Literary Yard

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‘The Idea Of Me’ and other poems by Theresa C. Gaynord

By: Theresa C. Gaynord

The Idea Of Me

I realize I tend to surround myself
around fears and self-protection,
an emotionally tough lesson I learned
from very early on; the women in my
life, my teachers. I get like this
sometimes, insecure, scared, anything
but confident. I feel so drained, yet
at the same time, I feel a strong sense
of emotional balance. I’ve learned
to trust my instincts, they’re not always

Last night I dreamt of wax, paraffin wax,
the kind you make candles with. I watched
it melt gradually over a burner, feeling a
symbolic alignment to it, not so much on
a physical level but on an intellectual level;
the way I arrange thoughts around in my
head, the way they come out of me a certain
way. It doesn’t take long for me to find a
rhythm, there’s great power in the weaving of
change, great ways to gently start over, with
growth, choice of direction and wholeness.

I feel like I’ve been blindsided again, there’s
that negative energy that always manages to
make itself known when you’re at your most
vulnerable. It seeps in, like the coloring and
fragrance you add to wax after it has melted,
when it calls you to the past, beckoning you
to connect A with B, through issues that must
be molded and resolved. It’s the same sense
I had when I held my sister’s favorite bracelet,
the Mexican silver one bought in Taxco with
the red onyx stones, the one that remains

scented by her. The patterns of colors are the
same, but the texture of the stones is so different,
one from the other. I pass my fingers over it, and
I get the odd sense of years moving backward in
time, and I am joined by the remains that are still
very much a part of my life and my heart. If there
ever was a foolish notion of happily ever after, I am
not consciously aware of it. I think that kind of role
requires trust; faith and support, in sync with soul-
expansion; natural, healthy that doesn’t make you
question your own sanity.

It’s funny how the layers formed on her bracelet. I
wonder if they always felt abrasive-like, when Jose
first presented it to her as an engagement gift, a
promise of true love. I’m sure at one time it needed
some fine tuning, some adjustment made because it
was too big for her wrist. There must have been
reassurances, good, exciting, and worthwhile;
something special that made her feel genuine about
expressing her experience with all; something
awesome before it went scary, before everything
liquefied and slipped away.

I can visualize myself out on the ledge of our high rise
threatening to jump just as she did, when Jose left
her for that Japanese girl, the one he said was sexier
than She, the one who wasn’t carrying his baby. I don’t
know what qualifies full grounding, but I do know
it doesn’t come in the form of loss, and certainly
not in the form of a miscarriage. When the rug has
been pulled out from under you, you tend to fall before
you even know what has happened and I’ve learned that
sometimes you can’t even shake that feeling of
apprehension, that will always be a part of you,

waiting for the crash, the fall. It’s about the same
time where you stop talking, when you no longer
feel the need to keep anything from anyone nor to
tell everyone everything. My mom was the same way.
She had all these vague frustrations that often found their
way to a leather belt, onto my bare skin. It was called
discipline back then, but I knew better. It was in the way
she held that ring. Not her wedding ring, the other one.
All her hopes and desires just exuded from that ring. It
was strange and intense to witness, especially when she
didn’t know I was looking.

My brother, now, he was unique. He was the epitome
of the necessary strength and courage one needs to
go on, intuitive, but dismissive of it. I never saw him show
any sign of emotion other than the one time when dad
passed away from cancer; my brother held my father’s
eyeglasses in his hands and cried, there were no words,
and he cried for less than a minute, but I remember. And
I remember he never showed weakness again. Did you
know that some candles hold their sense of peace, even
when there are corresponding physical changes? I’m not
so inclined to color or scent those candles;

I just let them be. I’ve got a better insight now, I think.
Some conversations are best left for later, some, never.
I wonder if all men are like my brother, all women like my
sister and mother, particularly within the family structure;
esoteric. I find it curious what we base knowledge of another.
For most people, it’s in what is said, you know, that kind
of inherent activity that spills out of their mouths. But, me,
I know better. Individuality is like the dynamics of melting
wax, like the dynamics of most women, who hold deep
secrets within their essence. It’s not always what they say
but what they don’t say that defines them.



I see the image of the sea
mirrored in the wrinkles
of her face, streaked with
deposits of pinks and aquas.

The tourists don’t know
each villager has a story,
and each story pervades
the tranquil landscape.

In the province of Alicante,
magic rituals slide silently
along flowing waters, where
torchlight processions travel
through grotto rooms.

Every church, mosque,
synagogue and temple
stares at one another,
with immense grandeur,

in a provincial little place
that serves goat’s milk in
Majorcan wine, where one
breath is peacefully lost
between the next.


A Gypsy’s Kiss

He loved her beneath the shadows
of Pichoca trees where white
palm leaves blew high into the
winds and vanilla vines swirled
and twisted into superfluous webs
of calico threads.

This is where she played on her
swing, suspended barefoot among
the grandeur of rock formations that
labyrinth to a sheer cliff, which
descended into the still waters of
a ghostly lake.

The porous lava of her skin was
carefully woven with the sweet
milk of life given to ghosts in a
dream, where modesty rose like
silence and atoms vibrated into
solid waves of pure color.

Grays and plums drifted across the
sky when they danced among the
eucalyptus that adorned moss covered
stones where the smell of burning sap
from copal trees served as incense
abound in the humid air.

Serenades of gypsy music and gothic
melodies terraced the red caravan with
one voice under the taps of falling rain as
the lovers kissed and sang in the silver
moonlight inspired by Mallorca wine and
fried fish served with burned mango.

It was the stuff of poetry!


Radium Kiss

We had cocktails and spoke of Moliere,
the usual round of poets and novelists
drawn to the gnashing chords of the
night’s electricity.

Lost in the past we prayed and reached
for austere stars that reminded us to
sleep under the stirring blue spirits
of Bohemian Pines.

You laughed and took notes meticulously
summoning the aurora borealis into
the cobalt blue residue of your pen’s
dissolving breath.

A gypsy moon edged over a cliff and
brushed against my hair succumbing to
the sun’s radium kiss, as I stretched under
you beneath the glowing distillation of time.

I watched while you signed your name in the
morning sky against the white palace of
the little cottage house where your bicycle
lay carefully placed, decorating the exterior.

But the screenwriter in me is skeptical that
the ride down the cobblestone streets
will leave me infinitely searching for the
open book you left on the table.


First Snow Over Budapest

The train’s engine crept northeast
to a stop in Budapest where
the tedium of snow settled
on the platform not far from
the exit door.

The land rolled out like a
white carpet void of patterns
or carved feet in the visible
distance; nestled within the rain
was the sound of grim silence.

The icy sleet and hail blurs stir
my blood and I lick the mist as the fog
swirls around me, heel to toe,
heel to toe, cross over and back
again, breathe.

Behind me a sea of slush is dancing
shyly as the sun makes its daily
comeback over the little village
homes. The sheets of air are warm,
and I slip away.


A White Morning

A white morning surrounds each image in my mind
mentally converting the red sun into dripping paint,
black blood becomes the euphemism for inspiration
yet I am still stung by the green odor of gardens.

Intertwine freeway, sand colored journey under the
guise of a blue sky, you humble me with gratitude then
explode in my face. Pink mountains, torn calla lilies, I
awake in the white morning only to see shame.

In this indigo swathing of light I hold steadfast a new
perception of this perfect orange summer while my fingers
disappear from sight, attempting silence in the brown
pigment of my beige skin.

Mestizo women, can they write about the color of mauve?
Even as they sleep in the presence of yellow delusionary
parrots who dance between the plum dust notes of siesta
and ancient silver incantations.

Is there a place for our thick thighs and amber colored
eyes? My mother crossed the emerald grass with open
arms. Am I looking for something I can’t find? Gold
cerveza, lavender dreams, fill me with time. These
cedar bones do not speak with skin, but with love
of multicolored language.



You serve up your infidelity with such delicacy,
always a la Florentine bedded by that edible
flowering plant that gave Popeye The Sailor Man
such fortitude, the same one that makes me
regurgitate your name with immense hatred.

Those dark green, crinkly, curly leaves offer me
no solace or explanation as I look for release in
the pastel blues and greens of my kitchen walls
and countertops where darkness seems to edge
close seeking entrance.

I start to peel that starchy, tuberous crop the one
you always said would make me fat, the one I loved
to eat baked, smothered in bacon and cheese. Tonight
there will be no holding back, no counting calories
for your sake, no famine to overtake my heart.


Shadow Pattern

She conjured him among
the redwoods in winter,
along the half-frozen
pond where the moon
reaches under the ice,
obedient to her call.

Through incantation is
how spirits enter the world!


Cold Snap

Over the breath of angels,
dancers whistle the music
of Chopin, where the only
visible moment is that of
snow falling and settling
on the boughs of evergreens
that hang over the dim light
of my lonely torch.


“Man is the most marvelous being in all of nature. Torturing,destroying, exterminating him for his ideas is more than a Human Rights violation, it is a crime against all of Humanity.” – Armando Valladares

I rise up above the exhaustion of the task,
this is the land where I suffered,
lashes after lashes,
my mouth to the ground.
I rowed in the tumultuous ocean
of the literary bureaucrats
touching the wet blood
and the rotting bones of many others
brought here as I was,
our work denounced,
criticized as pornography
and counter-revolutionism.
Our persons branded
as spineless, treacherous traitors
while the Union of Writers and Artists,
the bureaucrats attached to this institution
as the center for the dissemination
of Cuban Culture,
The Committee of Revolutionary Orientation,
L’Illusion Lyrique,
The Censorship Board,
used their power
to further their not always distinguished
at the cost of less conventional spirits.

It is in this prison of Boniato,
Sweet Potato East,
among the human biological experiments,
the asphyxiated and piled up corpses,
silenced ghosts,
that I plant, I reap and carry the stones.
Here I construct my world
but I do not eat the harvest.
I strengthen my song
for the millennium.
This is my hope…
To ride to the blue mountain peaks of the Sierra Maestra
that once put an end to capitalism and usurers.
Here, I see the children dancing
adorned in red and black
rhapsodically reciting my cry
beneath a poem of Heredia,
in a enlightened,
flower transplanted,
cultivated garden,
that once bloomed from ignorance.


A loving tribute to the freespirits, the writers, imprisoned, tortured, beaten and murdered under the Castro Regime.


Theresa likes to write about self-inflection and personal experiences. She writes about matters of an out-of-body, out-of-mind state, as well as subjects of an idyllic, pagan nature and the occult. Theresa writes horror, and gritty and realistic dramas. She is said to be a witch and a poet (within the horror writing community).   

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