Early Morning Poetry

I woke, at three, as baby stirred;
The birds were no help, either.
My brain, a-swirl, my hunger roused,
I grabbed a jacket, cer’al doused

And here, I sit –
Or, rather, lay
And contemplate if that’s the way
To say that here I am, reclined,
When, still, my brain’s a racing mind.

For now, at five, as baby wakes,
And time’s flown by
While here, I lie,
I realize I’ll need to rise
Before the garbage truck arrives.

After all,
it’s near sunrise. 🌞

© Chel Owens

Summer Days Ain’t Lazy at All

I realized that somewhere near …July June 25 I became lost in life and was not able to keep up with my regular blog reading. Instead of conceding defeat, I kept telling myself I would catch up. The same happened with writing my own posts. In fact; the same happened with the housework, meal plans, summer schedules, vacation plans, homework, etc.

I should have just closed shop for the summer.

The main problem has been my children, both those out of me and the one in me. I’ve had enough on my plate trying to motivate and manage myself. After First Bathroom stop, First Breakfast, Second Bathroom Stop, Second Breakfast, and showering; the day’s nearly half over and I realize I ought to get the boys out of bed and doing activities.

For their part, they’re just fine sleeping in and playing all day. I’d be fine with that, too, if it weren’t for the dishes’ habit of piling up when The Magic Fairy doesn’t wash them. That lazy Fairy’s neglected everything from yard work to laundry to budgeting since I became impregnated.

It’s like she’s hoping to get fired or something.

So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not posting regularly. I’m sorry for not reading regularly. I’m sorry for how boring I’ve been, complaining about a situation that SUCKS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN CONSTANTLY SICK SINCE MID-APRIL.

My creativity is shot. It’s lying on the ground with several empty bags of snack food and the remains of the clothing that I can’t wear anymore. And curled up on the pile by 1:00 p.m. every day is my current energy level.

I think I’m dreaming of about a year from now…

—————-

Still, I kind-of wrote stuff this past week:
Wednesday, July 17: “Frilled Shark, a terrible poem.”

Thursday, July 18: “The Strangest Pregnant Animal Ever.” This was the last in a series of pregnant animal poems, in tribute to the Terrible Poetry theme for that week.

Friday, July 19: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, July 20: Announced the 35th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a limerick of poets who take themselves way too seriously. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, July 21: Answered Kevin’s questions with “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Blogger ‘Awards.'”

Monday, July 22: An inspirational quote from Kira’s site.

Tuesday, July 23: Nothing!

Wednesday, July 24: Today. Happy Pioneer Day from my home state.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Stop and Smell the Bindweed,” “Everyone Needs to Get Messy, Especially Kids,” and “A Parent’s Poetic Lament.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Cure for Depression: Get Some Sleep!

Good morning, everyone! I’ve been meaning to talk to you all about ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT topics ever besides food and sex, but I kept sitting down to do so at incriminating times -like, midnight or four a.m.ish.

Yeah, I oughta be asleep then.

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Now that I’ve pushed hypocrisy under the rug by typing at my local time of 10 a.m., let’s get into it!

Sleep is important.

Duh, right? Well, so is eating the right food, but I still ate a Pop Tart for my second breakfast. So is positive self-talk and such with CBT, but I forgot all that when my kids had a meltdown all weekend. So is talking to my counselor and doing what she says and -no, wait! I did go back on my medication because the kids had a meltdown all weekend.

Point is: we know sleep is important. However, if you’re like me, then a good sleep schedule is one of the first things to go right out the window as soon as you have a small sip of it.

So let’s remember why we need sleep:

  1. Better Mental Health
    Isn’t this our goal? My internet reading says that mental illness sufferers almost always do not get enough sleep. I think that’s often because our stupid problems don’t let us sleep; for me, however, I intentionally do not because I’m self-defeating that way.
    Sleep is CRUCIAL to better mental health, resetting emotions and releasing the happier hormones into our systems.
  2. Learning.
    Our brains HAVE TO hit all the key sleep stages in order to retain information. -You know, all that REM/NREM stuff where dreams can happen. There are a ton of articles out there about this, if you want to do a little side research.
  3. Physical Health.
    After a good night’s rest, our muscles are relaxed and ready for a new day. Skin looks better, especially around the eyes. Joints, ligaments, and nerves have time to repair. Without the stress of maintaining activity, the body as a whole can work on healing.
  4. Longer Life
    No joke: consistently cutting back on sleep affects DNA. This bad practice physically shortens one’s life. Don’t get paranoid; decide to get a better schedule.
  5. Creativity
    Despite your tortured artist soul’s ideas to the contrary, good sleep produces more creativity. I am a regular practice-er of late-night muse-calling; I often produce dark poetry detailing horrific, depressive mindsets.
    In terms of consistent artistry, though, I am much more productive when I’m regularly rested.
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  6. Lower Stress
    Yeah, you should know this one. Well-rested is the opposite of high-strung.
  7. Other Crap You May Not Have Known About
    Lack of sleep affects: testosterone (meaning you’re not going to feel like sex so much), weight control, disease immunity, and focus.

Like water and breathable air, humans have to have sleep. The next question, then, is how do we go about sleeping?

  1. Make a sleeping place
    Yep, like a bed. Maybe you’re literally more comfortable in a recliner, though. Wherever you do your business, make it only for sleeping and sexing. Make it comfortable, dark, and free from distractions.
  2. Make a sleeping time
    Ideally (in a fiction novel), you’d get to bed around 9 or 10 p.m. every night of your life. I find that aiming for a reasonable time gets me close to it, plus trains my body to expect that.
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  3. Have a relaxing routine
    Once your time’s set, prepare for it about an hour in advance. We’re talking: showering if you do it before bed, reading a book or your phone on the couch, reconnecting with your loved one(s), getting a drink, bathrooming, etc.
    DO NOT EAT an hour before bed. If you are positively famished, I’d recommend light foods at least two hours before for metabolism and heartburn reasons.
  4. Stay in bed, but don’t stress yourself
    Occasionally when I wake in the middle of the night, I toss about and decide I’d be more productive getting up. Then I’m a zombie all day. Instead, I’ll choose to make myself more comfortable by repeating my relaxing routine and possibly adjusting the house/bed temperature. Then, I’ll go back to bed and just rest.
  5. Sleep aids and medications
    I’m not going to pretend some people don’t need medicine to rest. The elephant’s in the room (and now, in the bed), right? If you’ve tried a bunch of stuff listed above and have serious trouble sleeping, get your doctor on board to prescribe something to help.
  6. Cut out the crappy stuff like smoking, drinking, recreational drugging and caffeinating
    Tricky, of course, but so so so so so so so helpful for your body in so so so so so so many ways -especially sleep.
    If you gotta do it, keep booze and coffee to healthy times: alcohol in small amounts after an earlier dinner and caffeine in the morning after food.

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The other side of excellent sleep habits is your waking ones. Early to bed and early to rise isn’t just a great poem; it’s a blueprint for most people and a healthy lifestyle.

After a good night’s rest, a consistent, early waking time is equally vital.

In my crash-course study on this topic over the past few days, I learned that waking at the same time each morning trains your body. Our smart little brains start increasing key protein levels (PER) just before the anticipated wakeup. Some people don’t even need an alarm clock because their body has been set.

You, too, can be a living alarm clock.

Resolve today to make sleep a higher priority. Make your bedroom cozy, cut out stimulants of all varieties in the evening, wake early, be consistent, but -most of all- RELAX!

Sleep feels great; get some and you’ll see.

Thank you for joining me on Consider not Depressing. Tune in next time, when I discuss the next item that cures depression.

 

Maeghan Smulders
rawpixel
Kristina Flour
Kinga Cichewicz

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Eight

Yeah,” Wil said. “Harry.” She adjusted her backpack the best she could and glanced over at Reagan’s face. The girl appeared to be somewhere besides the crowded common room they were about to cross. “You all right, Reagan?”

Reagan’s eyes followed a blue spoon-shaped artwork on the wall before she returned Wil’s attentions. “What?”

“I asked,” Wil stressed the word, “If you were all right.”

A few teenagers brushed past them. “Hm …yeah,” Reagan answered. Another group walked between them, eyeing them; sending a nonverbal query as to why the two girls obstructed the base of the stairs.

“Oh.” Wil thought to elaborate; decided against it. “Well!” she said in a brighter tone, “Should we go see what the others want?”

“Oh!” Reagan blinked. “The thingie! -Yeah, Wil, let’s go!” She grabbed for Wil’s backpack again, but Wil was quick enough to pull it away this time.

“I’ll walk faster without the dragging.”

Reagan faced her, hand on hip and frown on face. “Alright.” Her tone did not sound convinced.

Wil smiled in innocence and started forward at a fairly quick pace. Pockets of chattering pupils and phone-hypnotized stragglers stood between her and the hallway to the lunchroom stairwell. She would have preferred a slower pace, but chose this over Reagan’s alternative.

With only a few stumbles and accidental shoulder-bumping, she and her impatient friend made it across. They turned and rushed down the stairs. Wil had enough spare thought to admire Reagan’s graceful descent compared to her own pell-mell lunges before she made it to the bottom without accident.

“Reagan,” she called, out of breath, just before the girl’s shadow turned the corner. The shadow stopped and looked to turn back. Wil stood and walked forward. “I. have. to. get. lunch. first,” she managed to say.

Reagan responded with another hand on hip pose. Wil took it as permission and headed to the counters.

“I’ll tell them you’re coming,” Reagan called. She left. Wil sighed in relief.

“What’s it today, dearie?” the smiling lunchlady asked. Her hair net head appeared more edible than the fare she offered, but Wil frowned and considered the options anyway. She needed to hurry, before Reagan changed her mind.

 

Continued from Eighty-Seven.
Keep reading to Eighty-Nine.

Where IS My Mind?

“With your feet in the air and your head on the ground…”

Most of my day is spent in trying to avoid reality. Through the combined efforts of little sleep and little to stimulate my brain, I’ve successfully dodged true feelings and their accompanying pains for years. Through the added repressive means of modern technology and instant entertainment, I’ve created a virtual mindspace that is more alive than my physical one.

“Your head will collapse / But there’s nothing in it…”

Since entering the world of blogging; and, especially, the community of mental illness support, I’ve learned some terms for what I do: numbing, depersonalization, and (above all) disassociation.

“And you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”

In the beginning, I entered the mind fog willingly. -So I thought. Depressed, repressed, lonely, and mind-numbingly bored at my day-to-day activities; I sought constant distraction.

“Try this trick and spin it…”

I thought numbing was better. In some ways, it was; it is. Because I felt nothing, I did not lash out in anger from the frustrations. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel disappointment. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel the crippling sadness.

“Where is my mind?”

Except that I still could.

“Where is my mind?”

As such, I have made various attempts to kind-of, sort-of climb out of my muddy hole. I read Brené Brown’s recommendations, followed her advice …and really offended a neighbor by being myself. I started counseling and some hormone therapy …then reverted back to old habits and dropped the hormones so that I wouldn’t accidentally birth a hermaphrodite.

Most of my days are spent in trying to avoid reality. On the rare occasions that I surface, life feels like the restaurant scene in “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Unlike the genius that is Holmes, however; I do not note and absorb everyone’s mistresses, limps, or chalk spots. Instead, I feel overstimulated by emotions; in particular, everyone’s emotional reactions to me.

I also feel overwhelmed at the repetitive cycle of life, and the prospect of more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Do I want my mind awake? I’m not so sure. There doesn’t seem much to wake to. Hence, the continued withdrawal and disassociation.

“Where is my mind?” Somewhere inside. Probably.

Do you experience similar non-feelings? Have you, in the past, and now you do not? Is reality worth the cost?

—————-

On a happier note, here’s what I threw together this week:
Wednesday, March 20: Me and me debated who has it harder in “THE Battle of the Sexes.”

Thursday, March 21: “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy,” a suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Saturday, March 23: Announced the 19th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Unrequited Love. PLEASE ENTER!
I also finally wrote up an entry for The Annual Bloggers Bash Competition, “Silent but Tardy.”

Sunday, March 24: “Farmer Henry,” a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

Monday, March 25: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, March 26: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven.”

Wednesday, March 27: Today.

I also wrote stuff at my motherhood site; like “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?,” “A Very Unmerry Birthday to You,” and a funny quote about mothers.

 

*Credit to the Pixies’ amazing song, “Where Is My Mind?”

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I’m a bit tardy posting today. I’d tell you my life story, but I know you’ve already skipped to-

All right, all right. The winner this week is Peregrine Arc.

Zzzz

by Peregrine Arc

One more minute, I snore
One more minute soon turns into four.
Six am workouts sound so good on paper, when imaginary me’s do all the work.
Can’t I clone myself or snooze my way to fitness? I squirm and think.

Out I put my foot, my toe wiggles ’round.
It’s my radar scanner to see if all’s safe and sound.
It touches the floor, the rest of me still covered up in bed.
Brr, ’tis cold, brr shivers and shakes alive!
Back into bed, abandon ship and this dread!

Isn’t there a clause in the Constitution,
against cruel and unusual punishment such as these coming to fruition?

It’s for my health, it’s for my well being
I’ll get up in second, and do some….more…pleading.
Zzzzz…..

Congratulations, Mama Arc! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Whenever I enter writing contests and the host/hostess says, “You were all so good; I just couldn’t choose,” I know she’s saying a load of crap. Yet, here I find myself thinking it nearly every week. You guys are getting so ‘good’ at being terrible poets. Pat yourselves on the back for the dubious honor; you deserve it.

We can’t literally all be winners, of course, which is why Peregrine Arc scooped you this week. Other poems had plenty of elements that were so. darn. clever. I chortled. I cringed. P. Arc’s terrible rhymes, meter, message, and overall relatability got her in to contender status. I believe the overall poem is what bumped her to first for me. There’s just something universal about the thing, even though it’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster in its final form.

As to the rest of you, let’s get these things cross-stitched and hung on Etsy walls. Read them all below, and try not to laugh:

Keeping Your Head When All About You are Keeping Theirs

by masercot

A lazy man from Orleans
Slept upon a guillotine
The townspeople said, “Find some other bed;
if you sleep there much longer, you’ll lose your head”
Despite the people’s entreaties and pleas
He was only interested in catching some ‘Z’s
He finally compromised with the people of the town
And said, “So, wake me when the blade is half-way down…”

—–

“Watch me.”

by Violet Lentz

I started off
Dangling the proverbial carrot
Buying a new truck- for work of course
Promising my undying support,
Because he knew he already had my love
When that didn’t work I tried reason
“I’m working three jobs
Buying the food
Carrying it in the house
Cooking it
Washing the dishes
What may I ask is wrong with this picture?”
Sly little smirk,
Toss of the head
Walk out the door was his only response.
Eventually the level of frustration was so-
That even I got tired of listening to myself
Sliding down the back of the bathroom door in tears
“You can’t go through life being nothing but a good…”

“Watch me.” He replied. And I did.

—–

Lazy Cyril

by Bruce Goodman

Now Cyril, you should be studying for your exams
and not sit around eating yams.
It’s driving me crazy that you are so lazy;
why can’t you be more like your sister, Maisie?
When you grow up and get married, I bet
you’ll get your wife to light your cigarette.
I shouldn’t have to articulate
that you need to motivate.
Get inspired by your sister rather
than obviously taking after your father
who is the laziest son-of-a-B
that nature ever could concei-
-ve. Frankly I’m at the end of my tether,
and you think that sitting around doing nothing makes you clever.
Maisie is an inspiration to us all,
and she’s already, at her young age, starting to be able to crawl.
And Auntie Doris, who frequently gets constipation,
should be another source of inspiration.

—–

Lazy Bart

by Michael B. Fishman

I knew this guy named Bart.
He was lazy, couldn’t get him to start.
To get him in motion,
without causing a commotion,
I walked by him and dropped a big fart.

—–

Lazy Johnny

by Michael B. Fishman

I knew this guy named Bart.
He was lazy, couldn’t get him to start.
To get him in motion,
without causing a commotion,
I walked by him and dropped a big fart.

—–

A Sloth Stuck In Tar

by Donna Matthews

I can’t even believe
your hebetude
All day long I grieve
You said you’d move
You said I’d approve
I dared you to prove true
But in my heart, I knew

Your lazy known to all
A sloth stuck in tar
Instead of stand, you crawl
But now it’s time to improve
From this, you’ll behoove
Let’s make a breakthrough
Find something to do
Please and thank you!

—–

Go to the Ant

by Ruth

Go to the ant, thou sluggard
Says the Proverbs of a holy book
So I went to the ant and asked
Why was I told to come here
The ant said, with a sneer 🐜
I don’t have time to talk,
Do you hear?
I walk miles to find food for my queen
And if I come back empty legged
She screams: “where have you been all day?”
I die after working hard for a few weeks
Who told you to come watch me?
I’ll not motivate you, you lazy scum
Because if I do you’ll die real soon.
Go home and drink some rum.
The end!

—–

Get out, don’t slouch

by Lisa Bradshaw

As she came out that one so fat
I said yes please don’t sit in that flat
You must get out and go for a run
You know out in the sun is so much fun
get out get out and move that wobble
run up and down on the cobble
I don’t want to see that dent in the couch
I’ve had enough of you being a slouch

—–

MOTIVATION ENOUGH

by mistermuse

Laziness is only resting before working makes you tired,
so I’m writing this short poem before I get inspired.
This example will serve to show that being lazy
can motivate a terrible poem before it drives you crazy.

—–

You’ve almost motivated me with your stories of laziness. I’ll post another prompt tomorrow; get around to it when you can and enter for next week’s glory and prizes.

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P’Arc: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Terrible Poetry Contest, a family tradition since about thirteen weeks ago.

Writing poetry is a daunting idea. We get in the mood, think of a lyrical phrase, and then run up against a metaphorical wall mid-stanza. While I have written a how-to on composing poetry legitimately, that’s not what this contest is about.

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The Terrible Poetry Contest is a chance for writers of all shapes, sizes, and ability levels to make a rude literary gesture to all that is good and decent about proper writing and contests. It’s a chance to do everything your poetry teacher told you not to. It’s a chance to shine when other contest-hosters left you alone in the dark.

If this is your first time, review my how-to on terribleness so you know what to expect. Then, read the following rules and please, please, please share something truly terrible:

  1. Topic: Motivating Lazy People
  2. Keep the length between 5 and 150 words.
  3. Rhyme if you want to; don’t if you don’t feel like it.
  4. Just keep things terrible. Make your listeners finally get off their lazy backsides just to do anything besides sit through another stanza.
  5. Keep your poem PG at most.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (February 22, 2019) to submit a poem.

Post your poem in the submission form below, or include or link to it in the comments much farther below.

 

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Photo credit:
Ken Treloar
Tom Morel

The Most Sleep-Deprived Time of the Year

My apologies. I just realized that I announced the ending and the winners of The Terrible Weekly Poetry Contest a day early.

The reason is that I thought today was Friday. I’m not sure which Friday because I am so exhausted lately it ought to be illegal for me to even run a washing machine.

…I tried.

Anyway; again, my apologies. No one pointed the mistake out, though, so maybe I’m not the only writer needing a long winter’s nap.

This all ties into something I meant to mention at my weekly wrap-up on Wednesday, which is that I will not be writing a Wilhelmina Winters nor Skinwalkers story next week. I will post the next Skinwalkers tomorrow, and keep the other days for whatever strikes my fancy.

I hope you all have a merry Christmas, especially if you do not read another message from me till after it’s all unwrapped and done.

 

The Importance of Trying Times

Last week, I had surgery. It was elective, so I’m not dying or anything. I just thought I ought to finally tell someone besides my immediate family. Also, ’twas the prompt for the first Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest I’m hosting (be sure to enter; you’ve got a day or so).

Because of this surgery, I haven’t been feeling up to snuff. That fact sounds a bit obvious, but was not part of my pre-surgery planning. I had the house clean, meals set up, rides arranged, babysitting for the day, and a prescription filled for heavy-duty Ibuprofen. In terms of what my recovery would be like, I think I thought I would just veg and write for NaNoWriMo afterwards.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found very comfortable positions to write from. Between the lingering tailbone recovery and the fact that the surgery was done near my midsection, I haven’t been able to wedge a typing machine in a sustainable place long enough to attempt much longer than a short story.

I have also been very tired.

-Not that surgery and recovery are completely alien to me. I’ve had an appendectomy and three C-Sections. Like pregnancy, however, I figured I survived operations in the past and was likely to handle another one just fine.

Then I get up and try walking.

By the by, if you’re considering an abdominal area incision, I’ve some quick recommendations:

  1. First, have people and/or devices around to retrieve things that keep obeying gravity.
  2. Purchase a heating pad for your back. Walking around like Igor for a day or so will really cramp up your muscles.
  3. Get a belly strap. I’ve used this amazing device after my C-Sections, and I rush-ordered one from Amazon last week after I could sit up long enough to do so.
  4. Surround yourself with pillows.
  5. Do not cough.
  6. Do not laugh.
  7. For the love of all that is or isn’t holy, DO NOT SNEEZE.
  8. Have a surface nearby that can hold your water, pain medicine, food plate, socks, stretchy pants, strap, ice pack, cell phone, etc.
    Turns out, I really need a wider nightstand.
  9. Accept any offers of help! We have so many leftovers from dinners brought in, but now I don’t have to worry about lunches, either.
  10. I can’t think of anything else, but the list looked too short with nine items.

I’d like to say I’ve at least devoted my hours of recovery to introspection or philosophizing in preparation for writing, but that isn’t true, either. The last few days I’ve actually gotten a few armor set upgrades for Link in “Breath of the Wild.” Dragon hunting is a great time-killer and now I’m pretty much an expert on where they spawn.

I’ve not had the memory or focus capacity to create. Sorry.

So, let’s end this apologetic blog post by giving a short Week In Review. I know it’s Wednesday, but unconventional is my thing.

Wednesday, November 7: Track Memory, my submission to a contest that I should have waited till the 16th to post. Sorry, Charli.
Thursday, November 8: Skinwalkers, XLI.
Friday, November 9: On the Brink, a poem I wrote just before going under the knife and scheduled ahead, thinking, What if I die and this posts the next day and everyone is like, Whaaa-?
I also announced my intent to have a weekly contest.
Saturday, November 10: Official Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest start. YAY!
Sunday, November 11: The Apple Pie from the Same Tree, my real-life experience written for Carrot Ranch’s blog prompt.
Monday, November 12: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Two.
Tuesday, November 13: Inspirational quote by Neil Gaiman.
And, my little contribution posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Today, November 14: This post. 🙂

Happy Wednesday or Whatever Day You Read This. May you have more mobility than I!