Testimony of an Aging Rebel

Lately I’ve been searching my memory
for the precise day
the actual occurrence which triggered this child-mind decision
to go from good girl to
dredging the very depths of badness
Was it a conscious choice?  A mixture of variables, perhaps, like a combination lock clicking open?
I don’t know how
I don’t remember why
One day I was only eleven
and although very different in my thinking
a very good girl all the same
Always wanting to do the right thing
the honest thing, and a conscience so heavy
with even the slightest departure from that
And then another day I was somewhere around twelve or thirteen
and wearing a whole new attitude
wearing my blouses low
And doing all what I had previously been so shy of
Doing them like an old hand of things I didn’t know
The closest tangible picture I can come up with
to pinpoint this turning:  a party
where a handful of sensible children, us goody-two-shoes
were hanging out on the front lawn, doing gymnastics and stuff
’cause we couldn’t hang with the wild ones in the garage loft–
That’s where the real party was
and we wouldn’t go up, didn’t want to join them
All I could see from below was black lights and smoke
It scared me a little
This was Halloween night, I recall ’cause I was a vampire and
it took me weeks to get the vasoline out of my hair
And then another seasom turned, another bend in the wheel
one more All Hallow’s Eve came around–
Same house, same host, different party
and I marauded that loft like I owned the place
Penetrated the forbidden like a starved stranger
I tore that party UP
Even the kids all commented “she used to be so straight”
But I was the wild child that night, and from there on after
It never ended from that day, on
But now I search and search my archives
and I can’t figure out what it was
between those two pinnacles of my childhood
which had me choosing the direction I did
when still so green, yet tapping into the old soul I was
and have always been
And now this many decades later  
I’ve done the bad girl bit all over the place
Done it end to end, done it inside out
Lately I’ve been trying to rediscover
that well of pureness
that humble innocence I once felt so strongly
That little girl who just truly did not understand
anything at all about the mechanics of darkness
Still, there is this feeling of certainty 
(maybe the only feeling of certainty) 
that throughout all of the sins, the chaos and bliss
something was always unraveling exactly the way it was supposed to
How could I ever explain any of it?…
The inconceivable rantings and ravings
of a child in all eyes but her own
I was sixteen going on sixty, the rough years behind me then
Launching off into mad dashes and hard-scrabble living
Aimless roads lived to the fullest
(I’ve lived and experienced more by running up and down the coast or
crossing the Mississippi than many have from global tours–existing
and thriving from within their comfort bubbles)
And the fact that I’m settled down now
right here where I started out
makes me realize there’s something I missed the first time around 
Something directly related to love’s true meaning
and what it means to make a commitment to loving yourself
My flesh may be slowing down some
Paying the toll of its passage
But my heart still rages hard and loud as ever 
And the learning that the years have imprinted on my soul  
has me knowing now that to really get somewhere
you sometimes have to start with standing still
Because everything begins with what lies in the center
Chest cavern, bottomless cave, the ancient abyss
which harbors our heart of hearts–
the deepest account of who we are and what we stand for
And the longer I hang around
the more I tap into the very roots of who I am
No longer repulsed and repelled by the growing pains
or afraid of the reality of other lives
And how could I ever explain any of what I’ve done?
Haunted child, slipping and sliding through life
Through lifetime after lifetime
I did what my heart told me, screamed at me to do
Which had me many times sliding down hill on my ass
I was here and there, there and here
here and there and there again
Here I come, there I go
always seeking out the baddest of bad
the heaviest of souls
Never caught up in any earthly ruse
yet still always exploring the deepest possible origins
of some pretty intense karma
with byways stretching out multi-dimensional
So many, I’m sure, that I appear as some aging adolescent
who never did find her way
But I know better, I know that I found it and lost it again and again
in bizarre and exotic places
Strange towns, lonesome highways
In smoke filled quarters, secret beds, lost and lonely souls
Hidden little bits of raw history, personal sacraments
Seeing and sampling everything I could
Tasting the forbidden goods
Riding any wind or breeze I’d catch hold of
Wanting to feel it against my face
slapping my cheeks and messing up my hair
The friction of moving, anti-thesis of still-life
How could I ever explain?
No one would ever believe the stories anyway
or what any of it had to do with me
These days I just try to keep quiet
and hold the dearest and most precious of gems close to my heart
They ground me, and keep me in arms
Preparing for the unmapped regions to come
Maybe the charts were lost long ago
And I’m going deep, without a compass, into the timeless wilderness
Deeper than I ever could before
While fragments of my true purpose, as well as those of others
like beautifully faceted gems, are scattered across the cosmos
Stretching far and deep into the universes without and within
Meanwhile, ancestors follow me throughout every moment
Like custom-made angels, they’ve been there all along
Wrapping their arms around me from the very start
Never giving up on that child within
They follow me home from the gravesites I visit
Most I never knew, but their blood is swimming
and squirming through my veins
These familar spirits don’t seem to care that
I’ve always been the black sheep 
of the very family unit they helped to create and foster
Afterall, they remember the good girl
and know she’d still hiding somewhere back in the wings
Maybe it’s the timeless path and unusual vision 
that has enabled them to reach me, always guiding
And as all is said and done now
I can’t help but feel the goodness I so long ago abandonned
It’s stirring right below the surface, right within reach somewhere
And I can’t help but feel that I’m a lucky, lucky girl
(despite appearances, of course)
For as long as I’m still breathing 
there is always a chance to find it again
And always so much more going on here
than will ever be accounted for




About Unsungpoet

Life-long poet, numerologist, author of other previously unpublished works :)
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9 Responses to Testimony of an Aging Rebel

  1. Mama Zen says:

    There is so much here that I can relate to. Wonderful write. Now, you’ve got me thinking about my own turning point.

  2. unsungpoet says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it means a lot to me…I was hesitant to publish this piece, as I thought that maybe it was a bit too personal and just ran too deep, and then I thought, “what the hell!”

  3. David King says:

    Difficult enough to chart the turmoils and upheavals which engulf the heart and dessimate our lives for that brief while, impossible to answer why in any fundamental or convincing way. Your poem comes as near as one ever could, I think. The most interesting aspect for me was the sense of being wild despite yourself, the feeling that this is not “me”. A wonderful poem, I think, which dores well for the future.

  4. David King says:

    Sorry, should have ended “bodes well for the future”!

  5. geezergirl1 says:

    “And I’m going deep, without a compass, into the timeless wilderness”. I love this line. And… perhaps, you are already there. Embraced in your innocence and wise woman. All you… moving as you are, as you have always and in all-ways been. Enough as you are.
    Nice piece, I feel I know you much better now. peace to you sister on the path… jeanne

  6. Lindy Lee says:

    The beginning of your “bad” sounds like puberty to me. All the rest? just a matter of life’s passages. Everybody’s diffierent. We are all so alike in our differences, human beings moving through life, trying to figure it out & never really figuring it out…

    • Unsungpoet says:

      Thanks for your glowing insights…it’s always inspiring to realize that other souls experience what we sometimes think must be exclusive to our own madness!

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