Strangers (poem)

I saw your picture tonight
I don’t know who you are
Weeks and months have changed you
From the memories going back so far
I can’t remember your voice
Or the sound of your laugh
So much left to yesterday
When yesterday you were my half
Hopes and fears, scars and dreams
Silence, anger, pain
So much that we shared
Without you, I had to learn to live again
But who you are today
Is someone I don’t know
A stranger, a nameless face in the crowd
Who’s holding memories of a woman he no longer knows.

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Unanswered questions (poem)

What does it feel like
to not think about you
Where random thoughts at more random times
are years past being new
What’s it like to not wonder
if I’ll ever see you again
What’s it like to not be left behind
or to hang on to hope so thin
What’s it like to not see your face
in so many years of memories
What’s it like to be the one
who is not missing me

Heather L. Flood

Endless Winter (poem)

winter-black-and-white

Winter started long ago
Ushered by the summer wind that blew
No more bright days of warmth
Only a fragile memory or two
While summer burned so bright and hot
Snow suffocated all that gave life
Ice hardened everything it touched
A broken heart in eternal frozen night
While summer burned like an inferno
Winter left a path of death
Destruction that can’t be repaired
Cold wind blew in hate in a silent breath
When will the heat of summer return?
Will the desolation of winter ever end?
Will a frozen heart ever thaw?
Will a new season ever dawn again?

Heather L. Flood
11.22.16

I wish I could tell him . . .

My husband and I will celebrate our 12 year anniversary soon.  12 years!  That doesn’t seem very long compared to how long my maternal grandparents were married.  But in relation to my age, just shy of one-third of my life has been spent with my husband.

Sometimes I wonder where 12 years has gone.  It feels like we just got married yesterday.  Sometimes it feels like we’ve been together forever.

When we got married we went to Memphis for our honeymoon.  We both love that city, and I love Elvis.  We agreed that we would go back for our 10-year anniversay.  We will only be two years late, but we will finally get to go back to Memphis.  I am as excited as I was 12 years ago.

We’re going to take Amtrak down there because my husband loves trains.  We’re going to stay at the new Guest House at Graceland hotel (which replaced the Heartbreak Hotel, which we stayed at on our honeymoon).  There is so much we want to do and see again.  Graceland.  Sun Studio.  Hard Rock Cafe.  Beale street.  And of course I want to show my husband St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I can’t wait to be back in the city that I fell in love with the first time that I visited.

One thing dampens my excitement though.  Brian.  I miss my friend.  You never realize how much you miss someone until you want to tell them something and you can’t.  I want to tell him about this trip.  I want to hear him make fun of me for being such an Elvis nerd.  I want to tell him about school.  I want to laugh with him.  I want my friend back in my life.  I miss him.

Tonight my heart is joyous about the anniversary trip with my husband, about revisiting places that first saw us as newlyweds.

But lingering quietly in the background of my days is the empty place that used to be occupied by my friend.  I miss him, and hope he’s doing well.  I pray for him, that he finds success in all he does, that he is following God’s plan for his life, that he is the strong man of God that he wanted to be.  I pray that his life is filled with peace, joy, and love.  And, selfishly, I pray that if he thinks of our friendship that the memories make him smile.

I would love to have my friend back.  But that is not part of God’s plan for either of our lives.  Not now.  Maybe someday.

For now I will smile when I think of him.  I will celebrate the years that saw our friendship go through so much.  I will remember the laughter and tears.  I will remember the hugs and the fights.  I will remember the support and advice.  I will remember silly nicknames.  I will remember.  I will hurt.  I will be thankful that he shared part of his life with me, and I am a better person for that.

And eventually a time will come when he will pop into my head and it won’t hurt to think of him.  But for now, I miss him.  For now I still hurt.

Until next time . . . 

Unwelcome (poem)

Get out of my head
You’re not welcome there
Your memory is unwanted
From a past secretly shared
You have no place in my world
Of your memory I have no need
You were a hurdle to overcome
A hurdle I no longer see
So stop finding ways into my head
Through my memories and dreams
You’re unwelcome, undesired
You no longer mean anything to me
I’ve made my peace with our past
I painfully let you go
Now you are someone who simply was
Someone I used to know
I’ve said goodbye to all you were
I turned my back on what you meant
So kindly take what remains of you
Remove your memory from my head

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.05.15

Memory Lane

Sometimes I miss you
Out of the blue
Sometimes I miss you
There’s nothing I can do
I can go for days
For weeks at a time
Then all of the sudden you’re there
Sitting on top of my mind
Sometimes I miss you
Your laugh and your fear
All the dreams you were reaching for
The insecurity you let me near
Sometimes I miss
Just being near you
The longing I felt
That made me run from you
There was no friendship
No solid ground
We were built on sand
Destined to crumble down
But sometimes when my mind gets quiet
And thinks down memory’s path
I miss the illusion I believed so much
I miss the addiction that swallowed me fast.
Maybe you’ll never leave my memories
You’ll always appear out of the blue
Just when I’m least ready for the trip
I’m down memory lane led by you

By:  Carrie Leigh
02.04.15

The Wrong Fork In The Road (poem)

Ever wonder what the hell you were thinking
What led you down that road
What made you take the fork one way
When that wasn’t the way to go
You knew you weren’t getting lost
But you knew you should have stayed away
A bad decision without a moments thought
Haunted you the rest of your days
Try as you might to move on and forget
That road creeps up from behind
Without a warning you are taken back
To the wrong-way-fork in you mind
You can’t outrun the memories
As they randomly steal light from your path
As you look back and wonder what you were thinking
In that split second of your past
How would right now be different
How much would that ancient moment change today
If you hadn’t taken the wrong fork in the road
If you had only played it safe

By:  Carrie Leigh
01.13.14

Breaking the writer’s rules

once upon

I consider myself a writer.  It’s what I love to do.  It’s what I am good at.  I have been known to be sitting in a bar, doctor’s office, or in my car at a stoplight and have to break out the pad of paper because an idea just struck.  I’ve even been known to text poems to myself because I didn’t have a pad of paper to write it down.  If you consider yourself a writer also then you know exactly what I mean.  You never know when “THE BEST IDEA” will come to you.  When it does, though, everything else comes to a grinding halt until you can get the words out of your head.

I follow a several writing blogs, “like” a couple of different writing-related Facebook pages, and they all say, “make sure you write everyday.  Write, write, write every single day!!!!”  As a writer you are supposed to write, then write some more, write when you want to, and even write when you don’t want to, write when you have lots to say, and write when you have absolutely nothing to say.  I understand why you want to always be writing everyday . . . you have to keep that muscle worked out to stave off atrophy.  For some people to lose the ability to write would be to lose their most prominent voice.  Some people, myself included, just don’t know how to speak any other way than through their ink pen (which is ironic if you remember that I am a radio d.j.).

better-writer

But what about those days when you just really have absolutely nothing to write about?  Nothing inspired you.  Nothing stood out to spark your creativity.  You didn’t see anything that made you think, “that would make a great poem or short story.”

We’ve all, at some point or another, suffered from that evil demon known as writers block.  Any writer who says they have never had writers block is a liar.  Do not believe them.  I firmly believe that one can not call themselves a writer until they have fallen into the jaws of writers block and climbed back out.  The longest it lasted for me was 6 1/2 years.  I didn’t write a single poem, short story . . . nothing.

I don’t know if I just had nothing to say, or if I lost faith in my ability to get the words out.  I do know that I considered throwing out all of my notebooks, because they were just a taunting reminder of that part of me that had gone dormant.  Then one day the machine turned back on and in the 2 1/2 years since then I have written more than I ever did before the writer’s block.

I don’t write everyday.  I don’t always have something to say.  For all the times that inspiration has hit me like a ton of bricks there have been more days where the inspirational well is dry.  Yet I still consider myself a writer.

It’s been on my mind a lot lately that maybe I can’t call myself a writer because I don’t write everyday.  I don’t have a special area set aside just for writing.  I don’t devote hours of each and every day to my craft.  I don’t write to entertain or inform others, but instead I do it to empty myself of things that fill me up . . . joy, sadness, heartbreak, love, uncertainty . . .

Do you consider yourself a writer?

Why do you write?

I have an overflowing 3-ring purple binder at home that is full of all the poems and short stories that I have written since I was 14 years old.  It is the physical version of my heart and soul, and isn’t that what writing is about?  When you write aren’t you supposed to bear your heart and soul to the reader?  After all, how can the reader truly know how you want them to feel if you hold yourself back when writing that poem, short story, novel, or even that blog post.

I may not follow the “rules” when it comes to writing.  I don’t write everyday.  I don’t write, then write some more, then keep writing more after that.  I write until my overflowing cup is empty, and then that piece finds its way into my purple 3-ring binder.

Rowling

I write.  I write when I am inspired.  I write when my cup runneth over.  I pour myself out through my ink pen or computer keyboard.  I sit down and leave a part of myself on display on the paper in front of me.  I give myself to the reader to be judged.  Isn’t that what writing is all about?

So I ask again, are you a writer?

Whipping Post (poem)

You make me feel dumb
You make me feel so small
You constantly remind me
that you don’t need me at all
Does that make you feel bigger
Does that make you feel strong
Does hurting me make you feel in control
in a world you’ve hated for so long
Why am I your whipping post
when all I’ve tried to be is nice
Why must you beat me down
Why is my heart your satisfactions price
I love you but don’t know why
I want to hate you but can’t
I can’t give up hope for you
Even when you treat me like trash
I want out
I want you gone from my life
But my heart can’t let you go
No matter how hard I try
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
05.24.14

Sinking (poem)

Broken and beaten
Left for dead
by the decaying thoughts
hijacking my head
Reigning down darkness
My own toxic breath
I can’t escape the quicksand
of my self-imposed death
Sinking lower minute-by-minute
But no one hears my cry
They just let me fall
They just let me die
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
05.20.14