Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Of trees and other trauma. . .

Me, a few years ago, with the tree. . . 
There's a healthy old sycamore in our backyard -- majestic and magnificent, thirty, forty, feet tall.
We're taking it down today.

*I* am taking it down today.

I have singlehandedly made the decision to
bring down a

What if trees have feelings?

What if the loss of this giant -- a stoic, constant member of our family -- symbolizes some greater loss,
some worse trauma,
some butterfly effect that starts

What evils did this beautiful old tree ever impose upon me?

In fairness,
it has some mold, some fungus, untreatable (I have tried for three summers),
unrelenting, that has,
for the past four years,
seen it dropping its leaves, fuzzy and brown, plentiful, as if it were fall.
From May through September.
Then, October comes, and it drops them for the season once and for all.

The tree is a constant, shedding, mess of dead leaves.
Sometimes, its bark peels off in strips to join in the action.

In my further defense. . .

My property is small -- 1/4 acre all told -- and the backyard, modest, encircled with gardens I work hard to maintain, and a small pool I take advantage of daily, though it is too small to even swim satisfying laps in these days. . .

The brown, moldy leaves cover everything.
Every day.
All. Summer. Long.

It is sweaty work, if you've never done it, raking a fall-like yard full of leaves in the middle of July.

The saucer-sized leaves get stuck in the lavender stems, the hydrangea branches,
drift on the surface of my
once pristine

Me, 2009, in front of the tree. 
They clog the lawnmower,
get dragged indoors.

Brown, moldy leaves in my living room. . .

But are these really
such unforgivable crimes for twenty years of beauty and
free shade?

There's an otherwise healthy old sycamore in our backyard, its seasonal show succumbed to the ravages of
climate change, and

Just as I have, and

I'm taking it down today. The trucks are here, felling limbs, loudly grinding its branches down to nothing.

I am murdering it, if you will.

If it's any consolation, it is not without remorse, without a price to pay.
I will dream about it;
I could water its hefty roots with my real tears.

The sycamore tree in my yard is all but gone.
blown to bits through a shredder,
its few remains
peppering my yard.

Dear tree,
I will miss you.

I'm very, very sorry to see you gone.

- gae

Friday, September 14, 2018

Legacy - quick poem

I had some thoughts pop into my head
the other day
outside a Starbucks in New Jersey,
and needed a place to
jot them all down.

Laptop-less, I found a stack of prepaid postcards in the door of my car,
leftovers from a summer of
political rantings.

Over a small “tall” iced coffee with almond milk
I wrote,
it occurring to me
disheartened, Now, I can put a value to
my words:

Thirty-five cents,
pen to paper.

Today, I spent the day with a firefighter who rushed the
burning buildings on 
the scars on his neck, nothing compared to
his buddies' who
Hasn’t slept a solid night in

What price, these things we carry 

(and, worse,
the things
we do 


What kind of legacy is an unread book
on some 
library shelf?

- gae 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

IN SIGHT OF HELP. . . It's out there -- REALLY -- and May is mental health awareness month

"In Sight of Stars deals with mental health, Vincent Van Gogh, family and recovery; all told in some of the most beautiful prose you will probably ever read. As far as I'm concerned, [this novel] is the equivalent to “Starry Night Over the Rhone,” making Gae Polisner the Vincent Van Gogh of young adult fiction." 
Teen Reads

May is -- has been -- Mental Health Awareness month, and I have a LOT to "say" about that, except that on the 4th of May -- very un "force" like -- or, maybe exactly force-like -- I fell and broke my hand very un-ninja style, and my typing is, shall we say, fucking limited. 

So, suffice that I want to say this:


We do.

Some greatly.
Some less so.

I believe it's only a matter of degree and circumstance that separates us.

And if you suffer, there is help out there. Even if you don't suffer acutely, the help is useful. The help can be life-changing. (In this regard, I have witnessed Dialectical Behavior Therapy be life changing, though, as always, it matters that you find a good and skilled therapist/center that fits for you). 

If there is one thing I hope readers might take from IN SIGHT OF STARS**, it is this:

Open yourself. Know you are worthy. Let people in. 

And, if you want to know more specifics, reach out to me. 

xox gae

** now out in AUDIOBOOK narrated by the awesome Michael Crouch