Irons in fires and babies in bathwater burning hands on hot choices tossing dreams with the gray matter Dead horses are flogged and red herrings are leaders drown on dry land cry-cry the bleeders Cats bark up the wrong trees and worship false gods disheveled deliriums reverence for frauds Covet glittering fool’s gold and turning blind eyes doves are but pigeons baked blackbird pies Stitch in time saving nine and the madd hatter’s head gear leaches mercury anyway insane-inside voices leer jeer and snear Knights in armour so shiny and heads up in clouds chainmails breed rust glory dreams become shrouds Hold feet to wildfires and get raked over coals an ingrate's in-gratitude shown to kind souls Hands unfit to hold candles and heads full of loose screws hold powerful offices govern from pews Low men on high horses and caught with pants down got nil on Godiva gadding all about town Pots call kettles black and once upon a blue moon justice prevails victories small and hard hewn Keeping nose to the grindstone and paying with arms legs and heart a fertile mind screams just keep making art Get your three squares and beeline to the hive but find the bumblers and fumblers they are your tribe Life in a pickle jar and facing the music pay heed inner wild children they are the muses Make all days red letter and pull out all the stops climb trees climb mountains view your world from hilltops live high on that hog for yours doth have wings and when lift-off fails get up on a swing Affix rose coloured glasses and don your finest of finery misbegotten cretins remain but you’ll make damn fine scenery ~Marcela: Idiomatically yours. November 11, 2018 Poetry: All Rights Reserved, please share with attribution Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Don%27t_throw_the_baby_out_with_the_bathwater
Where do we run to Sister? The noise on the outside, the noise in our heads, where do we run to Sister? May we find a place to rest our minds for the noise all around is building prison walls with no means of escape, where do we run to Sister?
I run no more Brother, I run no more. I find solace in my mind for I know it to be aware and fertile. I find peace in my heart with self for I know me better, now. I seek peace and solitude in my personal environment for my public environments are loud with others’ pain. I run no more Brother, I run no more.
Be still in your heart my Sister, for it knows the true meaning of truth & tranquility. Run no more my Sister. Be still in your heart…
My heart breaks my Brother, my heart breaks. It breaks or us, for them, for me… and I understand, why Vincent cut off his ear… .
I understand as well, we are here for other reasons, not to gouge out our eyes or cut off our ears. We are here to witness and listen. We must give credence to those who cannot do for themselves… he says as he carries his 20 year old dog outside, because he can no longer make the journey alone. Along with the fear in his eyes I see much love and understanding as he holds on knowing that he is safe in my arms. Soon I will have to let go, where do I run to sister?
I held Gloria’s hand, for she had no other, when her eyes saw no more, and I had to let her go. I understand. I seek Brother, and we run no more, we run no more.
Gloria was honoured to have held your hand, she moves on knowing that some one cared and now she too, runs no more. I love you sister…
We have battled over our differences, only to find, that we are so alike. I love you brother.
We battle no more my sister, we battle no more… we took different paths to get to the same place. One can only fight with one self for so long before the futility becomes evident and it is evident to me that we are ONE my sister, we stand together as one, and we run no more.
I cry tears of joy my Brother, I cry tears of joy. And I laugh my Brother, I laugh aloud! For we are cut from the same cloth, and our seams are crooked, but they tear no more Brother, they tear no more!
Yes, they are crooked and you know we wouldn’t have it any other way, the straight path was never meant for us… we are adventurers of sorts and must stray off the path every now and then. It is what makes us feel alive. Walk the crooked path my sister for I am behind you sewing up the seams and filling the potholes as you do for me.
Where do we run to sister, where do we run…? We run no more Brother, we run no more.
This poem is the literal and direct outcome of something I posted to my personal Facebook page. It is the ensuing thread of comments/replies, to the original post. In it, I was expressing my dismay with others’ disregard for their neighbours. The post occurred in a moment of significant emotional, physical and psychological fatigue and pain. The unwitting poem began with the heartfelt words of my brother Tom in response, and took us somewhere quite unexpected, or is it… that? Out of current and more long ago struggles and battles, individual and mutual, we created something deeply meaningful to me, and I am thunderstruck by its depth and the reverberations still going through me, hours later… I am beautifully blind-sided, by its acuity and by its power to break me down, in the most beautiful way, though not without some anguish, to the core. This could not have happened, without his input, which only serves to underscore and demonstrate, the entire point of my original post, and what I am challenged with on a daily basis: what we do (good/bad and all points in between), matters, has impact, good/bad and all points in between. We are connected to everything and everyone, and we live a world which increasingly diminishes, denies and destroys, that. The words of my brother are his heart, my responses are mine. The continuing love and loyalty of my one and only ever best friend Sue, the immediately raw responses of my friends Collie and Carol to the thread/poem, are theirs, and I am profoundly moved by and grateful for, the presence, in my unruly and precarious life, of these women, and my brother Tom. You have done good work mama Marcella, you have done good work. All of your toil, sacrifice and pain, have not gone unnoticed, have not been in vain. And we love you. This poem is yours, mama, it is of your making, word for word.
~Marcela & Tom, with Sue, Collie and Carol.
November 03, 2018
Writing and photographs: All Rights Reserved.
While you were busy careening toward the artificially-cultured dream, you let your own take a back seat. While you were busy painting a life of colour and nuance into a black and white world, you fell into your own grey area. While you were busy loving haters, because compassion, compromise and ‘the right thing,’ you learned to hate and mistrust yourself. While you were busy over-working to make other lives better, you made your own heartbreakingly hard. While you were busy flailing and falling to live a life long undesirable, your voice drowned in the noise of survival. While you were busy lighting others’ flames to roaring bonfires, your own diminished to barely a flicker. So while you flail and fall, flicker and dim, do heed this voice: for it has found that most calcified crevasse, the one to your heart’s ear, and know; I am you, and: [I will] not go gentle into that good night, [I will] rage, rage against the dying of [my] light.
Sunset Photo & While You Were Busy: All rights Reserved M.Y.M.
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas
Reading:Dylan Thomas Reads Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Marcela’s World is a No-prayer Zone
Someone posted a very disturbing (to me) thing again recently about how saying shit like drive safe ‘is really just a prayer.’ What this particular piece of bla bla had to say, is that whether you like it or not, you (in this case me) are praying. Prayer is a distinctly ‘god-tinged,’ religious, spiritual etc etc… thing. You can call it whatever the fuck you want, but don’t tell me how I am to (mis)interpret words to take on what you need them to mean, especially when I utter them. When I tell people to ‘drive safe,’ what I mean is: there are fucking morons on the road or ice, or fog, or Elk, or lions and tigers and bears, and it is a reminder to them to pay-the-fuck-attention! Not a prayer. Again, you call it whatever the fuck you want, when you utter it.
I cannot, simply cannot do another god-tinged thing. I cannot read it, I cannot co-sign it, I cannot. I will not. If you feel it’s ok to god all over me, overtly and/or covertly, why in the fuck is it not ok for me to Atheistically-realist all over you? It is not that I don’t have faith, it is not that I refuse to believe in something, or that I don’t believe in anything. I have faith in real science, I have faith in my ability to do everything from fuck up to succeed and all points in between, and generally I tend to do it in a manner of proportions most epic. As well, I most certainly have a strong, very strong, belief: I believe in reality. I refuse, to believe in something that is not there. I refuse to believe in nothing. I refuse to allow something outside of me to take credit for all the good/bad/hard/easy/beautiful/ugly things I’ve done/survived/been subjected to over the course of my life, and conversely, I am neither cursed/blessed nor unlucky/lucky. I wasn’t handed recovery, and no evil force made me use substances, no one ‘gave’ me an education, a great kid, years of success and/or crash and burns of previously noted epic proportions! Shit happened/I made shit happen, I broke, I fixed it, I worked my fucking ass off, I rinsed, lathered and repeated. At times, I have been supported (and not) by a handful of humans. Real, fleshy, humans.
My life, what was, what is, is the direct result of circumstances, some beyond my control, and the available to me choices I made/make in the midst of said circumstances, with whatever capacity I possess(ed) (or didn’t/don’t), at any given time. My best and worst are not always the same depending on everything else going on in my worlds. Whether said choices have led me to the next epic or mediocre, yeah fuck that, I don’t do mediocre, but I digress, whether those choices have led me to the next epic success or fuck-up, has everything to do with reality, there is nothing fucking mystical or mysterious about it. The bear didn’t bite my friend’s ass when she was out on a bike ride in the sticks because of some weird fucking cosmic correlation, and it didn’t have hidden meaning. The bear bit her ass because she was in the sticks, on a bike, and scared the fucking bear when she came around the corner, and because the bear was a fucking bear. Kinda like I am not the fucking elk-whisperer, I just keep moving into their home and native land. 1 + 1 = 2 whereas 1 and 1 together mean 11, but it’s still true. And that shit, comes from a girl who hates MATH, cause it’s the only really ugly four letter word.
The bear bit her fucking ass because it’s a fucking bear. I say drive safe because I want them to pay-the-fuck-attention. I do not fucking pray. You do whatever the fuck you want, believe whatever the fuck you want, and allow me to do the same without your overtly covert missionary drivel.
Clear? Great. Peace.
The roar of a trusty steel steed, beneath a lead foot, masks the rolling thunder of a cascade, down a tear-stained cheek. And for but a split second, a mortally wounded, though upright warrior, considers swerving self and her metal mount, into the final oblivion. Parker, Dorothy that is, in all her glory and folly, calls on me to live another day. And so I resume, and re-revise, this life's resumé. ~Marcela: consumed enough to resume. August 18, 2018 Photographs and Writing All Rights Reserved. RESUME by Dorothy Parker: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44835/resume-56d224150522
I have been doing battle for and against others for so long, that I have been too weary to dedicate time and energy to that which is the core of who I am: A storyteller. I have been so preoccupied with the survival of self and others, that I may have hovered around a particular opportunity for too long without attempting a landing. But if you know me, truly know me, at all, you will know that I would rather put forth the significant energy required to try, knowing it may well be for nought, than live with never trying at all because it ‘might’ be too late, because I have fear and still suffer from imposter syndrome and engage in ridiculous self-talk like ‘why-would-they-consider-someone-like-me,’ and other bullshit. And as the next piece of corrugated cardboard, stop: revise: and as the next piece of re-bar enforced ‘culturally-appropriate’ cardboard and its inhabitants, threaten to box me further into the harm-laden world and systems I abhor, the ones which are sucking the health from my body and the soul from my being, the ones driving me further into a pit of financial instability, I look at my well-tattooed left arm, and remember, I am the girl who makes pigs fly! Lift-off must occur soonest, for detonation of the box has proven futile and I am out of explosives and expletives alike. I will beseech them, the unboxed, to please give me a shot, for I can do this. I want it more than most things. It is what I have been looking for without knowing exactly how and where I would find it, and without knowing them, but knowing them, because I found me a long time ago, and I know me. The box never has. The box never will. The box is not programmed to know, love, learn, nurture. The box is programmed to destroy. I am programmed to thwart its efforts.
Breathlessly and without pause the mouse chased the rabbit through the sandstone walls vying for first choice of place beneath the giant toadstool under which she would seek shelter from this her current storm. ~Marcela M. July 20, 2018 Photos and Writing: All rights Reserved
Sailing, with a Salt’n Pepper Sailor of off and on renown
I am shaken to the core by the clearest understanding,
of why we are what we are, to the other.
For one is hard pressed to overlook
the human shipwrecks we often leave in our wake,
in the pursuit of self-serving romance.
Floating, in a sea-water bubble-bath behind his true love, Jezebel
I am deeply aware of self and surroundings,
and laugh inwardly at the ironies of this life.
For one is hard pressed to deny one’s true nature
and relative un-importance,
in the middle of a salt-watery vastness.
Pounding, as the prow of his vessel meets the lumpy sea
I g(r)asp at the why, of THIS relationship,
as opposed to one of our culture’s norm and making.
For as affection must not be confused with ownership
so infidelity not with freedom,
and I languish no more in a union of others’ choosing.
Learning, the literal and metaphorical ropes alongside this(hu)man, in his element I am thunderstruck and blindsided,
with a deeply resonating perspective, of my own met and unmet needs.
For one is hard pressed to disregard the tutelage
of a life’s worth of evidence,
contradicting the common view.
Rolling, the hot silent tears down my cheeks
happy though wistful,
as I stand at the helm while the Sailor rests.
For one is hard pressed to spurn one’s calling to self and freedom
when it is so beautifully modeled,
by a Master of that art.
Counting, as the numbers on my personal odometer
climb toward an undetermined end point,
I remove the next vestige of a life never mine.
For as 3 years short of 60 register in my mind
so the realization that I owe me different,
than that which the box provides.
July 19, 2018
Photos and writing: All Rights Reserved.
This day has rolled around once more, and almost 5 decades, in this moment, feels more like 5 seconds, for I will always, and forever, miss you. Forty seven years are but a breath, a single thought, a single wistful tear rolling down my cheek. Forty seven years of reaching in to find you, forty seven years of letting you go. The contradiction of you/me, is ever present. This apple never fell far from your tree, just as I see in my own sapling, and for better or for worse, some bits are still hanging on. I get my rebel, my power, my wisdom, my intense and sometimes impulsive from you, as well as my ability to see the truth, and my stubborn-never-give-up. The fragility and dandelion fluff inside, the stuff that we both hid/e from the rest of the world, so that they cannot damage our oh-so-vulnerable human core(s), are also saplings of the gnarled old apple tree I see, the one that represents you in my visual mind, in my heart,in my very core. It never changes for me, this day, when we lost you. And I know, that it has never changed for her, you were the one and only love of her life. Time does not heal all wounds,it simply grows scar tissue over them which dulls the ache,sometimes, allows me to think about you with some clarity,remember the entirety of your being, and how you still,47 years later, teach me, guide me, help me keep my rebel on,with some measure of grace and dignity. So here we are, July 7th 2018, and I want to tell this story again. The evolving, always newly told story of a hero, my hero. The day never changes, but the story does, as I do. Through the never-ending process of growing up. He, my hero, had to be seen, by me, as human, before he could be my hero, for real for real. He was my first and biological father, Tomáš Mrnka. He was born in the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia on October 24th 1935, and died, under extremely curious circumstances, in a mine shaft in Stewart BC, on July 7th, 1971. It was 12 days before my 10th birthday. He was 36 years old, and when he died, everything I ever hoped for, and dreamed of, died with him. For a while… a very long while. I held him hostage on a pedestal of my own making for many, too many years after his death, and only ever thought about him in a haze of golden glory and undeserved persecution. I only ever told stories of his heroic actions: his undeserved imprisonment in the old country for a democratic cause, his valiant battle to get us, his children and wife, out of the clutches of communism following the Soviet invasion of our original home and native land, and into the country that he wanted more than anything to provide us a new life in. I knew this story so well I could recite it at the mere whisper of his name, and expound at length on his virtues and sacrifices; for his beloved country, for his beloved family. The parts I left out of the story, the human bits, are as important a contributor to the true nature of his hero-status as his me-created perfection. He was the first man of many, to hit me and tell me he loves me in the same moment. He did not do this because he was evil, he did it because that is how children were disciplined; it is what he learned in the environment and culture he grew up in. He was unfaithful to his beloved wife, my beloved mother, and considered somewhat of a Casanova. He was a catch: he had one of the few motorcycles in the country at the time, and a full set of leathers, a rebel with a chip on his shoulder, but he had a cause. He had attitude and the inimitable grin, wit and charm of Rhett Butler, and all the girls wanted him. My mother got him, and forgave him, over and over, to keep him. She had endless discord and conflict with her beloved mother because of him. He was not only imprisoned for voicing his political beliefs against the status quo, he was imprisoned for shooting a law officer. I tell you all of this not to be-smudge his memory; I tell you this to illustrate the full context of his humanity, he was so imperfect, so human, but still a hero not despite it, but because of it. He worked very hard to redeem himself when he brought us here, to make it right, to atone, to take responsibility for the things he did not do well, those things which caused harm and pain. I tell you this because we all have a dark side, a side that side which requires constant work and effort to keep in check, to make certain that it is not given more priority than the hero in all of us. The side that makes poor decisions based on fear, the side which is driven by the outside, all the world’s influences, rather than the inside, the core of our humanness, our hearts and souls, the piece of us housing the belief that we will get through anything, not necessarily with less suffering, but through, if we are diligent and ethical in our work. That piece, the hero in all of us, lets us know that love and abuse cannot co-exist in one environment, and is the piece which informs every act of kindness and compassion we have ever given freely because that is what gives us the most true happiness.It is the piece that would die for the people we love, and sometimes for those we don’t even know, but feel true human compassion and empathy for. That piece, is the one we must nurture, nourish, and encourage to grow and empower. I could not see my father, Tomaš Mrnka, as the authentic hero he was and is, until I could see the full extent of his humanity, without judgment, or the childish notions I carried about the perfection of a hero. I tell you this story because I have experience with imperfection and humanity, and because I miss my hero today, because even 47 years in,this day, is the day that informed the rest of my life, like no other. Back to you dad: Despite myself, my atheist and anti life after death beliefs and world view, I could not help but feel your presence, when my own off-shoot and I visited the places from which I have some of my strongest and fondest memories of you in 2014; Karlovy Vary, Boží Dar, Plzeň It was one of those trips, the journey of a lifetime with your widow, my mother Marcella (with two L's ;) and my son, your grandson Thomas. We told him stories about you that he has likely heard a thousand times before, but it was different, for you had walked these streets that we were walking, you held my mother’s hand there, you held mine, my big brother Tom's. You came back to life for us in moments of memory so vivid that they caught our breath, and we all got to know you, and ourselves, a little better than we did in the days, the moments prior. And then 2015: I waited 44 years to go back, to the places we had you last. The place we loved so very much. It was so wild then, so gloriously out there in the mountains between BC and Alaska, it still was 3 years ago. Just like you, just like me. Rest in peace my beloved dad, and know that the lessons of your life, your imperfect self, and your true heroism, have followed me, taught me, led me, often astray, but always back, to the true hero inside me. Forty seven years ago, my life and world changed in a way that I spent too many years trying to numb, to feel, to figure out, to forget, to remember; and 47 years later I come full circle to face my own imperfection and humanity, in a way more painfully profound, than ever here-to-fore. Thank you for the continuing lessons. We have done well. And although my dark side comes out to play and wreak havoc in my heart and life periodically, I believe that my hero generally triumphs in the end. I miss your person every day, but you live on, in me, every second. Always yours, and with all the flawed humanity I have, ~Marcela. July 07, 2018. Writing and photos: All Rights Reserved.