30 years ago today, Easter Sunday 1990 (April 15 of that year), my fiancé/soulmate & I experienced the first of three miscarriages of our three and half year relationship. We were kids, both 19.
Back then there was no internet, we didn’t know where to go get support, no easy way of knowing that we were not unique in this. But it happened twice more during the next two & half years. Each time got harder, harder to come back from. Eventually our relationship ended, in no small part due to the stresses & sadnesses of those three losses; although there were other circumstances complicating things too.
I have never fully recovered from the loss; almost daily wonder what different paths my life would have taken had I become a father way back then. It damaged me in ways I didn’t understand for decades. It took almost 25 years to “process” the grief (even though I still feel it) but eventually my alter-ego wrote & staged a 1-woman play which got much of the pain out of me … & enabled me to find a fragile kind of peace. Naturally, I’ve written countless poems about it. & every Na/GloWriPoMo the poem on April 15 or Easter Sunday is bound to explore it in some way. That’s another little gift: the fact that it has two “anniversaries” which have only aligned once in the last 30 years.
Also helping is the fact that a once young person I taught drama to writes about her miscarriages so honestly, lovingly, & beautifully on facebook (that often trite medium). I believe her words are profoundly positive & healing for me, herself, her partner, friends & family, & no doubt many others. I also love how someone I once taught is now teaching me. Thanks, Alice, for giving me the courage to write this post so openly & reinforcing the serenity to know it’s okay on those days when coping doesn’t seem possible.
pandemic for one
this disease : infects & reinfects my mind : repeatedly : over decades : every easter : of course : but christmases too : birthdays : facebook posts : of friends celebrating : first days of school : & 21sts : & weddings : & births of grandkids : & just about anything fucking else : can set it off : a time bomb explosion : of regret : anger : what ifs : why mes : & i wonders :
there is no herd immunity : i am the herd : reinfection is frequent : sometimes more virulent : than ever before : the curve has not flattened : the only cure : a wormhole
For about a decade of my life, Saturdays in Autumn & Winter meant sport: football & netball. For the first time in forever, that’s how I spent my Saturday.
it’s as if I’ve just finished playing u/17s
& we’ve come down to watch our girlfriends
(or more likely) those we wish were —
except the ones i played with are fat & bald
& the girls i once fancied, grey & chubby
everything else — the tinkle of coins
as goals rustle metal nets; the wild calls
of support; the choc of ball on court;
insistent whistle chirps; the scent
of homemade soup; kids queuing
for lollies too excited to choose;
others sausagerolling down the mound;
stars of yesterday cunningly disguised
as grandmothers; repeated complaints
about the too cold wind — the same
the minor differences — infinitely
more stylish uniforms; better hair
cuts (only one mullet); & everywhere
smartphones plastered to every palm
sadly there’s still that one jerk
father cheering too hard; screaming
pressure pressure; always over
aggressively; threatening to blow
his gasket; as if a gold medal
is on the line
BONUS POEM: April 13, 2018
A slightly lighter toned pome, just for some variety.
The North Face
to be the current
for the fashion
— or it would still be
if not for the fact
for her & dad
as if from a cliff
Several poems started, then a last minute contender rushed in demanding to be completed with 37 minutes till midnight to go. Such is the joy of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Further complications were added when my wireless keyboard batteries went flat & I had to see if any of my dozen or so randomly distributed rechargeable batteries had enough charge to fire this badboy back up. 49 combinations later, little green light was go.
the speed of light
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
for the foreseeable future my favourite
star is going to be 12 Ophiuchi
a main-sequence orange-red dwarf
BY Draconis-type variable star
in the east central corner
of Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer
at around 83 percent of Sol’s mass
85 to 100 percent of its diameter
& being similarly as enriched
in elements heavier than hydrogen
as our sun it is a semi-sort kind of a twin
i guess, i don’t really know much
about the astrophysiwhatsit specs
the reason i’m interested in
this faint little blip of light
in a relatively unknown
constellation is simple
it is 31.89 light-years away
which means the light my eye
is trampolining onto the back
of my retina & zipping off up
the optic nerve to my visual cortex
left the star 31.89 years ago
which according to my (admittedly
roughly hewn calculations)
… is about 3 days before we first met
BONUS POEM: April 4, 2018
(A Poetic Interpretation of the 12 Rules of Driving on Italian Roads)
i’m just kidding of course
there’s no such list
Watched the 2010 episode of Doctor Who “Vincent and the Doctor”. A strange episode, with a monster that doesn’t really work — but such a lovely character piece that you overlook that (or I did anyway).
It ends with a sentimental, though for me, still deeply moving scene, where a lonely misunderstood Van Gogh (who sold only one painting in his life) is whizzed through time by Amy & the Doctor to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, to see an exhibition of his work & hear a beautiful (if slightly mawkish, so what!) speech by Art Historian disguised as Bill Nighy on his place in the history of art.
who would not : given the chance : like to be whisked : jimmy stewart : wonderful life style : into your future : to see that : your love of strong sunlight : your thick brush strokes : your colour : your colour : your colour : your ability to transform : torment : your understanding : of ecstasy : the swirling double life : of your stars : your need to create : something greater : than yourself : was a masterpiece : despite : your doubts : despite you : not knowing : the sadness : actually : won’t last : forever
This poem is a Title Poem taken from titles unused from yesterday.
Arrrggghhhh! Just seeing the titles, makes me wanna read about a dozen of these books right now!
take the underground road
the narrow road to the deep north
to the magic mountain
where the pagan lord
gives instructions for breathing
demonstrates magic tricks
& time machines
are repaired while-U-wait