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BEING SEEN by Carolyn Riker

When I reach into my shadowy parts, I find truth and understanding of myself, and therefore, of others...

The darker shades of this poem however, where I truly wanted to disappear, are not always accepted by others. I have had folks comment how they prefer my lighter, ‘pretty’ poems and feel uncomfortable when I share the shadows of me. 

I accept there are various components to my well-being. I can’t pretend to be something I am not. I skim so many worlds in the course of a day, it is remarkable I remain upright.

In writing this poem I had just experienced a situation where I needed to pull back and take care of myself. Whatever triggers were set off, I know it was an intense experience. I didn’t feel seen or heard at the moment but I knew the timing was inappropriate to share my dismay. I also didn’t feel safe interrupting the flow of the group’s conversation.

It is rare to find places of safety and trust.

Later, after I was able to process it, I realized out of habit I shut down when overwhelmed. The art of disassociation isn’t such a horrible place. It is a learned skill of self-preservation. Once I was able to gather this bit of insight, I was able to share a part of my experience with a trusted friend.

Being heard, seen, understood and accepted is incredibly liberating and reassuring in the perpetual process of living.


Being Seen 
by Carolyn Riker


How easily
she could disappear
and still say, she was fine.

Against her will,
her heart,
could transform
into any shape.

Suppressed and repressed
an interlocking fugue
concealed and tucked away.

Spilling from her left
scooping with her right
in an endless attempt
to hold her ghosts

Learning the art of comfort,
quietly, she rested
a wounded heart often
implodes and explodes.

A breeze, rocked her weary.
the rain, pelted her
stinging raw skin.

No longer abandoned in her stories,
the pages flipped through,
a freeze-framed kaleidoscope,
didn’t erase but gave some meaning.

The only color to remain was scarlet,
still pumping a fervent drumbeat
in her veins.




Carolyn Riker, MA is a private tutor, writer and a poet. She is also a Certified Instructor for Journal Writing and provides workshops. Carolyn finds comfort and balance in her kids, nature, music and her sweet cat Copper. She can be seen sipping soy lattes and nibbling on dark chocolate. She’s a regular columnist for Rebelle Society  and Elephant Journal. She also has a personal blog here. You can also visit Carolyn’s facebook page here. 









~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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