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.

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Memoir · Podcasts · Poem · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Writing

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

 

Essays · Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Poetry · Publication · Reiki · Tai Chi · Writing

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

The final section of my article on infertility is up on Phoebe,MD: Medicine + Poetry. Links to the other sections are provided. I am grateful to Phoebe and her beautiful site for being a major part of my journey with memoir writing.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click forPart 1andPart 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.

View original post 625 more words

Healing · Memoir · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Poem · Poetry · Publication

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)

Thank you, Phoebe! I hope my story continues to help others who have had to deal with infertility.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click here for Part 1]

Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.

Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.

Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women…

View original post 694 more words

Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Prose · Publication · Writing

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 1)

Phoebe, MD:Medicine + Poetry Has just published the first part of an article I wrote on my infertility caused by Diethylstilbestrol, or DES. Although this drug is no longer prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages, it has been shown that this drug affected not only daughters and sons born between 1941 and 1971 but also their children. This is my story as a DES Daughter.

 

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


As we grow and develop, we learn how to identify with many labels or roles, such as daughter/son, aunt/uncle, mother/father, and grandmother/grandfather, to name a few. It seems as though our stories are written before we are born to conform to these labels. In a way, these roles become rituals that comfort us as we agree to them and even expect our lives to go “as planned” based on our social codes and blueprints for survival.

I know I certainly expected my life to unfold much like my mother’s life did with marriage and family. She had seven children, and being the second oldest and oldest girl, I was able to help with all the babies she had. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to have my own children. Little did I know that my helping her at…

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artisticflarings.blog · Ekphrastic Poetry · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

Dark Apostle

Rising shadows of flames,

dressed in deep void, I arrive

to burn the bramble of your complacent life.

You hide inside this clay façade,

live for self in idle pleasure,

slumber in this carcass

of addiction and desire.

 

I hold you down as you writhe in agony,

thrive on your muffled screams.

You smolder in my odious breath.

My laughter, cackling flames.

You recoil, gasping for prayer,

rebuking this demon

and fear that this blood fire

is your last sunrise. Confess,

 

I fascinate you.

Though cast to the raging depths,

I still rise, a dark angel.

Not all wings are lucent.

This charred cloak is age old,

frayed by lies, greed, addictions.

 

Inferno flames are still divine.

I am the instigator, the phantom fire

plundering your earth

to crack open your seed

and hasten your growth.

 

For this you need me, Dark Apostle,

the harbinger sent to alarm and awaken,

to jolt you from trance

into rebirth.

 

revised The Dark Apostle 05/12/2020

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog; meelosmom.podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul)

Image: “The Devil’s in the Details”, original digital art, ©Martha Harris. See Martha’s Artistic Flarings@artisticflarings.blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

artisticflarings.blog · Digital Art · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Poem

Sink into Your Knowing

stone skipping over stream

sinks into deep mysteries

magical inner sight

instincts     intuition

magnificent sun

fire blazing wisdom

center earth rising

in shimmering waves

 

“Sink into Your Knowing”, revised an old post, 05/08/2020

©Barbara Harris Leonhard@extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “Center Earth Rising”: ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

 

artisticflarings.blog · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul

The Wound Still Waits

Recently published on phoebemd.com (PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry) as part of my article on infertility.

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

The Wound Still Waits
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

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

Image: “From Beneath” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Prose · Publication · Writing

Avoiding the Tragedy: A Look into Disease Prevention

The final section of my article on measles encephalitis published by phoebemd.com. Thank you, Phoebe!

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


Part 1 – Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis
Part 2 – Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story


Back in 1957, the year I almost died from the measles, my parents—unlike the parents of today—did not have to face the choice of vaccination, because there was no vaccine in existence (it wasn’t introduced until several years later, in 1963).

Therefore, it was important for me to share my experience with this condition because of the great controversy that currently exists over vaccines in general, and particularly the measles vaccine. Far too many children are not getting vaccinated against measles and other diseases owing to perceived risks, so now measles has returned as a virulent threat worldwide.

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Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Learning How to Walk Again: Barbara’s Story

Phoebemd.com published the second part of my article on recovering fully from measles encephalitis. The link to Part 1 is provided. The article is based on one of my poetry podcasts on Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul found at meelosmom.podbean.com.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

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.

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