Wounded Learning, A Poem

wounded

 

I stood there
Watching the fireworks display,
No, not in the foreground
But on the ground
Knees pulled up to my chin
Arms wrapped around me
Trying to keep out the cold.
The sun had not even gone down yet,
But there was cause for celebration
People in the street
Joined the excitement
Some dancing
Others singing to the tunes
Belted out by loudspeakers.
With all of this,
I could still drown out the sound
Almost slow it down
And place it gently
In the back of my mind
It was as if,
I was not really there at all.
I was used to that feeling
Being pushed back onto the sidelines
My new “friends” sat nearby chatting
Staring in my direction
Then glancing at one another
and laughter would ensue,
I was too tired to care.
There were parts of me
That wanted to run away
Escape the loneliness
That I felt in their company
The ostracism
The judgement
But I was told I must be a part of this.
The lights started to linger across the sky
And the night got darker.
Now, you could trace their ascent
And watch their fated demise.
I watched the display
Hugging myself tighter
Wishing there was somewhere to hide
Within myself, perhaps
No better way to escape
Than being right there
And each time those lights
Rose up in the sky
A part of me died
Among the oohs and aahs
Of everyone else
And yes, no one noticed.
Their mouths posed imitation smiles
As they looked in my direction
They clung together heavily
As if not knowing how to breathe
Except in tandem
It was then, that I knew
I would never have
Enough pride in myself
To wound another broken soul.

© Sumyanna 2017

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. 7128788elf says:

    I think this is a brave and important poem, I could feel the problem from the beginning, this kind of wound is always somewhat confusing and damaging, so it was great to feel the elation of the end of the poem. Loved it. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you Charles. Live is never easy – we have our good moments and our bad, but hopefully they mold us into a better person. 🙂 Poetry is my way of expressing that, I think…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 7128788elf says:

        Yes I think so, though some how my poems are never really so deeply personal as yours, they are more generic. Maybe that is just a male thing, and I must still learn this art of self expression. Who knows… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sumyanna says:

          I think a lot of it is part of my personality. I have been told many times in life – don’t say this, don’t say that… A lot of people and cultures find it weak to show who you truly are (instead of hiding behind a facade). Everyone feels that they must prove to the world that they are always happy, everything is always fine. To me, I think that life is a huge learning opportunity. To push away negative things, things that have been done to you, your mistakes, all of it – means you cannot treasure the best of who you are, the triumphs you have made, the things you have overcome. I know – I am different. Have felt that much of my life, but as I have gotten older I find it something to be thankful for. Over time, with the right outlook – perhaps we all can allow ourselves to be unabashedly human. It allows us to learn more about ourselves and about others. Either way, though – I have to say I do love your poetry 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. 7128788elf says:

            Thanks, I think you have a wonderful outlook on life and poetry, and maybe one day I will get past the thought patterns that create my present poetry, which has build up over the past 43 years of writing, into a free-er more personal type of poetry, that essentially warns and looks at the world and people’s place in it. I could use my experiences to bring this out. perhaps the poems that \i have written that are most like yours are the ones about the feeling and trials of writing, and a lot of them have been very well liked. I have always found your ability to be so personal as a great thing, and I think society could learn a lot from it, so keep it up. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sumyanna says:

            Oh, were you to use your words for that – it would be splendid. It’s okay though. Life also needs to be lived and you have to feel comfort in that place, I think. It takes a while. Gosh, just 2 years ago I didn’t even consider myself a writer. I think the way I write just reflects who I am as a person. It is so very hard for me to separate myself, even when writing about something that I don’t know about. There’s always a part of me there… thank you so very much!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. 7128788elf says:

            Pleasure, I think in some ways may writing also has do with my nature, which is to some extent controlled by my past struggles. I think actually there is a bit of me in each poem, it is hidden deeper in the subtext, which I suppose is also a very male thing! When I was growing up, there was this whole ongoing debate about subjectiveness and objectiveness, strangely I began to realise that some works written from an incredible subjective view were way more acceptable and seemingly objective, that those written from an objective point of view. So now In just try and say what is deep inside of me, but probably in a non personal way. It is amazing that you write so incredibly well if you have only been writing for 2 years, I have been writing for over 40 years! Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Sumyanna says:

            I think writing grows with us. I have been a “writer” most of my life. I wrote when I was young, as a way to deal with a difficult time growing up. Once things improved in life, I did not see a need to continue to write and gave up. I had a job and family which kept me busy. I just started writing again 2 years ago and it was as if I never stopped (but I do see that my writing has grown with me, if that makes sense). I personally find it a blessing to be able to write and I sometimes feel bad that I ever gave it up. However, I cannot look at what I have now and know any regrets.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. 7128788elf says:

            Yes I think my writing career has taken a similar pattern, so I have also grown with my writing. When my father died two years ago, I started this blog, and decided to try and write a new poem every day, which I managed until fairly recently. So I think writing for me has also been an answer to a set back or problem. I wrote quite a lot in the dark days of Apartheid, when my phone was bugged, and I was often followed, ans watched, to see if I would lead them to a friend who was one of the organizers of the 1980’s school boycotts. It was a wretched and very unsettling time.

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          6. Sumyanna says:

            Wow – I did not know that is how you started out. Writing is a good way to deal with your feelings, I have found. So sorry for your loss, by the way. As for writing a poem a day – I have done that. Man, was it difficult. It was not hard to find words or to write, but with all the other stuff I had going on. Fortunately, I only did it for a month 🙂 I think it is wonderful if you just try your best to do it as often as you can. For me, I find I go long stretches with something to say and then I need to back away and breathe. I just need to put my focus somewhere else for a while. Wow – I cannot image what you must have witnessed back then. I think your life is an interesting story! Do you still have the writing from back then? To think – seeing history being made, being a part of history. I sometimes feel we (okay, me) do not do enough…

            Liked by 1 person

          7. 7128788elf says:

            Thanks Sumyanna, it is difficult to write a poem every day. Some my work from those times is on this blog, right far back at the beginning, as the idea at first was to save the old poems, by posting them on the blog, but that just seemed to fire my imagination, and so started to write new poems. One of the old poems ( the only one I know by heart, is one of my most “liked’ poems, it is called The Tree, and is a Haiku. I suppose my life is quite interesting, and maybe I might write my autobiography some time. It was not an easy time, for there was first my struggle with dyslexia, and with it a growing hatred of mistreatment, no matter what form it took, and my growing disgust at men and their world, which was also difficult, as I was a man, so was in it whether I liked it or not, so tended to befriend people who had a more female bias on life. Apartheid was the same I lived in it, I hated it, and resisted it, which was unusual for what in the system were called white people. I had every benefit, and wealth I wanted, but would not partake in it. I angered many bey turning my back on wealth and a good job, to become a “lowly” librarian to help all the people of this beautiful land, that was so troubled. Even the poetry I wrote was not liked by people of my own race, but that did not worry me, except that I could only get published outside of South Africa. It is all very sad, and even more sad, that as a society we have not really moved forward much since 1994. Her I will stop as it is all very complex, and I will write a whole book in this answer if I try to carry on. Have a great day tomorrow, best wishes and blessings, Charles.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Sumyanna says:

            Yes, I was wondering if they were on your blog. I have read mostly your new stuff, but will definitely have to start searching through your older pieces as well. It is a story that I am definitely interested in hearing. I understand your struggles as they mimic many of my own. I was not dyslexic (but now I have plenty of experience about that as well) but I had a difficult upbringing. I also found more solace with the womanly side of things, so I do understand. I was fortunate in that I actively sought out kindness. It was, I think – what kept me going. There is a soul to your struggle that I do understand. I have never sought out status or reward. I have always struggled to understand other people, to sympathize with their struggles, and to be their voice. It sounds to me, that while we have lived quite different lives, that there are quite a few similarities. It is the sign of a good heart, that one rallies to the call of those who are not like him. It is injustice, I think – when we hear it, but we do not act. It is definitely a good thing that you have given those words voice and you have brought to light injustices that are overlooked by many.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. 7128788elf says:

            Having read your poetry for quite a while (and liked it a lot) and from our comment conversations, I had begun to realise, that even though we had very different upbringings and situations, our lives did seem to have quite a few similarities. i have always been passionate about nature and saving the environment, and my oldest existing poem written in 1974 called extinction, shows that even in school I was writing about nature. One of my friends and I not long after then caused a huge outcry at our school. We had for our end of year project to take a subject and investigate it. We went off into the Crossroads squatter camp and investigated life there. Our finding was that the people living there were just like us, and just wanted to be treated fairly, be paid just like the other half, have a proper roof over their heads, not be subject to flash floods. That many of them had good furniture and tv’s, and only stayed in squatter camps because of the lack of housing, and the law. This was not accepted, and we came within an ace of being thrown out of school as extreme radicals and dangerous people, hence my first brush with authorities ( there would be many more. Quite a bit of my writing is also political though I seem to be writing more about saving the planet at the moment. i think it is important to use words to bring problems to peoples attention. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

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          10. Sumyanna says:

            I want to reiterate what I said in my previous comment. Just fascinating – your stories, struggles, your finding the strength and courage to express yourself. I find it just amazing. I cannot imagine what it must have been like. I am so glad that you chose to be the voice for those who had none. It truly is an admirable task. Sad, because they do only want what we want for ourselves – safety, the ability to provide for their families, and respect. I find it so hard when I see people treating others like they are less than. It matters not if you have family money or if you built your own empire. There is never a reason to be so out of touch that you forget what it is like to be human.

            I am so going to spend some time soon reading through your older blog posts. As I mentioned before, I’ve been working on some things so I haven’t been online as much as I want to. I have wanted to read, comment, and be more present. I will be done soon – and then I hope to read a lot more.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. 7128788elf says:

            It is perhaps part of my destiny, as I turned my back on the two worlds to which I belonged. So then one has to find a space that does not include the dominating male world or the dominating “white” world, so one then is free to help others and in a teach, so I have taught and helped many, and am now helping by helping put money into a program for good education in the rural areas in the country, not so hands on any more, but maybe after I retire there will be more time for teaching and helping again.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Sumyanna says:

            It sounds really promising. Education is so very important – and to think that many kids here think it is a burden! May your work provide many blessings to those you come in contact with.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. 7128788elf says:

            I remember hating school, and was often off sick, but loved investigating things, so did very well at University, and love the essay research and writing. The system that the shop supports is already having very good success.

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          14. Sumyanna says:

            Yeah, hating school would be hard. For me, school was escape. I loved learning and hope I never stop. So incredibly glad that you have found your way. I know it is not always easy.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. 7128788elf says:

            I like the exploratory side of school, but when it meant going to detention because I wrote a poem instead of a story or essay, because” you will never pass your finals writing poetry!” made me hate the place. Being teased and shunned all the time probably did not help either. I loved university however and di very well there.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Great write Sum even without the picture,love it,love you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Yeah, sadly I could not use the original photo but I tried to still make it work. I guess you could say it is a portrait of sorts…

      Like

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