I Hear the Owl Call My Name

It’s the darkest of dark nights
and there is no moon,
just me and the sleepless forest,
knowing midnight will strike soon.

The branches grab as I step
and smell my fear as they watch me fall,
but my hands, my knees bare on,
and so on and on and on I crawl.

Broken, shredded and relentless,
the splinters crack my fragile skin,
but on and on and on I crawl,
knowing I must pay this greatest sin.

You were always the wiser,
eyes able to pierce through darkness
and you watch me now from your perch,
at my tangle, my stress, my mess.

I hear the branches break and crack
under the weight of my tangled heart,
but I stop my crawl when I hear
the owl sing it’s sleepless art.

My naked eyes see nothing but blackness,
yet my mind sees its great gray winter coat
and those blue eyes; piercing, piercing, piercing,
like a thousand words my sadness wrote.

And on and on and on I crawl,
but now I’m not so afraid
I hear the owl call my name
and all the darkness seems to fade.

Old School Poems

In my head

Something tells me it’s time to get off at the next station

These thoughts, these dreams seep through with dramatic infiltration

And although my heart beats in anxious trepidation

It also beats in unwavering determination

Fictional Life (Villanelle poem)

Life was like fiction, unquenchably thirsty
Rooting through garbage, looking for treasure
Dirty hands scraped, sore and blistery

Momentary pauses, brain playing trickery
Many delights but with little taken measure
Life was like fiction, unquenchably thirsty

Routine was a chokehold, growing tightly
Relationships ear-splitting torture
Dirty hands scraped, sore and blistery

Negatives murder positives quickly
Giving them life and love is a struggle
Life was like fiction, unquenchably thirsty

Death’s teeth bite down like acid reality
Wakeful truth finally brings peace
Life was like fiction, unquenchably thirsty
Dirty hands scraped, sore and blistery…

…now are washed clean…

City of Lonely Dreams

The veils have lifted

And all I now see

Is a city of sorrow

Three hundred feet under the sea

My breathing is constricted

And im so scared to try,

Alone in this city

With nowhere to die

Somehow these thoughts

Have become like severed limbs

Part of my body

But now such distant kins

What do you do when you wake up

And you don’t know who you are?

What do you do when your efforts

Seem to struggle and not get you far?

So much time is spent in worry

So much time is spent in dreams

So much time is spent in distant thoughts

That run like wild streams

A dream is but a dream

Until you make it real

Wishing and praying for something grand

That you cant see, smell or feel

To dream above the past and present

And to reach those higher places in life

Where you become you, for you

And look back with beaming pride

So much are my options,

So much are my goals

I’m drowning in dreams,

And sinking in holes

If I could only touch the ground

And hear your voice of reason

Unload my heavy pack and let go

Of my own self-inflicting treason

But slowly the bolders upon my back are lifting

As you hold my hand to keep me well-rounded

You tell me my dreams are truly true,

They’re real, so sane, so grounded.

We are not meant to dream alone

And a balance of reality is essential

To realize the truth between the lies

And reach our full potential

And just when I thought id drown,

The city under the sea begins to drain

I can now breathe again, dream again,

Knowing you will keep me sane

Smoky blues

Just when I think I can forget you

I smell your smell

or remember your taste.

You always knew what to do

to block out all the bad thoughts.

You always knew just what to say,

to make all those feelings go away.

Sometimes I still drift into your slumber

and wake up in a daze of unknowingness,

wondering whether that one last time was worth it

and planning our next meeting fretfully.

I quickly sink back into reality

where my worries, troubles and thoughts roll back to me,

and I can only crave and pray for you to set me free.

But as all my worries, troubles and thoughts

disappear in a cloud of grey-white smoke,

I see my world growing smaller, darker, lonelier.

Everything I have grows blurry with distinction and

numbness covers my heart and mind like wrapping paper.

The packaging looks pretty and perfect,

while the truth floats inside; ominous, imperfect.

How I’d like to rip off the wrapping with eager determination,

shedding the layers of false protection, security, purity.

And throw it all away with one clean swipe,

so that all that is left is a reflection of myself,

the real me; complex, scared, young, and naïve.

Because there are two sides to every you and me

It’s true what they say about the truth; It’ll set you free.

Once upon a time there was a poem…

And so,
in some part of your mind you believe it’s all a work of fiction.
That one day the man will come and sweep you off your shaking feet,
and send your heart a-thunder.
But it’s not the kind of love that comes and goes,
it’s not the love that sinks and slows.
It’s the love that breaks and folds,
and turns soul mates into lovers.

And so you wait and fix what’s broken,
you recreate and generate what imagination has bestowed as perfection.
Until one day it will not budge,
irritation and frustration kicks in and a need for a big transgression.
Not only have you destroyed what was his,
but you have not fixed your own indiscretions.

And so you leave it all alone and into a gutter it rolls,
afloat it stays for many days and snaps up,
shaking and wrecked.
But soon enough it’s grey begins to fade.
Colour, light and something else seeps through
and generates a brilliant soul,
someone you never even knew.

And a reality so lost in thought,
hits you hard and leaves you spluttering and gasping.
Truthfully, you feel a bit mislead;
Who’s telling the truth?
The man who breaths perfume of imaginative power
and drills straight to your heart without causing an ounce of pain?
Or the man who wipes in all your blotches and stains,
and in the end, can always face the rain?

And suddenly it is your own faults that you despise,
every ounce of wisdom you thought you had seems far and wide.
Does living in such a thought take you away from the moment,
does it set off a long and tiring chain reaction,
does he have the power to take your breath away in contractions?
Or is there something more than what is offered,
will the sea break, will the winds deviate,
will the sound of his laughter leave your heart cured?

Hipsteria

Why does everyone hate on hipsters so much?

They recycle,

They’re intelligent,

They buy organic,

They like board-games,

They appreciate good booze,

They commute on bicycles,

They practice some sort of metaphysical hippy-dippy shit.

………………

Right?

Maybe those are just Portland hipsters…

But they seem alright to me.

Praise Thyself! & Other Feel-Good Goodness

As a society we have pushed so far away from giving ourselves love that most of us don’t even know what that looks like. Sure, we all hate the frat boy who is constantly bragging about how many reps he did at the gym or the number of chicks who are after his nuts, but in truth, we’re also a little envious of him. He has what most people want: confidence. Furthermore, it has become something to frown at and mock. Bragging is something people just don’t do because it’s become an obnoxious cliché. It seems we should be humble not to the point that Buddhist monks are, but to the point where even thinking highly of yourself at all is grounds for arrogance. I can’t tell you when this trend started and how it has gotten so ridiculously out of hand, but it needs to be reversed.

Personally, I refuse to go along with this trend. Long gone are the days when I will not feel accomplished for doing something amazing or not think I am beautiful when I look in the mirror. Sure, I have my moments, but for the most part I love myself and really wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I am proud of the things I have done in my life and how far I have come and I FEEL myself radiating these emotions so strongly at times that I feel invincible. That being said, witnessing the downfall of so many people is painful to watch; mostly because I know it is an internal struggle. Sure, outside forces will always be there, influencing you, but I have learned that this is only true if you allow it to be.

Here are 5 things you can do to make yourself feel awesome. At first, it won’t seem like its working. Don’t give up; keep blabbing to yourself, man. Eventually, it’ll be a part of your make and it’ll amaze you just how insanely rad you are.

1. I want you to literally stand in front of a mirror every day and tell yourself you are amazing, or smart, or stellar or beautiful or whatever it is you need to hear in that moment. Or all of the above. Build a daily mantra for yourself. My personal favorite is: “I am beautiful, I am powerful and I am free.” Repeat it, especially when you’re feeling blah. It doesn’t have to be out-loud if you don’t want to seem like a nut-job in front of your coworkers. Do it! Guaranteed love affair with yourself. Super sexy.

2. Give thanks. Yep, gratuity goes a looooooong way. There is nothing worse than not only complaining constantly about life, but also forgetting about what you DO have in your life. And this goes back to the basic principles of the Universal Law of Attraction, which basically states that whatever we put out into the Universe, it comes to us. Negative or positive. The Universe never says NO and it is always listening. So, if you’re out there mopping about how shitty your sex life is, most likely it ain’t gonna get any better. Focus on what you do want and on a bigger scale; be grateful for what you already have. It will be multiplied tenfold. Here’s a good exercise: every morning or night (whichever feels better to you) write down things you are grateful for. It may only be two things at first, but the list will grow. Soon you’ll be thanking the Universe for the random-est things like your goose-feather pillow and your amazing ability of mastering some stellar kama-sutra move. Now that’s talent.

3. Breathe. Ok, you’re always breathing, unless you’re dead and reading this from the beyond… which would be really fucking cool. But anyway, BREATHE. And not in your normal I-don’t-really-need-to-be-thinking-about-breathing-kind-of-breathing, but the kind of breathing that takes focus and energy and acknowledgement. Never underestimate the power of breath. Why do you think monks and yoga fanatics and athletes and women giving birth focus so much on their breath? Because it’s immensely powerful. It centers us and keeps us focused on what is happening in the moment. I recently went to the Mind Body Spirit convention here in Portland and listened to a dude talk about the breath. He was an amazing speaker, not only because of the information he was providing us, but of his ability of make it relatable. He used sex as an example. He gave us the scenario of being in total ecstasy as you climax and had us try to remember our breath in that moment. It’s deep, it’s powerful and most importantly, it keeps us focused in the moment. For a few seconds there is no past or future, but just that moment. And that’s a huge reason why it feels so good. There is no stress. Later on, I was lucky enough to talk to him one-on-one and he gave me an exercise I could do whenever I was feeling off. Take a huge breath, acknowledge whatever is bothering you, embrace it, and let it go peacefully. Your breath in that moment creates energy that cannot be replicated in any other way. It’s quite amazing. That, along with your personal effort of facing your demons, will free you in a way you can’t believe. Now fly, my little pigeons fly!

4. I mean, really, who cares what anyone else thinks? Ok, we all kind of do to come extent, but it’s time to realize the only opinion that matters is your own and it’s the only one you can change. And when you’re out there trying to make yourself feel good and someone tries to cut you down, don’t let them because haters gonna hate. So, take in the good from others and just let the rest roll off your shoulder. They can only hurt you if you let them.

5. Listen to that little voice in your head. Not the one telling you to go all postal on your workplace, but the one trying to help you out. Your intuition loves the crap out of you and wants what’s best for you and you should be listening to it. Deep down you know what to do, it just takes time and patience and trust to become in tune with it.

Over-medicated Zombie World

Since I was a child, my parents tried to practice all-natural remedies to any ailments that pronounced themselves within our family. Granted, we were an extremely healthy family who rarely got sick, but when we did, my mom would make some lemon-grass tea (pulled straight from our backyard), plant a cool rag on our fevered foreheads and let us sleep it all off.  It worked! I don’t ever remember her shoving cough syrup down our throats or rushing us to the clinic the minute we started sweating through our pajamas.  Then again, living in a remote part of Costa Rica in the early 90s, we had little choice.  My mom and dad literally had a book titled “Where There Is No Doctor.” I remember flipping through it with fascination, pausing to look at the dramatic drawings of sick people; always naked and miserable.  But the book presented a solution to our modern-world’s dependence on medication and hospitalization. It said, without actually saying it, that the body can ultimately heal itself through natural remedies and plenty of rest.

I suppose due to my upbringing I always was wary of medication, even something as simple as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  I can’t say I really understood  my refusal to ingest any of it, especially as a teenager.  I say this mostly because although I boycotted modern medicine, I also had horrid eating habits back then. I consumed large quantities of Starbucks blended coffee drinks, Panda express meals and ate little to no fresh vegetables or fruits. I didn’t really understand what nutrition was and am still in the process of learning about it.

Recently, I have been diagnosed with a chronic auto-immune disorder.  What it is, I am still not sure.  Due to the fact that I am wrapped up in a free medical program, a lot of waiting is to be had. Not that I am ungrateful.  On the contrary, I feel blessed for the large amount of help I have been given. I was handed down from helping hand to helping hand, all in an effort to assist me in receiving the care that I need. Most likely, coming from the various suggestions of nurses and staff, it is Lupus. For those of you who do not know; Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that can start off as various kinds of skin out-breaks and can lead to more serious internal issues, affecting the organs and deteriorating them little by little. My skin has been affected by this since October of 2012, when I got a horrible, unrelenting itch on my hands that eventually turned into closed sores and scarring from the irritation. That is when I made a trip to the Dermatologist and have since then taken blood-tests, been poked and prodded and eye-balled until it made me uncomfortable. The bottom line is: my symptoms are unique. Although I am displaying a rash and show grave signs of fatigue and sometimes foggy mind; I am relatively healthy.  I would like to thank my unbelievable immune system for this, but who knows. The dermatologist I initially visited pushed a steroid cream on me that she informed me should be taken in moderation due to its side-effects that could destroy my immune system. I had to pause and absorb the information: say what?

Side-effects: my biggest vice. Think about it this way; you take medication to cure an ailment yet the medication may cause another ailment in turn. Where’s the logic in that? In addition, dependency is highly likely. Isn’t the point of getting better to eventually be able to be 100% healthy? The body is a miraculous thing. It tells you when something is wrong through pains and discomfort. By taking medication you are pretty much telling your body to shut up. Modern medicine puts the body in a sort of numbing state, easing the symptoms in a temporary sort of way. Sure, things and can and have been cured through these methods- but is the risk really worth it when so many alternatives are available? I believe modern medicine serves its purposes but there are limits on when the reliance should stop.

So why don’t more people rely on natural remedies? I am not sure exactly, but I have a few theories. First, there is little knowledge of it in the world at large. From birth, most of us are taught to depend on hospitals and clinics to help us: “take some NyQuil when you’re sick, take antidepressants when you’re sad, etc.” But we forget to think about the root of the problem. What is really causing our discomforts? Is a lifestyle change in order? Should we be exercising more? What are we eating? That’s another point! I’m surprised at how many over-weight people struggle with diabetes and do little to change their eating habits and exercise routines (if they have any at all,) yet they pop pill after pill and inject shot after shot. Insulin serves it’s purpose, but a good diet and exercise routine can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. My last point is a bit controversial but I feel the need to address it nonetheless. It is a joke to say that pharmaceutical companies don’t know what they are doing. That is to say; they are well aware that alternative cures are out there and are equally aware of the potential dangers of the medication they prescribe. So, what’s their motive, right? Money of course. They fear the day when people realize they can grow their own medicine in their backyards and change their own lives. Pushing medication keeps people sick and as long as people are sick, money is to be made. I still marvel at this, mostly because I hate to give into the evils of the world but it’s true: evil exists and money and power rule.

Since my iffy-diagnosis I have taken matters into my own hands. I tried the steroid cream for a few weeks but saw no real improvement and threw it into the trashcan, much to the nurses’ chagrin. I was given a cream by an old co-worker that was made from a huge list of all natural ingredients. It has been the only thing that has helped. The itching has completely resided and the rash has become very manageable and I believe will be gone completely with time. I have also seeked the help of a Naturopath who has turned out to be a wonderful addition to my life (but more on that in another post.) I feel good about the future and plan to execute this healing process au-natural.

Health is an ongoing process. You can’t go for a run once in your life and be cured from any potential dangers. It’s hard work and dedication and most importantly; knowledge. What’s the point I’m trying to get at? Simply to open your eyes to the possibilities. Do not limit yourself to the information you have been fed since childhood. Look at all sides of the way you are living your life as well as the remedies and changes out there. I am by no means an expert and do not claim to be. I am simply a student of health and an advocate of change.

A short memoir…

The light in our room seems to flicker but really it’s only old and on it’s last breaths of life. Simone lies on the bottom bunk and pushes her feet through the wood frames of my top bunk and my mattress heaves like a bucking horse.  I involuntarily roll to the left and hit the wall of our rickety wood house.

“Stop it, pig head” I yell at her, irritated.

Our door opens and brings in a gust of Caribbean wind mixed with warm rain.

Daddy comes into the room, followed by mom.

“Hey, hey no fighting, girls.” He says quietly.

He looks serious and mom looks sad but they both smile at us. What an occasion, I think, to have them both in our little room. Quiet follows as they adjust themselves awkwardly around our bunk bed.

Mom finally speaks, “We need to talk about something.”

My heart races with hope and then sinks with fear. Mom explains that she needs to go back to L.A. and live near her family and daddy needs to stay here and take care of the house and property. Mom wants to go back to school and be on her own. I can’t help but think of all the fighting they’ve been indulging in for the past few years.

They’ve made the decision for us. It’s best if we leave with mom. There are more opportunities there. We can go to school and I can get a babysitting job just like in the books I read and movies we watch.

Everyone is crying now but daddy. He never cries. He stands there with his hand across his chest. Simone shakes her head no, no, no.

That night I cry myself silly and my pillow is wet.  Simone is unnervingly quiet and I feel I have to check on her every so often to make sure she’s not dead. The day’s leading to our departure are sad and long. Time is running out and the air is tense. Our hearts are overwrought.

One day I play Barbie’s with Simone in our room. Daddy lays in our balcony hammock and the rusty hooks creak as he swings from side to side.

Suddenly, a chocking sound fills the air. Heaving, gasping, wet sobs. Simone looks at me and I stare back at her. My blood turns ice cold and seems to freeze. My breathing stops and my heart is still. I know what is happening before Simone does because her brow furrows with confusion. I run next to daddy as tears run down his dark face.

“I don’t want to see you go.” He manages to choke out.

Tears brim my lashes and I lay my head on his chest. How does a twelve year old girl comfort a forty-five year old man? Her immortal, unbreakable hero. That night, the light in our room burns out.

Random thoughts jotted down…

When I was a little girl, I had to ride my bike to and from school everyday.  This went on from 1st grade all the way to 6th grade.  In addition to that, I spent countless hours outdoors participating in normal kid activities such as swimming, running, playing games, etc.  My parents were strict about this because they felt that time spent inside watching T.V., was time wasted.  They allowed my sister and I about one hour of T.V. every night.  They also formulated a variable diet that cut out most un-healthy food.  Our home supply of candy was quite scarce, to say the least. At the time, I resented them to the fullest.  I thought it was some malicious plan of theirs to deprive me of privileges my friends seemed to be able to take full advantage of at their homes.  However, my sister and I were very happy and healthy kids and it showed.

During my teenage years, when most kids were out rebelling against authority in various detrimental ways, I unconsciously decided to make up for all the years lost to healthy eating habits.  I began buying my own supply of candy, chips, fast food, etc.  I was never over-weight but my new lifestyle reflected itself nonetheless.  I had pimples, bad skin and a scrawny figure.  The natural energy I had as a kid dwindled considerably and I found myself glued to a chair, watching re-runs of Friends instead of going outside.  I also started to have less energy for school, I couldn’t pay attention and my memory wasn’t what it used to be.  Part of this may have had something to do with hormone-changes that all teenagers go through, but I know things would have been different if I would have stuck to my principles.

Within the last year, I have decided to get back on the treadmill and start eating right again.  It was hard to quit all of my bad eating habits at first because I would constantly crave a Whopper Jr. or some french fries.  These had become a big part of my lifestyle, not only because of the taste, but because they are so convenient to the consumer.  I mean lets face it, it’s ten times easier to stop by a McDonald’s drive-thru than to go home and prepare a meal.  After a while though, your body gets used to the changes and it starts telling you what it really needs to stay healthy.  Healthy food tastes good again!  It also becomes less of a chore to cook up a good meal.  It still takes just as much work but it feels rewarding.  When I eat fast food now, I am amazed at how heavy it makes me feel.  I didn’t even realize how much bad carbs and fat I was putting into my body!

With the exercises I am doing now, I am starting to fill out with muscle instead of fat and my figure is looking a lot better.  I have a lot of natural energy that I find comes very handy when I have lots of things to do.