"Scars" - a poem

Sometimes I write poetry that isn't romantic at all. Here is one that came to me last night...


These scars are still healing,
the impression of your hateful words are like red lashes across my back,
the marks you left on me inside and out.

Angela Yuriko Smith, Pixabay
I recall the shock of finding bruises in places no one else could ever see,
the impact of your teeth marks everywhere,
the hard ways you took me and left me hating us both.
When you’d roll over and sleep it off,
I felt so empty and I’d do everything I could to make silent tears.

Counseling, Pixabay

I couldn’t show how much it scarred me.

The belittling words you’d throw my way,
later I was sure you were intimidated that I was smarter than you,
but then you did whatever you could to make me feel less.
You don’t understand how hard it was to take the step away months later,
the final one,
not because I cared too much for you,
but more because I knew I deserved better and you’d never see that.

It was also a challenge afterward,
the constant memories crowding my mind,
the time I flinched when you almost hit me,
how I thought I was stuck in place,

Cocoparisienne, Pixabay

crippled by fear and jailed by your cold heart.
I recall the dark emotions swirling within me,
sometimes I still can’t see myself enough,
and I am afraid I’ll disappear into the ether,
a forgotten note,

Kellepics, Pixabay

just where you wanted me then.
These scars will always be there,
but I know breaking away was best.

Sometimes I still feel the hard grip of your touch,
the harshness in your dark eyes,
without a hint of compassion,
even when I was in physical pain.
The way you demanded,
only demanded everything,
but never gave back.
I have to shut my eyes against the shadowy memories.

Geralt, Pixabay
Then the next one came along,
with his gentle approach and it was easy to sink into complacency.
Except he hurt me in a different way,
as men sometimes do.
He had no way of knowing the deep cut he made would turn me inside out,

Milada Vigerova, Unsplash
swirling in my gut,
when I saw further into the darkness and lost myself a bit more.
As life often goes,
I made plenty of mistakes later,
like an addict does with no other options,
exploiting internal weaknesses I shouldn’t have touched.

These scars have marked me….made me the woman I am today.
They say experience makes you stronger.
Then I should be invincible by now.
Yet I’m not,
just me,
sometimes still the girl you scarred so much.
But there is a day now and then when I feel an ounce of peace and I can find the light.
Chris Barbalis, Unsplash

It’s a journey…even though years have passed,
and I live in the comfort of one who truly loves me,
I remember and know the scars I’ve collected on my skin define me.

Created by Tirachard - Freepik.com

A survivor.

© 2018, Marie Lavender.

***Author's Note: if this poem moved you rather than disturbed you (I apologize for the frankness about my life), consider reading Directions of the Heart, a collection that explores the many facets of PTSD and the journey of healing. These are tales that are close to my heart.


Emma's Kitty Corner Interview: Tiklaus from Kayelle Allen's Bringer of Chaos Sci-Fi Series!

This is Emma here, your feline host and goddess. Surely you've heard of me before. I thought it might be fun to have some more kitty guests on this blog, which I'm, of course, stealing away from my favored human now and then. Today, we have a special, purrfect treat...a cat character who has come to inform us about his life, and a little about the book he is featured in. Tiklaus, take it away!


Emma: Welcome, Tiklaus, to Kitty Corner, where cool cats like us are featured. 

What a lovely coat you have! It almost rivals my own, sleek and refined...well, you know what I mean. Though I guess we don't look too much alike, since I'm a calico. And I must say, Tiklaus, you are quite larger than the other kitty guests we've had on the blog. They were more, um, er, domesticated.

Oh, my! Good grief...who is this thing you've brought with you? You know humans are not allowed on here. 

The companion of Tiklaus:

I have been asked to speak on behalf of Tiklaus. My name is Pietas. Some refer to me as king of the immortal Ultras, but for this interview, you may think of me as the pet of Tiklaus.

My feline friend has no gender and does not reproduce. We use the term 'it' which sounds cold, but the panther dislikes being referred to by human terms such as he or she.

Emma: I see. Well, they are not only human terms, but as long as you're not a mere 'human', I'll allow your presence. Only for translation, of course.

Tiklaus, tell us a little about you - who you are, where you came from, that sort of thing...

Tiklaus: Tiklaus. Cage.

Pietas (the big cat's companion): 

Tiklaus is the alpha of its tribe and directs all activity. Cage refers to the place where the tribe was created. The image I get is of a cold, steel room with heavy bars. My impression is a cage inside a lab. There was sometimes a view outside, but again, only an impression. Perhaps when doors were opened for a delivery of some kind.

Emma: Well, I am the feline ruler of my universe too! It's abhorrent that utter cruelty was done to you! For myself, I would never allow such treatment. 

So, what is your chief cat image? In other words, forget about the way humans or other species define us. Deep within you, Tiklaus, what cat role do you take on? As aforementioned, I am the queen of my domain.

Tiklaus: (Brings a rabbit for Emma and puts head down.)


Tiklaus is offering tribute to you and paying homage. My panther friend sees itself as alpha, which is equivalent to the way I see myself. King. Ruler. Leader.

Emma: Well, I can respect that! Thank you very much for your gift, Tiklaus. Maybe I can swindle one of these useless humans into cleaning and roasting it for me. Mmm...rabbit stew. ;)

All right. Tell us something else.

How did you get chosen to be in a book? Are you good friends with the author (a pet human), by any chance?

Tiklaus: Promise.


Promise is what Tiklaus calls me. The panther has been at my side since Kayelle Allen began writing about me. In the Bringer of Chaos series, she is discovering my origins and along with that, how my panther companion and I connected.

Emma: Nice! 

Barring the fact that humans/other owners are our slaves (feeding and taking care of us), is there one you feel closer to? Someone you're attached to, or imprinted with? For myself, when Marie came to the Humane Society looking for a feline, I knew she was the perfect target. And yeah, most of the time we get along. The strange woman doesn't always believe I should be in charge, however. She is mistaken, of course!

But I digress. Who is your favorite?


I have a direct answer for that from Tiklaus. A little embarrassing, but I always tell the truth.


Humans. Bad! Bad! Pietas good. Pietas pet.

Emma: Ah. Gotcha there, buddy. 

So, what is your favorite food? Fancy Feast?


Bad humans. Good rabbit. (Pietas nods, chuckling.)

Emma: Oh, I have to agree. Humans would taste terrible! Yuck!

I can't say I've had rabbit (a lot of other meats) before, but I am certainly open to it. ;) One of my favorites is chicken.

Tell me this...are you a heroic cat (fight for a cause) in your book, or do you take on a tamer persona at home?

Tiklaus: Tiklaus alpha.

Emma: I hear you. I prefer being a leader! But honestly, it's much easier all around if I make my slaves do all the heavy-lifting. Of course, it would be no trouble to command a whole army!

Do you have a hobby, Tiklaus? For myself, I like strings! This drives my human slave crazy when the holidays roll around, because I go after all the bows and ribbons! Ha ha!

Pietas: Tiklaus says this is not a tribe word. The actual answer was 'unknown command'. I get that a lot.

Emma: Okay! 

What do you want, more than anything else in the world? For myself, I keep telling everyone I am the feline ruler of the universe. Perhaps one day these silly humans will bow to me. Good plan, right?

So, what do you want, Tiklaus?


Play. Chase. Tickle. Climb. Hunt. Much much climb.

Anything Tiklaus likes gets 'much' tagged on the end and a really beloved thing is much much.

Emma: I get the picture! And who can blame this beautiful cat for those goals? I can agree with most of them!

Well, Tiklaus and your inferior companion Pietas, thank you for taking the time to visit my little stage over here. It was a true pleasure! 

As you sign off, show off your cat self a little with some teasers!

Trouble, yeah! That's what mom calls me sometimes! 

(murmurs in the background)

What was that, Marie?

Marie: I said it's rather fitting that you debuted your first cat interview on National Pet Day, when it's all about pets! ;)

Emma: Yes, I suppose it is. (Snickers.) She doesn't get that she's actually the pet in this scenario, just like Pietas is your pet, right, pal? 

Humans! (Emma shakes her head.)

Let's move on and learn a little more about Tiklaus' book.


Love Romances Cafe Best in Science Fiction/Futuristic Nominee

When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem.

He's not.

Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.
It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.

Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.

Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...

Warning: Contains angst, humor, sweet romance, betrayal, vengeance... and a ginormous, sentient panther who wants to be Pietas's "kitty."

Universal Purchase Link:


Let's see Tiklaus in action with an excerpt.

Tiklaus batted at him, knocked Pietas onto his back and then flipped itself down beside him. The panther wrapped its front legs around his arm and gnawed at it in gentle play while the hind feet kicked him without injury. Claws flashed, but did no harm.

Now I know how a chew toy feels. Pietas blew out a breath.

When the panther draped itself over his chest, Pietas struggled to slide out from under but could not get up. The animal weighed less than he did, but with no visible effort, it kept him from rising.

"I concede, my friend. You win."

The panther ignored him.
"Tiklaus, off."
"Off, please."
The panther yawned, opening a huge maw. Fangs flashed.
Pietas tried a signal that worked with sparring partners and asked for release by double-tapping the panther's side.
The cat stood at once and stepped over him. It shook from nose to tail, then sat and groomed itself.
He stood and brushed himself off. Standing beside Tiklaus, who reached him mid-thigh, Pietas took pride in knowing this sweet, playful cat was also the snarling ball of animal rage that had nailed his father to the ground. The man had not seen it coming.
He should have let the cat eat him when he had the chance.
Pietas ensured no one was on the path in either direction before he knelt and scratched the cat's ears. "Who's a good kitty?"
The animal sneaked in a lick of his hand and face and flopped down on its back.
"My Tiklaus, that's who. Tiklaus is a good kitty." He rubbed the smooth belly. "Yes, you are! Such a good, big kitty. You're my kitty, aren't you? Good, good kitty."
The panther accepted the attention, one paw twitching. After a moment, it stood and shook itself. A purring sound rumbled from its chest. It sat, licked one paw and added a lick of Pietas's face as well.
"Thank you for the bath." He hugged the panther's neck. "You have as soft a heart as I do but you don't show it either. Pact, my friend. I won't tell if you won't." He kissed Tiklaus on the nose.
The panther bumped its head against Pietas, then bounded to a tree and up it.

Wow! Nice one!

It certainly sounds like an interesting series!
We'll be sure to check out this science fiction tale with a touch of romance!
Well, maybe humans will. I can't read. I'm a kitty. Why would I even need to? ;)


Human Author Bio


Kayelle Allen writes Sci-Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she's tenured.

Author Links:


Facebook:  https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/KayelleAllen/e/B003ZRXVN8/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/710889.Kayelle_Allen
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116022131333186423293/

Romance Lives Forever Reader Group:  http://kayelleallen.com/bro/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kayelleallen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayelleallen/

Kayelle's Books:














Anyway, to our feline guest, thank you, Tiklaus, for visiting us here at Marie's blog. That was a beautiful fur coat you had there, and your story was rather entertaining! We hope you'll come back sometime.


For the rest of you humans, I'm signing off... meow, meow, meow, et cetera, et cetera.

As always,

Ruler of the Universe and Supreme Feline,

Emma A.K.A 'the Munchkin' Mulrooney

Taking a Break from MLB

Yes, readers, that's right. I'm on hiatus for a while. I know I haven't posted for a bit, and that's really the reason why I...