Friday, July 20, 2018


I realized recently that my life is presently engaged in sort of protective effort that I never expected or anticipated finding myself in.  Whether dealing with my aging Mom, or the more frustrating transitions of middle age, or fighting despair at so many things happening in the greater world, I seem to be trying to create havens in my life against the more wearing aspects of these influences. I asked myself what I was doing, and the answer came back - "creating spaces of safety."

No offense is intended, or judgement made on the safe space movement by this poem. If anything, writing it made me question my need the more. It made me ask myself, "what can you achieve beyond protection, by securing yourself against things that challenge you?"

It's a valid question that I am not sure the poem answers, but it is one that I shall continue to explore. After all, "no man is as island..." and "safe" is not a sustainable "forever" choice.  In the meantime:

Safe Spaces
by Judith Cullen
© 2018

I. Of Fear

Every day a walk with death.
A wish for a peaceful passing;
yet the dread of that dawn
when that pulsing will have fled.

Every year a whittling away.
Continual compromising beyond
the reasonable seeming of life.
Will not one dream remain?

A world grows unfamiliar.
Divisiveness, hate, and anger
like cuts and blows, sharp pains.
Desiring cessation - please stop!

 II. Of Need

No dignity in this decline
no grace as body and mind
betray, sneaking back to mists.
A place secure for her, and this.

Aware of journey's necessity,
yet willing formative keenness,
honing of skill, guarding a haven
were creative conscience flourishes.

Protecting a sense of self,
while challenging irrelevancies,
past lessons flawed, out of date.
Unwilling to surrender ideals of peace.

III. Of Vision

Celebrating this moment
transient, in assurance of
inevitability, serenity by the snap.
Perfecting this love at liberty.

Focused on the craft, fully
dedicated to fertile nascence,
pursuit of the creative brings
fulfillment and clarity of sight.

These paths, and the greater globe
are moments, acidities of now.
Their linear actuality will curve,
while these exigencies remain real.

IV. Why

Why create personal bastions?
Why secure my elements of being?

Carve out and defend them,
spaces of safety for your love and soul.
Dedication to their maintenance is
the only path to expansion, to
toiling for a time when "space" and "safe"
are no longer  required, to keep
body and spirit in charity.

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