Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “pain”


I live in a bubble, life
playing out around me in comforting
rhythms, familiar if not predictable.
Passive spectator except on those
rare occasions when the bubble pops
and the world stands forth, stark and clean.

Colours sing that three dimensions,
five senses,
one lifetime,
are not enough
to experience a world so real
and I know that if I could just stay
outside the bubble I could hold time
in the palm of my hand, vanquish
the dragons of pain, fear, and longing, see
inside hearts, and speak without words.

Then a random, mundane thought intrudes
and the bubble sneaks up around me again, clouds
the freshness, lulls my senses.
But just before the bubble closes I wonder
‘is this what becoming one with the universe means?
Was I there and I blew it again?
Will I ever find my way back?’.

I feel in my bones this world
I’ve glimpsed is a stepping stone
to eternity and if I could just stay
long enough to find my way
I would sprout new senses, fly
into a new dimension, the next lifetime.
The dragons growl.
The bubble closes.

Like a Bird

Your heart, like a bird
fluttering, testing the winds2018-04-03-Like a Bird
of change in your soul

before taking flight.
Breath-taking fibrillation
shocks us to the now

where a breathe can hang
like mist in the frozen air
then crash to the ground,

tiny icicles
shatter, chime through the silence
“it’s time to go home”


To Live in Harmony

Everyone deals with pain. We all struggle with insecurity, alienation, and fear. Instinct gives us two choices; fight or flight. Wisdom gives us another choice: reason. Earnest, unbiased, drama-free reason.

To discuss a problem reasonably, dispassionately, with the only goal being a resolution that works for everyone, is not easy but it is always productive. It is a place where “I can” is more important that “you shouldn’t”. And it is a place we should visit regularly if we want to live in harmony.

When problems persist we need to look at our actions with an eye to seeing patterns, triggers, and habits that generate problems both for ourselves and others. Sometimes just acknowledging these things can help us overcome them. Sometimes we need to find ways to change the patterns, disarm the triggers, and reroute the habits. Be aware. Be mindful.

Problems exist in the present, solutions exist in the future (until achieved), and causes exist in the past. The only one we have no control over is the past so do not give it more weight and importance that it deserves.

Instead of telling someone what they are doing wrong, tell them what they are doing right. Build on ‘right’ rather than tearing down with ‘wrong’.

Anger is not an emotion, it is a reaction to an emotion.

Anger unleashed is the voice of fear, a weapon used to gain control, a vent for feelings of being overwhelmed.

Anger suppressed is the armour of pain, a shield carried by the misunderstood, a wall built by exhaustion and despair.

When you are calm, non-judgemental. When you are willing to look for a solution that works, not only for you, but for everyone involved. When the goal is harmony rather than hierarchy. Then so many solutions will appear that your only problem will be which ones to choose.

Smile and repeat.




Rags, Bones, Bottles

I am a rag doll
stuffed with broken bones and glass.
Hear the ragman’s call.


Deferred Reaction

It’s when you push through
though pain makes it hard to move.
Tomorrow you’ll cry.


My Heart is Like a China Trinket

My heart is like a china trinket
that’s probably seen better days.
Covered by a brave patina
where hairline cracks cross and craze.

Where hairline cracks cross and craze
like a roadmap to despair
like a web without a spider
that time does little to repair.

That time does little to repair
for time is blithely unconcerned
that my china heart grows fragile
with every lesson it must learn

With every lesson it must learn
to weave more silk across the chinks
that living has incurred because.
my heart is like a china trinket


Surface Tension

Your aura contracts
and pain skates across your face
like a water bug.



Medical Degree

A medical degree is a powerful piece of paper that
can convince you to drive 100 kilometers and
wait in a hard chair for an hour
so a total stranger can shoot
a laser into your eyes,
not once, but several times,
even if it hurts – and he gets paid for it.
Should have been a doctor instead of a poet…



The Now

Look in, look inside
Something hides behind the pain
Perhaps it is joy.

Stand up, stand up straight
Something new is beginning
That makes life worthwhile.

Step out, step away
Something is coming closer
Every moment.

Run, run to meet life
Embrace newness each morning
Your heart is beating.



(note:  try reading only the first lines of each haiku, then only the second, and, finally, only the third. The meanings reveal themselves differently this way) 🙂

Greenhouse Glow

So there I was, just me and the mad dogs,
my English roots glinting in the mid day sun,
cleaning out the greenhouse.
Telling over old pots, faded seed packets, and leaky watering cans
and why do I have three of those little fork type hand tools
and only one trowel? Taking everything outside and scrubbing
off the neglect, resigning myself to consigning
the worst to the rubbish tip.

Yes there I was, the sun spinning around me
when you found me and shaking
your head said “look at your shoulders, they’re bright red”
and I looked although I knew you wouldn’t lie about
pain; current or impending
“Oh my, this is going to hurt” I thought.
I really ought to know better, and I put on
a shirt like closing the barn door and later that day,
aloe anointed, fiery red shoulders
banked to a dull glow, I sigh
“Oh well, at least I got the greenhouse cleaned out.”


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