Reflections of My Heart: Blazing

photo of firefighter shooting a stream of water to put our a fire

Life for me seemed to get more complicated. It felt like the walls were closing in. Again. No room to breathe or have a break to get though the next storm in my life. No peace of mind. Or simply a pause to smell the flowers. So I got my feelings out in a constructive way, so I could find peace in accepting all that was happening in my life without giving an inch to the people and institutions that discriminated against anyone with a disability.

In this poem, everything before me seemed to turn against me. Then the loneliness of despair. Despair set in.

It just kept getting darker for me. I was outraged.

I remember getting through my rage by screaming into a pillow and writing in my journal, ripping through the pages with anger, hurt, and despair. I had to release my feelings to remain calm until the red sky passed.

But even in the fire of anger, a rainbow manifested in my sky.

BLAZING

The black-fisted nights
Turned into
Purple days of loneliness!

And as I walk the cold streets,
I call out to nature’s gifts
To mankind!

They answer with expressionless emotion!

I kept walking only for the day to
Turn into a
Burnt crimson blaze!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. 

Image of Fire Fighting by David Dixon, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.043, via Wikimedia Commons

Reflections of My Heart: Angel

image of angel whispering to a babyI have often felt a guiding spirit within myself, an angel who leads me through the hard times and whispers to me reminders of the beauty of life. This poem arose in my heart during one of those moments. 

ANGEL

I have an angel,
She watches over me

I have an angel,
She speaks through me.

I have an angel,
She sweetly works through me

But most of all,
I have an angel who
Lives within me
Guiding, guarding,
And protecting
Me!

Protect me
from those days of not long ago,
And make my way
Your loving way!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of  Great Western Supply House., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Reflections of My Heart: Albatross

Photo of albatross flying over sea

It was the middle of 1983. I looked into the black clouds filling the sky, ready to pour down on my friend and me. Suddenly, an albatross soared above us.

Seeing this bird gripped my thoughts and feelings. How was I going to make it through the storms of life? As the emotion stung my heart, I thought again. Was I going to have a chance in life like everyone else?

After admitting these feelings to myself, they softened, and I felt the albatross was a sign to accept myself unconditionally, to become strong and proud, and bravely be who the infinite power wanted me to be, in an honest and loving way.

ALBATROSS

As I looked into the gray sky,
The clouds stormed with rage.

And in the distance,
Flying through the sky,
Was an albatross!

Such a gentle-natured bird
Which clings to my every thought.
His strength has such force,
An enduring passion
In which it grasps my every move!

My albatross is not dead!
It wove a beautiful necklace
Around my neck, like a garland of lace,
To remind me of my tumultuous past!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by JJ Harrison, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reflections of My Heart: Absent Heartbeat

Photo of Rodin's sculpture The Kiss

This poem speaks for itself. However, this relationship with this man was based on spoken untruths from the beginning. Call it sweet talk, if you want—misleading words to make someone believe something, when really he was minimizing me, a person with a so-called disability as he must have thought.

But I saw his truth, and it hurt deeply, because he couldn’t be honest with me and tell me how he truly felt, so we could not end our relationship amicably.

ABSENT HEARTBEAT

It was only a week, and my heart became one with yours!
We smiled. We laughed.
We even danced our hearts on fire.
We shared a sentiment that only one universe unites.

And then you left!
We parted with bitter, sweet goodbyes!

You told me our love would always live in our hearts and minds.
Only now, we both painfully feel the lonely passage of time!

We just met, and now we are separated
From each other’s arms.
Yet not too far for hearts that are entwined!
And not too far for lovers of one mind!

Oh, how unfair and, yes, so unkind!
Why does it have to be a test each time?
Haven’t we proved our unspoken words or
Isn’t it enough our solemn vows?

I long for your tender lips,
Your hungry heart,
The enduring physical embodiment of your soul
Only to encompass the
Mingling with mine!

I will sip the sweet words you quietly speak,
And believe bravely
To brace these unbearable times!

It is not easy
To count the minutes of each day,
The minutes of each week,
Only to find months that have slipped by!

I look amongst the cold crowds!
I search for your smile!
I look for your chestnut calm,
But wherever you are, you are not there!
I long for your touch to take the emptiness away.
My vision of you is dimming.
Your image is fading fast!
But I will NOT let that be!
I will not let your light extinguish from my mind and being!

Believe me when I say
We must be! We will be!

We must both find a way.
We must both breathe the same breath that will sustain
Us through this sequence of time!

Don’t give up my other half,
Don’t give in to this unquenchable urge,
As we must help each other
Through this difficult passage.

We will find a way to be together.
We must! We have to!
We will transcend this dauntless duration,
We will kiss again. And I will touch your tender soul
With your sweetness leading me to your wailing call!
Only to feel your faint breath so desperate for mine!

I will touch you.
I will soothe you.

I will answer your plea!
I will answer your heart with mine!
I will come to thee
With all the simple joys that will make
Your heart, our heart, happy and whole!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Caeciliusinhorto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reflections of My Heart: Berries

Photo of ladybugs on a leaf

I wrote this poem during my college years, while taking a walk with a man who tutored me. It was like a brother/sister relationship. Little by little, I trusted him more and more. He was brilliant and somehow knew exactly how to teach me. He was totally dedicated to teaching me. Somehow, between 1980 and 1985, he not only taught me how to study with classical music playing, or music without lyrics, but how to reduce the time I needed to complete my tests from forty-two hours down to two hours. I learned to remember school material, and to enjoy reading and taking books out of the library. He taught me not just how to write, but grammar, punctuation, and alliteration.

He made learning easy, without pressure. It was fun. I would meet him on campus, take my classes, and spend eight hours afterwards, studying with him.

He gave me projects to think or write about, like writing in haiku. On the day I wrote this poem, we were walking, when I spotted a group of ladybugs. It brought such a smile to my face, full of delight and whimsy, a childlike playfulness, and fancy. I want to share it with you now.

BERRIES

Picking small berries.
They are not berries at all,
But red ladybugs!  

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Chiring chandan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reflections of My Heart: Barren Branches

Photo of pink fuchsia blossom

I wrote this poem sometime between 1983 and 1985. I had taken a walk on a cloudy afternoon. It was one of those liminal days when the moon hangs in the sky like a reminder of the mysteries of life. In the front yard of a home in Santa Monica, there stood a barren tree. A single fuchsia dangled brightly from a branch. It caught my eye and my heart as I walked alone, despite all I had accomplished.

BARREN BRANCHES

                                          
Tree beneath the moon
And on its barren branches
One lonely fuchsia!

You can order my poetry collection, including this poem, here: Reflections of My Heart.

Original text ©2024 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved. Image by Dominicus Johannes Bergsma, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Reflections of My Heart: Asylum

Image of ghost-like scuffs on a sidewalk

[Image credit: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Years ago, I met a man. We were perfect, or so I thought, but then he ghosted on me. Disappeared from my life. What went wrong? Was it because of my disabilities? I will never know. Has this happened to you?

 

 

 

ASYLUM

Oh, vicious world, so cruel and cold,

Come, take me from

My darkest woe!

 

Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

If I Can Do It, So Can You: Hear Me Speak

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy. The recording is live on YouTube. Please let me know what you think, and if my journey of advocacy resonates with you.

News Flash: Hear Me Speak on the Post-Polio Syndrome Advocacy Group TOMORROW!

The poster has a brownish-golden background. To the right top is a picture of the speaker, and to the bottom left are the words PPS Advocacy Group and a purple circle with the words: I am A Post-Polio Syndrome Advocate. At the bottom right is the logo of The Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy and the words Cosponsored by the Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy. Ken Masson, the founder of the Post-Polio Advocacy Group in Rotary International, asked me to interview about my life story. Issues such as growing up with disabilities and then being labeled as borderline mentally retarded as an adult, and making my way through it all, loomed large.

In this interview, Ken asks me about my mother’s attitude, how dance changed my life, how my advocacy work improved my life, and how I made this life wonderful. I have a wonderful husband, a loving family. I now have it all.

And I have written a memoir that expresses not only my feelings, but the realities of my life.

Listen to how I made it all work out.

Join the Zoom Meeting
Thursday, December 14, 2023
10 AM Eastern US Time/7 AM Pacific US Time
Meeting ID: 861 1675 1407
Passcode: PPS2023
Karen Lynn Chlup
“If I Can Do It, So Can You”

Advocating For Disability Rights, Award-Winning disability Support Coach, and Special Needs Advocate and Author

Image Description: The image has a brownish-golden background. To the right top is a picture of the speaker, and to the bottom left are the words PPS Advocacy Group and a purple circle with the words: I am A Post-Polio Syndrome Advocate. At the bottom right is the logo of The Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy and the words Cosponsored by the Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy. 

Reflections of My Heart: Preface and a Poem

Image of Reflections of My Heart cover

I am proud to announce that my poetry collection, Reflections of My Heart, has been published on Amazon. You can get it here. 

PREFACE

These poems are a collection of my thoughts and feelings. In them, I share some ideas that have bolstered my strength, courage, and determination. I share them with you, hoping they can help you on your journey through life.

I actually started writing this collection in 1983 and have continued adding poems through the years. It has been interesting to me to reflect on how things have changed over the years. As a person with cerebral palsy and dyslexia, I struggled to read and write effectively. However, as I have reviewed and reflected, I have realized that writing and sharing with others has become easier, and I have come to understand the impact that going through this process has had on me. This process has opened new doors and made me the person I want to be more than ever before.

I want to encourage those who want to write but struggle with difficulties to not give up. Instead, find someone to help you, and believe in yourself. If I can do it, so can you! 

My best to you, and here is the first poem:

A WORD

A word can
Describe many meanings
If only I could
Understand them!