Sunday, September 07, 2008

One Single Impression: Defenses Down

This week's prompt for One Single Impression was "defenses down." The little haiku about opening my heart came pretty quickly, but after that it was a struggle. I keep thinking I should have a lot to say about this but my brain doesn't want to offer up anything. The last one - which I just wrote this minute (as opposed to last night), might have potential but it isn't very good at the moment. I'm posting it anyway. Desperation, I guess.

Turn the other cheek
Means let your defenses down
And give peace a chance
How else is there any hope
Of ending foolish wars

Peace is what we crave
It is our natural impulse
It’s where the heart is
Until those with agendas
Trick us into shedding blood

After 9/11
There was a moment, a chance
An instant in time
When people across the globe
Reached out to hug, not to strike

After 9/11
The world was betrayed again
By mongers of fear
Using words like God and freedom
To excuse betraying both


My defenses down
I open my heart to you
Trusting and afraid


I went to a workshop once
And as often happens
I felt very alone
Out of place
I was with a friend
Everyone loved her
Which made it even worse
I feel so undefended out in the world
Like a child looking for a mother
Even in a crowd
It was a healer's gathering
Later we all took turns
Lying on the table
Opening ourselves to love
The woman who led the group
Working on me
I'm amazed at how huge your heart is.
You seemed so closed and defended."
Ironic, isn't it?
I thought I had my defenses down
That I had none
But the world saw me armed to the teeth
If only we could learn
That fear and shame and doubt
Are defenses that close us off from what we want
And if only we could learn
To look past what people (nations) seem to be
And look into their hearts
I bet we'd be surprised
At how beautiful they really are
Wow, we'd say
Hearing your leaders
(the face nations show the world)
I thought you cold and cruel
But now I see your heart
And oh, how big it is!
Just like mine.


Jeff B said...

The first is so on track.

I tried a bit of Haiku today as well, but I think they pail by comparison to your gift of poetry.

sgreerpitt said...

I like the fact that in the first poem you are one of the only poster today to expand the idea of defenses beyond the sphere of the personal into the realm of the social/international.
The last poem does have promise!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, you are very expansive, big heart, big ideas, intellect and emotion!

Carletta said...

I loved the little haiku - opening hearts with defenses down often leads to hurt. Been there too many times.
I do remember that after 9/11 people seemed to care everywhere you went - I'm sorry the feelings didn't hang around.

Kathie Brown said...

These are all very good, speaking to the need for love and acceptance. I like the two 911 poems and the one right after that. When we open our hearts aren't we all trusting and afraid?

Jim said...

Hi Nicole, thank you again for your nice prompt. You are here showing yourself a master one more time! I wouldn't dare suggest a prompt but I sure have fun playing with the others. Now if I could only write.

My first choice is the second 'After 9/11,' I have had those feelings (PBS just played 'The Great Pretender--how appropriate!) of betrayal even before 9/11 and amplified by thousands of times since.
Second choice is your last poem, I fell hard at the ending.
Thank You.

anthonynorth said...

The first is so true. I'm from the UK, and my heart went out to the US after 9/11, as did most of the world. Then inappropriate politics came with Iraq, which my own goverment disgustingly joined in.

Raven said...

Hi everybody - thanks for your kind words.

Jim - I'm not Nicole. I'm Raven/Katherine... I sent prompt suggestions once but they apparently got lost in the mail. I'm happy just being a follower in any case.

Regina said...

I loved the last poem here as it had a kind of resonance for me... well done.
And the 9/11 poems- what more can be said. You were right on with these.

MyBellavia said...

You do indeed open your heart to others. Especially through your writing. Beautiful contributions this week as always. Thank you.

SandyCarlson said...

That broke my heart. You do open your heart to others; doing so requires tremendous amounts of effort, energy, and trust. It's so very difficult.

Thanks for this poem, which is a thought-provoking exploration of the topic.

spacedlaw said...

I love that last poem: I find so many fragments of myself in there.

Anonymous said...

..very searching poems-questioning-the mind and the heart..many thanks..

Quiet Paths said...

I've read these over more than once. You know it's not any surprise but I can relate to the top poems very much - you knew that already. The last one is a window into a moment of your journey. It pulls at my heart.

Tumblewords: said...

What a great job! You've done amazing lines here - love it!

Julie said...

You have put such a lot of effort into these three verses. Each is very good in totally different ways.

The structure of the third one is a joy to read.

Anonymous said...

trusting and afraid... a great, great line...

me ann my camera said...

These are all wonderful, as is your contribution to the theme on the OSI page. Your words of wisdom and truth speak to so many of the difficulty and at the same time, need, to let those defenses down. It is a struggle that many face.