Siren Whispers

Siren Song


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New publication

I am proud and honored to have two poems published in an anthology on strong women. The anthology, published in June of 2022, includes poetry from across the globe, from females and males alike.

Here is an excerpt from one of my poems:

Choosing Myself

Love,
unmarred by time or quarrel, is patient
and blind,
to red flags fluttering in the wind.
It’s easy to lose yourself, be diminished
by another’s perception and resentment.
Days turn to months, to years; you exist
moment to moment, hoping
if you try hard enough it will get better.
It never does.

The anthology can be found on Amazon at the following link:


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My Friday Night Cocktail Ritual

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How it started, how it’s going

Meeting me for the first time, you’d be unsurprised to find I love books, baking, and even considered starting a business that combined the two. One thing, though, I doubt anyone would associate with me is this: I love a good cocktail. Specifically, I love mixing a good cocktail.

I’ve never been what you’d call a big drinker. Though my twenties were full of outings with friends, pub crawls, and dinner parties, I was considered a lightweight. In those days, the beverages imbibed were far from sophisticated and meant only to pack a punch with as little money outlay as possible. Even in my thirties and forties, it was rare that anything more potent than wine or beer passed my lips.

Then came my divorce, singlehood, and a desire for change. It was time to shake things up — literally and figuratively. For me — the person least likely to have a liquor cabinet — the ritual of the Friday night cocktail was born …


Published on Medium: P.S. I Love You 

Find the complete version here.

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©2021 Christine Kelly
All Rights Reserved.

Photograph by the author

 


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Purgatory Road

I’ve not been to Heaven or Hell,

but I’ve travelled this Purgatory Road

far too long.

No amount of prayers,

or repentance,

has eased my steps

along this blazing, dusty path.

My internal compass points a way

I no longer believe in.

The fragility of that arrow

mirroring the hope I’ve held close

for what seems the entirety of my life.

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Copyright © SirenSong1208

All rights reserved

Photograph taken from Google Images


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Photographs

Photographs tell stories, at least to me they do. They have always been the way I’ve captured memories to revisit at a later time, to share with those who’ve been absent. They have told the stories of what I have loved and who I have loved.

I’ve been photographing everything around me from a young age. When I had children, this increased exponentially, suddenly the camera was always in use as I captured every moment, every first.

But what do you do when you must put those photographs away, pretend like they don’t exist? How do you bury reminders of a past, of memories that are still ripe and sweet, years later? How do you do this when keeping them out are constant reminders to someone of a past they want to forget? Of a person they no longer are, outwardly? How do you expunge those years, and should you?

Some things can’t be forgotten.

I wrestle with this. On the one hand I want to be sensitive, these photographs remind them of who they no longer are, but on the other hand these same photographs remind me of a happier time, when the future was bright and hopeful. They are not only a tangible reminder of the past but they are a part of me. I am the photographer. I am the mother. In this case, I am the creator of both art and life.

I’ve tried my best as a mother: to provide understanding and support, to teach them the skills necessary to navigate life, and to be more resilient, but above all I have tried to show them how loved they are. Unconditionally.

Sometimes this falls short, no matter my motivation, no matter my actions.

As a parent you put your child’s needs ahead of your own, but sometimes your needs and theirs are at war. As it is for me now. I have robust memories, with many of them being photographic, and now I must put those away and with them a part of myself. At times it feels like one more piece of me is being buried and I cannot breathe. I am banging my fists against the lid but no one hears my cries.

The photographs are the latest in a line of things that I have had to turn my back on. I am not prone to pity parties but I grieve, oh do I grieve.

Some might think this is selfish, to feel this way about photographs, but it is really about more than captured images. It’s about forgetting 15 years of a life. It’s about surreptitiously reliving them. It is what I struggle with. It’s not that I am not thankful for what I have, but it is a loss and as such it behaves like the tides, ebbing and flowing, but never ceasing.

The changes wrought are incalculable. I grieve for the past and for the future. There will be things I will never experience and things I experience but in a way that is more challenging and isolating than I ever anticipated. This truly is a matter of only understanding if you walk in my shoes.

But these are small things and, in some cases, future things.

We adjust as we go along. Tentative steps taken, often with a heart that aches with loss but also one that feels a modicum of joy as things align. It is the past that is rearing its ugly head. As we go forward into this new life I am no longer allowed to revel in those memories. I must be secretive about the happiness I felt because it makes someone I love uncomfortable.

It’s the latest of cuts, and probably the deepest, and I feel as though I am bleeding out. How much can I lose and do I have the right to feel this grief when it’s not my life that will be challenging?

I don’t know the answer to that. I’m just searching for something to staunch the flow of blood.

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Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photograph taken from Tumblr, source unknown


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Blood and beauty

Blood and beauty

and how we fall

with the jagged edges of life

softened with love

or meticulously opening

a vein

leaving us ashen

with blood loss

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Copyright ©SirenSong1208

All rights reserved.

Photograph taken from Tumblr, unsourced.


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Innerchild

I used to keep her quiet,

shushing the giggle that would erupt easily.

Making her pay attention to serious things,

but always visiting her

whenever my soul needed recharging.

The path back to the purest part of me

was always there,

I just needed to take it,

and now it is the path I choose to travel.

She, the ideal companion on this road trip,

finding inspiration wherever she looks,

seeking the positive to gilt those melancholy clouds,

doing whatever her heart desires,

because life is short

and she doesn’t want to stop tasting

at one flavor.

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*Written over on Instagram for #innerchild prompt

Copyright © SirenSong1208

All rights reserved

Photograph taken by SirenSong1208


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Changed

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It has been seventeen weeks, five days and one hour since you told me. Since my world shifted on its axis. Since our lives were changed, permanently. 

But who’s counting?

I am asked by family and friends how I am dealing with it. If I have gotten used to it, accepted it. There is never just one answer. It is too complex for that. Indeed, it is too complex for words on most days. 

I tell them that I accepted it the moment that I was told.  And I did.  How could I not?  There was never ever a question that I wouldn’t.  But my heart grieved.  For what was lost.  For what would be irrevocably changed.  But most of all, for the burden that was carried, silently and alone, for too long.  My head accepted it.  I was rational and logical.  But the heart does not know nor does it understand those words.  And though there is unconditional love and acceptance, there is more than one layer to ‘getting used’ to something.  The head always wraps itself around a problem, a situation, a change, more readily than does a heart. 

Hearts have a long memory.

So my answer to that well meaning and concerned question was ‘yes, I’ve gotten used to it’ and ‘no, you never get used to it’.  And both answers are true.  Perhaps one day I can say that I am well and truly used to it, but I don’t know that that is possible.  There are too many memories, 15 years worth, to believe that there will never be a day that I am not jolted back in time or that my heart won’t feel a twinge at what will never be. 

But for now I just accept each day as a gift.  One more day that, if things had been different, I might not have had.  And I know how lucky I am.

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*Written a year ago to the day. Still relevant as my new normal continues to take shape. As the tides rise and the sands shift, every day there is learning and acceptance and gratitude. But even on my best days there is still grief for what has been lost and an exhaustion with a climb that will never plateau.

©SirenSong1208 ~ 2016

Photograph taken by SirenSong1208

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Flowering beauty

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Every thought

a seed planted,

watered with attention,

becoming the flowering beauty

of words spread across the page.

Giving colour and image

vibrancy and warmth

to the pristine façade

of an otherwise

monochromatic life.

#AprilFalls

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©SirenSong1208

Photograph taken from the internet, original provenance unknown.

If it is yours please let me know and I will remove or credit.


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The Maze of Life

photo

She wandered through

The maze of her life

Searching for 

Happiness

Understanding 

Love

Only to find

That she was close enough

To see it

But not close enough

To touch

Photo taken from the internet. Original location not known. If it is yours and you wish me to remove please let me know.