National Poetry Month: A Return to the Ghazal
I originally wrote this poem on April 11, 2017 but debated posting it on my blog. It chronicles a journey I took recently, where it felt like my internal self was being erased by others and my story disregarded or distorted by others. I am still recovering from the aftermath of that. So for those who have experience gaslighting and abuse, know that you are not alone. Your story is valid; your experiences and truth is valid and important. (More background below the fractal.)
A Ghazal: Pain
Each breath pumps my lungs against a cage
Each step rattles my bones with howls of pain.
Bitter cold nips at my face – ices over my eyes
Crystals weave into my skin, spikes of terror.
Upgraded like a computer, I am no longer me,
Fight the subtle ruse, emboldened with sorrow.
Tick Tock, the clock warbles its soothing tune,
Up I float, twisted and gnarled, bitter with despair.
Endless fractals spiral out into infinity-
each yearn to escape the searing burns.
My upgrades don’t work as designed, fiddle, adjust,
Pressure mounts — the seams explode violently.
A knife subtly pointed, a turn of the head,
Darting, knowing look stabs — deadly laceration.
Dance to the tune of the subtle flute
Cry to whispered criticism, each twist an agony.
Circular, journey back to the source eternal
Roll back to my core, a burning ember of ruin.
Speak with the timbres of angels and demons
Each laced with the spirits of thunderous misery.
Hope twists and spins like a tornado howling,
Ignite the past to sweep out the vestiges of pain.
Fractal created in Aphophysis 7.x, where I used the geometry of a disc and the Julian 3D to create what looks like the innards of a machine. I wanted to represent what it felt like to have someone try to take away your reality and replace it with their own version of who they think you are or who they want you to be. Many people I thought I could trust have done this to me off and on throughout my life.
A bit of background: I have struggled for years to trust my own mind and my memories because of past abuse, and recently it happened again, where it felt like I was losing my mind due to the gaslighting folks did. But truth is, there’s nothing wrong with me — my story, my mind, my memories are valid and important, and I do my best to handle my PTSD in a healthy manner. I’m still striving to be more loving toward others and healthier about my illness. And I got to remember that and hold close to that truth.
If I want to live a life of love, I also have to do self-care for myself too. And that means learning how to stick to my “no,” so I don’t get pushed into situations I never wanted to be in. That’s something I’m hugely susceptible to — pressure me hard enough, especially if it’s done day after day for months — and I’ll do whatever the person wants, even if it harms me and is not what I want or need, because I just can’t handle that emotional and psychological pressure. I can recognize this tendency in me now and work toward ways to not give in to the pressure. This ghazal and fractal reflects this journey. There are other poems where I’ve written about this journey as well. I may post those someday too.