Monday, April 26, 2010

What It's Like To Be Lost

With this poem, I’ve joined TFE’s Poetry Bus world tour. Argent is running the ticket office this week, and posting the blog addresses of some talented tour members. Our assigned task is to write about either 1) a daffy relative, or 2) what it feels like to be lost. My poem is a little of both.


Sometimes, when you’re under great stress, you black out all incoming information except that which is imperative to your survival.
Then later, when you try to recall the stressful event, you find large gaps in your memory, where your brain simply deleted stuff that it believed was unnecessary.
I was lost in that blackout zone for a few weeks early this month. My mother went super daffy and I somehow went with her.
Here, in a series of haiku (stanzas with a particular rhythm), is a description of how that state feels.


Fear dims memory
You have been here before this
Don’t you remember?

Put up the “closed” sign
Shut the windows. Pull the blinds
Step out. Lock the door.

Assume a blank face
Take the elevator down
Walk into the street

Sleepwalker shuffling
Bare feet wade through broken glass
Crouch Howl like a dog

Train tracks hum a tune
Freight train rockets through the night
Rattle clatter bang!

Duck your head and run
For the dark house down the road
Slam and lock the door

Darkness is total
The silence reverberates
Outside, a cat screams.

Curl up in the bed.
A blanket over your head.
Shiver. Block all thoughts.

You’ve done this before.
Your fear is a panting dog.
Don’t you remember?

Shut out the memory.
Grit your teeth. Clutch the blanket
Don’t answer the phone.

Lie still in the dark
You don’t know who is screaming
It could be yourself.

Wounded animal
A dog howling Cats yowling
You’re safe here in bed.

Glass slices the flesh.
Needle stitches the wound closed.
Mama wildcat screams

She’s out of her mind
Lights on but no one is home
Don’t you remember?

You’re out of your mind
Is it your fault she’s bleeding?
Don’t answer that door


Brian Miller said...

nicely done the litte vignettes through haiku that leave us lost. smiles. and including the train was a nice touch. i am a might partial.

Karen said...

I was thinking as I read this that you'd written to both prompts, and I see that you acknowledge that after the haikus. These are all powerfully descriptive of what you and your mother have been going through, Chris. Your imagery - wildcats, wounded animals, glass slicing the flesh, lights on in empty rooms - all are jagged gashes on the comfort of the reader. If we haven't been here, we will be. Still keeping you in my thoughts, dear friend.

Scott said...

a very stark description you've given us... I pray this passes for you both and more peaceful times are had.

the walking man said...

Sometimes to me safety is highly over rated.

Argent said...

Ooh, scary, disjointed and fast. I likes it!

Dianne said...

very good, and the intro was helpful for those who haven't followed. Rage and anger have the same blackout effects,
watch out for those in disguise.
happy sunny sunday.
Dear One,

TechnoBabe said...

Good poem. The first word sets the pace for what is to come, and I think your behavior during the black out days.

Magpie said...

All are very insightful. I am so glad you have moved beyond that time, but am moved by the emotion it left behind. Happy Sunday, New Friend!!!

Peter Goulding said...

Lots of lost and lonely cats and dogs out there! Well controlled!

Syd said...

I have felt many of these over the years. I'm glad to not feel that way today. I have a lot of hope in my life. That is an awesome thing. Glad that you came out of the black hole Chris.

Titus said...

Very powerful, and yet as Peter says, tremendously controlled. Possibly the more chilling for that - it echoes the blackout.
The animal images are particuarly striking and I like their hints of wildness, wrong, loss of control, and terror. And the final two stanzas are stunning, preceded by the wonderful "Mama wildcat screams"
Yet there is discord in the lines, and I can't quite find sense, which is, of course, what it's like...

lakeviewer said...

You have had some bad moments. These haikus are powerful reminders.

the watercats said...

this was a disturbing read.. I couldn't help but think it must be what having alziemers is like.. it has left me with a bad feeling.. which obviously makes it a very excellent thing!

Domestic Oub said...

Excellent poem, I really was drawn in and felt the emotions powerfully.

Titanium said...

I felt like I was riding in a car that someone else was driving way too fast. The cornering caught me off-balance and I slid farther into my seat, holding on for dear life. With you.

The Bug said...

I tend to want to curl up in bed in moments of distress. If that's not possible I escape into puzzles, trying (& not succeeding) to block out the world & whatever sensation it wants to bring me. Your Haikus do a great job of echoing that disjointed feeling.

Dominic Rivron said...

Really liked this - liked the formality, and the use of haiku-like stanzas in this context had a novel ironic aspect to it, I thought.

Silver said...

Your poem is expressed beautifully. I feel the loss and fear..i think we all have had moments such as these when we are hit with something too dramatic. It's nicely written.


Kim A. said...

The "shutting the door" are the ones that I can relate to. To be able to channel all the feelings in such a poetic I also think "daffy" is a much kinder word since it reminds me of a certain duck that made me smile as a child. I think I will start using it.

♥much love♥

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Good. Frightening. Sad. As long as all those things happen to us a little at a time, we can usually handle it...

Totalfeckineejit said...

Have to confess I am the president of PAH (Poets against Haiku)but here they are revolutionised and work really well. Stark and jagged and powerful, visceral anmd I'm sorry for your ordeal. I wish you well. This is great work.

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