Category Archives: poetry

Alone on my wild island

Alone on my wild island.

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Skulls Never Frown

Skulls Never Frown.

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Running On Empty

Running On Empty.

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Call of the Mystic

Call of the Mystic.

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Tomorrow I go back to work

Since March 14th I’ve been on disability leave, endured and been given a lot of changes (e.g. gotta move, can’t afford to live in my awful basement apartment), pain (tempered and made somehow worse by using powerful prescribed narcotic pain meds), poverty (well, that’s just basic- no frills), new life with a new friend (lover, sweetheart), surgery, hospital, inability to walk, blah blah blah. This will be my first major new post since I’ve been on this journey. It will be my last before I return to work.

Here is my new bag to take to work-

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This is me before surgery-

(p)selfportrait

This is me after surgery:

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Here is my new hat-

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So much stuff-

First, here is my friend Steve’s MySpace music page. He’s one of my favorite musicians, one of my oldest friends. There was a time we wrote together and made music for friends. He has always been great, he has gotten even better and he is a terrific person.

My friend, Dr. Jack, is continuing his fight against the Beast as a now retired, former employee who doesn’t have to keep his mouth shut. I have so much from Jack that I hesitate to post anything. e writes to me about daily. Here is an excerpt from one email. No names are used.

The old building. Everything is all better now, since we have a bright shiny, new, cramped, walled, horizon-free, super-secure new Beast.

The old building. Everything is all better now, since we have a bright shiny, new, cramped, walled, horizon-free, super-secure new Beast.

OSH-Hallway of the damned

Below are excerpts from an email to an OSH friend (by sending this, I am trying to help others see my own thinking as we approach our discussion, and spur new ideas by community people which will be the most important ones):  (emboldened only to set the whole of it off from this email to all of you; not for dramatic emphasis)
My vision is that if we assemble and talk about our experiences together with interested community individuals, we will be able to elicit their understanding of the grave situation at OSH [no pun intended   🙂  ], and hopefully arouse their passion about doing something.  They have the power.  They can have the OSH sucker punches thrown at them and those punches will miss, because they are outside the range of being hurt by that shit.  They have the power to say, “We won’t play the game that way.  I demand that we play by fair rules, or we will expose that the game is rigged.”  You and anyone still attached to OSH will need to safely just watch and cheer on, and those outside in the vantaged positions will be able to tell by the responses from those within if their efforts to change to a fair game are being effective.  (Many inside) have already risked more than should be expected.  Healing time for (them).  Reinforcements will be coming, or the alternative is the one for you that you have already described — find a different ballpark with no bullies in it.
An excerpt from my email yesterday to another OSH psychologist (talking about an OSH administrator):
I do think that you should not trust (him) and the appearance of good will.  He is truly intent on getting the “treatment” of Recovery moving, but he really doesn’t capture the connection you are making between those “treatment” principles and similar principles related to best management practices, and to just healthy human relationships in general.  Just the fact that (he) isn’t using the Peer Specialists and some excellent patients who are versed and more directly experienced with these principles shows his continued belief that he and other nominal hospital leaders are the ones to educate staff.  That itself reveals his unawareness that in a Recovery culture, the people receiving services are central to all decisions — personal, system-wise, and political — about Recovery implementation.  There are excellent examples of inpatient Recovery being implemented in the U.S. (not many, but of good quality), and a person I know who is a national leader is sending me a presentation she recently made back East about the success in a hospital there and what it took.  The circumstances there, though, involve the consumer survivors themselves being in leadership positions together with traditional providers, and psychiatrists and other professionals following their recommendations and advisement.  (The administrator) sees himself as the center of OSH change, and he is ruthless in protecting his fragile hold on that self-promoting way of seeing things.  He is not creating a culture change to Recovery; he is trying to change the “psychiatric treatment” approach to Recovery while still using a medical model management structure to “enforce” it.  Thus we can understand his almost tantrum-like coercive responses when he sees the “patient” (Recovery-oriented personnel) being “treatment resistant”  (suggesting to him that perhaps they know what is best for themselves, and that they can help him assist them better if he would just listen).  But, his support of psychiatrists being the ones to lead OSH Recovery reveals that he continues to use the medical model “doctor knows best” fallacious reasoning about what patients need.”
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Other Jack stuff or receieved from Jack:
Excerpt:
Tuesday, 11 June, 2013 – 11:49

If ever there’s a time for youngsters to understand what’s happening to their brain during puberty, it’s now.

The founder of Life Education, Trevor Grice, says the pressure of society, the increase in youth suicide and easy access to drugs and alcohol make it essential for young people to understand what’s going on inside their heads.

However he says it must be explained to them using today’s technology and in a language they relate to.

As a result the Life Education Trust is developing a digital brain that youngsters can look inside, see what happens during puberty and how drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and relationships affect how it works.

This year Life Education is celebrating its 25th anniversary in New Zealand and has committed itself to developing the latest technology to engage with primary and intermediate students.

At its annual conference last month the latest mobile classroom – its 45th – was unveiled which the Trust considers will propel it into the next 25 years as a relevant and essential player in the health curriculum.

The technology demonstrated to John Key, who opened the conference, replicated his skeleton and organs and demonstrated to him how they work so he can have a greater understanding of his own body.

To this technology, which will be rolled out into every mobile classroom, Trevor Grice intends to introduce the digital brain.

New HUD Olmstead Guidance Step in Right Direction

Washington — June 5, 2013 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued new guidance on how the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the
Olmstead case applies to HUD’s programs and activities. The guidance makes clear that HUD and entities that receive financial assistance from HUD must provide housing for people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Integrated settings, according to the guidance, are “those that provide individuals with disabilities opportunities to live, work, and receive services in the greater community, like individuals without disabilities.” 

Examples of integrated settings include scattered-site apartments providing supportive housing, rental subsidies that enable individuals with disabilities to obtain housing on the open market, and apartments for individuals with disabilities scattered throughout housing developments. “By contrast,” the guidance states, “segregated settings are occupied exclusively or primarily by individuals with disabilities.”

The guidance is intended to better educate state and local housing agencies, housing developers, and housing providers on their obligations under the “integration mandate” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  To make real the promise of the ADA, the guidance instructs, “additional integrated housing options scattered throughout the community” are needed.      

In issuing the guidance, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan recognized that the “Olmsteaddecision-and subsequent voluntary Olmstead planning and implementation, litigation by groups representing individuals with disabilities, and Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice enforcement efforts-is creating a dramatic shift in the way services are delivered to individuals with disabilities.” He affirmed that “HUD is committed to offering housing options that enable individuals with disabilities to live in the most integrated settings possible and to fully participate in community life.” 

“We are encouraged by the issuance of this guidance and its important recognition that HUD-subsidized housing must afford people with disabilities the chance to live in the most integrated setting,” said Jennifer Mathis, director of programs for the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. “The vast majority of people with disabilities want to live in ordinary housing. We hope this guidance will spark development across the country of mainstream housing for people with disabilities.”  

   ### 

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (www.bazelon.org) is the leading national legal-advocacy organization representing people with mental disabilities. It promotes laws and policies that enable people with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities to exercise their life choices and access the resources they need to participate fully in their communities. 

For media inquiries, please contact Dominic Holt at mailto:Dominic@bazelon.org or 202.467.5730, ext. 311.

Teh Bad Margarita at Newport Bay Restaurant

Teh Bad Margarita at Newport Bay Restaurant

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Great new posts from my favorite blogs-
A is For… (The Procrastitorian)
and please don’t miss this one-
Riding Effortlessly (Leroy Watson)
reaction

reaction

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balance stick

balance stick

dinner time

[ani]Home_made_Whisky is it-
tumblr_lwuo5x1vC51r861j5o1_500 [caturday] training the cat
36 days (1)
you may be high ch130605 Duckling-Falling-Asleep-on-Desk RD67 RD8V mmmmmmm bacon The New Yorker

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Filed under animated gif, cats, comedy relief, CS/X movement, mp3, Music, Mystic Poetry, personal story, pictures, poetry, Re-blogged

Disturbed

Disturbed.

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Just so you know

I kept it to myself this year. I had a sleepless night.

It snuck up on me- April 5th- I had actually managed to convince myself that it wasn’t even April, really. I saw no date on the calendar. I didn’t realize until about 5 pm on April 4th. Then it was like a bag of bricks. Or an ocean of tears.

Then, like smoke, it was over, gone. No harm no foul. It was something different than my usual coping/ denial. I really want her to move on. I’m concerned for her. She lives in my heart, no matter, but I want her to face ahead. I want this for me too.

“May all be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.”

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Here she is laughing with her brothers. They are both grown men.

Yesterday was Andrew’s birthday. I want to give him a Goopymart shirt. but I need to wait until I get my first disability check. I called, he was at work. I texted. Later he texted back, we had a conversation. I miss him- he is so far. Just down in the Bay Area, so I guess not so far. He has a Berkeley PO box. Not certain where he and Chris live right now.

Matt is close by. Just in Beaverton. I went to his house last Sunday night to watch Game of Thrones He made a casserole. It was delicious. He made enough that he can have it for several days. I bet it’s gone now though.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Holding a butterfly in our front yard.

This is in the front yard of where the kids grew up. The house we had from when Matt was born until both he and Andrew were men. It is unfortunate that we lost this house- I lost this house- because after all my breakdowns, after all my years of grief beyond speaking, after all my lost jobs and the ruins of my career we went into foreclosure.

Moved into that rental on Flavel that burned down and took so much of our life with it. No, correct that- it didn’t take any life; it only took stuff. Everyone, including the pets, was safe.

This next is cropped from the huge picture taken at Falcon Crest in the summer of 1989. You can find the original big version around here somewhere.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

Even this cropped version is bigger than this- click for full size.

I wrote a song. Well, I wrote lots of songs. This one was called “Erin’s Ghost”. It was written when I still had so much anger with God I almost couldn’t pray without spitting. I wonder how it works as a poem… Since I don’t have the right equipment to record it now and I’ve lost the earlier recordings. It’s actually a prayer. If you read between the lines you might hear the spitting. No more spitting for me. God has whispered into my heart, and here, near the end of my life, has opened me to love. Maybe I’ll call it-

Ashes of Your Love

All the labor of my days

All the sweetness of my nights

All the times that I have cursed or have ignored You

The times I’ve touched You

The greatest joy I have ever known

I will undertake to lay these down before You

Because life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Don’t look for me below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

There is nothing but the ashes of Your love

You brought to me a baby girl

She was tired, she was sore

And You gave me dreams that I could love or even heal her

But for the time that she was mine

We shared too many bitter tears

Lord there were even days I could not bear to feel her

She had more pain to bear than joy

More to teach than she could learn

God she was deeper than her vision could yet show her

Still as my heart counts the years

She is never growing old

I’m left to reflect upon the grace it was to know her

Well, they say, “God cuts the thread”

So it was in her 14th year

That You allowed that she should end

Her own becoming

I could not believe it true

When I saw her lying dead

Though I held until

The chill of her was numbing

And still life burns away

As a fire is consumed

Do not look for me below or up above

For only one thing will remain

Of what is gone without a trace

Lord there’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

It’s hard to believe that she was right

And everything has turned out wrong

There was so much more to life she’d never tasted

I just pray that it’s true

As Your saints have often said

That there is no love in this world that’s ever wasted

But life burns away

Just as a fire is consumed

You will not find me down below or up above

Only one thing will remain

Of that which is gone without a trace

There’s nothing but the ashes of Your love

1992

1992

I love you, my first baby, my only daughter, my life’s greatest teacher, the one I once thought would never abandon me. You are with the loving Friend, move to even greater light, find your heart’s desire. And in all the worlds, the infinite worlds beyond counting, in which you still live, show your fire. Shine so brightly no one can keep from seeing your wild, beautiful fire.

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Welcome!

Welcome!.

Shawn Bird’s very excellent soup.

Also check out Leanne Cole’s photography here.

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In The Mystery

In The Mystery.

Just another great post/ poem from Leroy W.

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Walking the White Cliffs with Jose – 29th January 2013

Walking the White Cliffs with Jose – 29th January 2013.

From Riding Effortlessly, another great post from leroywatson.

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