who said life’s even fair? (free verse)

Painting by Mae Giroux, Oakville, On. (my dear aunt)

 
she must get to sleep! 
in less than an hour 
bloody birds will peep 
chirping away with joy 
waiting for a new dawn 
but, 
for an insomniac 
their fervor makes  her yawn 
sometimes makes her go mad! 
 
still 
she must sleep 
in four hours the alarm will buzz 
grating at her every pore 
beep beep beep beep beep 
digging deep under her skin
annoying bleeping thing! 
 
today she returns to work 
a five day break she took 
away from tears 
away from pain 
away from fears 
abusive grownups 
hurting them in vain 
controlling 
and narcissistic 
crushing vulnerable souls
killing all their hopes 
sometimes they want to die 
it seems 
their only way  
out of such misery... 
 
unless 

her colleagues and she
together with the youth
they choose  
another plan 
they’ll live on one condition 
those bleeping grownups 
will be reported 
 
the cops will come 
and bring their troops 
youth workers and the like 
 
 
and yet, 
 
more time will run its course 
over days and weeks and months 
until this youth is truly safe 
from physical, 
sexual 
and emotional harm
 
but n’er from their nightmares
and not from all their wounds 
no, indeed that takes 
an entire lifetime 
they’ll start the healing process 
a little bit here and there 
a break for a while 
trying to ignore the pain 
reprieve from all those memories 
 
and on and on it goes 
the victim pays a lifetime 
assailant n’er enough time!
 
who said life’s even fair? 
the wounded try to mend 
their broken and bruised souls 
abusers lick their wounds 
playing victim of their sins 
pleading time they've served,
too bad, they'll usually win!
who said life’s even fair?

...one last yawn,
reciting her Hail Mary's
an Act of Contrition
and prays for a better day.
(c) Cheryl-Lynn '19/01/06
edited April 17, 2019

Justice for youths

child abuse
violence, rape and incest
time served’s NOT enough!

children’s rights
smugly shouting “youth’s Justice”
have we really tried?

children crying
empty bellies aching
in the night

child soldiers
fighting their fathers’ wars
victims of our sins

lost childhoods
never reaching puberty
justice not for all

youths’ injustices
landfills filled with promises
adults’ failing youths

(c) Tournesol ’19/04/01

reflections of a helper (free verse and solo renga)

This is a free verse written for MicroPoetry Month with the theme of “violence” in mind, reflections of a youth counsellor, followed by solo renga.

She listens with benevolence
their stories never told
the shame and guilt of violence
those tales so raw and bold
of adults spewing cunning lies
they violate ‘til she cries.

A pause ensues, she hears a sigh
despite attempts to offer hope
their stories make her cry

said tears bring no relief
some tales are just too hard to bear
she hears them in their grief;

the hardest tale of all to share
are secrets found in dark despair
illicit truths, unmasking lies
“You know I love you… Daddy cares.!”

she holds their secrets in her heart
and hopes the healing may finally start

tomorrow is another day
she knows it will soon start again
and she’ll be there to hear their say
in hopes to soothe the constant pain
if even for the briefest moment
expunge the grief away

© Clr’15

(solo renga)

autumn leaves
left on the grounds
destroy emerald greens

remains left to decompose
destroy the life beneath

tending to debris
allows the earth to breath
thrive again in spring

©Tournesol ’17/11/09

 

Sexual Assault Canada ;   Child Abuse in Canada

This video shows true stories in America and  statistics as well in U.S.A. – Child Abuse prevention PSA

 

Written for MicroPoetry Month #9

Witness of their pain

Do you remember January 1st, 2000?  I remember looking up into the sky at those fireworks, at 00:01 standing on Front Street in Toronto.  Many people worldwide wondered if our computers would crash and what the future held for us. I knew I had a passion to reach out and help.  In July  I crossed a major threshold in my counselling career by joining Kids Help Phone.  This would be my career of the new millennium!  I’d won the Lottery!  

Who knew, crossing that line,  my life would change forever?  I had joined an agency that offers a unique service to youths in “their” mode of comfort, in their style, in their time, from the comfort of their own place.  I was hooked for good! 

Like so many people who work at Kids Help Phone, either behind the scenes fund raising, spending tireless hours promoting this unique service or the endless hours listening, counselling, responding to on-line messages or chatting on Live-Chat…I fell in love with this amazing family who cares about reaching out to youths across this vast country, reaching out to cities, towns and more isolated regions where help and hope are often scarce. 

The uniqueness is the availability, the free access and more notably the anonymity of this service.  Finally a safe place for youths to reach out and not feel judged; youths, who sometimes are sharing for the first time, exploring their options and feeling a sense of empowerment because THEY are in charge of their call.  Some youths may have been robbed of this privilege by abuse or neglect; here they are heard, respected and believed.  As a counsellor, I do feel privileged accompanying a youth on their journey. I take the lead from the expert…the youth on the other end of the line or the other side of the screen.   

Most youths who call are looking for some direction and may not know where to turn. Most do have good caring supports but don’t want to worry their family or friends.  And then there are some who don’t have this…

 

Witness 

Sometimes I hear

or read on-line

from far and near

their storyline

truths that need

and must be heard,

my role to heed

bear witness

to their pain.

I may appease

but must refrain

from judgement

and rather aim

solution focus

actively  listening;

compassion’s key

and soothes gently.

 

they won’t divulge

they want to spare

their loved ones

for whom they care

still…

they just want

to unburden

confidentially

and safely…

feeling unlaboured

a weight off

their shoulder…

sense of reprieve

in total anonymity!

they are relieved

and finally believed!

 

And so I listen…

 

I hold their stories

gently in my heart

listen with my soul

witness with my ears

their pain I hear

catch their tears

embrace with my mind

their stories

one of a kind…

always unique

in their distinct tale

of deception

and betrayal

of violent nature

appalling misuse

of human behaviour

alas!… child abuse.

 

Cheryl-Lynn, Counsellor – Witness 2014/03/11

American Beauty

watchingtherainI was bored on this rainy weekend and so decided to watch a few movies on my PVR.  One of the movies I watched was American Beauty.  I had seen it before but somehow watching it for the 3rd or 4th time, there are scenes that hit me, you know, when you read a book 10 years later or watch a movie when you are in a different frame of mind, different phase of your life?

The part of Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening’s marriage falling apart is pretty clear.  It is amazing and yet so sad, how each person is in a different space and oblivious of each other. Wife is dealing with her own issues, husband feels unloved and is bored with his life, daughter is just a typical teenager but unfortunately her parents are both not really present for their daughter…too caught up in their misery.

The part that gets to me from the start is the family next door.  I feel for the son with a father so tied up with his “should” and “should nots”.  Perhaps the military reinforced those “should’s” but it is sad that each person in that family is so impacted with his toxic behaviour. I had not remembered the ending…wonder why I wiped that from my memory!  It just broke my heart to see that!! I guess it is that defense mechanism that I have always had that “forgets” instantly.

I really felt sad but not surprised that this military man was homophobic and again not surprised that he had homosexual desires…but to end the way it did floored me.  I would have understood if he would have taken his own life but not this…

As Kevin Spacey narrates in the end, it dawned on me just how short life is and how precious it is…Nite world. Clr

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, Mayt 26, 2013