Dedicated to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.  My prayers and sorrow are with you.  You are warriors, all.

set the scene

blue ambiance

with pale ambivalence

a certain moral turpitude

conducted with panache

aghast, but abide

take it all, in stride


I am penumbral


deposed by disposition

ruefully relegated

to tidal gray

or grey

dependent upon your gravitational

mood this day

baleful and ruinous

this love professed

As I suffer harmful hands

bladed words piercing

ears heart soul

reaping ravages depraved

seeping chi slowly bleeds

into my pride

the thorn in my side

is the fang of a snake

mandala of calamity

engraved over the name

my mother gave me

God knows this

is not my fault

but caught I was

unaware, impaired

and weak with trust

cursed by my absence of worry

and seven times seven damned


thinking the shield of faith

could save me

I am not to blame

but in breath same

ugly, unjust



weeps from my

hollowed chest

and of the rest

I will speak no more

Penumbral I live

the shadows of a shadow

within the dark

there does lay in tinder

a burning ember, in crippled heart

I tenderly nurse

this spark

will one day speak

of my rage

and upon my own stage

this wraith of a shadow

shall become a Star

image courtesy of Maria Tamrazova and Pinterest

19 thoughts on “Penumbra

  1. I know that ember in the tinder too well. It took years to leave the denial phase and then years more of my voice being removed from me, the stage of what you so well illustrate as the penumbra, shadows upon shadows. Then some years more of acceptance and moving forward, learning how to once again sync the heart with the tongue, and be heard once again. Beautiful poem, OP, and I especially love the final two lines.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. deeply touched. Have been thinking a lot about Daisy’s post. about my two stalkers on WordPress. How I am 51 and still having to deal with this shit and how we still normalize it as a culture. No good answers other than refusing to be silent

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to read this again. I love it… my favorite part is “the thorn in my side is the fang of a snake” It makes me think about how, for me anyway, the signs leading up to abuse were like a thorn in my side, but it became so very poisonous. That poison is still working it’s way out of my system. Thank you for writing this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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