No One Likes To Talk About That

(Thank you, Gillette, for forcing the conversation.  It is long overdue.)

No one likes to talk about Child Sexual Abuse.  No one likes to talk about how data shows Child protective Services verifies a case of a sexually abused child every 11 minutes.  No one likes to talk about that.

We prefer to talk about the problems with our education system.  But how do you educate a child who has been, is being, or is afraid of being sexually abused by a loved one?

No one likes to talk about that.  No one likes to talk about how 93% of all abusers are known to their victims.  No one likes to talk about how 34% are family members, usually the child’s parent.  No one likes to talk about that.

We prefer to talk about the economy, the job market, the unemployment rate.  But how can a job save a child from the lasting impacts of sexual abuse?

No one likes to talk about that.  No one likes to talk about how a sexually abused child is 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse and PTSD, 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.  No one likes to talk about how adolescents who have been sexually abused are more likely to struggle in school, run away from home, or be arrested.

We prefer to talk about boys and girls.  But how do you solve the problem when you insist that boys will be boys?

No one likes to talk about that.  No one likes to talk about how 96% of all people who sexually abuse children are male. No one likes to talk about how 1 in 9 girls under 18 are victims of sexual abuse and 1 in 53 boys under 18 are victims.  No one likes to talk about how 82% of all victims of sexual abuse under 18 are girls, or how girls 16-18 years old are 4 times more likely than the rest of the world to be sexually assaulted. No one likes to talk about that.

We prefer to complain about shaving cream commercials.  But how can you change minds that refuse to see the truth?

No one likes to talk about that.  No one likes to talk about how until we stop simply teaching our daughters how to protect themselves and start teaching our sons that all human beings are created equally we will never solve the problem.  No one likes to talk about how if you believe in a higher power then you believe that higher power created us all – male and female, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, etc. – in its image, that that power is housed in all of us.  No one likes to talk about how what we do to any one of us we do as well to that same higher power. No one likes to talk about that.

We prefer to complain about commercials.

Not anymore.

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens

https://www.d2l.org/the-issue/statistics/

https://americanspcc.org/child-sexual-abuse/

Advertisements

Something New

I have decided to temporarily revive this blog.  On December 30, 2017 a spiritual journey of sorts was thrust upon me, as they often are in life.  It has been a journey of discovery, heartbreak, and rebirth. Along the way I logged my thoughts in journal entries that sometimes took the form of verse, sometimes short fiction, sometimes personal narrative, and often a strange concoction of the three.  As I have hit the one year anniversary and a new year all together – milestones I once thought completely meaningless but have since learned are no more meaningless than anything else – I have started to think about what to do with the few pages I have of stuff that is actually worth sharing.  While I figure that out, and while I fix up, rewrite, or delete the stuff that is not shareable at this point, I have decided to post a little bit of what I have here.  If you like it, please go ahead and share it.  If you hate it, that is great too.

A note on the format: I apologize for the double spacing.  This particular blog layout won’t seem to let me change it.  Also, if you catch any grammatical errors, please do not hesitate to let me know.  I am a terrible editor and have pretty much given up at trying.  I would greatly appreciate the help. 🙂

 

Pilgrimage

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

Through the deserts,

Through the blizzards

I traveled east of the Jordan.

 

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

Against the odds

And advice

Of trusted enemies,

I went

To find what would make you whole.

 

I sold my home

To murderous thieves who had their way with my morality.

I sold my car

To a homeless realtor who let you stay for free.

I sold my clothes

To fashionistas looking for a laugh.

 

My books

Went to the overly read to keep their houses warm.

My music,

Useless digital files, was handed over to the technophobe with the highest bid.

 

My artwork?

I kept every last one

In a storage unit on the edge of town.

 

Then I went out.

 

Fallen angels took to the skies

To stop me,

Created turbulence

That almost killed me.

I sent my hopes,

Above them.

 

I was still.

I was focused.

You gave me that.

 

I burned the roads

That led me wrong.

Purpose ran

In my veins.

 

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

Before I got to the land beyond the river

I fell to the ground

Tired.

In tears.

I was lost.

I was there.

 

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

But when I got to the the place

I saw nothing.

No jewels, no nothing.

 

I returned to the river and drowned my clothes.

In hope,

I gave up

Resting on the rock.

I felt a stillness in my chest

That spread throughout my body.

The spirit of truth

Assailed me

And I knew.

 

Yes.

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

At the movies with you,

Searching.

Reading to you at night,

Searching.

Laughing with you at internet videos of dogs falling off of boat docks

Searching.

Shoving popcorn in our mouths so that most spills onto the floor creating minefields of kernels

Searching.

 

There is a balm,

There is a doctor.

 

Broken down on the floor listening to you yell at me one last time before you break into tears

Finding

The balm

To make your spirit whole.

 

A Prayer

 

I want you to knock me down,

Steal my shoes,

Leave me different than I was.

Break in my house

And break that thousand dollar crystal vase

My Great Aunt Cecile bought me

For a wedding gift.

Break my heart.

 

I want to know you’ve been here.

I want to feel it

When you’re gone

And feel it that you’re never really gone.

I want to raise my hands up in the air and feel the wind

Like sand,

Like water,

Through my fingers, but flowing

Constantly.

 

So smash my car windows in

And take the library books

I have sitting in the back seat

That are already 6 weeks overdue.

Take the CD’s – yes I’m still listening to CD’s –

Of bands that no one has listened to in 20 years.

Take my jacket

And leave a note on the windshield saying,

“Sorry I missed you.”

 

I want skinned knees,

Bruised elbows, and

Black eyes

To keep me running back.

And like the wind,

Don’t ever let it stop.

 

Ten (Alternate Version)

 

Ten years back, like ten days on an all expenses paid trip to Disney world – Stress and Joy curled up together in bed.  Ten years.

 

Ten times we’ve sat around this table – old women sipping coffee and memories.  Ten times we’ve forgotten to look ahead. All of our lives we’ve watched each other as we looked away to the past.  Traditions. Memories. A family should crave not these things. We were reckless.

 

Ten times we missed it.

 

Ten flowers in the yard become one seen through ten different windows.

 

From one I see a broken leaf, from another, a fallen petal.  From one window I see a brown spot, from another a dug up root.  From another I see a bee, the smile on its face.

 

From one window I see the winter coming.  From another, the ice begins to fall. From one I see the same as the first.  From another, I see the ground reclaim its child. From another I see the breakdown of stem, leaf, and petal into earth more powerful than any that came before.

 

I await the spring.

 

Ten times more would I watch these feats.  Ten times stronger would we be. Ten more minutes until I hear your voice for ten more years.  Then, no more a child.

Trouble in My Mind

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

The sun will shine down on my backdoor through.

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue.

I’ll watch the road, and ride if I have to,

And I will wipe this worry from my brow.

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

 

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

I miss not Faith.  I miss not Love, just You.

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue.

I’ll not be sad much longer if it’s true,

To all these questions I can take the plow.

There’ trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

 

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

I’m going to the road I once drove through.

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue.

My head will rest on 94, lane 2.

My pain, the morning rush will disavow.

There’s trouble in my mind, and I am blue,

But I will not be sad much longer now.

Link

In 1936, radio was playing one of the greatest songs ever written.  The Carter Family’s “No Depression in Heaven” is a bittersweet story of hopelessness, death, and the coming redemption.  It is the inspiration for this blog.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the past few months of poems here at The Great Recession of the Human Heart.  Soon, everything you’ve read here and more will be available for free download through my website.

No Worry Where You’ve Gone

Your shirts are hanging in their closet, cold

And stiff, unworn since when you had to go

To work, to age before becoming old,

To think the thoughts of childhood not so.

The television set is still aglow

And bleeding sound into these empty rooms;

The stars are spinning on that silly show

We loved – the stars as bright as their costumes.

But dinner’s cooked, the smell it lurks and looms

Throughout the house like secret beauty can

When tempted by the things a man assumes,

That life, like love, will last for his plain plan.

In all of this, you’re missing at the dawn,

And now there is no worry where you’ve gone.

A Mother’s Kiss is All I’m Waiting For

A mother’s kiss is all I’m waiting for,

A chest to rest my head upon tonight.

One night of sleep can fill me up no more.

 

This child’s body no more pain can store;

This too young spirit no more wars can fight.

A mother’s kiss is all I’m waiting for.

 

In bed with all the night clothes I once wore

When sleeping just to make it through the night,

One night of sleep can fill me up no more.

 

Depressed by the result of the Great War,

Afraid that recreate it we just might,

A mother’s kiss is all I’m waiting for.

 

So let me fall through life’s last best trap door,

And know just how to make it sleeping tight.

One night of sleep can fill me up no more.

 

In my eternal dream of life’s bright shore,

My mother does not cry for me at night.

A mother’s kiss is all I’m waiting for.

One night of sleep can fill me up no more.

Only Freedom

I’ve spent most everything I’ve made on love,

And never seen what I invest returned.

Nobody here holds on to what they’ve earned.

So now they have to get it with a glove.

The heart’s recession comes from up above,

While down here all the pathways have been burned.

I think of all the things on earth I’ve learned

To help me make some money, but no love.

Emancipation Proclamation me;

Let my good Lincoln come and make me blessed.

My spirit, break your bondage with your plea

For things the body only gets by theft,

And see the light of peace atop the tree;

Then leave to find the only freedom left.

Please visit my website for more poems and videos.

Another Day

Another day, another night to feel,

Because I love and miss you more than God.

I think about the way you smiled steel,

And shook my hand as if you weren’t a fraud,

Then wear out both my shoes with worry for

The love inside this cage that now has died.

So far from my own lover’s bed you tore

Me as I dreamt of where forever’d hide.

Now I don’t dream, don’t even try to sleep.

I’m all alone to make my own love now.

But how, when in my heart a serpent creeps

And crawls its way up to my brain.  Oh, how?

            The truth has turned; I’ll never love again –

            Like spoiled milk – unless I can pretend.

Traverse Tune

The sugar sand so simple and grand

Captured my infant brain.

Its radiant heat burned both my feet,

A pleasure I’ll never regain.

 

The sun on the bay has nothing to say.

The glisten and gleam can both lie.

At night I could swim on a childish whim.

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye.

 

I woke from a dream and my eyes tried to scream,

But there was nothing more left to say.

The doctor had spoken, the beauty’d been broken.

Yesterday doesn’t exist today.

 

One foot in the sand, one foot on wet land,

My head coming down from the sky.

The love of a child so stupidly wild,

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye

 

I slept on your beach and I learned what you’d teach.

I let it from my head to my heart.

One illegal beer, two reasons to fear

The end won’t taste like the start.

 

The building is torn as the body is worn.

There’s no medicine left now to try.

It’s all been prescribed, the memories died,

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye.

 

Here comes the thief with no feelings of grief

To throw a knife at our family tree.

The devil has a plan for that kind of man.

Slavery too isn’t free.

 

Your body gave in and my memories can’t win.

I’m a man who still knows how to cry.

The sugary sand so simple and grand,

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye.

 

I said a prayer from an empty chair

For the family and friends that I’d lost.

I looked for love below and above,

Never appreciating the cost.

 

I’ll try hard to save the things that you gave

As I sit here watching you die.

The time of my life with Lot’s beautiful wife,

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye.

 

The time of my life with Lot’s beautiful wife,

I’ll have to learn to tell you goodbye.

The Quiet River

Across the quiet river I must sail,

To lands where Hate and Chains exist no more,

And life, oh life, where now can you prevail?

 

To see the father I once saw unveiled,

To bring him dreams that died on his shop floor,

Across the quiet river I must sail.

 

To meet my loving mother strong, not frail,

And never see her dreams shipped far offshore,

I go where life can gladly not prevail.

 

To once more see my brother’s calm exhale

Despite the flow of cash out the back door,

Across the quiet river I must sail.

 

And now my son, when I break from this jail

Where life is taken in an endless war,

I’ll see him too where life cannot prevail.

 

And you who someday soon will trace my trail,

Think long about the things that you fight for.

Across the quiet river I must sail.

And life, oh life, where now can you prevail?