Featured Collection by Ann Christine Tabaka
The Poet: Ann Christine Tabaka
Ann Christine Tabaka on Her Poetry
My name is Ann Christine Tabaka, I go by Chris.
I have been writing rhymes, poems, and musings since I was 14 years old. I kept a hand written journal, mostly the usual teenage angst, and of course the Viet Nam war affected me greatly since many of my family and friends had to serve. I was recently encouraged by friends to share my words with the world. My legacy to live after me.
I had a traumatic childhood (no need to go into details), so I used my writing and drawing to lose myself and to cope with my life. I loved fantasy and adventure books, and super hero comics. Many of my poems are fantasy, but the ones shared here are all my real life experiences of divorce, fear of aging, and losing my mother after a long battle with dementia. I do have joyous and silly poems as well, but this grouping explores the darker sadder side of my life. “Dew Drops” was written at a women’s silent retreat shortly after my mother died, it is dedicated to her.
I love the whimsical mind and use of metaphors. Some of the artists and writers who have inspired my life and my work are listed below, some with a note after their name.
1. Vincent Van Gogh *(my favorite artist)
2. Maxfield Parrish *(technical skills)
3. Erté [Romain de Tirtoff] *(Art Deco is my true love)
4. John Austen
5. C.S. Lewis *(my all time favorite for his spiritual metaphors)
6. E.A. Poe *(my dark side)
7. Joyce Kilmer *(my first introduction to poetry, and love of “Trees”)
8. T.S. Eliot
9. John Lennon *(poems and drawing of my generation)
10. Lewis Carroll *(fantasy and imagery)
The night is upon us, cold, dark, silent.
The senses become alert, watchfully seeking …
But for what?
What lurks in the depths, stalking its prey like a cat on hunt?
We walk though shadows, buying time.
Waiting, listening carefully, painfully alert.
Like some primitive, fearing the absence of light.
Never certain of what the void brings with it.
Who its victim shall be.
What we fear is within us.
The evil is always there, waiting to strike out.
The loneliness takes hold, it slowly strangles us.
We hover in crowds, amid noise and blinding flashes of light.
All to hide …
From the enemy …
It is ourselves
The pain is very real, it is deep
A dull ache which threatens to swallow up my very being
It chokes me, it steals my breath away
It blinds me, I cannot see through the tears
Life is empty
I am numb of any feeling, hollow
I am overwhelmed with this vacuum within me
I do not exist
Oh, how I wish I did not exist
Life is but a maze
Of lonely nights
And lonelier days
Filled with plights
Wandering through haze
Void of delights
Dealing with craze
Blinded from sights
Of happier ways
Break open your shell
... just this once
Break open your shell
... let me in
Into your every pore
Feel the emotions flowing
... like a mighty river
Feel them burning wild
... reach out - it won’t hurt.
Break open, wide open
Feel the gentleness
... soft like fur - stroke it
Hear it purring
... for you alone.
The clouds close in...
The rain comes down.
I wonder about nothing.
My mind is empty,
As if the clouds
Have filled my head.
The dreariness invades
My very being.
Damp, dark, cold days,
Filled with nothingness.
I and the weather are
One and the same
… Since you left.
She stands on the corner,
Cold lonely, lost, forgotten;
As her youth slowly slips away.
She hides behind the makeup,
And clothing of her former years.
She evokes a look of pity from all who pass by.
Behind her mask,
Her features show the beauty of her age.
But she refuses to accept this,
And so continues to disguise her true worth.
Trading it in for a few more years of fantasy.
Why does she cling on so desperately,
To the worn pages of past times?
She has much more to offer now.
Many of us are obsessed with holding on,
To what we cannot have.
And in doing so neglect to see the satisfaction,
That each new age holds out to us.
She mistakes the glances of sympathy,
So for the moment she is content.
Then once again, all too soon …
She stands on the corner,
Cold, lonely, lost, forgotten …
Dew Drops (Saturday morning, day break, on the porch)
on the screen.
of life unseen.
of pure color
let your soul
I wonder what happened to life
As I sit here carefully dissecting thoughts and images of the past
Have I depended too desperately on love
Banking all my feelings in that one emotion
All I ever wanted was to be able to touch you
The way you have touched me
I based my very existence on that desire
Your very presence gave me life
I allowed myself to be totally consumed by my love of you
How much is too much
I have given up all in the sake of love
Now, without you, I am drained
Lost and Found
In the early morning light
I turn around
And look to find myself
Only to discover
That I am lost once more.
In the darkness of the night
I assure myself
That I will find
The answer to the question
I fear too much to ask.
As I sit here in my world
I feel the truth
Is coming near
If only I can touch it
Before it destroys me.
The full moon peeks from behind the majestic trees
The trees’ bare branches silhouetted by the moon’s silvery glow
The moon casts its shadow like some great hand reaching out for me
The eerie mantle of its soft radiance gleams all around it
Its light flows over the land as it illuminates all that it touches
It is like liquid silver as it stretches out for the horizon
Mercurial in its ability to evoke wonder
In all those who happen to be awake to see it
Interested in having a collection of your poems featured?
When you submit for the next issue, make sure to submit ten poems and tell us what the theme of your collection is. Your work might be picked as a featured collection. However, only one collection will be chosen each issue, so only one or a few of a poet's work sent as a collection might be published in the journal. The Basil O' Flaherty requests the right to only publish one collection, and to consider all collections of poetry submitted for each issue as also part of the general submissions (i.e. we can pick and choose the poems we like if your work is not selected as the featured collection.)