Saecha

Author's details

Name: Saecha
Date registered: March 4, 2012

Biography

A lover of the written word, Saecha studied British Literature at UC Santa Cruz with a focus on medieval poetry and narrative. She has always loved to write and has been encouraged by friends and family to pursue her talents whenever possible. She also has a great love of animals, which frequently comes through in her poetry, since she finds that the elegance and natural beauty of the Animal Kingdom far surpasses anything else she encounters. She spends a great deal of time playing with her cat, riding horses, exploring wild places, and indulging her creative side by crafting things with her hands.

Latest posts

  1. Moonlight Memory — September 2, 2012
  2. Scars and Shadows — March 18, 2012
  3. The Dragons — March 4, 2012

Author's posts listings

Sep 02

Moonlight Memory

When I was a child, I was plagued with a variety of nighttime issues. The majority of them were innocuous things brought on by the simple process of growing rapidly, things like bone-deep aching pain in my calves as the sinew stretched and lengthened in the quiet evolving hours. These would send me creeping softly to the corner of my parents’ bedroom door, where I would cry barely audibly in hopes that I would wake my mother (and only my mother) for help. She was a light sleeper, dad was not. And dad was much more surly when woken at odd hours. But I digress.

What I liked the most – if I can say honestly that I liked any of these things – was the inexplicable wakefulness that occurred every few months. No reason or rhyme to these episodes: I would be peacefully asleep one moment, then suddenly I was as awake as if it were noon. Sometimes it would happen a few times in the same month, sometimes I would go nearly six months in between. But came it did, without cause or provocation, like an old friend sneaking in through the window to take you out on the town.

 

Photographer: Jessica Lucia

In the wintertime, there were often fires in the fireplace. I would creep from my cozy flannel sheets to tiptoe into the living room, where the soft glow from the dying embers would cast dim shadows to dance on the furniture. I would tuck my knees up inside my long (and usually hideous) nightgown as I sat on the brick hearth, trying to thaw my frozen feet. My feet were always bare, even in the dead of winter, and the fire was always a relief for numb toes. I would dreamily watch as the last remnants of flame snuggled into the coals, not really thinking about anything in particular, simply enjoying the hushed silence of the house surrounded by a sleeping world.

Other times, I might simply sneak to the refrigerator. My family had two growing boys and my mother often bought large quantities of things from Costco, like chocolate syrup, maple syrup, whipped cream, and sour cream. All things I coveted jealously and would gobble up without hesitation or second thought. So, knowing I oughtn’t, I would pad lightly to the kitchen as stealthily as my bare feet could carry me, and gulp down highly sugared and fat-laden foods like a giant invading mouse. Nibbling a bit of cheese here, a pastry there, drinking syrup straight from the bottle, and eating sour cream by the spoonful. A can of soda, a half-eaten candy-bar, even a few of my favorite vegetables weren’t safe. Then, having gorged myself, I would almost always wash it down with several gulps of cold, creamy milk, and furtively make my way back to bed, half-blinded by the refrigerator light.

But best of all was the summer.

The summer time was hot, even at night. There were days when the lowest temperature of the day was still in the 90-degree range. And sometimes it was humid along with it, forcing us to kick off our covers and sleep with the fans on. On the nights when I would suddenly wake in the summer, it was as though the very air was beckoning me outside. And so – in bare feet – I would make my way through the house to the back door, where I would sneak outside to our enormous back yard. Often as not, the moon was brightly shining, and I would walk onto the wide grassy lawn, often wet from the sprinklers, enjoying the cool sensation on my burning soles. I would look up and wave. I don’t know why I waved at the moon. I do it still. And then I would dance.

It was only dancing in the loosest term. It was more like holding my arms out and spinning, face turned to the heavens, dipping and weaving with imaginary music. Sometimes I would hum little tunes, or make up lyrics on the spot to a song that didn’t have any flow or rhythm to it at all, but always quietly so I didn’t wake anyone. Sometimes the dog would join in the dancing, slowly and sleepily, having been roused by my sudden appearance. The wet grass would coat my naked toes, which was always a challenge to wipe off before going back inside, to avoid arousing suspicion.

But, even better than dancing in the moonlight… Water.

The pool was respectably sized, though not the largest by any means, and deeper than I was tall at its lowest point. If I was awake when everyone else was, and it happened to be dark out, the underwater light would illuminate the whole thing. But for some reason, with the light on, I held this terror that an impossibly-sized shark lived in the deep end and would chase me as I got to the shallow end. As a result, when I went to exit the pool – even if it had been a perfectly relaxing swim to that point – I would race through the shallow end. It terrified me, this irrational and non-existent shark.

But if all the lights were off, there was no threat of an unseen imaginary shark. And so it was that – sometimes, just sometimes – I would slowly wade into the dark waters. I only did this on starry nights, when there was no moon. I would move slowly, secretively, feeling the cool water caress my skin where the hot air kissed it only just before. I played a little game to see if I could get into the water without making ripples, feeling almost guilty about marring the glass-smooth surface. And then I would turn, floating on my back, and fall into the Milky Way.

There are no words to describe proper night swimming. It has to be quiet, soft, and tender. Oh, certainly, there is skinny-dipping and other night-aquatic activity, both innocent and risqué. But there is a sacred art to the night swim, wherein the breath becomes a hymn, and buoyancy a prayer. There is truth beneath the surface that will bear you up, and an echo of the womb sleeps in the depths. The stars would rain down on me in their eternal dance, sheltering me like a canopy and yet being as wide and far and welcoming as only they can manage. There was never a coldness to them, only a silvery journey across the endless sky. It was me, the water, and the stars. Nothing else existed. I might as well have been floating in the constellations myself, just a little speck in a quiet, dark river.

Now, the night sky is often hidden by the harsh glow from street lights, and I seldom have the time to indulge my old night-time habits. But somewhere deep within me, there is a little girl, still floating in the starry sky, still dancing in the moonlight, still sitting by the firelight, and who still loves sneaking foods from the fridge. I wonder sometimes if one of my own children will do something similar. I want to be able to give them that gift. But I cannot explain why I would wake in the middle of the night, and cannot predict that they will also. Perhaps this gift was given to me only.

I feel sorry for the world if I was the only one to share in the joy of the gentle night.

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Mar 18

Scars and Shadows

Everyone has scars
Everyone carries rocks in their knapsack
Little injuries that they’ve picked up along the way
Or terrible wounds from battles they waged alone

 

Photographer: Karsten Kneese

Brother, I know you

We started as innocents
Pure, unblemished, trusting
But none of us make it far
It is our fate as mankind
To struggle and bleed
Even if we win every fight
(Which almost never happens)
We bear the fears and learned defenses
The mental anguish and regrets
Our hearts never go unbroken
And some will have to endure multiple fractures

Sister, I feel you

We act as though there’s nothing wrong
That we’re “well-adjusted”
That we’re strong enough, we’re okay
When inwardly we’re shaking, screaming
Slowly bleeding to death internally
From all the cuts and tears
From where we’ve rent our flesh asunder
Trying to claw out the painful parts
Hiding it in the darkness
So no one will see you weep
Because it looks like everyone else is fine…
“What’s wrong with me?” we ask

Mother, I see you

It is a terrible lie we perpetuate
Telling ourselves we’re sick
That something is bad and wrong about us
When it is what we have survived
That makes us who and what we are
And we do each other disservice
To tell ourselves this untruth
Because we persuade ourselves so completely
That we convince everyone else it’s true
Which makes them believe that THEY are unwell
And perpetuates the madness

Father, I hear you

We build up walls to protect ourselves
From ourselves, and each other
We tell ourselves lies and convince the world
So that they tell themselves the same lies
Spreading like a plague
And soon we trust no one
Hiding our secrets, buried deep
Where they fester and breed vermin
Until they burst loose and flood the room
With fury and fear and addiction

LOOK AT ME

Look me in the eyes
And know me
Tear down your walls, as I have mine
And behold the naked, scarred truth
In all its hideous beauty
The keloids of lessons learned
Embrace these faults
Drag them into the light
Uncover this mockery of ourselves

Look at me

And know that I have flaws, just like you
That I have fears, just like you
That I seethe and froth in bitterness
And hate and seek vengeance, like you
And, like you, I hope and love and laugh
I am vulnerable, I have weaknesses
I am nothing more than what I am
And nothing less
Look at me
I have embraced my Shadow
Reconciled my humanity
And you, too, can be free

Look at me

Accept me or reject me
It will not change me
Tear down your wall
And let yourself out
For I will let you in.

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Mar 04

The Dragons

With each deft movement

They glide effortlessly through time

Old as the trees they wander past

Each scale glimmering, glittering

Unblinking eyes ever watchful

Photographer: Roger Sanderson

Black and white and gold and orange

Sometimes a mixture of all

With hints of unearthly splendor

Behind each iridescent scale

Each sleepy movement of a tail

Whisks them forward lazily

Until at once, from some unseen disturbance

They fly from sight with great speed

 

Each pattern in sunlight glows

And in clouds they shine alone

Fluid, graceful, flexible, effortless

Unhurried yet purposeful

Each gossamer fin in quiet repose

Until a flick of the wrist drives them

To some new direction

 

A gaping maw breaks the surface

The greatest one has come to visit me

An old friend and trusting gaze

With patient eyes, watches

I stroke the slippery nose carefully,

My fingers slip and my nail pokes the sensitive snout

I apologize, but the trust is damaged

And my visitor glides away

 

I wait, as patient as I can be,

But they are old, and trust heals slowly

At last, returning, cautiously this time

My fingers are still and extended

The soft heart bumps them with a velvet nose

And nibbles my fingertips with toothless affection

 

Peaceful here in the place between

Lush Springtime and the lingering Winter

I sit in quiet awe of them

Beneath a soft grey sky

And in the bitter winds

I envy them their peaceful home

 

It is no wonder the Eastern World

Believed in Dragons, for here they are

In a myriad of colors, patterns, sizes

Serene and wise

Impetuous and bold, the younger ones,

But always graceful and liquid in motion

I, bent and crooked, accident-prone,

Watch them with approving respect

Wanting to be like them

The Dragons of the Water

 

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