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FROM THERE TO HERE: BY GAYLE SLATEN
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A GAY GANGSTERS' LIFE

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FEAR


I don’t fear death

I fear not living deeply

It is too easy to become mesmerized by the comfortable life

Drifting into a quiet routine

Then one day, waking up to the sameness

Life becomes unbearable


Better to be awake and feel the bumps in the road

At least, then, there is a choice at each intersection

Wake up’, I tell myself,

Shake off the daze of sameness, take another road’

But, then I fall back asleep



Satchel of Shame 


I carry my memories 

Like an old leather bag 

worn out, drab, frayed at the edges 

Once in awhile  

I open the satchel and gaze upon 

Sepia pictures of faded faces 

Childhood's determined words 

Scribbled on scraps, stuffed into pockets 

Parents' reprimands echoing from the depths 

Tears and fears 

Shame and solitude 

Making myself small and invisible 

I could drown in there 

In the past mistakes 

The What If's 

The Should Have's 


But, it's an old bag 

Falling apart at the seams 

The contents don't even look familiar any more 

Someone else's life, perhaps 

It's a story not necessary to tell 

I trade it in at the Lost and Found 

For a glitzy bag studded with tacky jewels  

And rainbow colored streamers on the handle 

Perhaps the contents are the same 

But, the bag...makes me smile 

FROM THERE TO HERE


 I was named Gayle Lindsay Slaten at birth—my mother said she gave me a writer's name.  Prophecy or not, I have been writing since I could hold a pen.  Poetry flows with my nature, helping me to discover myself through hard times and a good friend to me as I traverse this earthly path.  From There to Here encompasses the balance between dark times and light, earlier musings and lessons learned along the way.  I share my writing to help others know that life can change in a moment, just by making a choice and taking that one step.  My book of poetry and prose, GLASS OF ME, will be out shortly.  

Loneliness/Quirkiness  
 (Inner Children)
                    

Loneliness sits on the edge of the bed,
A wisp of a thing, with cow-like eyes
And long tumble weed hair
Her bare feet brush the floor
As she swings them gently
Running away, going nowhere

For a time, she sought the solace of food,
Gorging her empty soul
Filling every space
Until her body swelled like a tight balloon
The food had no taste,
No sensuality to the creamy chocolate pudding
That swirled on her tongue
No satisfaction from the crunch of the salty chips
That danced in her mouth
And chattered in her ears

There was no end to the hunger--
Like a deep well,
She threw in bites like coins to wish on
Until her pockets were empty
Her clothing began to choke her
She lumbered as she tried to catch a breath
Her heartbeat drummed on her temples

Now she appears so small,
Childlike, really
Hiding under the table
Disappearing into the wall
Those large sullen eyes
Are all that is left of her
Shallow breathing…
Quiet...
So quiet…
She wants to reach out
To the large legs passing by,
Feels the material of a skirt,
Like Fall leaves in the wind
Tickling her coiled body
But fear keeps her frozen…
Quiet…

Quirkiness ruffles her large red mane,
Lion-like, it frames her face,
Laughing eyes peak through the curls
She wears bright colors—
Indigo, orange and lime
She dresses in flowing skirts and scarves
Bangles line her arms
Cling-clanging the rhythms of her life
She eyes a glitzy necklace,
And uses it as a belt
Decorating her body
As if it were a Christmas tree
She steps out into the staid world
Bringing Kodachrome to the black and white picture

She blurts out bits of wisdom unrelated to the topic at hand
Others pat her head as a parent would to a small child
Acknowledging her presence, but not joining in her fun—
Her world is foreign to them
Quirkiness asks,
“What if we are really princesses
Living on another planet,
Just dreaming we are having this life?”
She plays the Ouija Board
And talks with dead relatives as if…
Well, doesn’t everyone?

Quirkiness has a glint in her eye, knowing she is different
Appreciating that fact…in fact, reveling in it,
Excited by it
She is present
In the moment
Appreciating all who surround her
Acknowledging that they, too, make up the fabric of Life

You can contact Gayle here:

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