The Therapist

“The hardest part is when the river
is too swift and goes underground for days on end”
Jim Harrison (Songs of Unreason)

It was because we moved the stone
I’d let you set the pace, that was the stumbling block
after all, in your way of seeing things there was just the one
a big, knowable set-to and my own uncertainties
taking no direction, only notes, I’d mentioned probabilities
torrents gushing , Charybdis pools of grief
an eventual dissipation into where the boulder had stood
– and like Aeneas I followed after, for that is always agreed

Down there we learn to expect the unacceptable
to accept that the unexpected will deafen both our ears
with its years of echoes and force-fed silences
at times, campfire shadows come crawling in three dimensions
classic gods, round-shouldered in smooth, limestone piles
get up and walk on feet of clay, and all along the mucous trails
grief slides beside white, crumpled  lines of tissue
picking out the path, ticking off the days

Our meetings could be so comfortingly cosy if only
we could let the rock of resistance alone
talk trivia in tit-for- tat, the practiced bat and ball
of common conversation,  sanity all bound and bandaged
mummified, the irskome monsters of the mind,  truly dead
as well as buried, and where safer is not opposite to sound
– but the river is swiftly rising and we would both be drowned 

As therapist, taking  the metaphorical view of the stream of consciousness heading underground as I join Jilly’s pick of Jim Harrison prompts for Day 14 of 28 Days of Unreason

 

13 comments

  1. Brilliant! The metaphors and mythology lend a sense of the profound, of great literary epics, to the poem. The set of rules established and the rushing water in pursuit of what we hide and treasure and loathe while the therapist voice agonizes in the swirling water. This shows the two sides and the painful releasing dance. Safer is not opposite to sound… We would both be drowned. Amazing writing, Laura!

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  2. Between therapy and fable you’ve managed to draw me into this place where I’m to expect the unacceptable and accept the unexpected. It doesn’t feel like a happy place….but I guess it’s a necessary place to visit… as long as one doesn’t drown. I like this!

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  3. As somebody acquainted with psychotherapy and grief therapy, I walked among your images and saw glimpses of me, others hitting dead ends, making breakthroughs… despairing as the waters rose, fell, engulfed. Oh, this is wondrously written. I have seen some of these gods from both sides (cue Joni Mitchell), and yours are authentic.

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    1. It takes courage Charley!. Not for everyone but sometimes some of us just need to hear what we are saying. Gratified you heard an authentic voice and I like the Joni Mitchell reference – I see it too now with the tissues…
      “A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway’

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  4. “Down there..” uh oh here we go
    the deafening unexpected unacceptable “with its years of echoes & force-fed silences..campfire shadows come crawling in three dimensions” thrilling, Laura.
    Thanx for yr imaginative wordings
    g.r.

    Liked by 1 person

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