Signs of Life, A Memoir in Poems

I have always wanted to write my memoirs, the story of how I got from there to here. Perhaps, I just need to explain it to myself or to those I love. Perhaps, I need to leave a legacy for those who knew me after I’m gone. At any rate, I find that whenever I try to express my deepest feelings and my most profound experiences, I do it through poetry, so here it is, my memoir in poems.

This collection of eighty-one poems is a series of reflections of moments throughout a life lived. Some are joyful, some tragic, but all are heartfelt and real.

“Christina Knowles is a poet who is not afraid of delving into the inner world of symbolism, emotion, and dream imagery. Signs of Life is a revealing journey into the soul, a look at the inner self to which we can all relate.”

Available in paperback and Kindle Edition on Amazon.com. 

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“No one can destroy you like a child” by Christina Knowles

anime-woman-cryingNo one can destroy you like a child

Born out of your flesh, birth of the sacred

Adored

Loved unconditionally, while

You stand spurned, shorn

Of all aspect of affection

Unjust deflection, dejection unending

Saturated, consumed, unbending

Rending nights of mourning

Hours of scorning

Heights of sorrow, teetering

On a glimmer of tomorrow

Tears adorning the lifeless

The helpless, bought and owned

By your own blood

How else could

You be destroyed by a child?

No one else can slice you in half

With a word or a smile, put you on trial

For trying

What’s left of you dying

Doomed to go on amending

Defending the right to hope

A press to tamp down the hurting

Until you’re cut fresh

Veins spurting, you lay broken

Crumpled in a heap, racked with grief

Burning hollows weep

No relief, no light

Appears, calling me to go

Forced to remain, it’s worse

Worse than you ever feared

Because who knew?

The pain you accrue

The depth of the blow

It’s an effort to stand and smile

When you’ve been destroyed by a child. —Christina Knowles (2015)

Photo via Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the World by Christina Knowles

“Stop the World”

Earth orbit

You still my world and stop the turn

Of this manic swirl

Mesmerized and taciturn

Rescued from the tilt and whirl

The distractions of a life filled

To excess with nothingness

All at once is stilled

a quiet catalyst to reassess

the curious calm of standing still

You still my world and stop the turn

A gentle discovery of a pearl

Reflectively, I adjourn

From the spinning of the world

–Christina Knowles

Photo via all4desktop.com

“Teacher” by Christina Knowles

“Teacher”

pail

There’s nothing quite like the light in the eyes of a student

Understanding dawning unexpectedly

A signpost revealed on a destined journey

Previously lost, the way revealed

Better still, enthusiasm kindled

The desire to know just for the sake of knowing

I can see it when our eyes meet

Suddenly and unanticipated

A kindred spirit

I see the spark glimmer

Sharing the love a favorite poem

An incredible novel, words that move and stir

Words that burn and change them

The philosophical depth of Thoreau

The insight of Dickens

The straightforward profundity of Steinbeck

And then . . .

The birth of something new

The product of a student’s pen

The baring of a soul, the beginning of knowing

Who they are and what they have to say

To a world listening, eager for a relationship

Between writer and reader, poet and philosopher

There’s nothing better

A new writer, excitedly asking you to read his work

The pride in his eyes as you express your awe

In the phrases he creates

A new Whitman is born

And I contributed a verse

To the inspiration of a new generation

The state can’t document this on a form

But I know what I’ve done

Evaluate away

I’ll be right here, creating the Emersons of the future

My job is to find the spark in a student’s eye

And start the fire.

—Christina Knowles

“Morning Light” by Christina Knowles

  “Morning Light” 

morning light

As light dances across the room we share,

You smile your love on me

Gently waking us to one more day spent together

How many we have, I wonder

Burying my head in your shoulder

I try not to think of a day

When I may wake alone

But you breathe hope on me

And gaze at me with your clear blue love

I don’t like knowing that you own my heart

That you could hurt me irrevocably

Pushing away the fear

Because I know you feel the same

So I will live in this moment

As light dances across the room we share

Christina Knowles (2006)

Photo via Pinterest

“Remembering” by Christina Knowles

I heard a melody so sweet

Sweet as the words you once whispered to me

A fragrant sound

A tender and unexpected chord

That at once lifts my soul

And tears my heart

A tinge of melancholy among the smiles

Suddenly invades me

Measure by measure

A symphony of memories

My whole being recalls you

Not a particular day

A certain event

But the entirety of you

Inseparable the parts

Existing in a timeless encapsulation

Of every sweet experience

And simultaneously

The deep hollowness

The absence of you

—Christina Knowles

 

 

“Snow Day” by Christina Knowles

winter-moon
via http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk

“Snow Day”

An unexpected gift

Like waking up on Christmas morning

Brightly colored packages piled high by the tree

Sitting in the dim glow of the TV

The “Closed” message trails across the bottom of the screen

Outside, it’s still dark but with a mysterious glow

Surreal, as if lit from some unknown source

The white sky, a snow globe, shaken

Oversized and intricately detailed flakes

Drift gently to the ground

Forming a lumbering blanket of white

Mounds drift and roll and disappear

Into the fog, the thick, wet air

Not quite frozen, heavy with the promise

Of more to come

I turn on the lights of the Christmas tree

The undulating glow casts a soft pattern on the wall

The village lights reflect on the glittery surface of the snow

My own private scene suspended in time

I light the fire and sit, absorbing the moment

The gift

A day to do anything, my own suspension of time

Life does not go on without me

I’m not missing anything

When I emerge from my snowy haven

Life will be just as I left it

—Christina Knowles (2015)

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