Category Archives: Life Lessons

December Dodoitsu #14

Fine Print

a proprietary fact…
you’ve signed away every drop
of your blood and sweat in inc,
for perks like healthcare

~kat


September Poem #27

a truth’s
veracity
regarded through subjective
lenses is easily dismissed
as smoke with no fire

~kat


if…for girls

if...for girls

If…for Girls

If you can dance with glee when no one’s looking;
and laugh when others catch you unaware
If you can love the girl you gaze at in the mirror
and realize she’s not her looks or wild hair
If you can fill your head with truth and knowledge
unashamed of being smart though boys may stare
And dream the dream of being anything you choose
reach for the stars, I promise, you’ll get there

If you can learn that strength is sometimes weak
that loving deeply’s bound to bring you pain
If knowing this you choose to love the least
and treat each person with respect, the same
If you would turn your ear from ugly chatter
defending the slandered scapegoat’s sullied name
Strive to be a friend who’s loyal, and forgiving
and when you’re wrong, bravely accept the blame

If you rejoice with others when they’re winning
and realize your own worth’s not diminished
If you can trust your heart and intuition, follow
through, see things you’ve started to the finish
If everyone around you tries to stop you
from being who you are, saying you’re foolish
Just rise to the occasion when it matters
there is no limit to what you’ll accomplish

If you remember all who came before you
the women who have lived and strived before
If you believe equality and liberation
are not some silly games to settle scores
If you’d pass this legacy on to your daughters
that women have a voice, teach them to roar
And teach them too, compassion in this land of men
sometimes the gentle way proves less is more

If there is just one lesson I could give you
I’d remind you that you’re perfect as you are
If I could live my life again knowing all this
I wouldn’t change a thing, we’ve come so far
If…what if, each girl grew up believing
their value’s not dependent on unrealistic bars
having it all is an impossible illusion
you’ll find your way by following your heart

~kat

A poem for Mind Love Misery’s Menagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt inspired by the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. (See Below) I couldn’t resist writing my own version, but this one is for the girls.


If—

Rudyard Kipling1865 – 1936

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 April 2018

Every Sunday I gather a line from each of the previous week’s poems. I call it a ReVerse. I like to read the finished word collage a few times and then write what I’m thinking about it in this space.

But…I was detoured today, and so, there is this…

I don’t normally notice them. The judgmental, self-righteous trolls that stare daggers through us as we go about doing the things people do, like living and breathing. Maybe it’s the swelling tide of intolerance, where it’s become the acceptable norm to shun, to hate, to refuse to serve people like us. No cake for you…we don’t do gay.

We have a Sunday morning routine. After we drop our pups at the groomers, we head to our favorite breakfast spot for coffee, omelets and pancakes. It’s a comforting way to pass the time. At least it had been, until today.

Today, after being settled into our booth, we waited…and we waited…and we waited. After 10 minutes it was hard not to suspect that we were being snubbed, especially when our server glanced our way several times, obviously, before turning away to tap into a computer screen, or to fold napkins. Was she hoping we would just leave…no hot cakes for you? It was hard not to take it personally. She got her wish. After 20 minutes we left our booth. Her back was still turned. She hardly noticed.

But we didn’t leave the building of our favorite breakfast spot. It is our lovely, weekly routine after all. We asked to speak to the manager and while we waited I watched our server as she glanced over her shoulder, peered over the rims of her glasses, and raised her eyebrows when she discovered she had won the battle. Her battle. I can only imagine her silent, “hallelujah, thank you lord!”…the victory cry of this “good and faithful servant” having received her reward for standing her hallowed ground against the likes of sinners like us. I can only imagine.

Sadly, I believe I’m not far off the mark. I have been schooled by many of these saints, that I’m headed for eternal damnation, hell, if you will, and that their great and powerful god considers me an abomination. Or at least they do, and they should know because god, their god, speaks to them. Not only that. There are verses in his book; this one and this one and that, proof that their god hates me and so, they should too.

After apologizing, the hostess offered to reseat us; to bring us coffee, to take our breakfast order herself.

I smiled, “Thank you, but not that server’s section please, any section but hers.”

We were escorted to a sunny window booth. The hostess made good on her promise, bringing us coffee and creamer, and one cup, not two. She was most apologetic, serving was definitely not her forté, and of course it was easy to overlook, because she was being so kind. She was so very kind.

The manager stopped by, as I had requested, ready to listen, I could tell.

“We come here every week,” I said. “We love this place. It’s our routine. But today we were blatantly, obviously, ignored by the server of our section; not a word of acknowledgment that we were there. For twenty minutes…”

And then I did something that I hate myself for. I started to cry. It was not a loud, attention-grabbing spectacle of a cry. My face simply flushed and my eyes welled up; a few salty droplets burned my cheeks on the way down.

I apologized of course. I don’t normally let these sorts of things get to me you know. I just wanted breakfast at my favorite spot with my partner of 18 years, coffee with two sugars and cream, a glass of cool water, and pancakes…and to chill, read the news on my phone, and wait for the groomer to call. I just wanted to breathe. But I cried, damn it! Living should not be this hard.

It would be easy to tell you the franchise name. To call for a boycott, for justice; to invite others to rise up against a business who would employ such a sad, hateful zealot. But it’s not about the place or the business. It’s not about shutting everything down that doesn’t value me or my right to be.

It’s about kindness, and the lack of it. It’s about what we are becoming. It’s about the whittling away of civility and the rise of hate, emboldened by our leaders. It’s about the pervasive lie, the worst lie of all…that there is an “us” and a “them”, that others are not to be trusted, that only some people matter.

Yes, it would be easy to lump the whole franchise, or people, into my own personal boycott crusade, but I’d be forgetting the kindness of that hostess, and the manager, and the other servers who have been lovely to us on previous visits, and the one who finally served us today. That would not be very kind of me.

You might be surprised to hear that I pray every day. It’s true. What do I pray for? That might surprise you too. I pray, not for comfort, or heaven on earth; not for prosperity, or to pass an exam, to live forever, or to land the perfect job. I don’t pray to be protected from others who are not like me. I pray simply that the hardness of life not harden my heart. I ask the universe to remind me, most of all, to be kind.

It’s the hardest thing to do and be, and sometimes I fail miserably. I get angry, and defensive. But mornings like this remind me why kindness matters. It’s a very big, small thing to ask, not only of others, but of myself…please be kind. Please. Be. Kind.

There is still a ReVerse in the wings. I will let it speak for itself this week.

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 15 April 2018

spring is in flux, bitter
on moonless nights, the veil
the flicker of a new thought
of a single wick consumed
breathing is overrated
a few lone travelers that no one would miss, to save civilization
this very moment I’ll take a stand
one last hurrah, dark night at the gate
much too busy surviving
‘cause all work and no play is a chore
let’s rollick instead, for spite
prickly, pale petal pins
then suspended, in fact,
pause with me a spell
shy and sweet
there’s a lovely stillness
count my blessings, count sheep, pray my soul to keep
the end never comes
might linger til mid-day, it’s my bliss
rarely do I remember my dreams
it’s true…every one sweet

~kat


Sorry…Not Sorry – A Rant

A rant, as requested for Mindlovemiserysmenagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt. Interesting prompt this week MLMM. Normally I would apologize for ranting, but since you asked…

Sorry…Not Sorry – A Rant

Do I offend you because I speak my mind? Because, in your words, “I care more about my beliefs than I care about you?”

Now you demand an apology and my silence in order to be welcomed back into your presence. Sorry…not sorry.

The truth is, you offend me. You, and your willful aversion to the truth. You and your self-righteous double-life…all love and politeness on the outside while you fester with fear and hatred on the inside.

I guess you thought you had me this time by denying that I existed, by breaking my heart, by disowning me. It had always worked in the past, with me acquiescing to your demands, tiptoeing on eggshells, towing your rigid, unforgiving line, playing by your rules. But I finally realize that nothing I do or don’t do will appease your self-involved, demanding heart.

Once, it didn’t matter to me if I assumed my expected ‘present but silent’, unquestioningly loyal role in your perfect life. But now? Now I see your heart, clear as day, and I am deeply embarrassed, disheartened and disgusted that I allowed myself to be tossed by your whims for so long. 100 “I’m sorry’s” will not make you happy. Not even 1000.

And frankly…can I be frank? Oh what the hell, you’re not listening anyway. I need to sleep each night. I need to live what I believe to be good and compassionate and true. I need to know that I did not sell my soul for the sake of a win.

Even so, I’ll always love you. We are blood, after all, connected by the strands of our DNA, but I’m not going to beg anymore. I happen to like who I am. And I’m learning that liking myself is what matters most of all, even if it means losing you.

~kat

Do I feel better? Not really…well, maybe a little, but my heart is still broken. Ranting can’t fix that. 😢💔😢


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