Excerpt for Wanderlust by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Other Books by the Author;

A Child’s Journey Through Darkness

Weeping Child to Forgiving Child

A Child Interrupted

And The Child grew Up

Crushed Violets

Love Letters to Daddy

Mining Town Girl


Copyright © 2018 by Donna Nieri


This is a complicated

scene, in the scheme

of life, one set aside,

for the reader to read

and then decide,

if you really want to

view the pictures


It is hard to understand,

but for her to

heal and you to know,

it takes a lot of

courage to let

strangers explore.

To enter such a

complex mind as hers.

It is a long story,

and she hopes to make

it one that

will not weary the

reader and

feel pity for the

girl, not to give the

intention that her

life is more

difficult than others.

For the goal is to give

hope to those who can


If the reader can persevere

with the writer, it will

become brighter. She

she will be honored if

you take the time to

help her heal.

Now, some may wonder why

the girl gets high on

religion, to not follow

alcohol or some other


Isn't it the furthest from

evil you can get? But if

the truth is known, this

one surpasses all, in


So another journey of the

girl, as she leaves

the story of the past


The children have grown


the boy moves on,

but she remains

in the last mining


Her wanders and travels

have come to an

end, but the bumps

and ridges continue to

travel in her mind.

There is placed within

her heart, to turn from

her mother's ways.

Her father still lives

in the city and she

visits on a bus,

an exciting time, she is

not sure why, he is

inebriated, but he is


Back home, she feels the

absence of her father's


Things are about the same,

arguments and fights, bring

more agony and pain.

Then mama comes home one

day with a book, not sure

what it is, but the words

say "bible," and the girl

looks inside.

This has to be a

miracle, coming from her,

and later they would know,

it is inspired from


The girl tries to read it,

but it makes no sense and

she puts it on the shelf.

She had a vision awhile

back, of a Father,

the one who replaced the

one she was looking for,

but through all the

heartache of life, she

soon lost sight.

Sporadic visits from time

to time with her father,

always ends with heart wrench


Praying she will not be

sent away, that her stay

can be delayed, for a while


He becomes ill, the boy

and girl are called to his

side. Gasping for breath,

thinking this will surely

be his last, the seconds go


Seems like a minute, then

he takes another breath.

He is dying in agony and

pain that alcohol brings.

It started with one, beer,

then whiskey and highballs.

There is no cure all for


Tears come as she returns

home, never to have her

father back again.

Now a greater desire than

ever fills her heart and

slowly it is filled with

devotion and piety.

No more bad words, no

sleeveless dress. No

more lipstick and eye

shadow causes the worst

duress. Her lips and

eyes have always hidden

what is inside.

The holes that were bored

for earrings - skin filled

in. Hair is straight, no

more curls,

no more dangles, bangles,

diamonds or anything. Her

altered face, erased

from the world.

Feeling like a gazing ball

for all to see,

her little girl within isn't

sure what is happening.

A trickle of blood, a cramp,

horrified, as she looks down,

the menses has struck.

Being prepared to carry on

the maternal past, she is

sure her children will be

spared what she received.

Still sitting, covered

with dust,

she is convicted to take

the book off the shelf.

Beginning to read the

Word, hope begins to

dispel her doubts.

Her desert experience has

left her parched and dry,

leaving a trickle of a

stream, becoming

stagnant and full of lies.

Words are read, "you have

drawn in your heart

a picture of Me, one

like your father.

But I'm not the one you


Saucers of blue spin in the

breeze, morning glories climb

on the old wood post. Tendrils

twist and turn, as blossoms

fade in the shade. Sort of

like her life, trying to

bloom, petals quickly vanish


Threats, with fingers

pointing to the door, telling

her to leave, she is just

not good enough to please.

At the age of sixteen

and constant issues with

her mother, she is married.

Now she has two children,

and not sure what to do,

her motherly instinct

fights for her children's

fate. She means well,

but there are just too many

things on her plate.

What does she do with

these two?

In their little white


four brown eyes stare,

little clenched fists,

she doesn't think she can

do this!

She has the desperate fear

they will see her, as she

sees her mother.

She is led to

share the Good News with

her brother and "mother."

(Mama becomes

mother as the girl becomes


She has concern for her

brother's ways.

Heeding her concern, he

turns to God, changing

the course of his life

to a better way.

As time goes on mother

becomes zealous going to

opposite extremes,

pronouncing hell fire and

damnation, embarrassing

her in front of family and


Mother is assaulted, she is

thrown against the door of

the car. Her head is

compromised even more.

For the rest of her life

she has seizures, a scare

her children must bear.

It is cruel fate, for a

mother who knew no better,

languishing upon her

bed in a cancerous state.

A body eaten by a sinister

disease leaves a ravaged

body instead.

She wails like the sound

of a stricken bird.

Her head beads with sweat,

her lips are swabbed with

a cloth,

she retches in the pan

placed below her head.

The girl bathes her broken

body hoping she will be

spared and soon be dead.

Felines stalk the room

with cries, clawing

curtains, scratching at the

door, sensing her eminent


Mother reaches to her

daughter, arms outstretched,

one last breath, she dies.

The girl is in shock, and

suddenly stricken with shame

for the anger she has had

with her mother.

In her once pliable heart

now rises a

hatred for the years that

have given her a difficult


The turmoil and confusion

create guilt and shame,

questioning why,

as she vacillates between

anger and blame.

Pressing memories, ready

to explode,

she develops a puzzling

way of defense, using codes

and symbols that assemble

in her head.

Compulsive behavior becomes

a prey, afflicting her

new found faith.

How should she pray, what

position, sitting or kneeling?

The thought goes back and

forth with repetitive force,

her prayers stop at the

ceiling. Should she repeat

the words? It is hard to

convey the words she would

like to say. She doesn't

know there is a Helper

standing by,

presenting her words on


A stutter of the mind begins,

processing doubts and thoughts,

creating brain lock.

Should she or should she

not, as she wavers at the

door, her body slightly

tilts from left to right,

hands pressed against the


Ticker tape and bells

take their toll,

these games they play.

Weapons of letters and

numbers fly in retaliation,

artillery launches from a

canon, cross fire in opposite


At each assault, her mind

makes a circle of letters,

numbers in sequence of five.

As the battle intensifies

the numbers increase, with

tapping of fingers to the

armies trumpet beat.

It is difficult to explain

the intricate design that

weaves the girl's body

and mind to the womb of

her mother's time.

She desperately desires

to cut the cord

that ties her to her maternal

past, but these ties resist,

there is not an instrument

sharp enough to sever this.

All these desires

are as ropes of sand,

always returning to

where she began.

In her mind, fleeing

into darkness, a shiftless

sea of windswept sand

cradles her, but it is

preparing her for a better


A veil drapes about her,

entering a womb a second


labor pains increase in this

crucible of heat, but the

flame of God is slowly fanned

into a gift of healing.

Rambling voices, hissing

sounds, make their rounds.

It doesn't really matter

which addiction is chosen,

the same rule applies,

if you don't reach for

help, you eventually die.

The reverent, saintly

stare, ends in despair.

But don't find fault

with this chosen cauldron

of affliction, one that

will bring salvation.

Anfechtungen - the dark

invasive thoughts descend.

It is time to relinquish

her pious ways and nail

them to the cross.

To come in from the wanderlust

and wash off the dust.

Sixteen theses for sixteen

years of crises nailed to

the door.

No more indulgences, no

more penance, no more

worship of an unforgiving


What likeness will she find

for a father, or what form

will resemble Him? **

An image fastened with nails,

beaten with an anvil? A

shroud covered face, laced

with more false tales?


It is a long way from LA,

as he stops along the way,

taking a swig from the

bottle, swerving down

the road, going to see

his daughter.

The angels must be with

him this day, just as

on the LA freeways.

A box of chocolate covered

cherries filled

with sweet red drops

fall upon sour lips.

Daddy, couldn't you have

done better than this.

Gardenia buds unfold

with musky scent, the

petals now withered, brown

and old.

Nothing is more important

than his little girl.

Except for the bottle he



The phone frantically rings,

in the late hours of the


a ring that pumps

blood to her heart, sweat

in the palm of the hand,

as the receiver is picked up.

An already simmering flame

sets her world on fire. A life

turned into searching for

another child.

Two remain of three, she

is thankful for this.

Her fate is lessened.

The promise is given, they

will meet in heaven.


Sitting on a bench,

reflecting on her life,

there is a longing in

her heart, couldn't it

have been different,

than this one of strife?

But if it had not been for

this, she would not have


for something better.

The formative years have

not been wasted, the

bumps and ridges of

the dry desert sand, truly

have become bridges to

a better land.

This is a work in progress,

a prophecy in time. She

presses on with hope, that

what she cannot see, will

one day come to be.


The house stands strong

and tall. Proud and free

it looks to be.

Leaves swept bare, not

a weed to be seen,

shrubs neatly trimmed.

All in all this place

has a happy face.

But windows and doors

are locked, no one

can go in or come out.

A girl resides here,

it is dark.

Shades are drawn, she

sits all day long

sewing on

her ascension gown.

A spotless house,

not even a mouse

would dare to enter.

The clock's pendulum

strikes on the hour,

announcing she must

hurry to obey her

rituals to sweep

and dust.

The kitchen table with

empty chairs is saddened.

In the cupboards are

antagonists, chewing.

Lowly locusts with their

flatulence bellies and

bulging eyes, inch their

ways through grubby


Tired at the end of

the day, hoping to rest,

but this is when memories

have their ways. Tossing and

turning she can no longer

bear being eaten alive.

A cry is heard from the

disheveled cat, as smoke

comes through the door.

The room at the very

top bursts into flames.

The room she could never

go in.

She is awakened, and

quickly rises,

picking up her dress,

running to the door, it

falls on the floor.

It is sad, this house is

now ashes, but it has to

be, all is removed, a new

way flashes in her mind.



The scavengers of earth,

devouring their prey, must

bow in solemnity,

to the sacred

word of antiquity.

"The years the locusts have

eaten will be restored."

They have not been wasted.**

The letters she has hidden


are now words of poetry seeking

her mind.

Pages are bursting to be

heard. The code is revealed

in God's word.

The once disarrayed cat sits

by the fire in contentment. The

puppeteers have relinquished

their ties with shears sharp

enough to break the lies.

The cabinets are no longer

stirring, gnawing has

ceased as the locusts


She did all she could to

make herself clean. This

girl of dust is no longer

a wanderlust. Her house

has become a home, glowing


She would like to invite

all to come and eat, there

is plenty of room at the


a table draped in

white linen, bread and drink

freely given. Candlelight

reflects the faces of those

no longer hidden!

*Isaiah 40:18

**Joel 2:25


What excitement!

The day has finally arrived,

To be reunited with her father,

one so cruelly snatched from


A name tag is pinned

On her lapel as she boards the


Labeling her as the child with

No identity - is this who she is,

She does not know.

The bus is ready to leave!

As she boards, the smell of

Exhaust and the sound of roaring

Engines, gives her a surge

Of excitement, with the promise

Of seeing him again. How many stops

Before the final destination?

But thoughts of joy make it seem

As nothing.

Finally, the bus rolls into the

Familiar terminal, of many trips

Before. She anxiously looks out

The window, looking for him.

Descending the steps, she falls

Into his arms, feeling his

Tight embrace. Smelling the

Familiar alcohol and cigarettes

That cling to his clothing,

This is her father and she

loves him dearly.

Her Inner Child

At the age of sixteen, a new

destructive psyche was

suddenly introduced.

A mental disorder called

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

A disorder that was little

known about at that time.

This fear suddenly grabbed her

mind and left her trembling

inside. Little did she know

that this was the beginning

of a dark night of her soul.

She was so far removed from

her inner child, that she had

neglected and abused, that

she would have aborted her if


In looking back a negative

mother image was constellated

in her as a result of her

mother's inability to nurture


Thus started a life of

suffering in silence, not

willing to utter a word of

this secret kept deep inside.

She ran from this darkness

implementing many survival

tools to find relief, but

never experiencing it.

She fought against her not

realizing that she actually

had the key to deliverance

from the inner darkness.

She fell prey to obsessive

thinking and religiosity,

thinking it might bring

about some comfort, but the

more she did the more

depressed she became.

After many years of attempted

resolution of why she felt

this way, she was slowly led

to see why this darkness met

her at every turn.

She found scriptures that

articulated her dark feelings.

She was forced to recognize

that this darkness was trying

to tell her something and

not until she embraced it,

would she begin to understand

that the years of pain and

suffering were bringing

about a child desperately

waiting to be reborn.


The body is a commodity,

little pieces making up

the whole,

each part is integral.

An odyssey takes place

from a journey of long


A voyage over waters

to a destined place, the

place where it started.

A long wandering in her

mind, the prodigy child

has been the captain,

directing this ship

through an uneven course

of events.

The pirates are part of

the conspiracy, they

stalk the decks with

their muskets and swords,

sailing the high seas,

searching for their bounty.

Quietly they come, then

plunder alive, these thieves

of the stormy swells.

Entering the cabin of the

ship, taking hostage of

the child within, she

fights, snatching back what

is rightfully hers.

Beginning to flounder,

in sinking waters swords

gleaming in the night.

A Captain comes to her

aid, speaking a Word,

lifting her above

this battle of rage.

Now she is one in mind

and body, the commodities

have been restored -

the ones she had lost!


Don't judge her,

Have you walked in

her skin?

Do you know how she

has run from fear

and sin?

But if she doesn't

defend her, who will?


A shiny green womb,

with iridescent jewels,

hangs among branches

and trees.

The cocoon waves in the

breeze, spinning little

threads to make a bed,

for a long evening sleep.

Winds come up and rain

begins to pour, this

sleeping one wakes to a

shaking and is stirred.

Creatures begin to run

and hide, burrowing in

their dens, but the

little cocoon has no

where to go.

There is only air

between it and where

the green ferns grow.

The storm becomes

fiercer, bouncing from

side to side, this creature

is stripped of it's

jewels and pearls and

feels ugly inside.

A metamorphosis of

neurosis sets in. In dismay

this resident questions

the elements, feeling

forgotten with emptiness.

it does not know that to

live it must die.

In the sky a new day arises,

the door opens wide, a

lustrous butterfly no

longer questions why.


It happens now and then,

she never knows when.

Why doesn't she see them


Emotions are risen and

geared for collision.

She can't make a decision,

her heart beats with


Her stomach is growling,

her head is pounding,

Her thoughts are spinning,

and words are hidden.

When will she ever learn

these lessons?

But wait, let's toss out

these isim's,

and replace them with



Oh, the rumblings of the

brain, regurgitating


indigestible food, it

passes in vain,

she wonders if she is


Little fires everywhere,

she tries to put them

out at once,

but they bounce from

place to place, they

never stay in one


Girl With A Memory

The other girl with a

memory trails behind her.

Trying to keep up, she

stops, calling,

“remember me?”

I'm the one you left

long ago, the one you

hide from.

The one that whispers

in your ear, the one

you won't hear.

I visit you in

your dreams, hoping

you will listen.

You are the dear one.

You try to ignore me,

I try to leave, but

I can't, a little piece

of you is attached.

You and I have been

through a lot together.

We eat together, we

sleep together, we

wear the same clothes.

We get angry with each


Please don't leave,

it will break my

heart, I will always

love you, please don't

let this keep us apart.

Traveling Pain

Pick the battles one

by one,

those who don't are


All these piles

really smell as they

move around, wound

by wound.

Hot spots of

anger seethe and fester,

traveling from place

to place.

Just when you think

one is out, another

takes its space.

Her tools are like a

sizzle of a match

stick dipped in


things just get hotter

and hotter.

Her hair is singed

and her body charred

and there isn't any


But she didn't know

she was angry when

it first began.

All she knew to do

was to cry, as she

ran and ran.

That's alright He


Count your victories

one by one, don't

let them be forgotten.

Don't let troubles

bring borrowed


Joys are doubled when

shared with others.

The Attic

The foundation is weak,

It seeks its own level.

Rusty pipes leak, joints


Red climbing roses speckled

With peeling paint,

From decades of neglect. Age

Has had its effect.

The attic bears the burden of

This house of ruptures and

Fissures, storing baggage in


There is a strange quietness

About this place, like the

Stillness before a storm.

Something is full and

Ready to blow.

It has capacity to hold no more.

She is hesitant to go in,

But that is not strange. She left

Long ago. It was too much for her,

she split in two, leaving the

Child, a part of her, behind,

But she followed her in her mind.

In her dreams she could hear her

Crying. In her nightmares she

Would scream,

She wanted to be embraced.

She can bear it no longer,

she has to return to claim

What is rightfully hers.

This house bore life

Alone, it is empty now.

A long list of traumas fills

The attic to capacity.

Memories had overflowed, no

Room for more. With such

Weight, beams crumble,

Falling into the house.

Calling out to her reaching in,

Pulling her child out.

Now with her she will remain.

The attic collapses.

A soft glint of orange erupts

Into red tongues of fire,

Consuming the rooms. A caustic

Smell of fumes fills the air.

A gust of wind fans the blaze,

Burning, until little is left

But ashes and dust and a few

Childhood remembrances, that

Survived this holocaust.

The sole of a shoe that once

Held her foot, now covered

In soot.

A pink party dress smoldering

In cinders. A doll looking

Injured with charred eyes and

Lips, her hair on edge and

Scars on her head.

A book with singed ruffled edges

Opened to a nursery rhyme,

"And all fell down." she is


Walking through the rubble,

she sees what trouble the neglect

Of this house has caused.

Sitting amidst ashes,

Tears begin to fall.

This house had been her body,

The attic her mind.

She really didn't mean to leave.

She did not know what else

To do. If she had stayed she

Would have lost her mind.

This house had been deserted,

The pain it bore, tore a hole

In her soul. It must be


Who will do this? Hinges and

Doors must be replaced as

Well as windows and floors.

The whole body of this home,

she has ignored.

Rebuilder of broken walls,

Restorer of houses in ruin,*

Take the destruction and waste,

Prepare a dwelling place.

One that is built with

Your love and grace.

*Isaiah 58:12 New English Bible

Festival of Lights

The village square sits


Abandoned long ago, it

sits in darkness.

The trees have no blossoms

and there is no sound of the


Seasons pass unto autumn,

the well is dry in the


In the church not a word

is spoken. Voices are


Villagers once weaved

their cotton, sewing with

needles and buttons.

And often when you hear

the wind blow, there is

the sound of crying.

Caution must be used if

you enter the common,

there is the sound of

someone running.

Children no longer begotten,

tradition forgotten.

Cottages empty and cold,

no bread in the ovens.

The graveyard is full of


This village is truly


But wait, in the distance,

among hills and canyons,

a small light has arisen.

It is coming in this


People are descending,

with candles burning.

Music is playing.

An entourage of those

who once lived here, are

coming to the village

square, that once was


A celebration is under


Lamp posts are lit, as

they flicker, dressed

in red ribbons.

Children are cheering,

no longer crying.

The villagers sit in

benches once empty,


The sun and moon now


The willow no longer


The robin with it's

song is singing.

The village is lit

with a festival of

lights, all things

have come alive,

nevermore to

be saddened!

Prodigal Daughter

Walking down the path,

to visit the home of

the past,

she is met by a stranger.

Taking her hand, He sees

her tears of entering

this house alone.

One that has been locked

for many years. A house

she has forgotten and


She is distraught. She has

searched for the key and

sees that God has had it

all along.

Opening the door,

it is very still, unlike

long ago, filled with

screams and fights,

filling her with fright.

There are several rooms,

one set apart for each

of her hurts.

She picks up the broom

and pan, to clean this

house but she just can't.

Coming to the kitchen,

He slowly raises the

blinds so she can see


A sight she remembers,

as she looks through

the window of time.

Parents fighting over

a bottle of beer, they

don't know she is here.

Her eyes full of tears.

A cluttered table is

now set with loving care.

Empty cupboards now

filled with plates of jam,

bread and butter.

In the bedroom, the

bed is pushed against

the wall, where she

once covered her head,

clutching her doll.

Now a bed is nicely made,

with a pillow to rest

her head.

The living room, oh,

that is a sight, where

her father passes the

time, drinking at night.

She cannot reach him,

finally whispering,

"I love you," then

turns out the light.

This house that had

been closed for so

long, is now open

and viewed, with no

dark secrets in any of

the rooms.

God is here all the

time, with His broom

and cloth, to sweep

out the dust and dirt,

removing her pain and


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