Client Poem: Claiming the Soul Woman by Peggy Bennett

Claiming the Soul Woman
by Peggy Bennett

I was a woman who was more interested in acting like a man.

Climbing the corporate ladder,
Doing battle with anyone who tried to get ahead of me,
Living in the two inches above my eyes,
A head with feet, really.

One day I woke up and didn’t recognize myself.
I was so consumed with protecting what was mine,
That I didn’t realize I had become a woman who I did not like.
A woman who damned with faint praise,
A woman who withheld support for others’ work,
A woman who smiled in your face but wished nothing but your downfall behind your back.
I became all of the things that I hated in those around me.

I kept pushing myself harder thinking it would make my life better
I worked on project after project
Thinking more work would bring me peace
And then I brought in the consultant for my most difficult project
And it blew up in my face.

I worked for several years on that project
Finding the perfect format
Building support with the powers that be
Finding the right time to present it to the company executives
And in a matter of minutes it was killed off and left for dead.

The executives expressed their dislike for the consultant quickly and in various ways
Some arrogantly challenged her expertise
Some disparaged the CEO
Some remained silent and hid from the conversation
None came forward to treat her with respect.

And when the CEO found out about the meeting
He came to me to gather information
I told him what had transpired behind his back
How his own people had made fun of him and acted out
I made sure that my words destroyed any trust he had in them,
And in that moment, I sunk to my lowest self.

And then I heard the voice of my spirit,
Who are you?  What are you doing?
And I was ashamed.
I didn’t know who I was or how I became this person
And I realized that I was miserable in this person I had become.

Her voice was the only reminder of what my soul needed
Calling me back to my true path
To slow down and enjoy my life
To forget about money and endless striving for more, more, more
More homes, more cars, more stuff.
To stop living life outside of myself and find the compassion for my humanness
To live life from a place of love and not one of fear.

And on the day that I decided to value my heart above my head,
I quit.
I walked away and never looked back.
I set out to reclaim my soul.
And in the process to reclaim myself.

Client Poem: Kissing by Peggy Bennett

by Peggy Bennett

I don’t kiss any more.
No more sweet, soft, summer kisses
that start on the beach in darkness,
after all of the bars have closed.
The kind that exist in a world of their own,
not leading to anything else.
The kind that leave your lips chapped
and your face scratched,
and end at sunrise.
With a boy you hardly know and probably will never see again.
The kind of kisses you speak of to your girlfriends on Sunday mornings,
while you all sit on the beach in the sun perfectly contented.
And feeling like you are walking on air.

No, the kisses I give now are like a mom-mom or an aging aunt,
kisses on cheeks and tops of heads.
Loud smacking kisses on the lips that create giggles in the receiver,
kisses that show love and affection and the promise to be there forever.
Kisses that hide the girl I used to be,
the girl who kissed strangers in the moonlight.
And for a fleeting  moment ran free.

Client Poem: Reclaiming the Feminine by Peggy Bennett

Reclaiming the Feminine
by Peggy Bennett

I left her in a ditch by the side of the road one day
When I couldn’t bear the weight of her
When I stopped letting her drag me down.
When I couldn’t stand her voice in my head anymore
Like some needy child
Always begging me to love her… to love myself.
She was just too big a burden for me
And in the midst of all my clawing and striving
I had no use for her.

And now I cannot find her.
I’ve retraced my steps a thousand times and combed the fields until late at night
I’ve called out to her in the dark and hear nothing but the echo of my own voice.
I beseech her to return to me.
Please be mine again
I need you to be whole
But all I hear is silence.

Maybe she was never really mine to possess
For, although I am a woman
I took more comfort in the masculine and learned to rely on that part of myself completely.
And now acting like a man does not serve me well
To power through and suck it up
I can no longer be that person and I am stuck between worlds

Wanting to feel like a woman again,
Wanting to feel warmth in my belly,
Wanting to feel love and compassion,
Wanting to feel something.

I will crawl on my hands and knees and beg her to return to me.
I will search the depths of my soul for her.
I will grovel on my belly.
I will claw and scratch at the earth with bloodied fingertips.
I will give up everything for her
And sing my song for her
Until she comes back to me
Until she comes home.

Poem: Love After Love by Derek Wolcott

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself
arriving at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you all your life,
whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs,
the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit, feast on your life.

Client Poem: I Breathe by Sonam Hajela

I breathe
In your presence, my breath is ignored, lost, forgotten
It skips, slows, speeds up
My heartbeat thunders, goes quiet
It drifts, it crashes
I breathe
In your presence, my breath never matters
It is an idle watcher on the sidelines
I chase it, come back I say
Come back.
I’ll hold still, I can manage, I can do it but I try
Grasping with my arms, it is lost to me.
I breathe
In your presence, I forget how. I forget why.
But even so
Even so
My breath running, running, hiding,
Losing, wandering –
Even then
My breath goes completely silent at the thought that yours, one day, will

You say you love
But do you even know what this word is?
You say you love
But do you know what this word does?
It is a shield for you
To hide behind
A safe place for you to draw weapons
To aim
To fire
Because love isn’t just a word you say
To appease
To mollify
To use
To defend
To hurt
It is standing with your nails dug in your open chest
Holding your heart in all its dripping frailty
With no cover.
It is no limbs, no skin, no bones
No eyes or hair
No sharp teeth, or nails
It is no I or you

It is raw openness
You need, I give
You touch, I take
You break, I fall
I hold
It is strength, it is power
Love is a fight you can’t turn away from
No matter how ugly the sides
Love is not saying “for now”
“until then” or “don’t push”
It is ugly, it is in the middle of the night screaming moments
Right before you bathe moments
Before I even wake up moments
It is standing up when the other can’t
So when you say you love
I don’t hear fight, or courage or truth
I hear cowardice, easy words
And a war lost.

Client Poem: Sirens’ Song by Peggy Bennett

What if Odysseus was a woman?
Would she have feared the sirens’ song
Or would she recognize that haunting melody as some deeper part of herself…
Calling out to her from some unrelenting and vengeful place
A place more ominous than any myth.

Alone and tied to the mast, would she cry out?
Would she wail and scream to venture through impassable reefs
To find her way back to those mermaids, to her home.
Or would she hear their song as one of bliss
And sail past their island, unscathed.
After all, the sirens were once handmaidens to Persephone
Sisters still, even though they failed her.
Would they wish her dead as all of the other sailors they have sung to?
Or would they recognize a kindred spirit
And sing her on her journey.

I hear the siren’s song
The melody resides in some deep place I cannot name
Seductive and beguiling
I hear the voice but I do not wail.
This song is sweet and I have known it since birth
It sings to me of my heart’s desire.
It leads me to a life that mirrors me and no one else.
I am lulled by warmth and lullabied by my own voice.
I am Ondine
The sea creature
I am my own siren
Singing myself to love.

Client Poem: Shame

What do you know of shame?
All these years I’ve cried
And I know your darkness deep inside
I ran from it
I run from it still

For you father,
For your blind eyes
For you sister,
For not thinking of anyone else
For you mother,
For your hate

Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can’t help but ask myself how much I let the fear take the wheel and steer
It’s driven me before and it seems to have a vague haunting mass appeal
It’s the way that everyone else gets around
But lately I am beginning to find I should be the one behind the wheel

I’m sick of all your stories
Of my own story
They have gone stale

With open arms and open ears
I welcome
The tomorrows you made me fear
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there
But when I drive myself my light is found

Client Poem: Broken Mirrors and Hearts

I reach for you
In my sleep and
When I’m awake
It doesn’t matter how I try
To be with you
And have you be with me
The way I need
I can’t have it.

We come from the material, the same fibers
You gave birth to my pain and my spirit
My trauma and creation
My ugly thoughts and my beautiful eyes
My fear and my fire

I dread the day you’ll float away
Into the abyss

Because in this life
We have fought
And I have wailed and wailed
On the cold floor
And you have ignored
And tortured me
The day you disappear
I will still break.

Because you are frail and helpless to me
Though you have hit
And raged at me.
That day,
I will still fall to that cold floor
And wail.

Client Poem: Untitled

I am the wild child kicking your insides awake.
Pounding to the rhythm of your hearts longing.
A mischievous smile that hides pain like candy.
I am alive with fire
dancing under a star filled sky
searching for my love in the darkness between.

Poem: A Ritual to Read Each Other

If you don’t know the kind of person you are or who I am

Following the wrong God home.

Small betrayal, a shrug…shouts…horrible errors of childhood.

Elephants parade holding each other’s tale…

Awake people should be awake… Or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep.

Darkness around us is deep.

The signals…yes, no, maybe should be clear.

The breaking line that brings people back to sleep.

Awake people should be awake

What does this mean?

What does being awake mean?

That question can inspire an entire world, universe inside of me

I feel into my gut and it is tight, something holding, something wanting to explode

I want to be inspired…can I inspire me?

Touching into something deeper than the dark or the light.

I am sick of those words, dark and light.

It is so neat and clean, dark and light.

I want the dimensions, the layers, the nuances between the lines that people speak

I want the subtle facial expressions. I want the truth.

What is the truth?

When I tell my truth I cringe.

It is so vulnerable, raw, alive, breathtaking, frightening,

Wicked, cutting, and evocative.

Testing, testing to see what my truth will provoke

Awaken the mystery of not knowing.

The truth is a mystery.

Will I stop caring if people judge my truth — ever??

What is that truth?  The sight between the blink of an eye.

The way someone stares at me pretending she is listening.

The secrets that someone is silent about because they are ashamed.

The reactions, the triggers that are hidden, buried in ice

Enlightened ideas, that are tough perfectionism.

What is wrong with just merely saying it like a child?

I hate you.

I love you

I hurt

I’m excited

I see you have a pimple on your face

Look into my eyes and feel me.

I see you are fiddling around while I talk

The reasons that we exist, explode like a bullet across my cheek.

I feel my burning existence. The reason you exist and I exist.

I am in those reasons.

I am so attached to the breath of every breath

The blink of every eye

The way someone’s hand moves

The way someone shifts in their seat

I am attached to that

I feel their shifting and moving

And my body interprets that subtle energy

I am so bonded

My boundaries are quick to recede around people. Life!

I am ignited every moment

A circus of tigers, spiders, bears and ravens screams rumble through

My body and brain like an avalanche.

I can’t stop this from happening.

Like stopping a tsunami

I am a helpless to my own nature.

The truth of surrender. Powerlessness to the forces.

Are you awake? Do you see yourself in silence of betrayal?

In the heartbreak of love

In the need to be seen like the rising sun

The lining of a silver cloud.

The dark thunder of your belly ache

Are you awake? To it all?

Can you take the truth?

That maybe you aren’t divine. Maybe you

Are a mortal, a human with flaws and crazy blood?

That insanity runs through your veins?

Are you awake. To the dirty splendor of gorgeous human dirt?


You are a mouse in a corner. Thinking each corner is something new

But you repeat, and repeat and repeat your blindness

Just so you can be right and straight like a shooting star

You burst at the end and disappears

Because you deceive yourself.

Are you? Are you? Awake?

Do you pee in the forest like a wolf?

Howl until your lungs collapse?

Crawl on all fours?

Wake UP!! Wake UP!! Wake UP!!