You Just Never Know…

where your life will take you or who you will meet along the way.  More importantly, you never know who will touch your heart and lead you down a new road.  Before you decide to dive over the side of this blog and drown yourself in the wordpress or blogger sea because you fear I’ve lost my crass ability to humour you, hang on, I’m going to discuss something important.


On August 1, 2001, I lay bruised and broken in the driveway of a shack on an Indian Reservation in the United States.  My four year old daughter vanished down the road, brutally abducted by a man who had abused us for nearly five years.  The shack we had to live in was full of rats, mice and snakes.  The only source of heat a woodstove that remained a constant source of labour for me as I tried in vain to keep it fed with wood I had to cut nearly constantly.  Within this harsh and hopeless milieux, I used up nearly every scrap of self esteem and tolerance I possessed.  At the end, there was no hope, no light, no sense of myself anymore.  Death and I stared at each other daily and it altered me forever.  Never in a million years did I expect to be here, talking to you about such things that at the time I thought I would never survive and if truth be told, and you know I like my truth, I wanted to die out there, more than once, such was the despair that enveloped me.  Then, I looked at her, my daughter and I kept breathing.


Today I opened up my email again and this time it was from someone I love and respect.  You may know her name Jessie Carty and you may also know about her magazine Referential.  A while back I sent her a poem she liked, called Cockroaches and White Bread.  I was flattered that she liked it and touched too, because I think Jessie truly understood what I was trying to translate to the reader.  It was a harsh story about a joyless moment in time that happens to too many children and Jessie has nominated it for a Pushcart.  I’m beyond words.  Twice, something I had to say about those things most people won’t discuss one on one, let alone in mixed company, have garnered respect for what I believe is more about others than about me.  It’s about Jessie Carty and Bryan Borland, both visionaries and mavericks with regard to self expression and art.  It’s about the people who are abused, bullied, confused, gay, straight, men, women, teens, all colours and all cultures.  You see, I was there, in the driveway of a shack, alone, and terrified with nothing but the clothes on my back and a broken heart.  Now, I’m here, telling whoever needs to hear this:  Stay alive.  Fight the good fight.  If you believe in nothing, then let that nothing guide you to something.  I’m proof.  I’m here and so are you.



Now go forth and publish and nominate other shit disturbers because I need some company.    🙂

P.S. Jessie…Ma would have loved this, being the diva she was, it was attention for something, even it was unflattering, someone was noticing her.  😉


Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

14 thoughts on “You Just Never Know…”

  1. *HUGSSSSS* right back at you Val. It has been a pleasure to get to know you and to find such wonderful poems to publish. And it wasn’t even just me who kept seeing how wonderful your work was, other editors and comment leavers were drawn to that poem! it is always a hallmark for me of good poetry when it does one of two things: 1 -says something no one else could say 2-lets someone relate to something they have never experience. You ROCK!

    1. Jessie, you are the epitome of what a feminist should be, and that is the highest compliment I could ever give another woman. You are someone I admire and that is no small feat. HUGS Thank you for all you do.

  2. Bryan honey, you understand me. That is a precious thing for me. I adore you and you know that I know that your heart is also golden. Nuff said young man, I think we will be friends forever. 🙂 HUGS

    1. Me too B and I’m glad you are here too. Now that I’ve done intense I’m going to have to go back to being a smart ass, just to keep that healthy balance 🙂 HUGS brutha

  3. Woohoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! What a story Val and I’m so happy for you – ‘you’ve come along way babe’ and fought the good fight and won. I imagine your mother with a half proud, half eyebrow cocked ( should I be suss on this) look on her face at what’s going down.

    1. Thank you Grabrielle, for a lot of things. HUGS 😉 I suppose, I’m doing this not only for my daughter, but for my mother, that part of her that she wouldn’t show, I did it for what she could have been, to all her children and to herself, if she’d had the courage.

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