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My world is a dream world,
As I sit and watch it crumble around me.
It is I who brought it to ruin,
I and no one else, who causes the decay,
Of a once great kingdom.

We all must at times retreat,
But not I, I continue to wage war.
A war which brought an end to,
All that I once held close to me.
So have many nations fell.

Ann Christine Tabaka

I wrote this poem forty years ago, in 1978.  It feels strange looking back at it now.  I was in a very different place in my life.  I was 27 years old with a 6-year-old son, and just lost my idealistic views about relationships.  I had kept a hand written notebook where I scribbled down my feelings ever since I was 15 years old—when I wrote my first poem.  Many of my poems were musings and rhymes.  Looking back, it seems that it was the most desperate of times when I found myself writing real poetry with deep meaning.  When I felt pain or sorrow is when I wrote the best.  It was a way for me to cope with my inner demons.  I had a few light love poems, but most were quaint rhymes.  I had a traumatic childhood, and many of my writings reflect that even to today.

Back then I wrote for myself, never expecting anyone else to see my words.  I wrote raw, spontaneously, all at one time, letting it all out with a vengeance.  I never thought about rewriting, looking for the perfect words, or editing.  I never planned on sharing my inner most feelings with the world, until 2017, when friends that I let see my work encouraged me to publish.  The rest is history.  Sometimes I think my writing was purer back when I wrote exactly the way I felt instead of trying to be a fit for a certain publication or audience.  Being published is a game, you have to make all the pieces fit to be accepted.

This poem Ruin, was written at a time when a failing marriage was being intersected by a promising new relationship, or so I thought.  The falling into yet another explosive situation made me realize that I was my own worst enemy, bringing ruin to my world by trying too hard to be what I could never be—just like many ancient empires.  The war wages on even now, but I am finally learning with old age that I cannot blame anyone else for my decisions.  It is still my life, my choice, and my fault when I fail.

Ann Christine Tabaka is a nominee for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry.She placed Third in Vita Brevis Best Poem Contest both January & February 2018.   Her Interview on Spillwords was voted Publication for the Month for March 2018.  She was selected as Poet of the Month for January 2018 and interviewed by Kingdoms in the Wild. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Bindweed Magazine, The Metaworker, Raven, RavensPerch, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The  Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, and The McKinley Review.


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