(grief leads me by the mouth like a ring of iron )

what if despite the bad, I choose the good?

what if you decided you were no longer going to give grief an ounce, nay a thin sliver of your soul?

however justified, the space in your being you’ve been lending out

even losing sight, even going blind, even scared of the dark, of the absence of those who should be there in the dark with you

trying feels like a hand pulling on the ring of iron

what if you decided you were going to be like the girl with a 2 percent

chance who didn’t give up even in the light of that knowledge?

(She has family, they stand with her, they knock on her door, my

phone doesn’t ring, my door isn’t knocked on, the silence is deafening and reaches like a velvet fist down my throat)

Yet still velvet is soft

children of diminishment, how do you keep your tender necks above water? It bites so.

Then think of the things that bring you happiness

(there are so few these days)

that’s not true

(okay, a few … I feel happy when I smell my blanket, it smells of home

it is a refuge, I tuck myself underneath and I feel I am hurting less

when I look into the glass eyes of my stuffed penguin I can see in

his eyes all the years I sought succor and how he watched on

even as humans did not, his fur smells of tears, his presence


(when the avocado comes back to life after the frost and the snow

which was also beautiful, an unexpected boon in this tropical world

I do not fit in here I am not one of them but I have chosen

not to stay outcast or reject but live despite their taunt, still wearing purple on a full moon

if I focus on what doesn’t work, then nothing works, not even the air


(when I watch frogs in my pond, when I realize how lucky I am to have a pond, though it has me

when the lilac tree fills her boughs with flower, and the humming birds feed in radiant flutter

when the grass grows high and the cats I saved stalk through it wonderously, though they saved me

when cicadas join together in deafening chorus and fill the night air with their song, then I sing too

when I go outside barefoot and feel the warmth against the tile and the color of a hundred flowers, then I am color

when someone unexpectedly is kind, reaching across the void, then the void is no match

when someone wants to be my friend and we get excited about shooting stars and old Polaroids, our forge breathes universes

when I can help someone and I know it’s made a difference, a new language is born


When I extended my hand and said: I am here, we are not alone, then solace is abundant

when I push aside grief like a sleeping giant

and from beneath the weight climb

in word, deed, solace, giggle

toward brightness

refusing resisting rebuking defying, denying, blooming

they said isn’t that a little naive or unrealistic?

I remembered the child me would have answered

ah go suck an egg

Now? I’m going to play

and we don’t need thousands to play with or an audience

or even for many to give a damn

after all we are ants in a hive we have no time for real things

or mercy for broken people

but we can still


but we still can

15 Replies to “But we still can”

  1. You are always such a light – a luminescent soul – in this world. I am doing all right. How about you? How are you?

  2. I am doing fine, usual up and downs , a few more downs at the moment. The trick is to smile. I am more concerned about you 💜

  3. The trick is to smile. Good words. I’m sorry there are a few more downs at the moment. I am here for you, you are always there for others, but please know, a real friend is there for you as much as you are for them. You are so good at brightening the world with your kindness, but please know others care for you in equal measure and I’m never far. I hope you will feel you can email me or write me if ever you want a friend – I would love that. I’m doing okay. I don’t know if you saw the stuff about NightBirde (google her) but she was on AGT (a show I loathe) and a friend from WP (Mark) told me to watch it, I almost didn’t but I did and she had a 2 percent chance of survival but she still has HOPE and it was like an epiphany because I saw with my eye-stuff that had been a great concern, that the only thing was to have hope. Why couldn’t I be the 1 or 2 percent? So unless things change, that’s where I choose to be. And to help others, which gives my life meaning and hopefully nobody feels as lonely.

  4. I think we are all here to help each other, it’s a great comfort to know we can reach out to eachother and really help. I am so pleased you have come to an agreement with yourself. You found NightBirde , via a friend on a station you dislike and she has helped you….that’s a great step forward.
    I am okay life is just playing with my head.💜

  5. I am here if you need a friend. I’m sure you have many but please count me as one and call on me if ever you want to. I agree. Nightbirde is a remarkable young woman and I owe her a debt of gratitude for reminding me what matters most!

  6. Life is full of remarkable people, you are one of them. I treasure my friends, we never who they are until they show themselves. We never have as many as we think 💜💜

  7. I’m not being mercurial so much as seeing (get it?) differently. I have begun to hope/believe that I may be an exception. I have decided to believe this unless proven otherwise. Why not? If nothing else I will have a few years of less anxiety. xo Thank you for inspiring me to think this way. Your positivity radiates and usually I find abundant positivity a little nauseating but you are a genuine soul who has endured so much I feel it is sincere in you. I meant to say on an unrelated note, thank you for just being someone to feel hopeful about life with.

  8. You are so right about friends not showing themselves until we almost don’t expect them and that is so true.

  9. Generally and you may hate me for this but generally I don’t think of online friends as friends. When you go off line they are usually not in touch. I think a real friend is in touch no matter what. I know people have good intentions but they also have finite time and energies. I value what I get from online friendships but I don’t kid myself that most of them are real. That said, there are a few who have become friends in real life and those I do count as real. It doesn’t mean I don’t value the acquaintance of online ‘friends’ I just think there are also limits and understandable ones

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