Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Dance Alone.....

An angel with a cloven hoof
Played a tune with a mouth harp
That sent me waltzing across the floor
Stumbling about in search of a crutch.

The infantile idealism of youth
Talked in a wobbly, loose-jointed manner.
But I should have known that
Nothing is safe
To him who nothing is sacred.

Behind that toothy smile
Was a mind twisted and crooked as sin.
Drawing me in and almost drowning me
In my foolish naivety.
Yet I am no longer a reprobate.
I forgive myself generously.

But I'm a perpetual dancer
So I shall listen for another tune,
And while I eavesdrop on God
I shall purr ever so gently.

©Naan Pocen

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Beneath your Beautiful.

My husband (bless him) has had to deal with me loosing my cool with him a lot lately for taking photos of me when I am not looking. He doesn't understand my reluctance. I tell him I don't want my RBF (Resting Bitch face) on record and he tells me I am beautiful RBF or not (lucky me).  Still I am unable to give legit reason to why I don't want the photos.

I have had for a while now dreaded passing by a mirror and making eye contact with my reflection because I don't like what meets my eyes. The gained weight, the ratty dragon head locs, the blotchy complexion to name a few are just the little things. The thing that bothered me most was the haunted look in my eyes that refuse to hide even behind a genuine smile.

Most of you know I relocated from Italy to the USA recently....well it's been almost two years and I am still having  a hard time settling in. It's as a result of a combination of various reasons - Long story for another day.....

But giving up the life I knew, the friends I had and the family I created to come to the unknown with no guarantee of being accepted into the new was on its own unsettling. What made it all worse is that I come from a culture that encourages you to see the green grass on the other side of the fence as the nudge you need to work on and create an equally if not better greener grass on your side of the fence. So I came here with the thought of creating home, there I stood, looking for inspiration at the greener grass on the other side of the fence, and wondering how to recreate it here until I realized that greener grass was in fact the side of the fence that I used to be, and my first and lingering thought after realizing that was "What the heck did I just do??"

Unfortunately, I am as human as they come, I trust the devil I know better than the angel I don't know. So holding unto the safety of the familiar made it harder to take on the new, heck I would have to let go first right? But it was hard. Every which way I looked to  find something remotely friendly here to grab unto returned a frightening vacuum and that didn't help as there were other matters that demanded care.

Some of us don't have the good fortune of living through life in bliss. There is a murkiness of the mind that sometimes requires a lot more than a friendly smile and the happy-go-lucky fellow beside you telling you to simply suck it up because calmness and clarity of the mind is simply a matter of choice.

So slowly I started to spiral deeper into that dark place. Not good at all. This is my story of course and I have many such stories in the past too. Point is, when one arrives at that cross roads with a strong urge to retreat to the familiar simply due to the overwhelming fright of the unknown ahead, that fear will find its way to the surface of your visage until it nudges almost comfortably in the depth of your eyes. That is what I see when I look in the mirror lately. It has a rather annoying way of being contagious to the rest of your face until you almost have a permanent RBF when not smiling.

I'll digress a bit here....RBF is simply Resting Bitch Face (nope, I didn't come up with that one). Now that is that face we wear, or sometimes see on other's faces that looks like you are pissed off at something/someone when in fact you are just minding your business and NOT smiling like you normally would do. But behind every RBF there is a story.

So, back to what I was saying, everything I explained above is the reason behind my RBF, that isn't to say every RBF you see out there is struggling to settle in or is dealing with a murky mind or needing to retreat to the familiar. There are countless stories out there that touches one's core deeply and then rises to the surface until it shows on our faces. Point is, not every seemingly angry face IS angry.

Yes I am dealing with a very murky mind right now, I am having a hard time settling in and badly feeling a need to retreat to the familiar. And believe me, it takes a lot of spunk for me to even admit that to myself let alone tell you all. You see, where I come from, such a proclamation will have people whispering behind cupped hands and nodding at your direction with a knowing look. That bothers me.

Now I have lived in three continents (9 countries), you'd think by now I should be cosmopolitan enough  to have shed some of my initial reactions about what is and what should be, after all, we all see the same thing differently depending on what part of the world we are looking at it from and how it relates to our culture and tradition. So I should know that it IS OK to say I am not OK, yet it is still very hard for me to say that even if only to myself.

But you see that is not even all of it. We have turned into a society that are too much in a hurry to slow down and listen. I can't remember the last time I have had a conversation with someone that was genuinely interested in hearing what I was saying. The form of conversation we have adapted is the sort where we feel that every opinion has to either be agreed with or argued. We have forgotten the simple act of listening and simply taking in what was said. I am guilty of that too, unfortunately.

And it is also the reason why I have had a facade that can be deeply deceptive; it makes me come across as cocky and sure-footed. I cannot say what I would like to share because no one is listening, and if I don't come back with a witty reply to someone's opinion, I am considered non-engaging or at worse docile, So I carry my murk with me like everyone else, looking natural and feeling like a snail with its shell.

I have a very busy mind, i think twice as fast as I talk and as a result I have a hard time articulating what I mean when I talk - people close to me will confirm that. I say EVERYTHING twice in the same sentence (not in the stuttering sense, just repetitive). It is frustrating especially if I am trying to share something important. There is always a lot of details to it and in fear of not wanting to bore the listener, I summarize then repeat it. It doesn't convey the point any more by the repetition.

So people that know me in person know that I surf the surface when I talk, the best way to get details and clarity about anything with me have me write it....I digress. Anyway, we all have different coping mechanisms for dealing with the load inside. I write. But I won't go into details here.

I like the song by Labrinth (Beneath Your Beautiful) because it so clearly shares what I wish we all can do with each other - dare to push beneath the surface and reach the person inside that needs to relate and pull them out, because it is as simply an act as it is extremely effective and it helps start the healing process.

So with all said, the reason why I hate photos of me when I am not expecting it is because I don't want recorded memories of my RBF face, because each haunted look holds a loaded story I don't care to make a memory of.

I am lucky to have had a Labrinth moment this weekend in New York. All I can say is friendship is a rare thing but it also is a great thing to have when found. I didn't  do a good job of conveying the murk I wear; I only managed a few repeated in-cohesive summaries but I felt listened to for once. It felt great and that alone took the edge off my RBF. I guess the husbter can look forward to taking stolen photos again soon.

So as you wear your RBFs do remember that a shift always happens when you aren't looking. Nothing is forever. So while you ponder on that. I leave you with LABRINTH


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Tailing Iscariot.

He walks with a ring in his ear
He thinks pain is in tears:
She has lived with pain for a long time
So a simple head nod
And soft painful sighs
Speaks to her more
Than a thousand sad words
Or a torrent of tears.

He walks before her boldly
He believes the world
should be conqured with offensive rage
But she has fought too many times
And she knows that true victory 
Isn't in the little battles
But in being the conqueror
At the end of the war.

He walks with his loin cloth baring his butt
He insists on leading the way;
He truly feels he has it all figured out.
He wills to put her in place,
But the bare sight of his nakedness
Reveals a vulnerability
That she covers.
Standing behind him makes her his shield.

He walks fast, looking up, barking orders
He forgets that sometimes
The wind speaks but we can only hear in silence.
She heard the warning
But she could not convey it
He is still howling and gliding on
And heading toward the trap;
And she sees him fall.

He should get up and carry on and be.
He may get it at last
That pain is beyond tears, rage never conquers
And no one ever does it alone;
None knows it all or figured out.
He may even realize
That our true strength is
In our very weakness.
©Naan Pocen

Friday, September 12, 2014

That Familiar Thing

I have pondered a lot lately about domestic abuse. The complexity of it is that it has many faces and sometimes it is hard to see beneath the surface to recognize it for what it is, both to the abuser and the victim. I have had a personal experience of it but I cannot tell you that I know how to recognize it right away.

There is a familiar pain that follows it though, and if one is sensitive enough, that familiar pain is all the trigger you need to know when something isn't quite right. Unfortunately not everyone has had the 'good fortune' of the experience to know that feeling I am talking about. Some people don't even make it past that first abuse. Others simply chose selective amnesia and therefore go through the cycle several times because they have forgotten the feel of that warning sign. A few selected lucky others are able to feel the trigger and get themselves to safety.....or not.

One thing I can assure you is that I have never known any abuser that think or even are vaguely aware that they are abusive. As a matter of fact, abusive people are quick to point out abuse in others and they pride themselves in NOT being abusive. There is always a logical explanation to bad behavior and sometimes it is really hard to see the dividing line, not only to the abuser but also to the victim.

From the outside, we see a situation, or hear a story of abuse and see clearly that something is wrong and therefore it becomes VERY EASY to say we won't put up with certain behaviors from anyone.

You see, the truth about abusers is that they are NOT mean people in their daily life. They go about their lives trying to be as decent as the next person, but there is something deep in there eating at their core that they have carried about with them. It's been there for so long that it feels like an acceptable part of of them, of life. It feels normal, like the nose on every face. They actually do think everyone of us has it deep in them to feel or react in like manner given the 'right' triggers.

Most abuser have an acceptable name for their behaviors and a logical legit explanation why the name of their action fits it. They are model citizens, if anything they have some really good qualities that put them above the average person in terms of generosity in sensitivity and kindness in areas where the majority take for granted. Plus they don't set out deciding to be abusers and are therefore unaware that they are.

Abuse is a very complex matter and I have a personal opinion about it based on my experience, but I will save that for another day.

I wrote this poem, not in support of the victim nor in condemnation of the abuser but simply to give words to that which is.

How easy it is to choose the wrong bedfellow!

Our past, it is said, shapes and dictates our present.
You’d think that should teach us to see a lot better,
To hear a lot clearer
To feel a lot more sensitively
That familiar thing
That cuts right through the gut of our very being!

It is sad to admit, the heat from past hurts
Has set the heart to a rigidness to demand a right,
It is sadder still to realize
That in the very core of who we draw to us
Is that familiar thing
Needing to conform and possess us.

It beggars the question
“What heals the past?”
Do we have the courage to break or be broken?
Do we have the sensitivity to not break or be broken?
Are we capable of compassion?
Do we even know what it means?

Now lines have been crossed and boarders invaded.
This is simply the start of wounds to avoid.
The trick is to decide if a new line is required
While trust is rebuilt
Or if broken walls are best left undone.

We choose wrong bed fellows; yet it’s hard to define ‘wrong’.

©Naan Pocen

Thursday, August 28, 2014

That high horse He rides.

Is she selfish because she wants to sleep??
All she asks is an extra thirty minutes.
He obviously doesn’t care to know
That where others can count sheep
And wait for sleep that eventually comes,
She deals with thoughts that tell her
in clear logic life is worthless and better ended.

Can’t he really tell the difference
between agitation and fatigue?
Can’t he tell when an outburst is
Pain induced and not simply irrationality?
Does he care to see beneath the surface?
To know that the place of isolation often visited
Is a mirror of hopeless feelings of helplessness?

That blur line he tries so hard to ignore
is indeed well defined, if only he'll look closer.
Sleeplessness, mood swings, weight changes,
stomachache, lost appetite, 
Cold in summer, heat in winter…
Call it rude, Call it attitude
Give it whatever name justifies that
Lack of concern.

But she knows…. she knows this dark cloud by name;
And she has coped with it before.
 So while he sits on his high throne
Deciding her worth, she will go deal
with those thoughts that transcends
the sheep he counts as he awaits his sleep.

©Naan Pocen

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Maybe we missed the turn at the crossroads,
We are walking the same path but our directions are opposed.
We talk of one accord yet we are apart with each step.

Maybe we are too lazy to try harder
Or probably we already know it is pointless
We talk of a tune yet we sing different verses.

Maybe we are afraid to admit it
We were wrong and we knew it all along,
We are trying too hard, to hold onto dust.

Maybe we can be kind to ourselves
And be brave and be honest, and admit we are wrong
We are not in sync with each other and won’t likely be.

©Naan Pocen


I am a bad mother.
He told me so in not so many words.
It can be seen from the sorrow the child demonstrates,
From the frustration she feels when she confronts the unknown
Or the impatience she shows for learning the new.
It is okay to feel sorrow, frustration or impatience,
And so is it okay to remind her to rise above it all.

I am a bad mother.
He told me in not so many words.
Because of the sorrow I feel for the things I have lost,
Because of the frustration I feel for the raised walls,
For the impatience I show for the lack of empathy.
I don’t need permission to be sorrowful, frustrated or impatience
And it is okay to exhale and carry on.

I am a bad mother.
But that is his opinion, not mine.

©Naan Pocen

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Today has lasted for eleven months full of wrongness,
Birthing discontent and something akin to sorrow.
Today started a year ago when the weight of yesterday
Had just eased, causing me to embrace today.
And how so very disappointing it has been
To finally realize that the start of a new day for me was never today,
Rather, today was the rebirth of the horror that was yesterday.
But I refuse to carry on one step farther
I therefore stand and shake it all off. I shall go to bed now
To awake and embrace tomorrow
For thus is my new day.
Goodbye today, it was not fun while it lasted.

©Naan Pocen

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lost Fellowship/Red Sweaters.

Red Sweaters mean moving on,
And I am wearing one because he’s gone.
I look at that familiar face
And occasionally it breaks into a smile
While he looks at me.
His eyes don’t see me though
He is looking at something beyond me;
Something that draws him
And he smiles at it and is lost.
I talk to him but he doesn’t hear me.
He is hardly aware that I am in front of him
He never has anything to say
It feels like my presence pains him.
He avoids me.
He is right beside me but his soul is gone
I don’t know where to, so I can’t follow.
I pulled my red sweater tighter around me
Exhausted at groping in the dark,
Frustrated at the aimless wander
And saddened for the lost fellowship
That never was.
So I set in search of a fellowship
Don’t know what will become of us though
Will this be one more bridge crossed?
Or will it be another burned bridge?

©Naan Pocen