Category Archives: poetry
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-
This is me before surgery-
This is me after surgery:
Here is my new hat-
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.
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
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.
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.”
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 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.
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
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.
From Riding Effortlessly, another great post from leroywatson.