely intense. Two years ago I was so depressed I felt almost nothing.


Untitled 2

By Diana Ray

I feel flat, flat, flat.
Pancake flat, envelope flat, mirror flat.
Except that mirrors reflect 3-dimensional objects
despite their 2- dimensional surface.
Where is my dimension, my depth?
My bumpy surfaces and intricate valleys
that catch both pain and joy?
It has been replaced by dull smoothness
and complacent boundaries,
my flatness blending into everything around me
leaving me numb,
like ice on a once throbbing wound
you can pinch but not feel,
the ice doing its job of easing the pain.
So what do I do?
I want to feel anything really
anything but this blah.
I will take it served up on a silver platter
even all the awful stuff,
a double special of grief served with extra anger,
I don’t care.
I’m just tired of feeling flat.
My smoothness and lack of definition
preventing me from clicking
into the edges of things I most love in life.
Connections that moved me and drove me so deep,
they may as well have been my veins.
So how do I stop being so flat, so reflective of this life
when all I wish to do is absorb?
If only I could reach in my pocket and pull out a chisel
and begin hacking away at all this flatness
till it is scratchy and rough.
Anything to catch anything, really.
Just to get me started
just to get me feeling
anything but flat.

Toenail Hash

This is a poem I wrote over 20 years ago. It was written during a time when I was struggling with poetry class in college, until the light suddenly turned on and the words just flowed. It’s pretty morbid, which speaks to the fact that I had no clue who I was at the time, and was reading a lot of Anne Rice (who wrote the Vampire Lestat and other wonderful other-worldly books.)

Toenail Hash
Written by Diana Ray sometime in 1992

She likes to eat toenails for breakfast.
Her feet are plucked
like a pigs with bloody hooves
hanging from a wire in a Chinese store
I saw once on vacation.
Ribbed, when touched.
Her favorite is salted pinky nail
with just a bit of cuticle along the edges,
doused with lemon
this makes it just right.
I watch her some mornings
impatient for her body
to regenerate its lost flesh,
massaging in dripped saliva
as it falls in heavy strands
from where she stands drooling.
I felt sympathetic
and went out and bought her
10 little toy helmets,
one for each toe,
so as to encourage her body
to makes its own.
But even then after a week or so
any signs of life are hastily pitched
into a hot frying pan
full of olive oil and basil.
She offers me a little and I try it,
all the while staring in heat
at my own toes,
tucked and rotting
beneath an old pair of Nikes
and emerald ragwool socks.
“Everything dies,” she tells me solemnly.
“There are no preservatives to buy,
not even the ones we eat can help.
Eventually you will be nothing
but a mass of dead skin cells
aged and sallow
yellowing like lumps
of curdled milk gone bad.”
I picture this as she speaks
and slowly remove my sneakers and socks,
my feet a damp fleshy mass of seaweed,
and allow her to rip my toenails off
one by one
which we fry up in fresh garlic and onion,
a delicacy.
Afterwards I lay satiated
and wonder how long it will be
until my own toe nails grow back
so I can cook them in honey and butter
which is my favorite.

Crossroads

Here is another poem I wrote during that period where I was battling depression while off medication.  I was writing a lot of poetry at the time, which was a tremendous outlet for me.  I had written some poetry briefly in college, which touched something deep in me.  I have written few poems since then, except for a few bouts here and there, like this batch of poems I’ll likely post.  Feel free to give feedback.  For all I know, I suck.

 Crossroads

By Diana Ray

 Where do I find my courage,

my confidence,

to face the unknown?

What is the unknown really?

Scary for some;

a quiet walk to the store

to buy some milk and eggs,

when suddenly the unknown

snatches you and runs.

The typical life you lived

suddenly gone,

as the unknown holds a gun to your head

and makes you walk down a path

you know is not safe.

Then there is the stalker unknown,

the kind you know is there but never see.

It’s presence dropping

threatening hints of proximity,

making you glance over your shoulder all day

or wake up at night drenched in sweat.

Until eventually you call the police

and get a restraining order,

but even that doesn’t help,

as the unknown finds you anyway,

demanding everything you love.

And you grieve for the loss,

because no matter what you did,

you couldn’t keep the unknown away.

But for others the unknown

is a great adventure,

and the unknown is welcome

with open arms.

Life suddenly turns

as the unknown beckons,

its whispers a call it’s time to explore.

Valleys here, caves there,

a meandering of trails

leading any which way.

Trails with names like,

“You’ll Know When You Get There,”

or

“If I told You, It Would Spoil The Fun,”

with final destinations left any which way.

But it’s on these trails

that miracles occur.

The sighting of a bluebird

as it gathers twigs for its nest,

the witness of a mama bear and her cubs,

as they catch fish in the river.

And the sun is setting

and the sky is drizzled with pink,

and the river is bouncing

and buzzing with all kinds of life,

and it’s all so glorious

you can’t help but catch your breath.

And you have only the unknown to thank

for taking you out of your comfort zone

and shaking things up.

That’s the beauty of the unknown;

what can seem like utter grief

can turn into the most unexpected joy.

Not always easy,

not always fun,

but in the end

if perseverance and not fear

is the trip that you take,

if determination

becomes that beautiful piece

you hang on your wall for all to admire,

then the unknown becomes known.

Different than before,

but with just as much meaning.

Because you had faith

because it was part your creation,

because you let it be known.

Diana Ray (written sometime in 2011)