I was in a very dark place when I wrote the poem I’m sharing today. Being in love is very hard, it’s harder when you deeply are in love and care about someone who is struggling with a major mental illness. One of the hardest things is letting someone go because you realize you no longer can save them. There comes a point where you have to jump ship or go down with the ship. Leaving is one thing, but we never really leave those we love. There’s always care and concern. With someone struggling with a serious mental health affliction or substance abuse, there’s the fear of the dreaded phone call that lingers. The idea someday you’ll pick up and someone will inform you that the person has been harmed or attempted to take their life. I wrote this poem after that call. After the call, the amount of bargaining you do is insane. This is followed then by the ‘why’ questions. Then it became a question of, “If this person, who I loved and put all this love and energy into doesn’t want to be here any longer, what/who am I without them? Where do I belong? Who am I without this person? The questions just run and run on and on. You go to religion, you go to nature, etc. and the answers just don’t seem to be anywhere, and you’re screaming for them. That is this poem. The screams, the learning how to provide answers, when it feels like your screaming for them and nothing is responding back.
Where To Now?
Where do you go when the churches are requiring sacrifices
and you’ve followed every star that can be seen in the night sky
hoping for a miracle?
What do you harvest when all the grain has been wrecked,
when all crops have settled silent?
Where do you go when your hunger dusts back in your face?
Where do you go for that taste of rain
in the middle of drought?
After you’ve been to crazy, where is there left?
When your body feels so terrible it forgets all desire,
where to now? Another man’s Eden?
Where do you go inside your mind when you have to trespass to sustain your own life?
No moon. Stars behind a cloud.
No wise men or sheprrds to lead you to a Messiah?
Where do you go when the secret of secrets slipped out the back door?
When fields seems to go on forever
and there are no mountains or oceans to break up the space?
Do you run if there’s no destination in sight?
After the stillbirth do you return to the idea of life?
When nothing changes in the picture, do you snap more?
When do you give breath back to the world,
Or do you we wait until it’s run out of air?
When you can’t find your lovers hand,
when you discover your innocence has already been soiled.
when you understand desperation before the words come out of your mouth,
where do you go?
I have spent my life looking over my shoulder
when there is nowhere to go. Burial clouds
lowered victorious all too soon.
Up through the darkness, the ravening clouds,
Find a transparent bit of ether. Ascend the largest of planets, Jupiter,
swim with the soft, playful sisters of the Pleiades.
Spend some time with the immortal, the gas giants,
The tiny stars, the things that will surely shine again.
Visit planets and their pensive moons if you must.
Begin to recognize something will endure longer
than these astroids, longer than these stars,
longer than even lustrous Jupiter and Saturn.
Go to the soft surfaces of bluebells,
visit a weather vane, bent, from a hurricane,
Speed through every stop sign.
Go anywhere you must, when you ask where to next,
The world is going to be as big and or as small
as you allow it to be.
In loss, place does not exist.
Time becomes a nothing burger.
Questions press close to your sides.
Cradle your questions like wings,
then soar to the uttermost reaches,
wherever you have to go, or do,
Use your Midas touch to turn things comfortable.
Be here I am, wherever you may be.
The truth is you are too awake to see the delusion:
of an image of you as uncertainty.