Words of a tragically inept poet and writer. Self exploration and observations of a phenomenal free spirit and thinker.






 

Thanks for following me on tumblr. I appreciate all the support. Please check out my twitter/facebook community writer page under Terri Ann Bird. And for heaven’s sake click the like button.  Namaste 

The Worry Maple

Chapter One
Deep Roots

When I was a teenager, growing up and living in a trailer park presented its own challenges. But living in a two bedroom trailer with my older siblings, my mother and her husband created obstructions in the roadway to growth. My sisters shared a small bedroom, my mother and her husband (whom I hated) shared the other. I slept on the living room couch. I never felt like I belonged anywhere, not with my family, not in our tin can trailer home, not at school. What purpose, except to be tormented by poverty, wanting, and extreme acne could my life serve? I did not know how to climb the stairs to explore those deep thoughts and feelings so instead I just stayed lost.
¬¬¬
When chaos consumed my family I would flail my arms up with exasperation and scream how sick of my life I was and how I hated everyone. Slamming the door behind me I would exit from nothing into nothing. There wasn’t anywhere to go or to be so I just walked. The asphalt melted under my angry stomping feet leaving permanent traces of my upset. 

As the molten cooled in me and I only dripped with acid sweat the feeling of anger moved from the blistered (souls) of my feet to up under my rib cage. I could always hear the rib bone creek, like a weak stair, before my heart would break. When my anger became what it truly was, helplessness, it wore me down layer by layer until just staying upset was easier.

So I walked to where I felt I belonged most, to the cemetery. I didn’t feel like I wanted to be dead I felt like I was dead. My cover was in being alive. The twisting roadway, the eroded crumbling gravel roads in the back, the trees that grew, had grown, for hundreds of years kept guardian over the tombstones and the souls that lay under them. I walked in and around every grave in the place wondering if I’d find my own. I never found my grave marker but I did find stillness and quiet. 

I felt light, like the wind, free, and at peace when I was there. Not happy, just not mad. In this place I would learn to recognize my own old soul and my spirit would grow. In this place I became all things; wind, earth, water, fire, tree, pebble, girl, human, and alive. This cemetery became my respite. My place of stillness, comfort, and quiet. A place for me to be. I learned to trust the reliability and comfort it offered. I no longer had to melt pavement or leave singed skin self as proof of pain. I kept my body intact but my soul was held hostage under the constraints of ribs it could only crack. 

In the back south west end of the cemetery the slate gravestone markers date back to the late 1700’s. Some of the burial sites are so old the earth is swallowing up the crumbling tombstones. My curiosity for that lost time was so compelling. If I’d had a shovel I would have dug up those graves. I wanted to see the clothes, the skeletons, the bodies, the jewelry. I wanted to study their teeth, the sunken concave of their eye sockets. I’m not sure what mystery this would solve for me but I am thankful we were too poor to own anything as luxurious as a good spade shovel. 

On the far south side of the cemetery was the place where the graves stop being planted due to a cliff that plummets into a steep slope before finally resting at the dividing property line. The graveyard bordered a lush field and marsh. Every sort of wilderness exists on those acres. The smell of sweet grass and wildflowers in the summer, of wet fertile earth, dark soils, moss and tree bark replaced the drunk clouds of cigarette smells from home. This is a place I would rest. A place that is quiet. A land of my own disconnected from all the things that don’t matter. This was my sanctuary. 

At the property line there was an enormous Maple tree that must have been 200 years old. Its branches were twisted and gnarled. Rheumatoidic limbs going every direction but always reaching upward to the heavens. I felt myself and my burdens lift up. The peace tree, the God tree, the Worry Maple. I walked up to her and flung my arms open and around her. My own tiny limbs embracing her. I was minuscule compared to her vastness. The spirit of that tree lulled me.

I laid in the grass underneath looking up into the branches. I sat quietly for hours underneath her shade. Admiring everything about her. For the first time in my life that I could recall I felt safe. Perfectly safe. The sun snuck in between her limbs and leaves to warm my face. The wind blew softly and ruffled the branches. The occasional leaf would cascade down near me. She whispered me little, she whispered me back above the clouds where nothing becomes everything and you can see for miles and miles and it all makes perfect sense. This is where I first found home.

First Chapter/First Edit

terriannbird:

Dividing Asset

By: Terri Ann Bird

When love loses itself,

for whatever the reason,

for so many reasons,

for no reason at all

most people want the same things

the car, the house, the investments.

The day we (divided up the split)

He wanted the land

I wanted to take back the 489 days his love wrecked me

He wanted the tools, trailers, and central air system

I wanted to take back the 489 days my love wrecked him

He wanted the campers, the beds, the dressers

I wanted to remember the feeling of what it was to be liked by someone

Just liked, admired, appreciated,

He wanted most of the things he’d ever bought for me

(Including my ring)

happiness was never on his list of wants

I wanted to be able to ride my bike down that long winding trail

Where the creek bed meets the walking bridge-

I wanted to not imagine myself, (like I’d done every day for the last four years)

Hanging, bloated and blue, at the end of that short rope.

-Terri Ann Bird

Don’t make it long-

We have all been reduced to a 4 second attention span. The richness of language, the fullness of language is lost. Too much stimuli too much vapid deadening of our minds. Pity.  -Terri Ann Bird