Today the earth held me

while I danced to the sound of drums

while I hiked through the still of winter

while I rounded breath through body

Today there was no ending

Only beginning, again and again

As the earth held me tight

Tomorrow, a promise on the cusp




I meditate

to the sound of

summer crickets

gently chirping


it becomes

a soundtrack

in my mind

I carry that day


yesterday she said

I should meditate

because I need a way

to protect myself


I wondered


she meant

from her

Oak trees

a faint memory sings

through the fog of life

of a little girl of 5, walking

around the neighborhood

pulling a red flyer wagon

in which sat rusty cans

of Folgers, packed with

hard Missouri clay and

scrawny twigs, each the

start of a mighty oak –

her sales pitch that while

they were not much to look at,

each held a promise of great

shelter in the determined jab

skyward. a bit like the girl

herself, a thin dirty child

of no consequence.


I think it’s just me.

difference as a point of separation



then it turns out it’s everyone and

I feel empowered by knowledge



to a point.

and then I start to feel like

I really just want to be alone again


move on

I don’t want to be part of,

I want to be separate from:


my own, not #metoo

in a way that may not make sense

but seems right anyway.

gloria beatty, 2018

Sometimes I get carried away and think my life belongs to me.

I forget momentarily that I am someone’s mother, manager, employer, pet owner or coworker – and that I have a Pavlovian response to their needs and desires.

Other people’s needs, the dog’s schedule, my job, my incessant guilt, the sheer fatigue at it all – these are the things that stop me and hold me in place.

Oh, and the enormity of all my failings and flaws and imperfections.

I hold myself in total self-inflicted paralysis.

I become an internet astronaut, an explorer of the World Wide Web – reading about everything I don’t dare do or see or taste or experience – all of which can be wedged between everyone else’s stuff.

I rationalize these imagined restraints on my alleged life until they seem so real that there is no other choice.

I seek temporary relief in the form of randomly scheduled facials, erratically timed trips to the gym and the occasional new top.

But it’s not enough.


I am: never enough.


I am spinning

literally, going nowhere on a bicycle

in a hot and dark room

that is nevertheless fully temperature controlled

filled with people I do not want to know

I don’t even necessarily enjoy the music

and I think: I am suited to this existence

the charade of self awareness cloaked in hard work and sweat

the facade of movement without any discernible progress

ensconced in a space shut off from the real world

left to chant catchy, empty mantras and nothing more

paying to be part of something for which I harbor a certain disdain

I pretend at reformation, registering calories burned

while the world burns too and

everything else stays exactly the same.

fellow travelers

she was sitting, impotent
in her car, when it struck her –
Sisyphus was probably an
extreme commuter, too.

in all likelihood, he lived around
the corner from her
and drove a slightly battered
Dodge Caravan

with political stickers jammed
next to peeling sports decals and
a cutesy stick figure rendering of
his nuclear family unit:

wife Merope, sons Glaucus,
Ornytion, Almus and Thersander
– and a wobbly circle representing
the family’s pet boulder

no doubt, he traveled the
same curvy parkways she
traversed, the ones that flooded
from slight rains and

seemed only to veer
directly into the path of
bright sunshine at all times
of the year – a preternatural stonehenge.

he was surely the man
weaving across every
lane but never moving ahead
as she crawled forward,

the miles clicking
slowly down
but the minutes
piling up:

the GPS not really
taking either of them
any closer to
their final destination


I want to have
to say. To you.
An unraveled thread
to hold you
near, because
when it. Breaks. I
will forever
lose a place:
For my heart
to be held
and safely bared.