Free Verse Revolution · Memoir · My Screaming Twenties · Poem · Poetry · Publication

Betrayed – Barbara Leonhard

Thank you, FREE VERSE REVOLUTION!

Image: The fake 100-dollar bill printed by the United States of Halloween. I found this treasure folded up on grass along a pathway I was walking on and trying to clean up just to be a good citizen. I felt pretty excited and told everyone I had found 100 dollars! Well, upon closer examination of the bill, I found it was just paper. I was so disappointed and, of course, embarrassed that I hadn’t been more discerning in my excitement. The whole incident reminded me of love gone wrong out of in-authenticity.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

When I first found you,

I thought you were the real deal,

Handsome and of means.

Your mystery, promises

Of jewelry and charitable contributions,

Maybe even a luscious meal with fine wine.

Your credentials, superb at first glance.

How no one had found you before

Is beyond me, but there you were,

Out there where all could see

And in my grasp.

I felt blessed for my good works,

My generous nature, attracting value.

I kept you hidden, my treasure!

How I bragged about my new love!

Friends and family celebrated this bond –

No one had ever found such a prize

Just by chance! –

Until I discovered your true worth

Upon scrutiny as it unfolded!

Your heart, counterfeit;

Our love, a sham!

How duped I was by your smile.

Those eyes, your vivid presence;

Your charisma, regal!

Your sources, trusted!

Your history, infallible!

My dreams, blind, hopeful the…

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Ekphrastic Poetry · Free Verse Revolution · Martha's Artistic Flarings · My Screaming Twenties · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Recognition/ Honor

Sunday Best: phantom

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My poem “Dark Apostle” ranked top of three best chosen for this past week’s challenge, Phantom. My sister, Martha Harris, created the digital image, “The Devil’s in the Details”. Thank you FREE VERSE REVOLUTION!

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Dear reader,

I hope you are well; staying safe and healthy.

Catch up on this week’s pieces for the theme ‘Illusion’:

Tuesday – Megha Sood

Wednesday – L. Stevens

Thursday – Robert Ronnow

Friday – Prathami

Saturday – Jaya Avendel


This week’s prompt was ‘phantom’ and responses were posted across WordPress and Instagram, here are the top three:

Dark Apostle – Barbara Leonhard

A list of sordid memories – I. D. Bora (@mymusings.2018 on Instagram)

  1. of my pleated skirt and dried rusty brown patches on it. like maps in an atlas. the horror that followed amongst my batchmates as they giggled. ‘oh! that girl’
  2. a hound whose shadowy presence and untamed eyes trailed my footsteps.
  3. that phantom being who i thought could trust. who played piano in the dark. whose fingers so dextrous over the keys. found their way to my thighs then to my knees as my voice choked…

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Free Verse Revolution · Honors · My Screaming Twenties · Poem · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication · Writing

Sunday Best: saplings

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION chose my poem “A Rocky Start” as one of the top three for the weekly challenge Saplings.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Dear reader,

And so the end of Blossom is here! Thank you to everyone who contributed a piece to this month and to those who have continued to follow, read and share the work published on Free Verse Revolution.

May’s theme is Illusion and contributing slots have disappeared; there are only three remaining which haven’t been filled or reserved. If you are interested in submitted before the submission window closes – see the guidelines here.

To catch up on the final pieces of April:

Tuesday – Holly Rene Hunter

Wednesday – Seraphina

Thursday – Devika Mathur

Friday – Candice Louisa Daquin

Saturday – Tabitha Delaney


This week’s prompt was ‘saplings’ and there were several responses across Instagram and WordPress. Below are the top three: if your piece wasn’t chosen I hope you will continue to respond to May’s prompts, it was a tough call!

A Rocky Start – Barbara Leonhard

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Ekphrastic Poetry · Free Verse Revolution · Poem · Poetry

A Rocky Start

Sapling, you shoot roots in the shallow bucket

engorged with sharp bits of seed hulls

left by the squirrels, picked at by cardinals.

 

Your tender, slender stem, elongated spine,

extends from cracked dirt in a clay flower pot,

the old home of an expired aloe vera plant. Can your trunk

 

lengthen and thicken under the garden chair? Will raccoons

wrench you from your place and scatter your limp leaves

or twist them in play? Wash them in the water pan?

 

Your stubborn roots dig into the garden

on half-turned clumps of earth. A wretched end,

I tear you from the soil and toss you

into a pile of ivy shorn for mulch.

 

But you, irascible sapling, you

survive in stone.

 

©Poem and Image: Barbara Leonhard

Barbara Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver.  Her podcast Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul explores universal themes such as Grief, Kindness, and Presence. She taught writing for many years at the University of Missouri and is the author of Discoveries in Academic Writing. She is also a regular contributor to Free Verse Revolution, Phoebe, MD: Poetry + Medicine (https://phoebemd.com/), and Go Dog Go Café.

Poetry Blog: extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog
Poetry Podcastmeelosmom.podbean.com

 

Free Verse Revolution · Healing · My Screaming Twenties · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Writing

Bloom – Barbara Leonhard

I have a poem up on Free Verse Revolution.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

as I take root on this plane

may I receive the healing light of

all that is divine

may heaven meet earth

through me to transmute

the crusted fear that traps me

in brambles

may I grow my destiny

without ego mind

may I fully trust the divine order

that teaches only love

may I grow in love

may I be love

may the divine light

unfurl my blossoming heart

in this splendid garden

the Gardener knows the art and seasons

how to plant

how to nourish

how to harvest

I am but one glorious bloom

with no skills in tending the soil

my place in this garden is small

my view is limited to

my small leaves

reaching for the sun

yet I trust in the Gardener and Gaia

to bloom my bouquet

to bloom my love.


Barbara Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver. …

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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.

Audio · Free Verse Revolution · Go Dog Go Cafe · Healing · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Podcast Measles Encephalitis: Hope Was Not a Loss

I have a new poetry podcast up on the topic of my case of measles encephalitis, which paralyzed me and almost killed when I was 6 going on 7. I went into a coma, had a near death experience, and recovered my ability to speak but not walk, I defied conventional medical wisdom of the time and taught myself how to walk again at the age of 7.

I include a poem I wrote about my choice to walk again. “Hope Was Not a Loss”, which was named Barista Favorite on Go Dog Go Cafe in February 2018. FREE VERSE REVOLUTION also published this poem in November last year.

I hope this podcast helps raise awareness about the importance of the measles vaccine. There was no measles vaccine in 1957, when I literally fell ill with encephalitis because my legs gave out from under me.

I also address the coronavirus COVID- 19, for which there is no vaccine yet. COVID-19 and measles are dangerous viruses, so we need to make choices that keep our children and other loved ones safe. Not just family, but neighbors and the community, the state, the country, the world. We are all connected. Viruses know no boundaries, as we can see from the spread of this coronavirus as well as from measles. 

The featured image shows me at 5 years  old, unaware that one year later, I would be fighting for my life.

Please take a listen. Then save a life.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/measles-encephalitis-hope-was-not-a-loss/

Sources:

https://www.encephalitis.info/measles-infection-and-encephalitishttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield. Also, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136032/

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.
©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

©Poetry; The Memoir of the Soul, meelosmom.podbean.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Verse Revolution · Go Dog Go Cafe · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication · Recognition/ Honor

The Battle of Escanaba – Barbara Leonhard — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Lake Michigan waves swoosh into his grandparents’ backyard. Go count the sand crystals on the shore, they say, for he is too loud. The sandy yard, the prickly lake grass, the lake water stirred gray by churning sand. On his knees, with the sun bearing down on his raw skin, he digs for jewels, […]

Thank you, FREE VERSE REVOLUTION!
via The Battle of Escanaba – Barbara Leonhard — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog and meelosmom.podbean.com

Image: Pixabay

 

Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Mother Earth · Poem · Writing

What Mother Needs – Barbara Leonhard

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION published my poem, What Mother Needs. ♥️

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

A Time to Heal

We are all one kind, one child

in the eyes of our wondrous Mother.

Our Mother’s lungs are shared by all;

we all breathe the same air.

Our tears, her tears.

Every cry of a newborn,

recorded on her fabric.

Every gun, shot in fear,

rips through our Mother,

her flesh, her bones, her breath,

and into dark matter out of sight.

Apprehension, the basis of all injury,

creates separation creates isolation creates animosity.

You are not alone in love.

Love heals torn limbs reaching for embrace.

Love constructs not just your soul,

but the soul of your Mother.

Distain and reverence cannot reside

in the same house.

Despair not. Despise not.

Love those that fear and hate.

This is the great challenge

It is your choice –

In fact, the most important choice,

to cherish with all your heart

regardless of fear of harm,

which…

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Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Honors · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Recognition/ Honor

Sunday Best: Gaia

I’m grateful for the subject matter. Gaia is suffering, and only we can reach out to her and minister to her needs. At the very least, we can work with her to co-create a new Earth free of fire, flood, and fear.

I was pleased to get first place in this writing challenge.

https://freeverserevolution.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/sunday-best-gaia/

 

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Dear reader,

Happy new year!

January on FVR follows the theme of ‘Earth’ and submissions are still open with 12 spaces left for contributors. See the submissions page for the guidelines.

To catch up the first five posts of the year:

Tuesday – Kristiana Reed

Wednesday – L. Stevens

Thursday – Devika Mathur

Friday – Bojana Stojcic

Saturday – L.E.


This week’s prompt was ‘Gaia’ and here are three wonderful responses:

Gaia – Barbara Leonhard

Earth – M.A. Morris

Gaia – Michelle Rolland

Gaia mother earth goddess

What has our world done

You gave us life force

Over which greed has won

Money won’t listen

So many unchanged

Even when voices of reason 

Cry out in pain

Gaia mother earth goddess

You send us your signs

Predicting our imminent demise

Show avarice what it is doing

Change what you can

One small voice can be a shout

For the love…

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