Healing · Poetry · Publication

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women — Short Prose

Front Cover/ Experiments in Fiction /Nick ReevesGabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women When I posted the call for submissions to Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, I wanted to compile an anthology that would underscore how powerful women are, and how much they can…

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women — Short Prose

Healing · Poetry · Publication

An Exciting Update on ‘Wounds I Healed’… — Experiments in Fiction

I continue to prepare the manuscript of Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women for publication, with the editorial expertise of Amazon #1 bestselling poet Gabriela Marie Milton. Both Gabriela and I were deeply moved by the poetry of the many talented contributors to this anthology. We have added our thoughts on the book…

An Exciting Update on ‘Wounds I Healed’… — Experiments in Fiction

This beautiful work will be available in print and as an ebook. I will definitely be ordering copies.

My two poems included in this anthology are about the wounding from DES (diethylstilbestrol), which was prescribed to my mother to prevent spotting while I was in utero. However, this drug destroyed my reproductive organs, causing a miscarriage, two cancer scares, major surgeries, and other effects suffered by many DES Babies. One poem is about that and the other is a letter to the daughter I miscarried.

I’m grateful to Gabriela Marie Milton and Ingrid Wilson for bringing together the songs of wounded healers.

Healing · Neurographica Art · Poem · The Wombwell Rainbow

Not Alone

Not Alone

Loneliness
an illusion –
we’re always connected
by threads of light
dreamt and drawn –
this webbing cradles
our minds
our hearts
our souls
like bones
that form a whole –
we’re not alone –
if only we can see
our connections in time
and space
without squinting.

My poem and drawing are also up on The Wombwell Rainbow today, May 12, 2022. Paul Brookes offers a beautiful venue celebrating and honoring good causes. I met him in Twitter through Lynne Jensen Lampe, and we both enjoyed his poem-a-day challenge during poetry month this year. at times, it was a challenge! However, now I have a bundle of poems! Check out poets’ responses here –
https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2022/05/12/mentalhealthawarenessweek-9th-15th-may-this-years-theme-is-loneliness-day-four-please-join-rachel-deering-barbara-leonhard-sue-finch-dana-clark-millar-cy-forrest-pe

Neurographica is a fairly new form of art therapy. You can learn about it here – https://neurographicacademy.com/.

I’m currently taking the Basic User Course. I haven’t been able to stop drawing since I discovered Neurographica in April. I found many free videos on YouTube but decided to learn about the history, principles, and techniques with an instructor.

I feel transformed by this art therapy. I completed a 21-day transformation challenge on my anxiety and feel much calmer and lighter. My energy of worry is now a creative force. As you can see, I’m starting to combine the art with my poetry. I’m now completing a gratitude challenge, which will heal anger, the top layer of all suppressed emotions.

I can’t heal the world, only myself. If each of us heals ourselves, then we can have peace on earth.

Copyright Barbara Leonhard

Publication · Spillwords

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords


Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   Isn’t easy to do on steep basement stairs. The basket, filled with the bemired nightmares of the day Stubbornly sticking to threads. 58 more words

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords

Thank you Dagmara and the editing staff for this publication in Spillwords!

Ekphrastic Poetry · Healing · Mother Earth · Original Collages · Writing

Songs for Dusk and Dawn

SINGING with the SETTING SUN

Release into Dreams

As you set between the branches of the oak tree, may I see clearly how the day now dips its head, like a sunflower nodding asleep under your gaze. I give you, the setting fire, all that no longer serves me. May it melt into orange light behind the trees and hills. I have lived a full day with some unrest, pain, grief, ungrounded thinking. I give you my worry, doubt, fear, for my body can no longer support them. I lean toward you, the setting sun, with my palms open to release all ills, like tiny birds to a new sky.

Gratitude

As the sun rests, so may I with a grateful heart. As I enter into night rest, I express my gratitude for a full day. Thank you for the lessons learned and the gifts bestowed. The blessings given. For all toil and all triumph, I am grateful. For all guidance, I am grateful. For all insights and gifts, I am grateful. For wisdom, I am grateful. That my heart has opened to joy, I am truly grateful. May I be a clear vessel of Your love as it flows to those requesting healing. May that warmth and strength sink into their beings as the sun sets into a cycle of renewal so that we may all reconnect in new light.

SINGING with the RISING SUN

Trust in a New Day

As the sun rises, my heart is a sunflower, opening its eyes to the East. How the sun rises in color just as it sets. I am drawn to the warmth of its brilliance and promise of a new day. On this day, I will be strong, free of pain. I feel Mother Earth pulling grief down and out of my feet into her temple for healing. My dreams have gathered the worry and fear and now release these burdens into the arms of Mother Earth. How she transmutes this bundle into new gardens. If only I can see the potential in each seed and not hoard my bounty like a cache of hidden treasure. Letting go is the gold. Trusting. Surrendering to the rising light all about and within me.

©Barbara Leonhard, 2022

Featured Image: Dierik Leonhard

Second Image: May Peace Be with You (one of my collages)

Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Memoir · My Mother · Poetry · Publication

Issue V: Cassandra available now! — Free Verse Revolution:

It is finally here! Thank you again for your patience with this issue. It has been a busy week and a final hectic hour of making sure it is ready for you. Free digital download Issue V: Cassandra – digital version Print copy for purchase Issue V: Cassandra – print version Enjoy reading!

Issue V: Cassandra available now! — Free Verse Revolution:

Thank you, Kristiana Reed, for including my poem in this fine issue among so many insightful and lyrical poems.

My poem, ”My Mother’s Vanity” is on a tender and culturally relevant topic related to how the fire of personal truth is snuffed out by grief, guilt, and patriarchal shaming. I hold only love and compassion for my mother, who made a mistake ner first and only year of college in the mid 40s. Her choice of whether to bear the baby was taken from her by social conventions and her parents’ fear of embarrassment.

I wrote about Mom’s trauma to help her spirit heal. The fear, guilt, and shame she felt were passed down to her children, especially her oldest daughter. Me. She was very protective, knowing how easy it is for unguarded daughters to lose their way. I hold only love, compassion, and forgiveness in my heart for Mom.

When trauma is buried by secrets and not addressed, the rage and fear is released in unhealthy ways. Over reactions. Hyper vigilance. Rigidity. I had to work hard to gain my parents’ trust and my independence. Without knowing the truth behind their micromanaging.

“The truth will set your free.” While Mom held onto her secrets, I believe that disclosing abuse and trauma heals not just the individual but the ancestral line. The DNA. Studies have shown that trauma affects the DNA in the following three generations. I truly wonder if the trauma of Mom’s abortion left residual energy in her reproductive system, passing down her emotional turmoil to her kids. Mark Wolynn addresses the effects of trauma on subsequent generations in his book, It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.

Hold to your truth. Your true nature and authentic self. That act alone is healing.

I would include the poem here, but the formatting would be lost.

Please read this sensitive issue on Cassandra and purchase a copy.

Healing · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

“Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” Wins Publication of the Month at Spillwords

I am humbled and pleased to tell you that my poem “Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” won Publication of the Month of January/February at Spillwords! Thank you for your votes! The poem will appear in the right sidebar widget this month, March 2022, as you can see if you click the link below.

Your support shows that we do not walk alone in this world. When we reach out to others, they reach back. I’m so grateful. 

Thank you, Dagmara and your editing team, for this opportunity!

The poem is from my as yet unpublished poetic memoir of me and my mother, who had Alzheimer’s. I was her main caregiver.

My memoir explores the many ways in which our lives were entangled. We both experiences brain injuries that burned away memories- hers from Alzheimer’s and mine from encephalitis. And as she cared for me when I almost died from measles encephalitis at age 6 going on 7, I cared for her as Alzheimer’s slowly dissolved her brain.

Also, as the eldest daughter, I was second mommy in command, helping her with the four youngest, who were born between 1958 and 1961! A toddler in diapers, a set of twins, and the last baby. She almost died giving birth to her last, so I enlisted to help with baby care as it took her a year to recover. However, I didn’t know at that time that I was infertile because Mom took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when I was in vitro. My memoir explores the many facets of the ”mother wound” (hers, mine, and ours).

At issue in the memoir is the question my uncle asked me when I told him Mom was moving to be near me. ”Do you love her?”

His question threw me into a crisis. Did I have reasons NOT to love her? How could I care for her otherwise? What had I done to make him doubt my love for her? Was I not a good daughter?

The memoir also explores other triggers. I knew it would be impossible for Mom to live with me for various reasons. My husband and I worked full time, and she couldn’t be alone. I found her a nice independent living facility, where she thrived. Still, had I abandoned her? No, but I think she expected that I would care for her like she did her mother-in-law, who lived with us after experiencing a stroke.

Then, when Mom needed even more care, my brother and I moved her to assisted living, and she was unhappy about that. Regardless of where she lived, I had to be vigilant as problems always came up with her care. I was grateful that she was close and I could watch over her, but I always doubted myself.

This poem is about letting go of the past. Releasing the traumas that bound us together. It’s also about forgiving her and myself for our imperfections.

So this year, I hope to find a publisher for my collection, which I currently call “Three-Penny Memories”. And the reason for this title is another story and too long for this post.

Again, thank you all for your readership and support!


Healing · Honors · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

“Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” – Nominated Publication of the Month at Spillwords

I am honored and grateful to the readers, and Dagmara and her editing staff for yet another honor.

May I have your vote? It would mean the world to me.

You can vote here: https://spillwords.com/vote/

Voting will cease on 3/1 and soon after they will reveal the winner.

Please note, you need to register and/or login to vote.

Here is my poem up for consideration as Publication of the Months of January and February. The format here is incorrect.

Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks

Konmari sees me at Starbucks,

my purse spilling over at the counter.

“May I help?”

She gathers me up

like I’m antique lace

washed too many times.

Before she begins, she whispers,

“Hello, the House,

I am safe. May I enter?”

She pokes through my purse,

pulling out the deck of cards

Mom once carried in her own purse.

A heavy bag of Mom’s pennies

to redeem for cash.

Her checkbook.

The messy old calendar

that listed her appointments

alongside my own.

The quilt she made me,

now falling apart. A cookbook

compiled in her own hand.

Konmari extracts other artifacts,

laying them gently on lined up tables.

People gather. My eyes bleed.

The extra-large pair of panties

Mom made me wear to Sunday school.

The wash, still not done.

A half-used bottle of Diethylstilbestrol,

she was prescribed to prevent spotting

when I was in vitro.

The tricycle she rode

around town at age three

because her mother never watched her.

My cancer scares, scattered

on the bottom of the purse

like cookie crumbs.

The scabs inflicted

by her compression stockings

I failed to wash one last time.

The clump of tissue

I miscarried, swaddled

in an inner pocket.

Her hysterectomy scar.

My hysterectomy scar.

Entwined on a spool.

My t-shaped uterus,

clenching a half-used packet

of Puffs Plus.

A dogeared photo of Mom.

A mirror reflecting

who I want to be.

Konmari has me

hold each item

one last time, saying,

“Thank you, tiny soul,

for sharing your life. I am

grateful.”

She teaches me

how to fold joy

three times.

How to throw out

what I can

no longer carry.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

Image: Pixabay

Writing

Prometheus Amok – a Free Anthology

To celebrate National Poetry Month, which is in April, Denise Fletcher (Poetry Curator) compiled an anthology of some poetry submitted to her Blogspot site, Poets Notebook. When you open this link, you will find the place to download the free poetry anthology. Thank you, Denise, for including my poem ”Memoirs”.

https://poetsnotebook2022.blogspot.com/2022/02/prometheus-amok.html

Image: Pixabay

Awards · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022   The post Spillwords Press Awards 2022 appeared first on Spillwords.

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Thank you, Spillwords Press, for the award, Socialite of the Year Honorary Mention. I appreciate the support that Spillwords gives to authors around the globe. The diversity you offer on your pages helps to unify us, and I’ve made many friends. I look forward to another year with Spillwords.