“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
― Frida Kahlo


in the beginning perhaps
you did not know it was pain
that persistent ever-present visitor
created a habitude
that bound you to the dark
how can you know there is light
when all around there is none
how can any seed of faith
be planted in such a soulless void

in the beginning was the word
and the word was pain…only pain
the Gods and Goddesses of this place
were wrathful and envious
wounded trans generational beings
mouthing fire and venom in your face
the grotesque spittle of oppression
dribbles into your psyche forevermore
and you are cowed into submission

shame seeps like deep blue ink into water
wombing you stained for life
fight them and you become them
submit and you shape-shift whilst
birthing a reflection of them inside you
to battle with many a day to come still
outwardly you become someone you are not
death would have been much easier
but you morphed a survival coat of many colours

appeasing the divinities
becomes the one and only goal in this world
oh how your coat shimmered
when you moved to reflect their glory
dazzling them enough to allow you
to move away from the black birth cell
that hatched your long road to nowhere
ever careful you must step though to stay
safe in this lighter shade of eggs(hell)

one echo of a crack
and you are back in the hole
Damocles just a bladed whisper away
haunting by your own ghost is no fun
the living dead calling you home always
but when there is no self where is home?
where can you who are no thing be?
if you twist it hard enough it will coil
a sense of freedom about your hanged neck

time passes and the coat becomes your skin
only this one is to be worn inside out
your new attire appears to fit you well
and you walk so much taller than before
people commended you on your look
and you forget how much pain there was
until someone comes to remind you
with an innocent word, of that dark basement
where no light was ever shone

there still lies the real and broken you
curled up all wretched and fearful
awaiting the arrows of hateful ancestors
sworn to obliterate that child’s innocence
sobbing tears heard by no one at all save yourself
you are tiny in the vastness
seeding your own growth and hope
for that day when you find a way to break the chain
and bury them all ghost-dead for eternity

According to WordPress this is my 500th post…This is a very personal piece, reflecting on a wound and the origins of it. I have had cause to re-visit this over recent times and as always, writing helps me get deeper perspective.It is ultimately a redemptive poem. There is always hope.

Initially posted unprompted but now adding to dVerse OLN and The Toads.

29 thoughts on “reflection

  1. Shawna says:

    No. No more submission. The one and only goal is to find your voice and use it to speak your deepest mind. Find the eyes that draw out your soul, look into them, and don’t break away. Speak your truths, especially when they contradict.

  2. Shawna says:

    I found my voice again. It made me think of you because you once commended me for having one. That meant something to me. So thank you.

  3. Gospel Isosceles says:

    The “wounded trans generational beings”, the divinities need us to be reflected, but we don’t need them. If only it were easy to know and live this when they’re calling on that scared basement child, eliciting him from the madness to get up and wear the coat that lets them see their hideous dazzle.

    • paul scribbles says:

      Sadly, in the beginning, we need them only too much and our need to belong becomes our prison in that respect. Thanks as always for reading. This one was a difficult write.

      • Gospel Isosceles says:

        I bet it would be a difficult write. Sometimes — most of the time — it would make life a hell of a lot easier to just surrender to them and acquiesce to their demands of us.

  4. kim881 says:

    Congratulations on your 500th post, Paul, and on a platinum poem! I love the liens:
    ‘that persistent ever-present visitor
    created a habitude
    that bound you to the dark’
    ‘shame seeps like deep blue ink into water
    wombing you stained for life’.

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) says:

    I love how you managed to connect to Frida Kahlo with that pain (and the quote)… a wound and the pain can become so much of your being it’s really hard to separate… some of her painting really makes me feel the pain as it sits on the outside with those iron braces.

  6. sanaarizvi says:

    ‘time passes and the coat becomes your skin only this one is to be worn inside out’.. this is incredibly deep, Paul!💜

  7. lillian says:

    What an amazing post to share as your 500th! The quotation from Frida Kahlo is a fitting introduction to this poem. There is so much here. These words “shame seeps like deep blue ink into water” were the first ones that were like arrows to my heart….and as I read on, so many more. The shape shifting, the black birth cell, the dark basement in you. While there is so much pain within these words, there is a “seeding” for growth and hope and I do feel the redemptive spirit at the end of this. Just an amazing share, Paul.

  8. Vivian Zems says:

    Great respect to you for walking through this pain and showing its many layers, borders and depth. That reminder that propels one to childhood…in that dark place- it’s powerful in its imagery. Congrats on your 500th post!!!

  9. Susie Clevenger (@wingsobutterfly) says:

    Thank you for writing this, for visiting pain to find its voice. It is frightful when a sound, scent, a color can take you deep into the child who lived silent agony while trying to find enough fireflies to make into a daylight coat. I know that pain too well. Thank you so much for writing for the prompt!

  10. Sherry Marr says:

    Paul, this is an epic write! The transformational journey through pain. I like the reference to shape-shifting……this one comes from a deep place. An amazing journey, well made.

  11. alisonhankinson says:

    Maybe we are all broken. Perhaps that is what makes us real…death would have been much easier but you morphed a survival coat of many colours, perhaps this is proof of our resilience, perhaps we don’t have to bury the ghosts, especially if we don’t regret who we are.
    Well done on the 500.

  12. coalblack says:

    First, congratulations on your 500th post! I’m not sure I know what the source of all the pain was or is, but clearly, you are battling, and planting a flag in your own life and claiming it. That’s a brave and beautiful thing.

  13. Truedessa says:

    500 posts, you have definitely left your imprints in the journey one word at a time. I think sometimes we need to release our ancestors in order for us to be free. Release comes in many ways and the pain is real. There is a deep shape-shifting/transformation taking place and sometimes it takes longer than we think. Memories surface when we least want them, and yet they come causing dark moments, one must look towards the light as that is where healing begins to take form.

  14. willow88switches says:

    This is a very intimate piece, clearly, as you’ve noted. And what is truly amazing, is that we have to read this piece, without your notes afterwards, (if you’re like minded in my reading posts) and discover these words, your words, speak of such an incredible exploration of pain, birthing, things out and beyond control, and then the consequences, the results, the aftershocks – and how we are shaped and influenced. And what I find truly astounding is that this feels like you have been very intimate with Frida’s world, her experiences, and have reflected on them – brought us truly into her world. And then, you note – how this is a point of inspiration for you – to you – how you are writing about something extremely personal to you. So this? wow – this shows the power of words and how their is a universality that can and does reach across time – and offers us this as a gift – and your words here Paul have done this.

    There are far too many lines, images, stanzas for me to signal out, that I found so breath-taking, so startling, stark, yet solid for the tender explorations of “self” – I’ll close with, Congrats on 500 – and wow, this is truly a very intimate poem, it reflects and currents, taps into something as complex as one of Frida’s own works, and yet is highly personal, yet we can in some ways, clearly, relate and reflect.

  15. thotpurge says:

    in the beginning was the word
    and the word was pain… wow! I wish i could have written a line like that. Says everything.
    I think it must be cathartic in some way to write a brave poem like this.

  16. Kerry says:

    shame seeps like deep blue ink into water
    wombing you stained for life
    fight them and you become them…

    This is really a most powerful piece, Paul. You have taken the time to get to grips with the destructive nature of judgmental societies. It is not a pretty picture but you words provide much insight.

  17. Marian says:

    Insight and universality, as well. Love your word choices here too… habitude, wombing, really wonderful. I appreciate how it must have felt to revisit a painful place in order to write this. Thank you, and congrats on 500!

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