All night
I rack my brains
desperate to end the war 
between two cherished loves
and only fail miserably

Until at last
in the pearly dawn
I ask the god 
of the small and powerless:
Oh Little One
wreak your kindness upon me

Help me face my fears
or better said
help me face 
myself
this failed 
nonentity

Take heart
says She
Just dive in and feel 
all those dark and sticky
gross and icky feelings 
that you dread

Feel them through and through
like blasts of heat
or waves of goo…
and so I do,
imagining the very worst 
scenario:

Those darling souls
I see as part of me 
held helpless 
in the teeth of hell
and me watching powerless
as they scream

This, 
to me,
has always been
the worst 
of all possible 
agonies

Until
in the midst 
of it all — 
Hah!
I notice something 
odd.

No matter how fierce 
the heat
of my imaginings
I fail to lose myself
but am simply 
here

not bad, not good
just calm and 
the tiniest bit
amused
by these dire
mental shenanigans

That is when
it occurs to me:
what if all this misery
this angst 
and dread 
of final tragedy

are 
nothing
but my own
quite clever
and convincing
imaginings?

What if I’m not
a victim 
of insanity
but just a child
acting out her fantasies
of delight and misery

half-believing them
but more than anything
awash 
with wonder
at being 
here?

And with that whiff of possibility
the embattled castle falls
and blows away…
and try as I might,
I cannot find my despair
anywhere

Then I fall to my bruised
and bloody knees
Oh glory be
What if
in spite of me
I am 
indeed
already free?

Discovery – a Mother’s Tale
Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards, a poetic and musical member of the Universal Human Nation, is the author of On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo; Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer; Confessions of Olivia, a fictional autobiography; and Fish Scribbles. She has also co-authored two books: Experiences on the Threshold and Ambrosia - Poetic Recipes/Recetas poeticas. Exactly two of her poems have been published by anyone other than her less-than-modest self: “The Great 21st Century Poemic" appeared in the April 2021 edition of Global Poemic (globalpoemic.wordpress.com); and "Fairies of the Forest" appeared in the Palo Alto Times "Youth Said It" column in 1957. In the '90s she also wrote for, edited and published an independent San Francisco newspaper, Human Future; and in the '70s she co-founded the San Francisco arts publication La Mamelle, which morphed into Art Com before it died, and whose remnants are now housed in the Stanford Archives. A graduate of Stanford University, she helped raise several humans from infancy, and is now enjoying their friendship. Currently she tends to wander between Oregon and California, enjoying the company of her beloved community of friends and family. She can more or less reliably be found at the west coast Park of Study and Reflection, outside Red Bluff in Northern California, on the third Saturday of every month.