that damn shoe

you taught me to walk in the other one’s shoes,
rather than feel my own pain.
maybe that person had a bad day.
maybe their feet hurt.
maybe that person is just mean, and i should walk away.

i had my own pain,
i needed to scream!
you taught me that my screams were worthless.
you taught me to shut up and take it.
sadly, what i learned was, how to be abused.

that was many years ago,
many hard lessons, long past now.
today, i walk barefoot
and no one walks on me.

(c) 2020 BGeiger


whispers


love may be poison
wrapped up in ribbons,
a slow suffocation of all that seemed shining,
a promise of dark dreams
stinging with terror,
as violence lurks behind yesterday’s flowers

she is cut to the bone,
with whispers and smiles.
this is not love, this is raw, wicked power.
it is rape, with soft words
leaving torn, jagged wounds
on the bright, bloody shards
of the soul of his lover.

the shadow of fear, falls cold as the night
as hearts search in darkness,
for truth without lies.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

sign posts


she’s not around much these days
they always ask, but she stays away
her secret life has such demands
she has no time for her old friends

they see the pain behind her eyes
they see the change but don’t know why
she was so bright and vibrant then
the music of her soul has dimmed
her old friends see and want to say
but she wouldn’t tell them anyway

her sunny smile seems insincere
her house too clean, her kids too quiet
her hair and makeup always perfect
she looks the part, but she’s just not
the happy girl they knew and loved
she won’t ask and they won’t say
but they can’t help her anyway

she keeps her sorrows tucked away
she needs their help but she won’t say
her secret shame keeps her withdrawn
if only she could tell someone

one day soon, maybe today
they might ask
and she might say
and they will help her get away

(c) 2020 BGeiger

on leaving


go, or stay, but do not think
that if you wait it might get better
that the first time will be the last time,
don’t excuse the violence,
it is not just stress or job or no job or money or no money,
an abuser will be abusive
no matter the circumstance
the sad truth is that once it starts, it will always, only, ever, get worse

when is it time to leave?
when you realize that no one,
not even god, will change him for you,
when you no longer care about what you are leaving behind,
when your children tell you that it’s time to go,
it is

when you decide to leave, just do it
don’t pack more than you need,
don’t leave a note,
don’t call your mother,
don’t involve your friends,
don’t waste time gathering things that you are not willing to die for
and whatever you do,
don’t go back,
don’t ever go back,
no matter how sorry he seems
you must know that if you give him the chance
the abuser will get even


(c) 2020 BGeiger

the grave

the shining bride
who promised life and love
may take comfort in oath well kept
though little else gives ease to her thin bones

once sweet romance has shivered quietly
into her lonely, frozen grave
she offers up the polished doors to living hell
as consolation prize

the desperate clutch of fantasy
leaves desiccated weeds where gardens flourished
in the summer of her dreams
and the broken bride walks slowly toward
the dreadful ending of her fairy tale

(c) 2020 BGeiger

summer’s child

what child hasn’t taken that deepest of breaths,
whispered the private-most wish in their heart,
and gently blown a precious dandelion into the wind?

we spent many long summer days
lying on our backs in the cool grass
all wrapped in fairy dust,
telling stories, as magical creatures wafted slowly by
against the summer pale blue sky.

a thunderstorm breaks the spell
cold blobs of rain plopping hard on our sunbaked skin
as we ran for shelter.
there is still nothing like the wet-dirt taste of a summer storm in the air.

hot summer nights, chasing fireflies
and watching the night sky for the perfect wishing star
it was easier to be a kid back then.

it is unbearably sad
that i could not give my children a carefree childhood
and even more sad
that their children
will grow up knowing that it will be up to them
to keep their world alive.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

alone

it is dark
and quiet
the loudest sound in the room is the beating of my heart
i can feel blood rushing through my veins
the sounds of my life are deafening

the silence is palpable
i should have felt peaceful
but i wished for someone to talk with
or love

once again, i tell myself that no one will hurt me tonight
i don’t have to be afraid anymore

today i would tell my younger self to get a dog
and a library card


(c) 2020 BGeiger

expectations


broken hearts and shattered dreams
are the stuff of expectations

they are the trouble after all
if only this
if only that

this very moment is all we have
all that we can truly call our own,
the rest is only shiny dreams
and expectations

if you must love
don’t give it to the one
who hurts your heart and walks away.
save it for the one
who will love you peacefully
and truly

but for today,
be with yourself,
not by yourself alone.
love the day as it unfolds
and love yourself
at least a little, every day.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

stupid, worthless, fat/skinny, ugly, f*cking bitch

Nobody will ever love you like I do, you f*cking bitch.
You are worthless, stupid, fat/skinny, ugly.
If you just hadn’t said/done that.
It’s your fault that I had to (you know).

If you have heard some version of this, you are being abused.

Wake up.
You are not any of those things.
You do not deserve to live in fear.
You do not deserve this damage to your body or your mind.
Listen to your brain, not your ego. Your ego has lost its way.
See what is really there.
Look for what is true.

Abuse is the life-time lease on a condo in hell. The only way out is to open the door, put one foot in front of the other and walk away.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

what was now


injustice is born from our very humanity,
our need for power, wealth and our enormous vanity.
we destroy our neighbors, our environment,
the futures of our children’s children, and our souls
with those same promises and lies
that have always ever turned us one against the other
for the benefit of the oppressor
never for our own.

what is today, sadly, is what has always been.
tomorrow, if there is to be one,
will require nothing less than the evolution of our very souls,
from our caves and clubs and petty, excruciating wars
to the open minds of harmony and love,
before the final bits of what was now
are scattered to the wind.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

details


tomorrow is only the wind
but today is the cool grass between my toes
flowers turning toward the light
birds pecking for worms in the morning
crickets singing late into the night

i am engrossed in the great beauty of now
there is so much joy in the extravagant colors of flowers
catching sight of a flock of birds
dancing together across the sky
my heart follows the soars and dips and swirls

i love the wonder that surrounds me
i am in awe of the extraordinary details
in the tiniest of beings
the vastness of the universe
and my own beating heart

this moment is my reality
it is what i have
a moment
and a heartbeat


(c) 2020 BGeiger

echo

IMG_0840 (2)

What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Genesis 4:10

Black Lives DO Matter.
Black lives are important and necessary and cherished.
George Floyd mattered, he was loved.
George Floyd was murdered by hatred.
George Floyd’s blood cries out from the ground even now, and will forever echo throughout the universe.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

rain

img_4229-mtry-sunset be veryangry


burning black sand,
extravagantly bright flowers
quite suddenly dripping with warm rain
that pounds the earth with unreasonable fury

in a moment, the rain is gone
and the sand is burning hot again

violence is not rain
it does not simply stop.
bravery is necessary
yet one time more than you believe is in you

run
before you cannot



(c) 2020 BGeiger

the devil you know

IMG_9637


it is a sad fact,
many victims of abuse
will go back to their abusers.

there are many reasons,
but often it’s because the devil you know
is not as frightening
as the devil you don’t know.

starting over is hard
when you leave with nothing
but your life.

promises of true love
and new beginnings
can be tempting.

unfortunately,
the devil you know
will get even.
the devil you know
will
hurt you again.

because
the devil you know
is still the devil.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

abuse

IMG_1400


interpret the word however you like.
if you have no power in your relationship,
no control over your own life
and no hope,
this is abuse.

if your confidence has been stolen from you,
if you must tiptoe
through the turbulence between power and ego,
this is abuse.

if words are only safe unspoken
thoughts monitored for subversion,
feelings stuffed between the sofa cushions,
you are being abused.

if you are paralyzed with fear
of staying, of leaving
of dying, of not dying
and have nowhere left to go,
you are being abused.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

merciless

eyes downcast
smile frozen in place
she thinks that she is hiding her pain.
dancing on a wire
to a tune played by her leading man.
it is a frantic dance,
a carefully choreographed ballet.

any flat look of disappointment sends ice into her heart.
there is no end to the music
no breath between sets
she must anticipate each twirl and spin
for failure is unthinkable
and punishment is swift.

when finally she sleeps,
her dreams are wastelands.
sadly, she still hopes to please
to find what is lacking, repair the breach, and return to the fairy tale.
she does not yet understand
that fairy tales are horror stories
in the end.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

screaming at the sun

geminidetail

hollow footsteps echo
through sterile parquet hallways.
stark walls boldly announce original works of masterful color,
aching with soulful beauty.

each wrenched from brush and palate by a captive artist
who gave hope and heart to beauty,
only to die alone.

quite suddenly
i am face to face with the Crying Woman
trapped in canvas
’till dust again.

her deeply fractured sorrow
singes the edges my soul
and i know
why she cries alone


(c) 2020 BGeiger

fade away


the flower is dying,
but there will be another,
the bush will continue
without her

i wonder
does she struggle to breathe?
is she fearful of the end?
growing older changes my perception of myself.
i feel much like her,
faded, colorless,
and often, extraneous.

i do not want to be gone from my own life,
but that is vain
we will all fade from view.
it is how we are remembered
that saves our place in the garden.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

secret

IMG_9306


hiding
like a secret,
behind the floppy green leaves,
this tiny pocket of flowers
brought a sweet smile to my heart today

i had forgotten
perhaps
that secrets should be joyous

there was a time when my life held many secrets.
sorrows i could not contain
searching wildly for courage
to scream
and run
and run
and never stop
until the world was safe again


(c) 2020 BGeiger

the smell of water

I walk here every day.
The hill is steep for my old knees, but I persist.

I will smell the water, before my feet even reach the deep, cool shade of the little oasis beside the road.
It feels like visiting an old friend.
There are always birds here,
and small critters I can hear, and imagine,
but not see.

I whisper to the trees, grateful for their constancy.
I reach out to low hanging branches
touching their tender leaves with my fingertips and my breath.
It feels like a kiss
and i hold it softly to me as i walk past.

I walk this hill to touch my universe,
to experience life in its many forms.
I walk this hill for me,
for my soul much more than for my body.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

spring


it is spring
there are flowers everywhere.
joyous
stretching
kissing the light
shocking colors that only god can make

i memorize them, for darker days.
wild
as they are.

at dusk
they fold inward.
sleeping until dawn.

my soul opens into the night
it is peaceful
the air is thicker,
closer to my skin somehow

coyotes running free
singing to one another
and to me

 
(c) 2020 BGeiger

the end

 

I have seen the beginning of the end
it starts with always
and never
and continues down its lonely road toward
not light
but darkness.

The end is everywhere tonight.
in your face, your voice,
in the tension of your anger and impatience.
I don’t think you even know
that the road you have taken has no outlet.
Given the opportunity, love will grow cold
as cold as the water
as cold as the walls that you build
with words
or no words at all.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

little one


you are the future of my past
and the star on my horizon.

life has disappointed you
and my heart aches
for your sorrow.

i have lived and loved
and hurt and been hurt
and cried so many tears
and yet, it was impossible to take the pain for you

young women become so
by twisting and scraping against the walls of time
desperately crowding the future
into the present.
impatient for their dreams
to open into now

your future
will become your past
and these hard days will be
but pages read, and scattered
on the winds of fleeting dreams


(c) 2020 BGeiger

cold winter sun


The cold winter sun shares her harsh light begrudgingly.
hiding,
then fairly screaming at me from between the trees
as she dances lower and lower on the horizon.

I increase my pace,
struggling to stay warm.

A patch of lavender comes in to view,
curious
i move closer

I am overpowered,
the scent is visceral
I must stop

The bright new flowers
have rushed to open after the recent rains,
sensing light through the eyelids of their souls,
urgently unfolding into the new day.
stretching
reaching
gloriously becoming

I take a picture, but it is washed out
the light is too bright.
I move my body to create a shadow
and try again

I breathe deeply,
memorizing the moment.
joyous
unwashed
unchanged by chemistry

Today I have learned something

Light is necessary for life,
but shadow is necessary for vision.


(c) 2020 BGeiger 

living in color

Will I be grateful for my life when it is over?
or, will I die wanting more?
I hope not.
Time, and time, and more time, to what end?
I am learning to be grateful for temporary things
love, kinship, a smile, eyes that truly see.

I look at the trees,
I doubt they complain about the years they don’t have.
It seems enough to stretch their branches toward the sun,
to witness thunder and soak up fresh drops of rain,
to stand tall without demanding eternity.

Each little thing is more than enough on it’s own.
Why does humanity insist on living forever?
I admire the beauty and strength of the trees,
endlessly renewing, shedding the old and moving on.
It is the way of the universe.
We live, we grow old, we die,
maybe we change form and shape and live again,
somehow or another.
It doesn’t matter
one life is magical enough,
if I don’t waste it living in desperation and fear.

(c) 2020 BGeiger

heartbroken

I’ve seen that look before,
you think that the problem is you.

Sunset pulls mightily upon your soul.
Stars and moon sing their own songs of freedom,
the night birds,
screeching and cawing to one another
delicately unfold their wings,
lifting themselves
on the faintest breeze,
above the earth,
toward the growing darkness.

And you keep shoveling mountains of guilt
over your already tired bones.

You are only reaching for that part of the sky
that belongs to you.

Do you think it is within your power to change
the soul that inhabits your being?
Many of us have tried
to squeeze ourselves into that perfect person mold
biting our tongues,
hiding our tears,
screaming into our pillows.
It never ends well.

Be who you are.
follow the moon and the stars,
unfold your soul wings and fly away



(c) 2020 BGeiger

the day after

IMG_9492


becoming older is simple
it sneaks up on you,
until it doesn’t

realizing my limitations,
aching for bones that don’t ache
happily, i can still walk.
if i could not,
i would have missed this beauty

she will also grow old,
crumple in on herself
and lose her amazing petals,
which feel wooden to my careful touch
it is my joy to have witnessed her life
even as my aging body requires me to walk slowly enough to notice
thank goodness

do not allow your old age to be stolen from you
run
get out
your stuff isn’t worth it

don’t wait to leave until the day after he kills you


(c) 2020 BGeiger

 

fragile

this heartbreakingly beautiful
tiny bit of the universe
took my breath, and my soul
by surprise today

beauty
can be found in many things
and joy
can come from out of nowhere

If I had tried to pick it up
and move it out of harm’s way
it would have been destroyed.

I left it where it was,
knowing that it would be crushed
or blown away in only a few moments
knowing also,
that my interference was not required.

It felt quite personal,
as though this moment was a precious gift,
meant only to touch my heart
before this tiny treasure was returned
to dust
as all things are,
and should be

(c) 2020 BGeiger

becoming rain

each of us are only particles,
currently assembled into sentient beings
held together by friction and stubbornness,
aware,
for the moment, of our being-ness.

surviving survival
pulled all of my strings and tore at my heart
’till my particles burned with confusion and dread.

surviving,
recreating myself,
from a bundle of tangled, broken fragments
was only the beginning.
learning to live again,
to find my own being-ness
took all of my soul’s work
and many days, and nights
and years.

when my particles disassemble this time,
I look forward
to becoming rain

The concept of becoming rain is from The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

(c) 2020 BGeiger

dying, with sparkles


there is no filling the empty soul.
it closes up around itself and refuses to take nourishment.
nothing is right,
nothing lights the darkness.

the soul needs to sing and dance and play, joyously.
if joy has gone of its own accord
or been sold to the highest bidder
the soul will starve.

take back the joy.
let go of the shiny substitute.
death hides in the sparkles.


(c) 2020 BGeiger

shrew


i was a battered wife
briefly,
until I became a prisoner.
which is of course,
the only way to tame a Shrew

the single unlovely, outspoken, prickly weed
in his perfect garden
of quiet, well behaved possessions

the prisoner, fortunately,
will never become what she is not
and the Shrew will finally, at long last
notice a spark of light in the darkness,
pull herself up by her roots,
and her hair,
charge headlong into the
blinding white light of freedom
and never look back.
not ever.

your circumstance is not your fate
it is a warning, not a curse.
run for your life
before you put down roots

(c) 2020 BGeiger