Mini rulers

the children in your circles –

especially newborn babes

are the ultimate

power lords

and they rule wearing nappies

they dictate the hours you sleep,

the noise you may make,

they have sway over the type of work you do,

they influence the area you live in,

their future, perceived happiness, decides when, if, and where you go on holiday

and they manage it

all without saying a word

their speechless rule

begins

with

their first act of control

the physical rearrangement of the anatomy of a mother’s body

then, like aliens, they

separate from their temporary host

and extend their reach into every part of the family’s life

they are

mini wordless rulers with maximum power

© Marjorie H Morgan 2017

Untitled (2017)

Without you

I’d not be here, now

so, thank you.

You have taught me so much,

but now you’re gone.

I’ll never forget you.

Like engineers who daily perform miraculous feats

and build bridges across

the greatest expanse of waters

connecting distant lands

we created something great once,

in the past,

and then we danced together

in the setting sun

awakening at dawn

to feast

our eyes and bodies

together.

Each day was the best lesson

learning was never like that

at school

life, lived

together

opens the mind

opens the heart

life, lived

apart

opens the mind

closes the heart

… for a while

until another teacher

connects on the way

through life

and the engineering

work

of love

and being

begins

on the new project

that is always planned

and that old song

is heard anew

life, lived

together

opens the mind

opens the heart

 

Without you

I’d not be here, now

so, thank you.

© Marjorie H Morgan 2017

Advertising

Complaints are frequent

when

commercial entities cross boundaries

of decency and good taste

to advertise

their wares

yet

we

oft

remain

silent

upon encountering the brass person

on the street

in our homes

in the mirror

who

does

the

same

thing

behaviour is an advert

of personality

catching the attention

and anchoring in one’s mind

honed from childhood

we become skilled

at

promoting aspects of character

that are appealing to others

burying less favourable actions

for later discovery

once the audience

is hooked

buyer beware.

© Marjorie H Morgan 2017

A chain of kindness

When asked for help, and that request is well within your abilities, it is no hardship to acquiesce. Kindness is not hard to achieve, especially when the person asking also has a history of charity – just for the sake of it.

So it was a short while ago in my small world.

A friend, with who I have spent many pleasant hours just “being” asked me to help him put some thoughts into poem form. He said he was stuck. Stuck trying to verbalise the thought of being stuck in a chrysalis state but desperately needing to move on. We sat and talked in more about his idea, his situation, and then I took some notes from him as guidance. Together we discussed options about his request and I said I’d give it a go.

A while later, I had gathered his thoughts together and moved them around to create something that felt like it could reflect his intentions: I shared it with my friend and I’m pleased to say he was deeply content with the result.

That was the end of that, so I thought. But no, as with chains there are connecting links, pins, rivets and rollers that go on beyond the original single connection. What I initially thought was just between us two developed into something bigger than us both.

It was a few weeks letter that I’d heard from my friend again; he was ecstatic to share some news regarding our poem. I was told that he had shared it with a profession therapist, who in turn had asked permission for it to be used on the wall of her office, because it was her feeling that others could benefit from the sentiments within the writing – of course this was agreed to.

The next surprise was when my friend told me he had asked a graphic designer to visually represent the words that I had written – this was done without cost, as the graphic designer wanted to help this small project to expand. The chain of kindness kept getting longer when my friend wanted it printing, as the printer agreed to do several copies without charge for the poem and the process of its conception intrigued them (also, the kind initiator or this request was well known to the printer: his reputation preceded him, as reputation does with most people).

From an initial thought between friends over coffee and a chat in a local cafe, a few words have become a poem that is now being shared, freely, around the world.

It is fuelled by kindness as it continues to travels. It was recently heard of touching hearts in Australia after it was shared by a friend in Wales with another friend on the other side of the world.

When we sit and consider others, as we ask and freely give what we are able to into the world, it reminds me that we are all linked by a chain, and it’s so much better to be linked by a chain of kindness in words, deeds and actions than by any negativity.

The poem was about a butterfly flying, this poem has done just that and flown around the world: the whole concept emerged from single thought into a worldwide chain of kindness and sharing. For me that’s a beautiful and blessed occurrence that I am happy to be a small part of.

(Below are the simple words created in November 2016 – attached is the graphic representation of these thoughts.)

Butterfly, butterfly
let your wings dry
then always, always,
fly, fly, fly!

Butterfly, butterfly
dance each day
sway and sashay
do as you may

Show your self –
do not hide
the unique statement you hold
inside

Your body is a work of art,
aerobatic displays
are all a part
of the expressions
of freedom and joy –
your heart’s concessions:
do not be coy.

You somersault
as if
you care
for naught
but your nectar-filled tongue
and twirls
with the sun
lift you to soar –
fresh reminders of
the freedom
lining your core.

Butterfly, butterfly
fly
fly
fly
with bright strong wings
to lift you high
find pleasure in each new branch,
there is no reason
to look back and sigh,
there is no reason,
no reason ‘why …’

the chrysalis of the past
was the needed
womb of now,
change in life comes so fast
that joyful wonder
is the new fresh vow,
‘being’ constantly alters
and your wings sometimes falter
but
butterfly, butterfly
inhabit just now
that is the only way how …

Butterfly, butterfly
let your wings dry
then always, always,
fly, fly, fly!

© Marjorie H Morgan 2017

 

CR Butterfly butterfly IMG_3129.jpg

Orchids

Orchid

Orchids have taught me patience.

I have several orchid plants in my home and I now enjoy their life cycle.

There was a time when I didn’t understand them, but I’m constantly learning about the process of transformation that comes with living with orchids.

Everybody enjoys the flowering part of the life cycle, it’s there to see and revel in. It was the part after the flowers dropped that first got me. I thought the plant was dead, but it wasn’t.
I observed the long, lonely, empty stem and the thick green leaves that looked abandoned and I wondered what I should do. With regularity I watered it lovingly along with its still flowering companion orchids. It gave me no reason for hope, I was sure that its brightest days were over but I didn’t give up on it. Why, I don’t know as I didn’t understand what was happening to it. But I treated it the same as the ones I could see blossoming.

It seemed like months later, but on one of my many moments of being fascinated by the beauty and structure of the orchid flower, I saw that the barren orchid had spouted a new stem. I was over joyed. I literally said, “Wow!” I immediately wanted to tell people about this miracle, but I held back as I reasoned they would think me slightly deranged to be so happy about a single unexpected stem on a plant.

All that time, when I couldn’t see what was happening, the orchid was growing and changing – unobserved.

When it was the right time it grew externally, so that I could see.

The blossoms are on their way again.

Not everything of great value is always on the surface.
People traditionally expound the value of ex-ercise, we should also equally value in-ercise.

Go deep, be quiet, reflect, grow and then blossom when it’s your time.

I love orchids. I always will.

© Marjorie H Morgan

The journey of grief

Everybody experiences grief. But not everybody talks about their grief. This is because with every person’s grief the language to deal with it is different – just like they are. There is not one universal language of grief; there are as many ways to speak it as there are people to experience it. Grief is always personal.

The way to communicate feelings at times of intense sadness can be with words, but it can also be by being present, taking time, showing love. These things can all be done in silence, but they speak volumes to the person grieving. There may be times when you need help but can’t speak it. This is because grief can make it impossible for you to speak, or it can make you talk non-stop. It is a changeable visitor.

If people offer you help then that gift of love may be well received – even if it is not acknowledged immediately. You see, grief changes people. It has a mental, physical and social impact.

When someone else is grieving we console them in the best way we can. When we grieve we begin to understand how the grief occupies you from within. It is only then that it becomes a different kind of truth and pain. The ache you feel and the hole it comes with can never be truly explained to anyone else.

The journey of grief can consume whole lives. It has the capacity to devour everything. It may start with your focus, your memory, your concentration and continue until it has physically enveloped all of you. It takes you back to a state of naked emotions: social behaviour and constructs have no meaning and validity – maybe that’s why when grief is in control people hide away from each other. It is loss amplified. It saturates you.

Then as we tried to control grief on a daily basis we may keep hiding from each other, even though we are in plain sight. You see, like a wayward child, grief refuses to be constricted by social norms. It’s primeval and raw and appears anytime and anywhere. It is always present.

Which is why it amazes me that we talk about it so little. For something so pervasive in our individual and collective lives it seems to receive the minimum of attention until it has forcefully invaded our lives. Then we have to wear the grief for the remainder of our days. Like the unwanted spot on our forehead, it is with us everywhere we go and part of everything we do. It is your own.

Physically, grief is exhausting. It drains you of all energy. It numbs and heightens different emotions and often does it all at the same time. You are pulled in so many directions and yet can stay perfectly still in one spot. Experiencing grief is a journey of disorientation and throws you into the deepest panic without warning.

I think grief is one of life’s biggest paradoxes. For confusion levels, it is only matched by love. They are different sides of the same coin: both as potent as each other. They are equally important and they both appear to remain mysterious.

Grief is consistent in its inconsistency. It just is.

Letter to my 15 year old self

Here are things I would tell a 15 year old Marjorie …

Family

The day you turned 15 you’d been motherless for nearly 6 weeks and the whirlwind of grief never slowed down for a moment in all that time. Your family, like you, are still trying to come to terms with the sudden loss of your mother – even after all these years. They are also managing their pain in the best way they know how.

It’s a shame that you all didn’t know how to talk about what you were feeling at the time, but that wasn’t the done thing way back then; it was all ‘stiff upper lip and carry on’ mentality despite the gnawing pain in your heart.

On that first birthday without her the last sentence that you wrote in your diary that day was “I wish Mummy was here.” I’m sure the rest of the family felt the same as well, that’s why they all tried to make the day happy with a surprise birthday cake, cards and gifts of money. It was good to see people smiling: we should do that for each other more nowadays too.

It’s nice to be nice – even to your family.

Writing

The fact that you’ve kept writing all these years is wonderful. At the time you didn’t seem to know why you wanted to write, but you did it anyway. The only thing you remember – and that shows up in your diaries – is that writing was your best way of expressing yourself in a house of uproar. Taking the time to release your thoughts and views in the secret pages of your diary were your way of staying afloat. You’ve done well. Keep it up, it works for you.

School

For the whole of my 15th year of life school and education saved me. It saved me from the reality of living in a family where the centre had been torn out and it gave me something to bury myself in. I remember particular teachers, like Mrs Kirkby, who taught English, being especially caring and encouraging. She knew I had the potential I am just remembering and she gently steered me towards my passions. I’d say to Marjorie at that time, listen to your heart and ignore the careers teachers who had limited visions for ‘someone like you’.  In my effort to prove them wrong I spent years in careers I didn’t like just because they said I would never be able to enter them at all. I did prove them wrong with my success, but I missed out on spending more time doing what I really love.

Love

I knew the theory about love, but the reality seemed eternally unreachable for me then. I would now tell my 15 year of self that I should hold on and not be corralled into believing that there is only one way to love and be loved. God, who created so many different species and experiences, had obviously made a way for me to express my love beautifully. The images of relationships that I’d seen were – like most families of the era – ‘making do’ because they had to. The pure, true passion always seemed to be missing.

Some things I was exposed to frightened me so much that I wanted to isolate myself from all intimate contact altogether. For a while I thought that love meant pain and suffering. I now know that it’s not so.

I would tell 15 year old Marjorie to keep going to the library and reading all those books that explained the feelings you’ve had from before you went to Junior School. Trust yourself, young Marjorie, you are not wrong to look for the love you deserve. And if you hold on, and hold true, the best love ever will find you when you find it.

Friendship

There are people I would tell a younger Marjorie to avoid because they were never destined to be friends despite the fact that you were always open and friendly with them. You’ll suffer heartache when people reject you for all you are, but never mind, when they leave your life they make way for the right people to enter. And without them, you’d never fully appreciate the joys of true friendship.

In a way, I’d like to tell 15 year old Marjorie not to be naïve with people because they will invariably disappoint her, but then you’d not have the simple open nature that you possess now if you did that. So, keep believing in the good in people and even when those particular people fail you don’t give up on friendship. You will find some spectacular gems that will remain in your heart for life.

Parents

Losing the pattern for what I saw as perfect parenthood so early in life I’d have to tell my young self not to despair because there are other ways of learning to be a good parent other than learning it from your own family. I’d suggest that 15 year old Marjorie did not hold on to the resentment that she had for her father for decades because it would block her ability to complete that initial part of the grieving process. Although at the time it may have seemed like a lifeline to kick against the apparent cause of her loss (in the form of her father), I’d tell my younger self that it would be years of wasted energy and angst. I would tell her that even parents have dreams that shatter, so try to find some way of accepting the mosaic that is your family set-up.

God

My message to my 15 year old self is that it’s OK to be angry at God and to refuse to pray – even when your father gets angry at you and threatens you in sacred worship time. God will wait for you to understand. He’ll always be there, in the high times and the low times. Luckily, Marjorie at 14 had already built up some of her own faith and, although at 15 it waivered, it never completely died. My message to my young self is do what you need to do, say it how you need to say it, but never forget God has got your back! Through it all, He will still be there for you. Trust me.