An intimate, powerful collection of poems about the end of one relationship, and the beginning of another. From the first harrowing recognitions that a fundamental, frightening change had to be made, through the pain and alienation of the separation, to a re-discovery of love, hope and a new life, this book offers inspiration and insight to anyone who has ever loved and lost, anyone who believes in the power of the self, and anyone who loves smart, unsentimental contemporary poetry.
Sample Poem from RAPIDS: Poems of Ending and Beginning
Down in a hole, narrow, dark.
My arms tied by tight cords
stiffened and tightened with time.
"Don't panic" I said calmly,
again and again. A mantra.
"Don't panic" and something will
surely come along. "Don't panic"
and you'll be able to handle
even this, this familiar horror.
Down in a hole, narrow, dark,
controlling my breathing, knowing
Not to scream. Never to scream.
Looking up. Maybe ten feet. Sky.
Air. The blue forgiveness
a small, round opening,
the size of my body. This hole.
My head tilted back as far
As it can go. Neck aching.
To see the sky. Pale blue air.
"Don't panic" Again. Again.
Control the breathing.
Down in a hole. Narrow. Dark.
Head back. Sky. Air. Time.
Someone must surely
come along soon. Suddenly
The hole is covered. Black.
The air sucked out. Trapped.
A black pit of knowing No one will ever come.
Scream. Scream. Scream. Scream.
Panic. Too late. Panic. Idiot.
I sit up straight. Terrified. Awake
I crawl out of bed. Out of the dark
room where I sleep my day,
away from the soft-edged pastel
Of my common sleep, smudging
into the daylight. Still trembling.
Angry. Frightened. Shaken.
Not by the hole. The ropes. The fear.
Not by the panic. But by patience.
By a dumb, buried belief that a
little sky, a cloud of hope could
save my life. The fear of panic
was too easily controlled.
And that is how an entire life
passes by. Now stunned awake
in daylight, my arms outstretched,
the sky wide, I run like a rabbit
across an open field, far from the
grasp of that death-walled hole,
from its sweet and lethal calm.