And All I Could Hear Was My Departed Soul, Poems, Book Four

And All I Could Hear

Was My Departed Soul

 

 

Collected Poems

Book Four

 

 

By Heather Sawaya

 

 

Copyright 2015

 

 

All of the royalties the author receives from this book will be donated to an organization dedicated to eradicating violence against women.

 

Visit Heather Sawaya Poetry at heatherlsawaya.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Alter Ego

 

Oh shit, she’s done it again;

the little snitch speaks like she’s drowning.

Shut her up or shut her in

or there will lots of angry people.

She eats their secrets like casserole

and then pukes all over the carpet,

if no one comes to clean it up,

they’ll know her life is far from perfect.

Her alter ego is a cruel truth-teller,

like a soul purging itself of dog shit.

Over the years they’ve caused her too many tears

forcing her to reveal their secrets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the Tales

 

Among the tales of womanhood:

her trials, her fears,

seen as slut, seen as hero,

her infinite love for her partner,

the pain of being used,

of being physically invaded.

Among the tales of womanhood:

finally hearing and listening

to her own voice,

recognizing her beauty,

wholly loving herself,

living from her spirit.

Among the tales of womanhood:

she holds the value of herself

like a sentimental tradition

and blinds those that dare

to stare at the radiance

of her spreading fire.

 

Bully

 

I’ve taken another verbal beating,

I can never count on you to do the right thing.

I’m slipping in and out of reality

because I cannot handle what you do to me.

You’ve stomped across my limit today,

you’ve polluted all my sacred space,

I just can’t seem to scrub away

your sickening cerebral stain.

You beat the dog to death

then wonder why it turns on you.

You break my heart to death

so don’t wonder why it hasn’t been true.

Lying, spineless bully,

what a pathetic, powerless man.

Strike fear into those who love you,

turn your home into Alcatraz.

 

 

 

Carrion

 

In my most concentrated version of us I see

a rotting, dead animal lying in the street,

it’s eyes blacked out from a loss of connection with the world.

I smell the connection we have across the

stinking, putrid abyss of nothing

beneath the cruel sun like your cruel words

that you use like an orgasm and then you’re done.

You feel better after the explosion

and wonder why I didn’t come.

But what I’ve found on that searing road within the bleeding carrion

is the pearl of understanding that no connection is possible with you,

or least one that can be maintained

because your capacity to engage is only through sex or anger or rage.

Then the dead rotting flesh begins to spoil,

my heart, once again, blown to pieces,

and over the abyss that supposedly connects us

I, again, smell the carrion

as the flies and maggots descend,

scattering only for passing cars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flinch

 

This is coming from a girl who’s been hurt

far too many times,

who’s had nothing but shitty people

trample dirt upon her life.

I remember a green meadow

when the sky was cobalt blue,

what you tried to turn me into

and that none of it was true,

when I realized just how quickly

some people change their hue,

when I realized what I’m seeking

has got nothing to do with you.

You are the thorn in my side,

you are the tears in my eyes,

you are the clouds in my sky,

you are the reason I die.

I flinch because I keep getting kicked,

you’re the knife that just keeps slitting my wrists,

I’ve become so hardened, I’ve become so pissed

to find that this is all there is.

This is coming from a girl who

doesn’t know which way to turn,

who gets more and more mistrustful

with each lesson that I learn.

Before I met you, I was water,

crystal lakes and flowing streams.

I had things to look forward to,

I had so many dreams.

You pull me under

and drag me down,

you keep me under

until I drown.

I flinch because I keep getting kicked,

you’re the knife that just keeps slitting my wrists,

I’ve become so hardened and I barely exist

because this is all there is.

 

 

 

 

Frayed

 

You look at porn behind my back

and then try to justify it

by saying you didn’t hide it

and it eerily reminds me

of just how much you lack.

I’m losing my ability to love you,

I’m systematically shutting you out.

Set up your hidden camera

and watch me not do things

that could potentially rip your heart out.

I believe with all my heart you’d lie,

because you’ve done it 150,000 times.

I don’t doubt for a second that you’d cheat on me

because your wandering eyes

and your pornography.

You can tell me I’m wrong,

or try to pass it off,

you can even try to chuck

the things you’ve done.

But you can’t tell me I’m not

feeling worse everyday

and that your words

are seeming more and more frayed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piecing Ten

 

From the day that I left home

is coming on the tenth year,

I’ve been wandering in circles

and my life has gone nowhere.

My dreams have been illusions

and even those have been shattered

and I’d tell you how I felt more

if I thought it really mattered.

Because with you it’s all the same

melodramatic situation,

you take a peaceful, sunny day

and you make it complicated.

And you always want an answer

when I’ve got nothing more to say

but you keep on me untill you’ve

ruined my day.

But low-and–behold,

I’m standing at a crossroads

like when the rolling valley

gives way to the ocean floor.

And when I think of all the wonders

in this boundless universe,

you don’t seem quite

so important anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak

 

Slam the door and don’t let me breathe,

I’m a good girl as long as I don’t speak.

SPEAK:

No. I don’t have to take it.

Your standards, your limits,

I am not a machine,

do you hear me?

Let it be known that this is MY life.

I accept nothing else.

I know that I stand before a firing squad

but I also know that the trigger won’t be

pulled by my finger.

Let it be known that the decisions I made

were mine,

and even the mistakes I made were

more precious than a success by your word.

So, no. I don’t have to take it.

I’ve slammed the door,

disconnected the phone,

put a sign in my yard saying

LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE.

I’ve listened to you talk

and you wasted my time

but from all this I finally realize that

MY LIFE IS MINE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak II: Home

 

I am power.

When I tap into the creative forces,

you get lost somewhere in the music.

You don’t matter,

ideals shatter,

let the poem explode.

Lightning strike me, thunder roll me,

halt the forces that seek to control me.

I’ve had enough, can take no more,

don’t come knocking,

I’ve finally slammed and locked the door.

I gave you me,

unconditionally.

Dare speak, and the chains that bind you

will melt before you.

SPEAK:

When you raised your fist to me,

when you aimed a gun at my head,

when in your presence,

my overwhelming dread.

When you said you loved me

after killing me in some way shape or form,

when crawling my way to shelter

beneath you violent mood storms.

I want out of here,

I want out of this,

I can’t live in fear,

you know what you did.

It’s time I’ve made my way home

to the meadows and forests once roamed,

I can’t crawl across this desert,

it’s a chaos I’ve finally outgrown.

I’ve stood in the thunder too long

while the raindrops bled through my skin.

I knelt down beside the shelter,

too worn to let myself in.

 

 

 

 

Speak III: Sleep

 

As soon as something feels safe to me

comes the day when it is taken from me.

It’s the day of reckoning, it’s time to clear my mind,

beneath the layers of this anger you won’t believe what you’ll find.

It’s finally time to get some things off my chest,

and there are a lot of people who won’t like

what I have to confess.

Isn’t it always those who want something for nothing?

They take blame for nothing, yet, they’re the first to start something.

SPEAK:

There’s something about this anger that I have to put into words,

out of truth comes a warning that might leave you a little disturbed,

gone are the days of empathy, I am more than a little perturbed.

I am so tired of bullshit, I don’t give a fuck if you say you’re hurt

because meeting you was the end of me and the beginning of a long curse

and this anger just might kill me someday, but not before it destroys you first.

You’ve primed me so long, you’re the reason I’m going to explode

because crying myself to sleep and being pissed off really gets old.

There’s something about this anger that’s turned itself into rage.

There’s something about this rage that make me want to cause you pain.

There’s so much about you that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

There are ways that I’ve betrayed you that you’ll never find out about.

I know you see me as some pure, sweet, innocent girl,

but because of what you’ve done, I’m going to fuck up your entire world.

And that is the case in point, that is where in my life I’m at.

You have taken so much from me that I don’t know if I can get back.

And so, the last thing that I will give to you

is a secret you can finally keep,

that justice works in mysterious ways

as I lay you down to sleep.

 

Speak IV: Overcast

 

Live, swim, breathe through this/ walking through the darkness reminiscing what I missed/ When you’ve got things in your head that no one else does/ sanity’s insane, a skylark I was/ This is not how it is supposed to be/ what’s a friend when there’s no such thing as family?/ This can’t be how it is supposed to be/ I forgot that my life revolves around me/ It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through or done/ it’s if in the end you’ve got the strength to stand up/ up and away/ I live for my life/ I worship this day/

A pool of blue crystal melting in my hand/ don’t ask me what you’re not ready to understand/ My mind is too fragile to be kicked/ from you standing above/ Ever the hypocrite/ it’s always different when it’s you we’re speaking of/ See my tears and fears raving to be held/ craving to be saved/ this is my life/ and I’ll take that to my grave/ Emotions boiling over the barrel/ never resting to simmer/ I’m sorry if I’m so real/ I shimmer/

This is me/ so real to the touch, my spirit/ Open the power of my senses/ absorb and hear it/ It’s too much feeling/ in this aura of white light/ the molecules of my body/ acting as dynamite/ This is who I am/ this is the only time I feel complete/ I need it, to breathe and to feel it/ to rip myself open and speak/

SPEAK:

Something happened on the way to Oz/ while I was chasing a jackrabbit to my dreams/ I was captured and tied/ locked and tortured/ Control bound my soul/ so beautiful a height/ I’m trying to set the mood deep purple/ my intuition gathering storms/ It’s a deep perception/ a serious matter/ what is air to some/ is carbon monoxide to others/

The hold of control/ like the magnetism of the poles/ broken by rock ‘n’ roll/ You all think you know me so well/ try to control me so well/ Your little lives seem swell/ but my guitar fell/ and I’m on my way to a higher plane/ on Hell’s Road/ It’s not that I don’t take advice/ it’s just that I don’t listen to people that I don’t like/ and it’s not that I don’t like you, baby/ but your advice has never meant/ a damn thing to me/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak V: Storm Warning

 

Strikingly wise,

the truth is not kind,

when you open your eyes,

you find nothing but lies.

Enough said, I’ve been misled.

No. I don’t have to take it.

SPEAK:  Tornado warning-

You’ve controlled all my thoughts,

you’ve yelled and brainwashed me,

my need for security’s making me weak;

I’m scared to stand up, I don’t let myself think.

It’s a fact, there are times that I overreact,

I can’t hold it down, I can’t push it back.

I descend to dimensions not knowing were there,

I’m pissed, I’m upset, I’m nervous, I’m scared.

I don’t even know who the hell you’ve become,

my defense mechanisms have made me succumb,

the negative energy is beating like drums,

I’m going…going…gone…I’m numb.

So inevitably, here we are once again,

and of course you’re right, just like you’ve always been.

I can’t stand the bullshit, I’m seeing right through it,

I’m seeing the light but I’m not going to it.

You undermine everything that I say,

your weapons of choice have been fear and head games.

I’m so damn afraid of you yelling at me,

when I know that you’re wrong,

I still nod and agree.

All I want is some peace,

yet, you cease to amaze me,

you make me so crazy,

your words just enrage me.

You tell me I’m stupid,

you don’t let me speak,

you tell me I’m nothing,

now that’s what I think.

I’ve spent so many years

just denying the truth.

Why has it taken so long to admit

that I’m being abused?

Speak VI: All the Ways That I’ve Died

 

I turned off the lights on the past three years,

insurmountable pain, I’ve drowned in my tears.

I’m trying to recall all the ways that I’ve died.

How can I still feel, am I really alive?

I’m a sensitive person and I’ve always been

so when I’m told ‘Fuck you’ again and again,

it’s my ego that shrinks, what the fuck do you think will happen

when I’m finally pushed to the brink?

When you called me a bitch, when you raised your fist,

still, I bet you’d be shocked if I lost all interest.

I’ve done everything in my power so that no one else knows

but I’m emotionally battered and the healing’s been slow.

You swore that you loved me and I absorbed every note.

You said I was your girl, you wrapped your hands around my throat.

You’re dominated by anger, you govern with fear.

How many times have I wondered, ‘why am I still here?’

I remember the glass burning my skin,

breaking to pieces from the force of your fist.

What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?

Does it mean that the ones you love, you abuse?

As the storm draws near,

the ocean stirs, wild.

There is thunder off in the distance,

I repeat, this is a warning,

I can see the lightning that

keeps me up all hours of the morning.

I feel oddly calm and perceptive,

a feeling through which only

catharsis could produce.

SPEAK:

It’s a shark attack on my state of mind

and I swear that it happens to me every time

that my mind lets go, when I let it run free,

I broke the promise again that I’d let it all be.

I need some room to breathe,

I just scaled this hill of pain that no one else can see.

I need some room to breathe,

and though it scares me so, I know I’m starting to see.

It’s my soul’s blood bath, I’m running out of time,

and the more clearly I see, the more I wish I were blind.

I want to get close but I can’t do it again,

try as you will, I just can’t let you in.

I need some room to breathe.

I’ve given you my affection intravenously.

I need some room to breathe.

I’m going through some things spiritually.

When all which is evil has turned me to stone,

how do I grow when I feel so alone?

Though all which is evil has turned me to ice,

I know I must speak, regardless the price.

Do you remember all the times that I’ve died,

when you beat down my being to make sure I was alive?

When I confess all the ways that I’ve died,

I stop signing over your right to my life.

I open my wounds

for the whole world to see,

because, somehow, in the end,

I know I’ll be free.

 

 

Speak VII: Boil

 

SPEAK:

Hasn’t anyone told you not to touch

a pot of hot water because you might get burned?

Hasn’t anyone told you to shut the fuck up

when I’m speaking and to wait your turn?

You fake little pricks put me through too much shit

and the water is starting boil.

I swear I’ll get even and it makes me wonder

if it’s something I’ll finally enjoy.

I don’t recall asking permission to speak,

or to breathe, or how you think that I

should live my fucking life,

I think you forgot that it’s mine.

I don’t recall setting a leash in your hand

to drag me around while you put me down,

you must think I’m some clown to control

and just hope that I might not understand.

I’ll just let it boil when you’re artificial,

I’ll just let it boil when you think you’re special,

I’ll just let it boil when you’re condescending,

I’ll just let it boil when it’s you I’m ending.

So kind. So sweet.

You sweep me right off my feet.

So mean. So cruel.

You’ve got some demons lurking in you.

I’ve often said you’re like a roller coaster,

I’ve often said you’re like Jekyll and Hyde,

I’ve often wondered what has happened to you

to make all of the goodness within you die.

So, I’m going to tell on you

and tell everyone the truth,

so no longer will I have to carry alone

all the pain you put me through.

I’ll just let it boil when you’re artificial,

I’ll just let it boil when you think you’re special,

I’ll just let it boil when you’re condescending,

I’ll just let it boil when it’s you I’m ending.

 

 

 

Speak VIII: Go into the Water

 

My subconscious is playing tricks on me

as I go into the water

and watch the universe unveil

her psychic field.

I’ve been hit, head on, with spirituality.

I’ve had exotic angels enter my dreams.

The thunderous pain has laced every tear,

everyone I’ve loved has long since disappeared.

SPEAK:

I’ve reached the tip of the iceberg

and I’ve discovered, all along, it’s been cracked.

I think it all started from your cruelty

and it ended with your verbal attacks.

The Earth is shaking below my feet,

but I’ve learned, long ago, to be still.

If I can try to find balance from instability,

then I can revive all the joy that you’ve killed.

My inner child you’ve hurt for years

is surfacing and screaming for help.

How could I have not protected her from you?

How could I have neglected myself?

I’ve become immune to your poison,

I’ve released the pain through my tears,

I’ve withstood each injection of your venom

and I’m still standing here

because this journey is a spiritual one.

I want to know light so deeply,

it is what I become.

If there are such things as guardian angels,

please do leave a message to what lies above.

My intuition has caused earthquakes,

change has metamorphosed my soul,

the older I get, I raise in consciousness,

I want to know life so deeply that

it makes me whole.

Take this darkness from my life

so that I can experience ecstasy,

I want to know joy so deeply,

it will set me free.

 

Sound the Alarm

 

Yes, yes, yes,

I heard what you said.

 

I am fully aware

of the edge in my voice,

but I was hoping to

speak to the

hotel clerk

to possibly get a room,

any room,

an empty room

because, you see,

the locked room in my

head,

the one where I keep my

past

is quite full now,

so full, in fact, that

the crimson is starting to seep

from beneath the door and,

Lord knows,

I can’t have people seeing that…that…

oh…

that mess,

I guess you could call it.

 

I wouldn’t want anyone to

accidentally step in it

and leave tracks everywhere.

 

Lord knows

those stains

never seem to come out.

 

Bystanders

 

They knew

the whole time

and did nothing.

 

They would have

watched me die,

shrugged and

feigned ignorance.

 

They tell themselves

I deserve it,

I must like it,

I brought it on myself.

They shame and they punish

the child.

 

The rapists

call me a whore.

 

Do not cry,

do not speak of it,

do not kill

what kills you.

 

Bear witness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He is the Reason I Don’t Trust Men

 

I speak on behalf of

oppression,

obedience,

silence.

 

Hey, motherfucker.

Yeah, I’m talking to you.

You’re the one who thinks

you’re going to get away with it all.

But I know you.

I know you more thoroughly

than you know yourself because

I’m smarter than you,

and I am much braver.

I have come across your kind

one too many times.

I know what you have done and what you continue to do.

I will expose you

to anyone who will listen.

 

You are the one who beats the woman you claim to love.

You are the verbal/emotional/psychological/spiritual abuser.

You are the sadist, the rapist, the kidnapper, the sex trafficker.

You are the waste of a human life who partakes in female genital mutilation.

You are the sex offender, the predator, the child molester.

You are violent against the minds, bodies, and souls of women.

I will not rest

until I find you.

You have become so ingrained

into the collective consciousness of women

that therein lies an innate fear,

a survival instinct that keep us

looking over our shoulders,

questioning the kindness of strangers,

fists balled up in our pockets,

just in case.

You are the invader,

the manipulator

that seeks to destroy our sense of self-worth

by showcasing violent and

over-sexualized images of women

on our TV screens,

in our magazines.

You sanctify compliance

and you crucify defiance.

You teach our sons to desire this.

You seek to weaken us,

corrupt us so that we will

never feel beautiful or good enough

and we will pass this down

as a family heirloom

for our daughters to inherit.

I will not stop

until I find you.

You have pervaded the lives of women

in every corner

of the world for far too long now.

You have been let loose

and shown no respect,

no self-control.

You foolishly believe that violence against

the minds, bodies, and souls of women

implies that you somehow have conquered

and will forever dominate these territories.

I will hunt you

until I find you.

You are the one who is convinced

that the force to which

you operate under

is somehow more powerful

than the one that drives me.

Herein lies your greatest weakness

because you perceive that

I, alone, am driven by this force.

 

You are the one who does not understand that

these acts of war

against women will always cause an uprising,

and that the call will be answered

from another woman,

somewhere in the world.

I will not stop

until I find you.

And the words will follow you,

echoes driving you into hiding

because too many voices

will sound the call:

I will not rest

until I find you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ophelia

                                                                                   

ACT I

SCENE I. THE DYING.

 

The lull of rue

brays columbine and daisies

beneath her feet.

 

There is a settling in, stirring of emerald;

melodic, nonsensical utterances drown

a distant symphony.

 

There are the ghosts of the executioners

dismantling the pedestal

just as the second hand

makes its final revolution

in her mind.

 

The archetype structures itself seamlessly

to our skin;

its fingers feel over our throats,

our breasts,

down the hourglass,

our hips,

thighs,

and we wear her

obedience

flawlessly.

 

[OPHELIA enters stage right,

taking the form of the martyr,

the docile matriarch,

the ministering angel to everyone

but herself.

For a few moments,

she becomes lost in a reverie

to a shrill scream

only she can hear.

She walks to a window,

tormented by

all that which

she cannot ever have.]

 

OPHELIA to SHAKESPEARE:

 

“From the page,

after everything,

when the answer is,

when the ultimate act of defiance is

to live

you are going to kill me too,

aren’t you?”

 

 

[OPHELIA,

so loyal and true,

so disposable

to her destroyers,

succumbs to her own poison,

fading.]

 

(Exit)

 

ACT I

SCENE II. THE REBIRTH.

 

Boreas carries with it

an undertow of

bluebells and asphodel.

Just as the meteorite strikes midnight,

Ophelia awakens,

mercurial and unchained,

within a perfectly translated metaphor.

 

There is a tormented moan she

recognizes as freedom,

a familiar and innate destiny

that has no face.

There are rains that fall

from blossoms

into droplets

on her waist.

 

[OPHELIA rises.

For a few moments,

she becomes lost in a reverie

to a shrill scream

only she can hear.

She walks to a window,

tormented by

all that which

she can have, at last.]

 

Relics are always spoken of

her martyrdom to the patriarchy,

her cathartic descent into madness,

her suicide as revolt against societal roles and norms .

 

Seldom,

if ever,

do we hear of what happens

 

after.

 

 

 

 

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