You Are Strong

By Hanna | Featured Contributor


Sometimes Strong Is:

Taking a break
Having a cry
Listening to your body
Holding your tongue
Asking for help
Saying you can’t
Getting out of bed
Turning around
Feeling grateful
Feeling scared
Feeling helpless
Slowing down
Being mindful
Not knowing
Trusting
Loving with your whole heart
Wanting with your whole heart
Breathing through the pain
Just being here
Existing.

My dear reader, thank you for reading! I do hope you enjoyed. I wrote this poem for myself when I was in a lot of pain, but really this poem is for you. Let me explain…

Continue reading “You Are Strong”

Climb In

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


Come float with me, dear one.
Climb into my boat.
I will grab your hand
and lift you in.
We can ride this out together.
The current will take us in its way
but we can see a new shore
over there.

If we work together,
we can point the boat
and use our muscles
to reach that new
and beautiful land.
The journey may be hard –
but inch by inch,
wave by wave,
we will make it.

So, climb in.
The invitation is clear.
Together we are safe.
We can make it
because we are strong.
Float with me.

Let’s rise above the current.

Continue reading “Climb In”

Dreams of a Better Tomorrow

By Felix Odhiambo | Featured Contributor


I have dreams of a better tomorrow.

Dreams
that we will hold hands
and dance with our feet.

We have won.

Dreams
that we will rejoice again and again
after the hollow we have had in our hearts.
Dreams
that the days we used to have
will come back.
And the sky will wash away our pains,
the stars will show us the way,

I am the dreamer,
but you and I form the dreams
I have seen tomorrow
with my eyes closed
I have felt it
with my heart beating
And now I have spoken
of my silent dreams,

That a day is yet to come,
we will no longer stay at home
We will hug our neighbors
and kiss our loved ones
We will no longer preach
of washing our hands with sanitizers
And not touching
our beautiful faces,

Life will give us a chance
to make merry like we used to
We will form crowds
and praise the living God
Every night I walk
on better dreams of tomorrow
And they are not
just faded dreams
A time is yet to come,
we will sing songs of Zion,

We have won.

And COVID will remain to be history.

Continue reading “Dreams of a Better Tomorrow”

Attacked: A Poem on Anxiety

By Riya Bhatia | Featured Contributor


Note from Author: This was written when I was experiencing one of my worst anxiety attacks. Instead of running away from it, I decided to embrace it and use my words as a means of understanding myself better.

*   *   *

My breath trembles
as the room seems to be
consuming my soul,
The walls are closing in
and my thoughts are
consuming me whole,
Sweat and tears
dim the shine
and rosiness of my face,
And all they can say
is keep picturing yourself
in a better place,
I’m crippled with fear
and can’t think
beyond this second,
How do I move on
and when will this ever end,

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Hold it for a few seconds.

Keep breathing.

It’ll be alright,
The day will get better
and the sun will shine bright.
My heart starts to race
as tears stream down my cheek,
I can’t concentrate
on a single thing
and keep calling myself weak,

You’re not like this,
you’re strong,
you can do it,
but you’re all wrong,

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Keep focusing on your goals,
it’ll be be okay,
and not take very long.

I’m dizzy and nauseous,
fearful and upset,
how could I let this
happen to myself,

I want to go back to when I was twelve.

Continue reading “Attacked: A Poem on Anxiety”

A Note From Above

By Navnidhi Vyas | Featured Contributor


I was enjoying life
with a secure future,
when suddenly
a dense darkness

came from nowhere,
turned everything
upside down,

and left me
with a lifeless life,
a future with a question mark.

Forced me to write a letter
to the creator of all
with an obvious shame-
where was this thought
when I had it all?

A very long letter
with countless words,
limitless questions,
an exaggeration of misery
was posted to heaven,
expecting a reply
with patience and surprise.

I received a reply.
A note from God
with only two magical words.

Trust Me.

And I looked up at the sky
and held my head high.

Continue reading “A Note From Above”

Weather

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


When fear is everywhere,
take a breath.
Remind yourself that
as real as the fear feels,
it is a passing storm.
You can see it but
you don’t belong to it.
Remember that you
are not the weather.

You are the sky.

We can choose to be blown away
and knocked off our feet…
or we can choose
to have the compassionate
and wise view from above.

We can be observant
while holding on to
who we really are.
Only by holding fast
to the good in us –

our expansive being –
can we truly be helpful
or even present.

So, keep your eyes open
while patiently riding it out.
Don’t allow yourself to get knocked over
or sucked into the whirlwind.
Be ever-present and calm
just like the blue sky
which endures every storm.

Thank you, Cynthia, for these beautiful and timely words.

Wishing everyone a blessed day.

🌷

 

We Are Needed

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Contributor


It takes just a moment
to pause and let go –
to notice.
Presence always waits
patiently for us.
She is found
in the smallest of things…

The slow drip of water
off a rock
which holds
the riverbank in place…
Presence is there.

The thought that gives birth
to the word that spawns a tear…
Yes. There.

In that moment between
the reach of your hand
to the lifting of another –

Or when the homeless man
catches your eye and
a generous smile blooms…
There!

How short our time is.
We squander Presence
like we waste water…
We forget to look,
to hear the slow drip,
to speak the unspoken word.

We get lonely
in this poverty
of connection.

Continue reading “We Are Needed”

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click for Part 1 and Part 2]

The bandage torn
From new flesh
Releases wails
The wound still
Imbibes air
The scab hides
deep repair
Let it rest. Wait
In time the scar
Records a fate

I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)”

Keeping the Faith

By Pam Kimmell | Featured Blogger


The road that we each travel
Is full of twists and turns
There are detours and temptations
Lessons each of us must learn.

If life was always perfect
And we never faced the bad
We’d have no real reflection
Of the happy times we’ve had.

Adversity brings the challenge
Of working towards new goals
Finding new solutions
Is balm for weary souls.

God never gives us more to handle
Than he knows we can take on
Remember following the darkest times
God provides a bright new dawn.

Continue reading “Keeping the Faith”

You are Free

Just let it go,
let the emotions flow,
Lift your hands
high up in the sky,
and hold so tight,
Move your head
with the wind,
with closed eyes,
Just let it fly away,

You are free.

Felix Odhiambo

Thank you, Felix, for these lovely words.

Wishing everyone a beautiful week.

💙

 

A Ballad of Hope Amid a Time of Crisis

By Forrest Rivers | Featured Author


The year was 2020.

The world was plagued by a pandemic
that inflicted mass casualties
across the land.

But set against this backdrop
of death, fear and deprivation,

A movement of higher consciousness
was well underway.

Driven into isolation
to control the deadly virus,

Citizens of the world
came to have gratitude

for all the little things
they had taken for granted:

Smiles from passing strangers,
Sentimental hugs,
Uplifting time spent with
dear friends and family

And the sweet joys of
live song and dance

Were all things sorely
missed and remembered

Nostalgically….

Continue reading “A Ballad of Hope Amid a Time of Crisis”

The Beauty We Miss

Stop and smell the roses,
Smell that sweet aroma,
Admire the dew
on each crimson petal,
Simple pleasures
to let sink in and settle.

The beauty that you miss,
can truly be bliss.

Wake up to a gallery
of wonders every morning,
Marvel in every little detail,
it is ever so revitalizing,
In this busy world which we live,
we must remember one thing,

Slow down…life is for savoring.

Duncan Hookey

Thank you, Duncan, for this beautifully penned, timely reminder.

Wishing everyone a lovely day.

🌷

Just a Man

By Colin Chappell | Featured Author


He listened;
He understood;
He befriended;
He cared.

All the courage he gave me,
By just being there,
Made me feel like
I wanted to live.
He gave me so much
Yet… had so little to give…
But his time.

I realized later
There was so much more.
I was indebted to that man
And… what’s more,
To experience the caring
of someone unknown

made me wonder.
Who else was out there alone?

Continue reading “Just a Man”

Let Us Be Those

When all are in trial,
When all are in denial,
Let me be the one
to share a smile.
Let me be the one
to share a dance.
Let it be an advance,
to be enhanced,
when all are weary,
let me be the one
to share thinking clearly,
to share being ever so cheery.

This is what I ask.
Because I don’t want us to wear a mask.
So let us join hand-in-hand, for this to be our task.

Autumn H.

Lovely words by Autumn reminding us to always encourage and uplift each other.

May we be those willing to share a smile…even from a distance.

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend.

💙

Spinal Con-fusion: A Poem by a Survivor

By John Gregory Evans | Featured Author


There remains
a deadened,
freezing,
almost an anesthetizing
sense of dread
upon my fingertips and hands,
reaching deep into my leg’s nerves,
shattered spinal cord,
peeled away
as one peels an orange.

Walking,
now a challenge,
con-fusion of the fusion,
cervical cord,
Ruptured and bruised,
arrogance of the humanity factor.

Pain
within the eyes
like lightning fingers
to the crown
of God.

Continue reading “Spinal Con-fusion: A Poem by a Survivor”

Respite from a Pandemic

By Cynthia Cady Stanton | Featured Author


When in isolation,
and the feeling overwhelms,
remember the love within you.
Look to your heart
and the fullness there,
the fullness that swells
with your sweet attention to it.

You are not alone.

You are the branch
which stretches and shades
from every tree you have sat under.
You are the sea spray
that has kissed your face
from every stroll on the beach.
You are the joy
of your beloved pet
who always blesses you
with pure affection.
You are the song
that the morning bird sings.
You are even the touch
of every hand held
and every embrace shared.

Continue reading “Respite from a Pandemic”

Rise Up and Live

Life isn’t about
Hunting happiness,
Hiding sadness,
Mountain of moments,
Treasure of breaths.

It’s about
Rising up the sun,

For others
and

For yourself.

Navnidhi

Thank you, Navnidhi, for this beautiful reminder.
Wishing all a lovely day.
💚

Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis]

My experience with measles encephalitis taught me a great deal. The greatest realization was that I could change my destiny. I had every reason to remain in the wheelchair because of the attention, sympathy, and love that not only I but also my parents received because of their poor little girl. But the attention from others could not offset the loneliness, the feelings of being diminutive and helpless, and the boredom.

Continue reading “Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story”

Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression

By Chris Reed, Featured Contributor


James Hillman told me
the demons will come
at night in old age,
and will settle
on my bed,
on my chest,
in my hair,
in my head,
in my guts,
and prod me awake.

Befriend them he says.
They are your demons.
They are here to help.
And know you are 
enough worn with years
to be not afraid.

Drink tea.
Pay heed.
Converse.

If you look them in the eye,
know you’ll soon be gone,
so don’t care what they think,
they will give you quarter
and disarm.

Then you can hold them close,
like children,
with sharp claws and teeth,
and comfort them.
For their torments are yours;
their shadows are your shadows.

Hand in hand in the night,
no one is afraid of the dark.

Continue reading “Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression”

Grief: Healing Through Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 2 – Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother]

I processed grief over Mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s through poetry writing. The fact that caregivers—such as myself and many other poets—can relieve grief through poetry supports my belief that poetry is both the memoir of and the medicine for the soul. Poetry is a means to storytelling, witnessing the human condition in a personal way. What am I thinking, praying, hoping for? How am I hurting? What has happened to me? How can I understand it? How can I share it? Who will witness my pain?

Poetry provides a creative outlet for the release of pain, for healing. It explores the soul. Reading the poems of others who have gone through similar experiences as mine is reassuring because I realize that I am not alone. I could also share my experiences of loss and grief.

Continue reading “Grief: Healing Through Poetry”

Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother

By Barbara Leonhard, Featured Contributor


[Part 1 – Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief]

As a way to examine grief and loss, I will share my story of the loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s, one of the most devastating forms of dementia.

What is Alzheimer’s?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a dementia caused by the building up of plaques—deposits of protein fragments that create spaces between neurons (nerve cells)—as well as tau tangles inside the cells of the brain itself.

Continue reading “Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother”

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