Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

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Times together that once were

Memories of youth, faded to blur


Days of past, for granted taken

Days of future, forever shaken


Chances thrown away, I curse

To never start anew, nothing worse


Regrets I shout for all to hear

Hopes I guard, their ruin, I fear


I close my eyes and see your face

Drink it in, your soul, your grace


To touch you, hold you, see you too

Your smell, your voice, your eyes shine true


A dream I dream that’s never to be

One dream plus two, alive only in me


With selfless release of love locked away

Let go… ’tis yesterday, some may say


With arrogant self proclaimed wisdom astray

Patience, one day, others will say


But if I might, if I may


With innocent desire, child-like greed at play

Seize the day…this day I say.


Today! Today!      …this day, I say.


~ Chick Hughes


“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean






To my sister, who is fighting for her life

~ My sister lost her fight on August 28, 2012

Sitting at your bedside, sterile and cold

Your blue eyes, beneath lids heavy, hide struggles untold.

Your chest’s slow rise and fall dependent on a machine’s rhythmic sound

Keeping your body with us, though your spirit, by sadness, is bound.

Can you feel me, hear me, your name I’m calling

Willing you back from wherever you’re falling.

I speak for you, to you, while you cannot

Recalling memories of old, two sisters scheme and plot.

Skipping school, dodging every rule, our secrets to keep

Times good and bad, I recite as I weep.

With your every twitch, reflex, and squeeze of my hand

Hope finds me, that you’ll fight your way from this unthinkable quicksand.

But hope is intangible, elusive, a state of mind

Vanishing as obstacles mount to keep you confined.

Gazing at your face, wondering where you are

Do you know what is happening, aware from consciousness afar.

A single tear streams down your cheek

Breaking our hearts, rendering hope bleak.

Are you struggling, hopeful, trying to fight

Or ready to give up, a silent desperate scream that we might.

Your body so tired from fighting this hell

Too tired to continue, I wonder, too sick, too frail.

Soul searching, I do, for me, for you, for reflection

Others turn to God for understanding, for direction.

Whatever the age, for comfort, the human spirit will strive

For an all powerful parental shield from life’s cruel battle to survive.

Past words, harsh actions, I regret

More patience, understanding, if one more chance, we get.

Your pain, your struggles, I would all take away

Sadness no more, only your joy, my hope, one day.

But above all, peace, I desire for you

A safe place for your heart, healing, love anew.

Whatever your thoughts, wherever you may be

I pledge you undying love; eternal sisters, are we.

~Chick Hughes

After reading a recent article in the New York Times, “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry,” I was overcome by a myriad of emotions.  Anger and empathy dominating them.  Once again struck by the struggles of women who, bound by culture and fear, are forced to share their lives with men who lack the education and self confidence to embrace and appreciate the wild, fiery, passionate, dedicated (and, yes, at times dramatic and difficult) entity that is the female spirit.  In attempts to thwart off his own handed-down insecurities and assure himself that she will never have the freedom nor independence to see a life outside the one he deems “honorable,” he robs not only himself of the limitless possibilities promised by her ravenous spirit…but he robs her of a spirit that defines her, empowers her, and inspires her.  Leaving her trapped in a relationship void of love, in a body void of familiarity…where she can only be, say, or do what is dictated to her.

In spite of this centuries-old practice, some women still manage to find a way to thrive.  To write.

This ambitious group of Afghan women featured in the NYT article has found an emotional outlet in poetry.  Writing as a form of escape, a form of complaint, a form of freedom.  But they do so in secret because the act of expressing her feelings, her ambitions, her worries in written form is cause for extreme physical punishment at the hands of her husband, brother, or father.  The men they dutifully answer to are threatened by such things, seeing her expression as a possible flight risk from her strictly defined domestic role.  So, she isn’t allowed education or exposure to outside influences that may mar that role.

Feeding an unspoken fear as old as time…education leads to independent thinking.  And independent thinking leads to rebellion.

Damn straight it does.  Thank goodness!

Expressing oneself through writing is not only a source of therapy, expression, and self exploration for the writer, but also a source of strength, understanding, and inspiration for the reader.  Though separated by oceans, cultures, and cavemen hell-bent against evolution, we all have the desire and the right to grow and learn by literary means.

To inspire.  And to be inspired.

May these women continue to find both the strength and courage to inspire all women, as they have me.


I wish I may, I wish I might

Be a solitary bird lost in flight

Free to be, to love, to write

No glow of red, only green light

No tether, wrong, or right

Soaring high over mountains, cloaked in night

Shedding, ridding all semblance of plight

And fervently anticipating, with dawn in sight

A bold new rush of wind as I graze the sunlight

~ Chick Hughes