Audio · Healing · Memoir · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Writing

Podcast: Grief and Racism Unmasked

I finally have a new episode up on my poetry podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul. Even though I have gotten some poems published, I lost my focus and momentum with the podcasts because I felt waylaid by COVID-19.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-and-race-unmasked/

In this podcast, produced on Juneteeth, (June 19th), 2020, I recognize and honor the grief of African Americans, especially in light of current events with the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans by police. Racial discrimination is as lethal as another contagion we are fighting at present with COVID-19. Unless we turn to love and compassion, how can we heal? I selected poems that express different aspects of racial discrimination against Black citizens.

Poets read today: Phillis Wheatley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Rita Dove, Priscilla Jane Thompson. Their works read today were found on these sites:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

https://poets.org/

https://www.best-poems.net/

Juneteenth (Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/how-juneteenth-s-history-being-reshaped-america-reckons-its-past-n1231510

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/10-facts-juneteenth

Racial Disparities in Our Medical System

https://time.com/5855756/covid-19-racial-injustice-health/

Ahmaud Arbery

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/suspects-struck-ahmaud-arbery-vehicle-shot-dead-yelled-191300630–abc-news-topstories.html

George Floyd

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

Rayshard Brooks

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/garrett-rolfe-charges-rayshard-brooks-video-cop-kick-death-a9572141.html

https://www.foxnews.com/us/rayshard-brooks-atlanta-officer-garrett-rolfe-murder-charges-death-penalty-eligible

The image for this podcast was found on harpersbazaar.com, “Here’s How You Can Demand Justice for George Floyd”, by Chelsey Sanchez, May 28, 2020.

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New Look for Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul

I notice that I haven’t completed a poetry podcast since April 2. However, as you can see on my WordPress blog, I have done some publishing. It seemed easier to publish in on line sites than on my own poetry podcast in my own voice. I have to admit, everything of late has stunned me. I have lost focus to some degree when it comes to the intimacy in my podcasts.

Meanwhile, Podbean informed me my site design would not be supported, so I have  chosen a new theme.  Simple and clean.  Kind of like life could be at this time…at least in an ideal world.     https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

What the heck happened? What have we become? I was once a young girl riding my bike and playing with dolls. Now I’m hiding from a pandemic and bullets.

Does this pandemic represent our diseased minds and hearts? COVID-19 has forced us to retreat to the silence of our souls, our heart minds. Can we stand to be with ourselves? Can we cultivate our beautiful garden? Or can we only find comfort in noise (distractions, addictions, possessions). Can we truly see ourselves, love ourselves? Can we truly see and love others? And what about the Other, those who are from different tribes (families, societies, races, cultures).

What is hidden eventually rises for healing as is shown in the response to the murder of George Floyd at the knee of a cop. Racism, social inequities, corporate greed, and other forms of social, economic, and ethical/ moral malaise are symptomatic of another pandemic hidden in our Deep. George Floyd was strangled to death for passing a fake bill, but what about white-collar crime and all the money doled out to corporations while the average American can’t put food in the table with one job? With this pandemic, we suffer from huge losses in income. Our economy is flailing.

Everything that happens daily becomes the memoir of our society and our world. It’s all recorded not just on film (owing to technology) but also in our DNA. The ugly can make us ill. As Caroline Myss writes, “Our biography becomes our biology.”

I want to avert my eyes and deny all that is aberrant. However, I’m simply storing it away, like I do old journals, letters, and photos. Some things trigger joy, while others uproot pain. I think that if I don’t see it, it isn’t there, but it is creating illness.

It’s no coincidence I have taken to memoir writing, exploring my Deep. What have I buried from view? What do I need to heal? Looking at the truth is visceral and, I am told, bold maybe even courageous and healing. However, it is also dangerous. Being truthful to our word can create loss. These kinds of shifts occur because ‘all that is not aligned will fall away’. 

I have feared excavating my soul because of judgment and fear of alienation and abandonment, but I see my life from my lens while others, especially members of my tribe, have their perspectives, which they can explore in their own memoirs.

I hope to continue to explore these themes in my poetry podcast and other wetting, and see my morning awaken, as the featured image of this post shows.
https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “Morning Awakening” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

 

Audio · Poem · Poetry

Ascent

Mountain,

stoic, solid, staggering.

I free climb in awe

of you.

Timid, I ascend.

Parts of you open.

My fingers and toes take hold

on your stoic rock face,

spine of your spirit.

But I, too eager,

slip. No rope

to spot my fall.

Harder, I grip.

Upward, I embrace

the expanse of you:

cold slate, blue shadow.

Wind whispers entwine us.

You have me now

against you.

I am you,

the peak of you.

All around us,

the stars.

©Barbara Leonhard, https://extraordinarysunchineweaver.blog, meelosmom.podbean.com (poetry podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)

Image: Pixabay by darksouls1

This poem is a revision of “Free Climber” from June 24, 2017. The first draft, written in the late 70s, has seen many revisions.

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Fullbeardlit.org · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Publication · Writing

Audio!!! Guest reader Barbara reads her poem The Unwelcome Tenant for today’s 5 O’Clock Poem

I am honored and humbled to be a guest on Stephen’s site tonight. This poem seems to be getting a great deal of attention since I posted it, so it speaks to our concerns at his time of a pandemic. Thank you Stephen! Your kind words mean a lot.

Image “The Infection” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

Fullbeard Lit

Today we are forced to sequester to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize how powerful we are when it comes to our wellness because we can make …

The Unwelcome Tenant

For today’s audio, I am going to turn over the mike to a new, dear friend Barbara who has written and reads a beautiful poem for these days. Please enjoy and follow this beautiful human!

View original post

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Original Digital Art · Poem · Writing

The Unwelcome Tenant

Today we are forced to sequester to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize how powerful we are when it comes to our wellness because we can make choices to prevent contagion by following the CDC guidelines and being loving to ourselves and thoughtful of others by wearing masks and gloves if we must be in public to get medicine and other necessities.

While sheltering, we can take care of ourselves by resting, drinking a lot of water, and eating healthy food. We do not accept the fate of this pandemic. Our positive thinking will boost our immune system. No one can take care of our temple but us. We hold the keys to the gate, and we do not welcome tenants who create chaos of our light.

I pray for a vaccine soon, and I hope everyone can and will get one. I know I definitely will.

My sister, Martha Harris, created this  amazing image of COVID-19 by layering several microscopic photos of the actual virus together. She calls the image “The Infection”. I think it is a masterpiece.

The Unwelcome Tenant

What is healing

but the stabbing to death of pain,

the banishment of shadows,

the release of sorrows,

the burning of poison arrows.

 

Healing requires arbitration and litigation,

for Illness takes possession,

the uninvited occupant in our temple.

It strips away a clean visage,

creates squalor and decay,

plants bramble in the garden,

makes infertile the soil,

evades eviction.

 

Illness commandeers the ego,

becomes its own soul.

This loathsome dweller deceives,

creates attachments,

becomes dependable,

appears useful,

provides false amenities,

orders demolition to the heart,

lays claim to property,

prosperity.

 

We are healers

who can vanquish this squatter

from sacred property

once we know our powers.

We the are the landlord

who owns the keys

and locks the gate.

 

We break this unholy contract

wrought by the wretched occupant

that creeps into our house

and garnishes our treasures.

 

Healing is evicting

that which does not serve,

does not align,

is unholy

to our divine.

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “The Infection” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

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Podcast The Shape of Our Light

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/the-shape-of-our-light-1585860479/

In this episode, I explore the shape of our light. Emotions can affect the shapes of water crystals, according to experiments done by Dr. Masuru Emoto, who wrote The Hidden Messages in Water (2001). He demonstrated that the shapes of water crystals are determined by the vibrations emitted by negative and positive emotional thoughts feelings, and words. Lynne McTaggart reported on a double-blind exercise conducted by Dean Radin with the Institute of Noetic Sciences in which they were able to replicate Dr. Emoto’s experiments and findings (The Intention Experiment, 2007, 184-185). Given these findings on the relationship between emotions and water, what is the shape of our water, and thus our light, especially as we face the current pandemic?

Emoto, M. The Hidden Messages in Water (New York, Atria, 2001).

A full documentary on studies done on water with mention of Dr. Emoto’s discoveries in his lab. This documentary is fascinating. Water has not only a chemical composition but also an underlying structure which records and holds memories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O8LPnlh_sM

McTaggart, L. The Intention Experiment (New York, Free Press, 2007).

You can find my poetry on my WordPress site, https://www.extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog.

I read my poems, “Refugees”, “Mosaic”, and “A Prayer: Calm within the Storm”.

Image “Making Choices ” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, https://artisticflarings.blog

If you would like to contribute poetry to this podcast, you may submit it to me in a Word document attached in an email to me at meelosmom@gmail.com. On the subject line, indicate it is a submission to this podcast. I can fit it into a theme. In the email, include any pertinent information on yourself and publications you want me to promote, especially for the work submitted.

© 2020 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Unless otherwise stated, all published works are the original works of the author and are copyrighted. Contents of this podcast may be re-used either for personal or commercial purposes, in part or whole only with permission and the author duly acknowledged with links to the podcast embedded.

Audio · Mother Earth · My Mother · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Podcasts · Poem · Poetry

Before Eden Fell

      

This poem is included in an article I wrote for Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry (https://phoebemd.com/2020/03/12/fire-ice-the-faces-of-grief/).

The article is based on my poetry podcast Grief: Fire and Ice, which features this poem (https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/).

Before Eden Fell

We were all immortal,

our beauty, captured forever

in flora and fauna

so brilliant that light itself

had to blink twice

our true being stood naked

without shame

our reflection more lustrous

than knowing

brilliantine fabric

until the apple fell

into Mother’s soft hands

our Mother, the first to grieve

her garden lost

how she still clings to the maiden

the stunning beauty she once was

now deflowered, exposed to erosion

our Eden, our innocence and purity,

victim to change, to corruption, to decline,

our undoing

no one …. no thing is our eternity

our heaven forever

on this plane

nothing lasts

so we grieve

feeling abandoned by joy

and cast out of a divine place

though we cling to the fading innocence

of our Eden,

we bless grief

Written in Response to Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Nothing Gold Can Stay

BY ROBERT FROST

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

**Poetry Foundation

My poem ends with, “We bless grief”. Why? I explain in my podcast. 😇

©2020 Barbara Harris Leonhard

extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

meelosmom@podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)

Image: Pixabay

Audio · My Mother · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Writing

Erosion

This poem is included in an article I wrote for Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry (https://phoebemd.com/2020/03/16/alzheimers-grieving-the-loss-of-my-mother/).

The article is based on my poetry podcast Grief: Fire and Ice (https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/).

Erosion

A garden once planted in spring,

bearing life in shade and sun,

is now tangled with weeds and blight.

A hearty yield once sustained by dew and noon rains,

now forgets in autumn light.

Baskets of Gold, having bloomed and stretched for sun,

now shrivel, scorched by drought.

Honeysuckle, a trespasser in flora

that once nurtured monarchs and bees.

Wisdom of soils and seedlings,

now crumbles to dust.

Once a bounty of bliss, now wild bramble

on depleted soil.

Her secret garden.

399D6FDE-945B-480F-8C5E-27F0EA426F3B

©2020 Barbara Harris Leonhard (Revision of The Garden of Thoughts)

extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

meelosmom@podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)

Images: my end of summer garden

Revised from A Garden of Thoughts

Audio · Healing · My Mother · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Podcasts · Poem · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul

Grace

This poem is included in an article I wrote for Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry (https://phoebemd.com/2020/03/21/grief-healing-through-poetry/).

The article is based on my poetry podcast Grief: Fire and Ice (https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/).

Grace

the leaves have fallen and stomped to dust

I am laid bare, exposed to wind

my limbs, brittle, still pleading

for a meal of sun

some days too short for food

nests lay bare as squirrels forage

the wind cools me to my roots

I am glass

holding on to my reflections

lest they be lost to twilight

Grace clothes me in a gown

meant for a bride embracing her heart

this pure finery sparkles as diamonds

on my icy bough

I rest with the Angel of Mercy

 

©2019 Barbara Harris Leonhard

extraordinarysunshineweaver.wordpress.com

meelosmom@podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)

Image: my yard

 

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Digital Art · Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Mother Earth · My Screaming Twenties · Original Digital Art · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Podcast Magical Mystical Nature

A new episode of my poetry podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul, is up.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/magical-mystical-nature/

In this episode, I take a poetic look at messages from our magical mystical nature that can help us to emotionally navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Trees, fireflies, dolphins, bees, the moon, the sun, and bats are guiding us at this uncertain and dangerous time. Bats!? Really!? Wasn’t a bat responsible for the virus? Tune in to find out why bats also have magical and mystical messages for us in the face of COVID-19. May we all be safe and healthy.

You can find my poetry on WordPress at https://extraordinarysunshineweaver.blogI shared my poems “Tree of Life”, “Fireflies” and “Dolphins”.

My featured image, “New Dimensions”, is one of my sister Martha Harris’ pieces. Her work can be found at Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog on WordPress.

Sharon Singing Moon, “Sometimes It’s a Song” in A Random Seed (2018). You can find her book at local bookstores, such as Skylark Bookshop and Yellow Dog Bookshop in Columbia, Missouri, at Dunaway Books in St. Louis, Missouri, and Prospero’s Books in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mitch Teemley, “The Lives of Trees”, found on WordPress, https://mitchteemley.com/2020/02/21/the-lives-of-trees/

Joyce Kilmer, “Trees” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/12744/trees

Yaskhan, “Firefly Gumbo”, https://yassy66.wordpress.com/ From Mumbai, poetry has always been her utmost passion. Her haiku and other poems have been published in several on line journals.  She enjoys the challenges of writing in various poetic form and believes this creative discipline helps her to overcome several challenges.

Emily Dickinson, https://discoverpoetry.com/poems/bee-poems/

Mary Oliver, “Honey at the Table” American Primitive (1983) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Kristiana Reed, “The Meadow” from her book, Between the Trees: Poetry and Prose (2019), which is available on amazon.com and signed copies can be purchased on etsy, https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/760618337/between-the-trees-poetry-and-prose. Her websites, https://myscreamingtwenties.com/ and  https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/

William Henry Davies, “The Moon” http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/william_henry_davies/poems/3088.html

Phillip Larkin, “Solar”, http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/philip_larkin/poems/14593

Other Sources

“Fireflies”, https://www.sunsigns.org/firefly-animal-totem-symbolism-meanings/

Orion, http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/orion.htm

Pleiades, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pleiades-Greek-mythology

https://mollylarkin.com/we-come-from-the-stars/

Dolphins, https://medium.com/@totemlovecom/the-characteristics-of-the-dolphin-as-a-spirit-animal-ba303364bbba;

https://www.livescience.com/15150-dolphin-recovery-human-healing.html; https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/wisdom-of-the-wild-dolphin-healing/859/

Royal Jelly, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/royal-jelly

Bees, https://sciencing.com/advantages-disadvantages-honeybees-8592788.html

The Moon, https://www.sunsigns.org/moon-symbol-meanings/

Bats, http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/222-pure-spirit-minneapolis-st-paul-dog-training-and-international-all-species-animal-communication-bat

If you would like to contribute poetry to this podcast, you may submit it to me in a Word document attached in an email to me at meelosmom@gmail.com. On the subject line, indicate it is a submission to this podcast. I can fit it into a theme. In the email, include any pertinent information on yourself and publications you want me to promote, especially for the work submitted.

© 2020 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Unless otherwise stated, all published works are the original works of the author and are copyrighted. Contents of this podcast may be re-used either for personal or commercial purposes, in part or whole only with permission and the author duly acknowledged with links to the podcast embedded.