Poetry – A Handful of Haiku

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Art by Maranda Russell

1.
Literary foes –
poetry and drama show
villains in us all

2.
Feminine essence:
pleasing full moon glow upon
newly burst lilies

3.
Immortal halo
once crafted for an angel,
my head now weighed down

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Revolting against the misery of poverty

I wrote this blog post 4 years ago, but I feel it is relevant today more than ever. As the income inequality and wealth gap continues to grow and more and more people fall into the lower classes, revolting against poverty is becoming more common and sometimes, more dangerous.

Maranda Russell

"The State Lottery Office (The Poor and Money)" watercolor painting by Vincent Van Gogh. “The State Lottery Office (The Poor and Money)” watercolor painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

On social media and in real life, I hear a lot about how the poor “take advantage” of the system and how they “waste what they have” or are “just plain lazy”. Of course, these comments always seem to come from people who are at least close to middle class and have never once gone truly hungry, been homeless or lost everything they have through some cruel twist of fate. Having grown up in a mostly one-parent family that did accept government and charity assistance on occasion (even though my mother often worked MORE than full time), I see a different perspective.

I will admit that sometimes the things that the impoverished do may indeed contribute to their own problems, but often this is through ignorance or desperation. Often they make rash decisions based on immediate needs…

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Suit Up for Battle

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Have you ever had a relationship in your life, whether it be a family member, coworker, boss, neighbor, schoolmate, or other social acquaintance, who makes you feel like you need to prepare yourself for for battle every time you come in contact with them?

Perhaps they are masters of the subtle put-down, love to give sneaky guilt trips, always manage to make you feel inferior and “less than”, or simply bring out the worst in you, leaving you feeling regretful and exhausted after the encounter finally ends.

I have a meeting like this coming up soon and it has been stressing me out. While I was laying in bed a couple nights ago stressing about it, I suddenly realized how much effort I had to put into steeling myself before the encounter. I have to put on emotional and mental armor and make sure none of my weak spots are showing. I have to be strong and hide any reaction to their attempts to get to me while in their presence, otherwise it will only encourage them.

It made me sad to think that it has to be this way. It also made me realize why the whole experience causes me so much anxiety and exhaustion. Preparing for battle is exhausting!

Things I Worry About

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  1. Are we destroying this planet to the point that it will be unable to sustain life? Will our arrogance, perpetual fighting and greed end up in our mutual destruction? Are we a foolish race causing our own eventual extinction?
  2. Did any of the narcissistic abuse of my childhood rub off on me? Am I narcissistic? I don’t want to be. I don’t want to hurt anyone or cause anyone else the kind of pain I have felt.
  3. Are we headed for civil war in this country? The polarization seems to be becoming more and more severe and dangerous. Which is more likely to happen first, our own country being torn apart by civil war, or our world being thrust into WW3 – likely over the natural resources we are bleeding dry?
  4. Will I someday find myself alone and have to make the decision to either end my life or survive on my own (the latter which happens to be my biggest fear). As terrifying as the idea is, I hope I would have the strength to try to survive. I would hate to think I would give up that easily.
  5. Am I irrevocably broken? I feel like something went very wrong in the attachment process and I am unable to create wholly secure and healthy attachments to other human beings. That is a hard thing to live with and hard (if not impossible) to fix. Attachment styles are something that is formed when we are very, very young. I have an anxious/avoidant style that makes all relationships feel insecure. Even if I can fix my conscious thoughts (as I have been able to do with my husband) I cannot fix my subconscious (and my fearful/paranoid dreams constantly remind me of that fact).