When did you become

Blind to your own value?

Allowing tiny minds

And bitter hearts

To color your truth?

When did you begin

To accept defeat

And project the image

Of fragility,

Handing over your power

To those who only fear it?

When did you lose

Your beautiful voice

That spoke truth and comfort~

Bringing laughter and healing,

Buried by the loud

And painful sounds

Of judgment and ridicule?

When did you give up…

Accepting the gray world

Of those who live in fear?

I recognize you

Beneath these disguises

And it is time to open your eyes

And wake up.


Shelly Aspenson

What was it?

How did she let this

happen again?

This no holds, heart-giving,


love of shadows?

What was it about him

that called her to heal

in jagged

uneven pulls

of scar tissue?

Where did her sense

of survival go

as she was bleeding?

Why did she welcome

the damage of his heart

into her own?

What is it about her

that needs to heal another

when it cannot be done?

When she is gasping

her last breath?

What was it she saw

in the child of him

that held her


in spite of everything

that came from him

slicing her

to the bone,

a thousand subtle

paper cuts

causing the slow and agonizing


of anything possible

between two

damaged hearts?

What was it about him

that called her?

Why did she answer?


The Choice

We can choose~

a world of darkness

or one wonderfully awash

with light and color…

A future of promise

and possibilities,

or days given over to hopelessness

and despair…

We decide

if it’s worth it

to remain open-hearted

and forgiving,

or suffocate ourselves

with bitterness…

Each day is a coin,

and either side

can be our truth…

Every moment

we have the power

to decide

what our lives

will bring to others

and feel like to us…

We can choose.


In the silence of your heart

may your dream

rise from the ashes

of what was not good enough,

brush itself off

and adorn itself vibrantly

in the colors of hope.

In that corner 

where grief resides,

may your heart lift itself

away from the shards

and sharpness

of criticisms

given so carelessly

by those grown bitter

from self-inflicted paralysis.

Inside your fears

with all your broken places,

may you find your 


to mend them with gold

so that when you stand up, 

you stand out~

glittering from the beauty

of the suffering

that let you become


The Answer

Question everything.

You can accept what is,

and refuse to settle

for less than is possible.

You can forgive

every injury without condoning

the slightest injustice.

Do not apologize

for the fierceness of your heart

or your terrifying


The bruises that you bear,

the scars you carry,

only emphasize 

the beauty of your face

and your soul.

You are a warrior,

a seeker and a poet

of life.

How can you wonder

that those equal to your light

are not so quickly found?

May I suggest

that they are being forged

even now

in the fire of life and loss.

Just as you were.

The tears you cry are only

to clear your vision,

the injuries you’ll use

to sharpen your focus.

Keep your eyes and heart open.

But question



The Attitude

It doesn’t bother me that you fear me

beneath the mask you wear

or that you edge back

ever so slowly

hoping I won’t notice,

but I do.

The smile you see

on my face is just an


of your wisdom in knowing

that you are not one of

the ones.

You mistakenly believe

that I’m looking

for someone to ride in

and save me

but darling,

I don’t need saving.

I am the personification

of the destruction needed

so the flowers can bloom

in the clearing created

by the fire.

It doesn’t bother me

that you don’t understand me,

that you think I’m still


for something you believe

I need.

I don’t need to convince you


because I know my own


I hold it sacred.

There is no “one”

to fill my life with magic,

it is my honor

to fill myself and in time

share all of me

with the like-minded “Ones”

on a mission to save themselves

from the mockery

of lives too weak and wasted.

It doesn’t bother me

to see you run

in a panic of knowing

that what I am will overwhelm you

and make you feel small,

that is not my cross to bear

that is your ghost

your phantom

your fear.

I search only

for the Ones who will stand

in the midst of the destruction with me

Bleeding love,

and quivering

with attitude…

Tough and terrified

determined to feel

and breathe

and be.

Like me.




There was a time when I

believed that I would find that

perfection that exists in the minds of

very young girls

and the demented…

But I have come to find beauty

in the honesty that speaks

to me and makes me feel

safe within it…

I’ve found strength

in the gift of another’s vulnerability

offered with fear

and therefore the greatest of courage

to be seen with my

untrained eyes…

I see the perfection of


where others see chaos,

I welcome the jagged edges of

every injury and as I do

I pick them up

and hold them to my chest

letting them slice at me

and revelling in the ability

to finally love someone

as broken

as me.



Pull Me Into You

The next time you reach for me,

pull me into you

close enough that my fingers

can trace the scars

of all the things that caused you pain…

Let me stroke love

into the hurting things,

and press light, with my fingertips

into the darkest places of you

that no one waits

long enough to see…

Let my lips reverently brush

across the numb and damaged places,

give my love a moment to sink into

those parts of you

that never thought to feel again.

Let my hands smooth away

the harshness of disappointments

too often inflicted on hope,

and feel my arms wrap around you,

holding on to the parts of you,

barely breathing,

that make you everything worth holding…

Let me breathe love

into you

and stare into your eyes

while I sink the heart of me

into your mind so bright and doubtful…

And so, my love, I ask you this…

the next time you reach for me,

let me pull you into the storm of a heart

so full of you that you are healed

by the very act

of my holding you,

you are strengthened by the truth

that I will never falter…

Just pull me into you.

The Oath

What would it take for me to scale that wall?

How foolish would I have to be to war

With stones so sharp and jagged that would slice?

I see the signs of those who tried before.

No one yet has found a single foothold

To lift them up to where they should not go,

But I will not be daunted by the danger,

I’ll scale the wall and live to show you so.

I have mastered well the art of climbing,

I’m skilled in the relentless search of dreams,

I wield the power of the love inside,

I long to mend your torn and tattered seams.

Some may call it Magic, yes, or Poison

That takes away my choice to let you go,

But I will not listen to their reasons,

When I really love, I’m like the granite stone.

I will be your poem and your love song,

I will be your dream, and your secret fire,

I will vanquish every dragon guarding,

I’ll push my way through all the razor wire.

I will reach you, else I will die trying,

You are a treasure, and I want it all

So look for me, my love, with aching eyes

And watch me as I finally breach your walls.


She knew she was susceptible.
She understood her circumstances
enough to know
that when her need was great,
her self-esteem battered,
and her heart depleted,
she was considered fair game
and had to be vigilant.
She knew enough to accept
that a kind word or gesture,
a certain turn of phrase,
sometimes even
the smallest courtesy
put her heart into
a free-fall that would end
with her desolation.
So she moved carefully,
spoke quietly
and kept her thoughts
locked up tightly
within herself.
She was ripe and ready
to fall into skilled
and knowing hands
which made her wary
and desperate
to keep a resolute grip
on her self-control
in an attempt to avoid
any wrong choices
in a moment of weakness.
She wanted most of all
to turn away from anything
that would shame her
when she looked back on it.
But there were times,
oh, there was more
than just one time,
when to feel the breath
of another against her skin…
she would carefully consider
deliberately risking