Faces, places, emotions flicker on memory’s canvas,
one by one, names/credits roll up and off my mind’s screen,
gone for ever, velvet void between.
Some of memory’s stronger post-its cut through,
extreme residues of acceptance or fear, joy or pain,
leaving notes for future reference’s gain.
Extreme shock wipes its face, there are no notes;
birth, grievous injury, moments too hard to bear –
but optimistic youth and innocence share
their open, curious outlook on all objects in our paths.
Which one do we choose? Will we stray from right?
Does cruel temptation hold darkest night?
Experience has left its footprints to follow as we wish,
to pave our way, lift high our hearts, to make others a gift,
seek the light, avoid the ugly rift.
Or does it leave its painful scars to scratch at others’ joy?
Can it be the tool to hurt, to transfer all our pain?
Let’s absorb the beauty, reject the ugly stains.
I experienced pain once; a playmate stabbed me in the arm with a kitchen knife.
I felt no pain, just indignation and no hint of notion as to her reasons for violence.
We were sitting on a wall, in a village, where life so far had been peaceful and sheltered.
I’m back there, can feel her breath, her waiting to see what I would do.
I made no sound, uttered nothing, just jumped down and ran home. I’m now surprised I didn’t cry. My Mum wanted to know just… ‘why?’
I had no answer, so off she marched, my gentle, peaceful, quietly spoken mother.
She visited the other’s mother, said I don’t know what, returned home, still more indignant than I have ever seen her, told me not to play with that girl again.
That was the end of the matter; an experience that left me bamboozled.
A Different Pain
I laughed and loved, happy and naïve, thinking that life was fun and simple.
I married and moved, ready for adventure but failed at work, the students won.
My confidence sank below the mire; my dreams followed, my marriage too.
I thought that life would follow my plan, never thought I had to design it myself.
Returning to work, a different tack, I found the ability I’d thought I lacked.
The pain, the tears were a difficult lesson but from then on, I could see the score.
Years on, I know I needed that pain, experience told me to grab life, wrestle it to the ground, come up with my version and run with it. And if it doesn’t work, damn well try again!
Look at the World
A myriad places far and near,
a thousand emotions, from ecstasy to fear,
a million people who live lives spanned wide,
a trillion raindrops that fall on the tide.
A sunray dappling through the oaks,
a shadow falls as night time cloaks
a valley’s depths with dark despair,
lifting at morn, optimistic air.
Our outlook, our interpretation,
sheds a light on expectation,
teaches us to look more closely
into our world, our minds, but mostly
into what possibilities we share,
making a difference to lives – everywhere.
Ann Carr is one of our newest members. Keep an eye on her author page on The Creative Exiles for more great work to come.
You can also read more works by Ann Carr on Hubpages.