by Tansy Roekaerts
Roekaerts was born in 1979 and graduated with a degree in French and German. She started writing poetry in 2020 after a series of personal tragedies befell her. Her poetry is all autobiographical, and she seeks to examine the nature of pain and to destigmatize it . She argues that the social impulse to distance ourselves from negative feelings is in fact harmful to our emotional health, and that distress is an integral part of the human condition. A selection of her poetry, some of which is performed, can be found on Instagram @grief_and_loss
This is a previously published poem from Sally’s collection. Credit to Okanagan Publishing House.
The soundless scream of torturous pain,
The story of which I cannot explain.
Ashamed of my needs, yet I want them met,
Manipulative, deadly, pointless threat.
Blind is the audience, macabre is my dance,
Forced to perform by a body in trance.
Surely, in time I will comprehend
Not by me was my story penned
But a tree that snakes out endless roots
Invading its prey bearing poisonous fruits
All feelings calcify in my veins
My soul slips from righteous reigns
Branches invade my crumbling remains.
I tear at my flesh to uproot the tree,
I can no longer: the tree is me.
Her anger roars and shakes the air
And rushes up and down the stair
And floods each nook and hiding place
And grasps each nook in tight embrace
To fling it down again and race
In ever tightening circles of despair.
They did not care should she succumb
Gossiping mouths fallen dumb,
The pain once nurtured every night,
Wings back to her in curving flight,
To pierce the membrane of the tight
Embracing blanket of her rage
The pictures of her on the walls rile
Lies dissimulated by childish smile
She tears them from her heart and brain
And shreds them piecemeal down the drain.
Swallowing all fury is in vain,
Yet from the trenches she rises again,
Reloaded, but appearing comparatively sane.