Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “poetry

never saw that coming (a poem)

ufo girl

ufo girl

she landed the ufo
wrecked the entire backyard
left after she had devoured me
i am texting this
from within her purple stomach
how did you know she was a she?
you ask
the sex was amazing
still…?
it was pretty hetero
how is that?
hmmm…
right!

11-19-21


and there she was… (a poem)

and there she was

i keep wanting to start every story
every poem
with “and there she was”
but it has become cliché

and yet
these legs
expanding out below me
on my phone IG account
and i don’t see it at first
but as i enlarge
and look closely
it is me
in the background
clearly holding my macbook air
in one hand
as i whip up migas
on the fancy-ass gas stove
at my sister’s cottage
in the lakes outside of new york

it is warm outside
but the fall is coming
and i am arriving at love
with this amazing woman
it seems like we have just met
casually, randomly
by chance and circumstance
of this webby woven world
of gadgets
online dating profiles
kisses with strangers
promises never fulfilled
by the right swipe

i miss you
her
anyone

at this moment
i find my aloneness
almost unbearable
on the first cold night
in furry slippers
and sipping
my bubbly water
wishing i had more information to go on
the photo is beautiful
but there is no contact info
no touching
only my imaginative
lyrical typing
like an idiot
poking the cold plasticized aluminum
into tiny stokes
black on my white screen
clickity
all alone
clackity
on a night
when almost anyone would do
a cat perhaps
an Asian massage therapist
no
not that
just alone
me

staring at my phone

and there she was…

11-18-21


like lemonade (a poem)

like lemonade - a poem by john mcelhenney

like lemonade - a poem by john mcelhenney

i could not hold on to her
sharp edges
my hand strength
was no longer
sufficient
my heart
no longer
capable
of holding the space
for her
and
me

at some point
you have to let go
of the weight
and the gift
to continue
up the side of the waterfall
alone
enlightened
and
lightened
by sadness
and loss
returning to the peak
alone
but triumphant
or defiant
definitions and words
do little
to explain
this moment

11-12-21


girl i once knew (a poem)

girl i once knew (a poem)

girl i once knew (a poem)

i talk about them too much
my current girl says
and asks
are you still in love with her
no
my dear
i am trying to find my way with you
informed by
them
of beds and kisses
as my roadmap for what is ahead
is unfamiliar
her hair still comes to mind
from time to time
the feel of her back
and place on her neck

it is no longer her i seek
intentions have changed

sleeping next to someone else
loving again
revisiting memories
and tastes
the sound of your voice
still in my head
loving me
closer
in
some
broken past embrace
i cannot return home again
i had to move
my place had become
deprioritized
my best friends all said
that is no place to be
lonely
and in love
unreflected or unresolved

11-10-21


too fast for me (a poem)

too fast for me - a poem

too fast for me - a poem

a woman once said
you’re too fast for me
as she sped on by
to the friend zone
she felt we were not a match
i agreed

11/04/21


slipping into something more comfortable (a poem)

flowers by the bed

flowers by the bed

i am still uncertain of my steps
one move forward
one blistering explosion of distress
a kiss with intention
may lead to a lifetime of promise
adventure
holding the firm confident hand of my lover
or
something completely different
how do we know
how does “i love you” come into frame
when is it okay to hope for future plans
when does “staying in the present moment”
become an avoidance
an escape from the heady work
of declaring your love BIG
deleting all the apps and passwords
leading to the options and rabbit holes
of other potential partners

we are here now
there is nothing more than your breath
on my neck
your timid words of assurance
and the ask
the pressure
the holding of space
for

LOVE

to enter
in glory and flaming red sparks
to enlighten or ignite
there is no in-between
there is only ON
or BURNED UP

i want you
i pray that it will work out
as I press into your thigh
and ask for permission
to believe
in your smile
in the promise of your kiss
in all the things we both claim to want
if the seeking is over
what will we do next
try not to fk it up
pause at the edge of the unknown

or is it time to jump
in

this time
forever

11-1-21


man under water (a poem)

man under water

man under water

 

the smoky morning rains have arrived
to remind me of the loss and emptiness
of this moment
as i repose in a new venue
rebuilding
resetting myself
my love
my energies and trajectories
towards higher love
higher ground
higher callings
that still respond to the desire
and the aspirational quest
for a partner
a forever home
to rise and celebrate the suns arrival
together
holding hands
knowing
all is right
with the world
and
in
my
life

this very moment is perfect
and imperfect
i know this longing
i live in this loneliness
i celebrate this awareness
and this second
when i can pull words
out of thin and chillier air
to muse about my future lovers
my future homes
my future resting place

now
i
know
i
am
love

10-27-21


thin white line (a poem)

a razor-thin white line
of my accelerated life
this night provides data
but no answer is clear
no winner
no smashed siren
so lovely and reposed among the mossy rocks
i swim to cool my jets
and sleep with the fan on
swirling dreams each night
oh loneliness
what is thy sting?
this emptiness
becomes a meditation
a bowl of valentine hearts
given freely
no goals or immediate gratification
the slow thrust
tests all of my senses
keeping my words
soft
my voice
low and smooth
in a sacred prayer
of non-attachment
i let you go
each minute
of each day
and reach for your hand
on inhale
blow you a kiss goodbye
on exhale
the night is long
and kisses are distant
and this is my perfect
hour
here
aching for my lover lost at sea

10-22-21


limitless (a poem)

an opening is becoming
moments together
that bring limitless joy
both thrilling and comforting
and a breath in each other’s arms
is a lifetime of what has been missing
all this time
all these days and nights
of seeking and resetting expectations
become stillness
a point in time
with you
is

10-16-21


big night at whole foods

jesus walked into whole foods today
mary was close behind in an elegant silk robe
the wise men were nowhere in sight
i believe they were seeking papaya
and a tannin-free pinot
no one noticed
perhaps they had just finished ice skating on the roof
refreshed almost
lest you think it wasn’t *that* jesus
let me assure you streaks of light
were shooting out of his head
as he walked by
“maybe the halogen lights in your eyes?” you say
or perhaps
i am an unbeliever or unsaved
maybe even of unsound mind
but i’m not kidding
oh, look over there
it’s buddha in the checkout line
with a beautiful woman or two
it’s a big night at whole foods
in austin, texas

john mcelhenney – 2015

image: whole foods, creative commons usage


love loving love

[from strange horizons poems]

in this blistering pace of the day, this life
all that is missed or lost or unremarked upon
all the moments we didn’t stop
and pause in prayer of affirmation
what gets lost?
what loves go unfound
unspoken
ungifted

i am certain in my last days
the joys i have celebrated will out balance the dark times
or, i am certain
that given the chance
starting at this very second
that I could begin
to tilt the balance towards
more love poems
towards more love moments
towards love
period

pointing this direction of my life
i can choose my targets
i have opportunities so clear as this
given the choice
given this life, and this pause
given everything i do and everything i’ve yet to do
if i choose with intention
i can aim my arrow
towards a deeper appreciation
of love loving love
and being loved back

01/2015


mvd2.0

off-hearttree

[from strange horizons poems]

something about your heart doesn’t make sense
a desire beyond all desires
a part of your soul you don’t understand
but are drawn to
the thrill, the chase, the capture,
the loss, the love, the sadness
it’s all in there at the beginning
and if you spot the one you’re looking for
no amount of distress or baggage
will keep you from
giving it your best shot
communicating freely
loving wildly
being reckless
bold

don’t hold back when the winds of love arrive
the storm approaches and you can lean in
or run with the dust and rain

ours is the way of brave things
kisses like arrows of fate and joy and excess
piercing the veil
of loneliness
hope
and
desire

the poetry of desire has created the maelstrom
a belief in myself
in my power to call in what the universe demands
of lovers
and answering the call
who am i to hesitate
when the time opens up and says forever
i am good to go
perhaps for a year
perhaps for a lifetime
i have only lived this far
i do not know
but i feel

you have awakened the life in me
of potential and possibilities
lying together
side by side
strokes and cuddles
smiles
and groans
as we seek the hand
push back against the night
with laughter
longing
and
full
fill
ment
of
the
we

2-5-16


her surrounding love

illig-framed-2016

[from strange horizons poems]

just above her wrist
there’s a sweetness
that only i know
a place behind her thigh
that i hold on to
and the left neck nibble
drives her to laughter
no matter what mood
might be passing through
i cannot imagine
a more perfect union
flawless in our imperfection
fitting in our wants
reverent in our needs
she keeps me in her pocket
when she leaves
she keeps me wrapped up inside
warm

2-1-16

image: framed, by Ed Illig ©2106, used by permission


more than a love poem

mylove[from strange horizons poems]

a love day
to celebrate the year of changes
growth
kisses
and deep understanding

seeing you again today for the first time
i am reminded how easy you are to adore
that first laugh infected my heart
pulling me out of a slumber
brave and strong

aspiring to stand beside you
true
open
vulnerable
seen

reflecting back
brief moments of joy
and belonging
together

1-15-16


The Self-Regulation of Poetry and Longing

OFF-songwriter

I understood something tonight for the first time. It came about after I wrote a post on depression and the artistic temperament for one of my other blogs. As I was explaining how my art is often a form of self-soothing, I cracked open a tiny window into my own current situation. I’m not depressed, but I am highly activated and in an artistic spurt. Tonight as yet another love poem (or poem of #desire, as I’ve come to call them) surfaced I caught a glimpse of myself, doing my thing. And I noticed the effect. The poem of longing seemed to relieve some of my suffering. It gave me a lift even as I was expressing my dismay.

In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life.

By telling my story, even in poetry, I am giving voice and awareness to my inner voice, my inner pain. I don’t admit my sadness or loneliness much these days. I’m too busy, too creative, too “happy.” But tonight, something in the back story of the love poem signaled from my subconscious creative brain to my rational and self-assessing brain that there was a problem.

Again, it’s a poem. But as I look back on the two books of poems that have come out of this period of my life, I began to understand, tonight, that these were as much a narrative as my prose. When read in sequence, you can see the arc and trajectory of my heart out of darkness and into hopefulness. I even achieved several moments of “love.” Even when the relationship couldn’t hold the feeling, in the poems I captured a tiny sliver of the potential.

Women of potential. My muse.

And tonight, as I was writing this poem, about something as simple as noticing a woman’s dark shiny hair, I was also able to hear a bit of the ache that I long to medicate with a relationship. And barring that, a love poem.

In the act of desiring, in the writing of a romantic epistle, I am releasing some of the tension I feel. In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life. Again, I’m not sad, but I’m lonely. As creative and inspired as I am, my seeking is consistent and unanswered. I have learned patience. I have learned the language of love. I have taught myself to compose songs. And yet… I’m alone.

Another moment occurred this weekend that opens up a bit more of my thinking about relationships, and “what’s next” for me. I had taken a long Saturday afternoon to drive my daughter and two of her friends to the local outlet mall for her birthday. That afternoon, when I got home, alone, I was exhausted. After a quick nap I arose and felt inspiration hit as I was trying to put down a song idea with my guitar and computer. An hour later I was one song richer, and again, slightly exhausted.

And at that very moment what I wanted was someone to share my song with.

It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment.

I contemplated going out. There was a local band playing, and I knew the woman who books the club was newly single… But I was tired. Fulfilled somewhat with my creation. And still, aching for connection. So some of what I am longing for is simply being seen. Having someone to share my new book of poetry with. Or even a new poem. Sure, I’d like someone to come along who can trigger some of the “loving” sides of my poetry and songwriting, but I’ll settle for a confidant. Well, perhaps a cuddling confidant.

I know that I don’t want to become addicted to this state of longing. It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment. And clearly, for a few moments more.

All is well. A new poem is written. A song released inspires yet another. My creative heart flows and flies.

And. Longs. For. Connection.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

related posts

image: the author, kristy duff wallace, creative commons usage


shooting arrows at the moon

off-arrowsatthemoon

[from strange horizons poems]

i have work to do
and i’m thinking about women again
the absence of them, actually
in my life
in the romantic sense
i’ve got sister, daughter, niece, and mom
and not a single bosom to lay my head
this time of year
it’s a problem
or at least a hardship
of course, it is no different than last year
except i’d just come off a deep jag
with a beautiful young mom
who had a penchant for silences
and filling them with music videos
fancy meals and drugs
i couldn’t sustain
the celebration
long enough to understand or feel
how our connection might evolve
into a higher…
wait!
a more solid…
no!
it wasn’t about that
let’s be honest
she was 11 years younger
she was beautiful
she was willing
is there any further explanation needed
still
i would do with her comfort today
tonight, rather
and yet, i wait and hunger
with intention
it *is* the evolution i’m seeking
a transformation of some sort
of me
of my trajectory
and flights of fancy
my arrow is aimed at the moon
and i will settle for nothing less
than overwhelming joy

12-14-14

image: goldion moon, johnathan leung, creative commons usage


of course i think about you

[from a second wave – poetry]

i want you to danceheadoverheals-off
to feel
express
every
single
l. e. t. t. e. r.
words to sounds to body

6-16-13

image: head over heels, courtney carmody, creative commons usage


a late start

[from a second wave – poetry]

white convertible porschetennis-latestart
lululemon tennis gear
a pony tail and
an 11 am court time
on a working day

of course there’s a huge rock
and a beautiful smile
and an elaborate
cup of coffee

i could get used to this
if i were
young
beautiful
female
and well-married

10-9-14


eager for the game

tennis-non-john

[from a second wave – poetry]

i fell in love today 101 times
she’s not amazing or anything
but she’s playing tennis
and i’ve discovered that I love her
every time i return to the back of the line
and i look at her smile
and lulu-fit skirts

something occurs to me
as i’m falling in love
for the 73rd time
she’s just a woman
playing tennis

sure she’s young
she’s pretty and fit
and athletic
but it’s her inside out forehand that gets me

i’ve become aware
on the 84th time i fall in love
that it must be more about me
the smell of the fall air
and the thwack of the balls
that has me
head over heels

on the 98th time
i fall in love
class is almost over
and i’m aching to understand
if there’s something more to it
or if she could also be participating

i ask her a question
she is wonderful
happy, distracted, and…
just a young woman
playing tennis
on a fall afternoon

i am still in love
and will return on friday
to see if she’s as eager
for the game
as i am

10-8-14


strength and softness

OFF-coffeeeshop-2

 [from a second wave – poetry]

i see the smile
the mosquito bites on her back
the back of strength and softness
and desire moving away from me
and she waits
she stops and sips her coffee
turns and smiles at me
or the barista
it’s hard to tell from here
and it doesn’t matter
as the flutter has begun
it’s mine and mine alone
she is gone before she notices
anything about me
still she is smiling
in my mind
in my heart
of hopefulness

9-29-14

image: at starbucks, lokate366, creative commons usage


joy or i’m gone

OFF-bubbly

[from a second wave – poetry]

twenty women walk into the upscale coffee shop
i am noticing what is attractive to me
fitness, beauty, swagger
or is it what’s radiating or not radiating
from within
you can see joy a mile away
a feeling that’s coming off the happy ones
is dramatically missing from those
less joyful
and that’s more important than the fitness
underneat the lululemons
or the Porsche she parked just outside
shining and waxed in the sunlight
almost painful to look at
in brilliance, power, and lust
i am free here
to look
comment
imagine
and drink my Italian sparkling water

8-23-14


dark woundings of my own

OFF-dark-mermaid

[from a second wave – poetry]

the precision in a glass of wine
loosening the tongue just enough
to truthfully expose the inner heart
the pumping seething heart
rich red with healthy passion
or black blue with choked off pain
i cannot stand in your way
nor cushion your deep slide this time
my target is moving now
released by your trigger finger
and slippery anger-joke-anger
mad, just kidding, is still mad
and opening the door
date-night door, as well
with “i’m mad” is a sure sign
as sure as the slight slur
almost imperceptible, almost passable
but the message uncoiled and venomous
was unfiltered this time, by feints and jests
and the bile poured on the floor between us
what could’ve caused the flood
releasing pent-up frustrations and …
what
a deathly release from being loved
a striking to keep from feeling
a fear greater than being loved
a fear of loving and losing again

i can’t survive this poison
i’ve seen too clearly the trajectory of loss
disappointment and un. met. expectations.
i survived this song long ago
so long, i no longer want to do the dance
around the venomous tongue
the wounded and striking viper
i won’t go back to charming
starring with glassy eyes, praying
playing the flute
hoping for a long and happy life
i failed my snake charming class
and burned the books
branded with my F
but released from that prison
of dangerous shadows and unknown traps
i am released and recovering
from dark woundings of my own
i won’t take on more
hurt
no matter
what the
love
provided

now

or

then

8-1-2014

image: models dive 25 meters, bejamin von wong, creative commons usage


some distant storm

cj-rain

[from a second wave – poetry]

i know you do not understand
and i have resigned to that knowledge
there is no concrete image or metaphor now
that will bring things back around
to set the world on its proper path again
once we have tasted love, heat, desire, unlimited
we are hungry forever
unafraid in the quest for breast and bone beneath
i cannot take away your joy
or smooth out the creases of this life
but the days can move easier in my arms
we walk alone down this new dusty path
and rain clouds seem always on the horizon
things are different now
fractures and scars they say are stronger
but a ghost of the pain remains
no matter how tough we appear
how confident this voice you think i sing
each love song for you
even before we’ve met
i knew you’d arrive
eventually
as long as i kept singing
but as this night falls
again with some storms between us
i cannot help but feel the rise of the hair
on the back of my neck
warning of the storm
the flashes of brilliance
followed by clusters of noise
it is no easy task loving another person
there is no sudden unlocking
but as we uncover each new inch of skin
and listen to the complaints and joys
hearing deeply for the resonance
we begin to open
fall
grasp again at some dream
of what we had
what we would become
how things might still
this one time
work
out

7-24-14

image: rain? set, cj romberger (cjromb), creative commons usage


an infinite goodbye

[from a second wave – poetry]

the next time I saw her
i was unable to look in her eyes
too much had passed
words that should’ve never been spoken
and i didn’t want to see
the smile, the body, the hair eyes breasts and skin
that i adored for years and years
now stripped from my grasp
from beneath my fingers
i no longer had beauty beside me
and in my loneliness
i found
how we’d never been quite honest with one another
she’d not told me of her trespasses
and I had taken the path of non-resistance
and left her alone
in the bed
trying to sleep
rather than make love
we were tired
she deserved her rest
but
i fell
through the cracks
and let my energy dissipate
with every night i did not demand
that she love me back
that she receive my touch
that she reclaim her own joy
the part I had fallen in love with
it was not my part to recover her
so i fiddled
and complained
but did not demand
my fully empowered wife
to reignite
perhaps it was …
no it was both of us
it was nobody’s fault
but mine

7-18-14

infinitegoodbyes

image: Olivia Arezzolo by Gervin Puse, creative commons usage