I, Self and My

Source
Source

Reluctance to show vulnerability

As it may encourage antipathy


A need to be stoical rather than taut

Imagining the net sustains me rather than has caught


Institution green, joyless walls

Echoing my self worth,

Tears threatening to fall

The insolence of swaggering inmates

Attempting in vain to disguise their self hate


It isn't a lifestyle choice, something to be proud of

So young and naive, deluded and pointless


It's the end of the light that I thought was my hereafter


Tarnished forever and unhappily ever after


Tara Carbery © 2011

More by this Author


Comments 41 comments

ExoticHippieQueen 5 years ago

Prison is no joke.......very very good work! You expressed the feelings perfectly. Voted up and awesome!


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thank you ExoticHippieQueen. Your comment has left me with a large grin on my face! Another one to follow very soon but more of a sarcastic rant at the injustices that go on inside. Thanks again!


leni sands profile image

leni sands 5 years ago from UK

Having read this again and again, the fear that must have been felt, the shock of everything that had happened and the lack of self worth is imprinted in every line, every word, giving depth to the experience. I have also voted up and awesome and look forward to your next hub.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks Leni Ssnds. It's weird reading it as it takes me back to how I felt when writing it. I honestly thought that my life was over. I felt so alone and couldn't see anything positive to focus on. I'm glad I didn't give up now.


athena09 profile image

athena09 5 years ago from Philippines

Nice work and very well written.


thoughts220 profile image

thoughts220 5 years ago from India

Voted up and interesting. A poem giving an insight to the thoughts of a prisoner and the hopelessness that he is inflicted with. A well written poem.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thank you for your comments athena09 and thoughts220.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI

I never been a prisoner but this poem, while I read it, really made me picture within myself how it'd be. Which was not a pretty picture. That means that you did an amazing job. Voted up!


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks Cresentmoon. I'm so glad that you can picture how it was from my words. You're right it wasn't pretty!


MisguidedGhost16 profile image

MisguidedGhost16 5 years ago from Queens, New York

i had to read this more than once, just because i knew there was so many emotions coming through in your words. each time i read it, i felt for you more, and seen the image this poem gives. your journey, though appearing to be quite difficult, unleashed a great gift. i voted up and interesting.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

MisguidedGhost, Thank you so much for your kind words.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....I would definitely like to see more creative writing from you - I am definitely besotted and it's not just that lovely red beret - lol - which may make McCartney write another song and return to the Beatles - but you are such an amazingly sensitive writer and guess what ......


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks Epi you old charmer you!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Touching in its vulnerability and integrity. Beautiful.


Aceblogs profile image

Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

Voted up ! Beautiful hub again there by you ! Started following you for the writings you are doing in here.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Many thanks Denise and Aceblogs.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

If this is the standard of your all your poetry then I can't wait for more. I think I may just learn something. Some would say that is not a bad thing if you have read any of my efforts. Not a patch on your's. Up/awesome is the vote


Emma Zimmer profile image

Emma Zimmer 5 years ago from USA

Speechless


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks so much for reading and commenting poshcoffeeco and Emma Zimmer.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Tara, if I may address you by your given name, as several of my friends writing to you have done, it touches me deeply.

There are more than one kind of prison. I speak from the experience of what was a virtual 18-year prison of a marriage, in which I was a hostage. The threat of losing my children - "no matter what!" - held me captive and docile. When it did end, it was not by my choice. He had hit upon a way to get me out of the way, take all that was mine, including the children, without losing anything himself, and, in fact, gaining control of all that was mine or ever would be, through having control of the children. My worst fears came to pass. Those poor kids!

He probably thought he'd be given sympathy for having 'that crazy wife' to put up with all those years. In fact, he'd gathered all his nearby family and our friend around to witness my dishevelment after he'd almost killed me and chased me when I fled, like a runaway hound. He picked me up, saying "Now I'm here, dear. You're safe now" to the neighbor to whom I'd fled about a half mile away through ploughed fields in the dark.

His fool-proof plan wasn't, though. He made the mistake of informing my brother (1200 miles away) - in order, obviously, to have an ally on my side, in my own family, from whom he'd isolated me for most of those long years. I suppose my brother really cared, or possibly, just realized he didn't want to have to deal with my husband when it came his time to administer the family estate. In any case, he did step in and rescued me. In the meantime, my ex did fulfill his threat. He managed to feed lies to my children enough to estrange them so that he (thought) he would have the leverage to bring me into line.

The thing he hadn't realized was that I'd found a friend all those years - me. I'd written volumes of poetry, private except to myself. I could relocate myself in it, confide it in, preserve who I am in it, rejoice in all that I still believed good in the world, occasionally mention the things awry in it. But I was still IN HERE when I began to regain my bearings and I emerged stronger and more fully myself than I'd ever really been before. At 40, I learned to drive and to manage on my own.

Of course, I hoped to restore my loving relationship with my son and daughter. I stayed in the nearby vicinity a year with that hope sustaining me. But he had done such a job on them, they refused to take my calls and returned my notes and home-baked cookies with their own handwriting scrawling "RETURN TO SENDER" across the envelopes and packages. My son was 17 and daughter, 15. That was in 1972. My son is still estranged. My daughter, who was left to live alone with her father in that farmhouse after her brother went off to college the next year, became the object of his abuse and fled, at first ending up in a foster home, till she finally contacted me in 1974. By then I'd returned home to Texas, though, and she still felt like a "Hoosier" (Indiana person) so she didn't' come to live with me, but married too young, against my advice, and began a life with uneasy bearings. Our relationship has had its ups an downs, but in general, is good. She's given me 5 granddaughters, and 6 great-grandchildren, some to whom I'm close, and others, not. I've seen my son and communicated with his wife on Facebook, enough to see that he has a wonderful family, with two children and several grandchildren. So at least, I know he's OK. His wife sent me pictures of their children when they were small, in fact, in an obvious effort to help the situation, but he apparently cut that short. His bitterness runs deep, but I happen to know that it is not only toward me, but his father, as well. He's brilliant but shut off from his own feelings, I'm sure, and his father convinced him that he wouldn't get the education he wanted if he sided with me. I heard him once say that if anything happened to us, he wouldn't go with either of us. My docility, while it was always kind to everyone, simply lost hs respect - and my daughter's as well, actually. I was part of their problem, in their minds, as I admit I surely was. I was misguided, but should have realized that there was no payment enough to appease that man, not even my entire life. But I had been prepared to give it, if necessary.

So my lesson learned the hard way and my message for others is to be totally true to oneself, to be alert and aware and remain in one's own driver's seat, to simply refuse to be controlled and to assert one's rights. At the time of the final explosion back then, when my daughter was in my face shouting that I had to get out of their lives, and I calmly said, "But I have rights." She shouted even louder, "RIGHTS! YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS! WHERE WILL YOU GO? WHAT WILL YOU DO? YOU CAN'T EVEN DRIVE! NOONE WANTS A 40-year old POET!!"

He certainly fostered that in her, not only then during the intense brainwashing, but over the entire years of her life - and I allowed it; ONLY because I had allowed it! I had to both realize and take full responsibility for my predicament! and reverse it, even under the dire situation that it had created.

That is the most necessary step to take, taking one's own responsibility and control. Whatever predicaments having relinquished it may have created, there is only one way out and it is to turn around the underlying cause and foundation, and to assert one's own real POWER. It's all personal. One cannot change others or even all of one's circumstances. One CAN and MUST stop one's own destruction and regain one's own being, fully, no waffling, no negotiations. One does have that control and all those full rights.

. . . . . .

So - more POWER to you Tara. You are doing the right things, I can perceive it. Being a shining example is also one's prerogative. One can't 'make' anyone else see it, but one CAN and must let it shine forth for anyone to see who has receptivity.

Brava!


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Nelliana, I was moved by your words. You're an inspiration and make me proud to be a survivor. I've wasted so much of my life worrying what others think of me. Instead, I need to continue to move forward. You're right when you say we can't change others. All I can do is be true to myself. When I feel self destructive and want to drown my sorrows I need to write how I feel instead!


Lucy 4 years ago

Hey Peanutritious, that poem nearly moved me to tears. Thank you for that fantastic piece of writing, Ive seen some fantastic diary entries on here about how to cope as a woman in prison and I think it would be informative if people could see what it was like for you in prison.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Yes, writing is quite therapeutic and expands one's horizons, as well. I found it was good not only to express responses to the predicament, but mostly to express who I really am, my thoughts beyond all that, and my appreciation of the small beauties all about. It gave me strength as well as just providing an outlet, as well as self-understanding. It was a direct and crucial line with myself.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wow! Thank you for discovering me so I could discover you. This is so damn powerful! I was lucky; I should have landed in prison but it wasn't meant to be. Your words just reinforce how lucky I am. Great hub and you are a very talented writer.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well, Tara, I keep checking to see if you are back from wherever but no luck so far. Hope to see a new hub from you in the near future and I hope you are alright.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

billybuc, thanks for thinking about me. I'm not feeling too great at the moment. I feel very down and negative and can't seem to lift myself out of it. Not working and not having my own place is taking it's toll. I miss teaching so much and need a routine in my life. Every time i'm about to write a hub I have to stop because i'm in such a negative state of mind. It would sound like a huge rant! Thank you for asking about me though, it means a lot. I know this state of mind won't last forever.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Peanut, that's not good and you know it....my email is holland1145@yahoo.com I would like you to write to me so we can talk about this...please do not isolate...please...from one survivor to another, you are on a dangerouse slope right now and I want to help. Okay?


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks for your kind words and concern billybuc. I have sent you an email. Thanks again.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

As everyone else has said, this is such a powerful piece, absolutely stunning, I hope to see you back writing again soon, hope everything is okay now?


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks Nell and sorry for the slow response. I've been feeling much better. I let a relationship take over my life like a fool. I've come to my senses now and i'm annoyed that I allowed someone to stop me from doing what I want to do. Another lesson learnt. Thanks for reading and commenting. Take care.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Tara. I can only imagine your despair when things are bad. I am not one to judge you, but only you have the answer. I know it's been said 1.000 times but it is true. I see that you are in touch with billybuc. A good man to be in touch with. I wish you well, please be strong.

Graham.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks for your well wishes Old albion, sorry for the delay in answering. I'm feeling much brighter at the moment. I'm making myself exercise and it's helping me loads! I'm keeping busy too and trying not to wallow in the past too much. Your words mean a great deal.


Redberry Sky profile image

Redberry Sky 4 years ago

Your writing is brilliant, Tara,a truly awesome and powerful poem. I know it's not good to wallow in the past, but sometimes clear calm recollection can help, and you are very clear and calm (and I *know* you have a fantastic sense of humour!). You also have a very strong and kind humanitarian streak in you - strengths that you can count on and feel proud of if you ever feel a bit down. My thoughts are with you, and my empathy and warm wishes. I think if you want it, you can have a good future in writing, so perhaps things are not so bleak as you sometimes might feel. *hugs* Redberry x


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Bless you, Redberry. What lovely things to say! I hope I can have a future in writing as noone else will employ me due to my background! So much for rehabilitation. There is none! If you make a mistake, your card is marked and you will not be able to work again. No wonder so many people re-offend, what choice do they have? I am touched by your support, you've just made my day. Thanks hun. x


jordanuk 4 years ago

well, you should of thought about that before you went to prison. you were there for a reason. prisoners dont deserve to heve feeelings


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Jordanuk, maybe you should check your grammar and spelling before writing such vitriolic words. It's 'should have not of' and 'have not heve'. As for prisoner's not deserving to have feelings, well, i'm allowed to have feelings as much as you are. I sincerely hope you never find yourself in such a desperate situation as I did and if you do, perhaps you won't be as quick to judge. Open your mind if you have one to open!


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 3 years ago from Michigan, United States

Full of emotion and beautifully written. Voting this up and rating beautiful and interesting. Knock out poetry Peanutritious :)


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 3 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thanks very much Olde Cashmere, lovely of you to say so. :)


Carl Wainwright profile image

Carl Wainwright 3 years ago

A frangible poetic penetration, into the heart of a person wrongly penned,in an dark psychological inferno. As I read it I felt as though it was being spoken in a soft fatigued whisper, which brought a chill to my soul.

A very powerful emotive piece.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 3 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

Thank you Carl, I wrote it sitting on my bunk, locked into my cell feeling utterley lost. Thanks for your kind words.


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 3 years ago from Cheshire, UK Author

d'oh! 'Utterly'

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