Audio · My Family · My Father · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

The House of Souls


The abode on the lake

Has housed many souls

From my lineage and anew

And survived many fates.


Dad, Earle of the manor,

An only child, his own best friend,

Took to adventures on the sandy beach of Lake Michigan,

His playground for swimming and skating.


Nature can be a foe and muster legends, as

The winter snow almost ate him when

He stumbled into a hole and was buried up to the neck, no siblings for his rescue.

And another boy wearing Dad’s skates fell through the ice.


Our pilgrimages there to see the sages,

Our faces burned by whiskers

After Granddad arrived home from the bank.

He built the house; it was also a Harris.


Our tummies filled with cherry pie

At the little round kid table by the nook.

Grandma Hattie’s apron and her

Kind, dark, deep-set eyes.


Our games and play for hours

On the sandy beach with the sun bearing down

To make blisters so big that

Bandages became our body armor.


Still, Sweet Grandma would hug so hard

The blisters would break open,

Soothed only by time and more cherry pie.

Lessons unlearned as we raced back to the shore.


Years passed with generations gone.

We moved there with Mom, for Dad went away to school.

How she survived is a testament to her resolve

As the Handmaid, the Mother, and the Queen.


This was our adventure, owning the castle.

Seven kids loving mischief,

Feeding Mom’s jewelry down the heating vent, and

Spreading around a bag of flour before the guests arrived.


Once the house almost died

As lightning struck it while Mom was away,

Having trusted the house and nature

To guard the seven treasures.


The house was hungry in the winter

Fed by coal delivered to the creepy bin in the basement.

How the house shook like a mighty beast when fed,

Satiated and ready for slumber.


Once I found Mom by the furnace.

How she looked wed to the fire.

Her eyes were blazing as she stoked the coals

And turned to glare at me. Of course, I ran.


The Lake had receded, so that year,

We only had waves of grass as our shore.

But the garage still had Granddad’s tools as toys,

And we could still smell him there.


This house was Dad’s soul and anchor,

Our refuge on vacations,

Our residence in a life transition.

I still hang my curtains the same way now,


Though I really can’t linger there

As was shown in a dream.

I saw myself as a young girl on the shore,

Dad and his parents inside at the nook.


Follow us, they said, leading me to the water’s edge

Though I feared the water and dared not venture too deep,

I followed and we became as frogs

Twisting with the current and swimming on the lake bottom.


Out we came to new ground

And I was made to walk on hot coals.

How I blazed on this path,

Glistening into my new fine diamond body


Until reborn into the Now.

For the past is but a house of memories

That cannot survive present winds or future travail.

And now the house that once held our souls has new occupants.


Copyright © August 11, 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: Our House of Souls, which we had on Lake Michigan in Escanaba, Michigan















Audio · My Mother · Poem · Poetry · Voices from the Veil

Hello, It’s Mom: Voices from the Veil III

Hello, it’s Mom. You called for me, so here I am!

Dad has visited you. Do you recall the dreams?

I called you shortly after everything,

You thought it was just static,

But I had so much to tell you.

I’m in a good place.

I can see old friends and play cards.

I’m learning about

How it is,

Who we are,

Why we are.

Maybe I’ll be back there

Someday and one day.

So many lessons to review;

So much yet to learn.

I recall everything;

You were a big help.

Don’t worry if you cried in fear.

I know you did your best.

I was not me.

I’m here for you now.

I’ll be fine; let go of worry.

Dad knows best here.

He’s been here before

As he told you.

We’ve seen all the old souls

In our ancient lineage.

You will know, someday.

I am more than Mom,

Dad is more than Dad,

You know?

We have many forms in this race.

God has God has God.

There is no beginning, no end.

It’s like a quilt, many stitches and layers

With complex designs.

As above; so below.

You are a finger of God

Reaching out to the human being until rebirth,

And so you will return to God.

And God will return to God as well.

Then we will be one again.

Essence to life to dust to essence.

We here know this.

I will return, and there are many who will

As will you.

This is our choice.

We are fine!

So glad you asked!

Let’s keep in touch.

Much love,


Copyright © August 6, 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: Mom and I enjoying one of my birthdays



Audio · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

New Audio: How Did She Go?

How did she go?
The mystery.
This woman with no memories,
No way to find the path,
No way to recall a face,
No way to know she dreamed,
No way to know the face of Death.
How did she manage?

We held her close,
Go to the light.
But did she?

Her last breaths like those of a guppy,
Out of the water too long.
Did she know?
Was Dad there?
The chakras still spun
Until spent in the sand.
No wind.

My heart collapsed
In the knowing.
I was then a stranger, an orphan.
Her guide and now
Not her guide.

In a dream, there she was,
Resting on a bed in an alcove,
The curtains draped on either side,
Her shoes placed gingerly under the bed.
I’m lost!
Where’s my wallet?
The bill to be paid.
Three shiny pennies lined up in a row.
Pick them up, she said.
I resisted
The bad luck.

It was 2:05p.m.
When they listened for her whispers
Trapped in her throat
For a different guide.

Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: My Mother


my sassy mom

Audio · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

New Audio: Three Pennies

She was neither here nor there

In debate in another tongue

Tearing out the IVs

With savage, no more of this.


The soul does not just leave;

It wanders through the veil

And retreats,

From one home to another.

As though waiting for new sheets

Not yet pressed.

The vase of flowers,

Being arranged.


She was neither here nor there

Where are you, Mom?

You’re picking flowers and

Reaching for delicate things.

And placing them peacefully to rest

Next to you: These little treasures.


Do you see Dad?

No, why do you ask.

Do you see the light?



The soul does not just leave;

It wanders.

It leaves three shiny pennies

Lined in a perfect row

On hot pavement between two cars

For me to see,

Knowing that She would have picked up

Those little treasures.

But not I: She knew that I would resist

But understand the message.

Her final departure: The Third.


Copyright© 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard


three pennies











Audio · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

New Audio: I Sometimes Feel Her

I sometimes feel her pressing on my right side.

Why the right? She lingers there.

She leaves me pennies

That appear out of nowhere

When I’ve earned an angel wing.


I dreaded her birthday, the first

Since she left.

No cake or cards, no gifts.

Coming up… memories of her end of days.

That call.


Her body fighting her,

We watched.

We rallied for her,

Held her close,

Fed her,

Combed her hair.


Gregorian chants

Took her in and out of her life.

She spoke the language of angels.

How they argued,

Divine negotiation with intonation

And syllables.

Her voice wasn’t hers at all.

Is this how it goes?


And terror gripped her as she faced

The indescribable,

Pushing it away with such force,

We thought

This is it.

Debate and battle gave way more ultimately

To stillness and surrender.


Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: My Mother




Audio · Ekphrastic Poetry · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

New Audio: Mother, Great Pine

Mother, Great Pine,

Stretching in her years.

Needles springing from craggy trunk

In need of water.

Branches reaching for cloud mist.

Perches for birds with nests

Gathered in crevices hidden by owls.

Her hair of needles

Cracks in Sun’s heat

And breaks in Sun’s breath.

Her roots dig into springs

Dried to stain on parched sand,

Blown to rock in forgotten forests,

Where memories remain.

Mother, Great Pine,

Life marks its initials

On tattered bark

Dressing her soul.

Her shadow marks a path

For Time to travel

Dawn to dusk

Without fail.


Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard






Audio · Haiku · My Mother · Poem · Poetry

New Audio: Robin

Robin missing eggs
Mother missing memory
Grief seeking treasures


Copyright © 2017 Barbara Harris Leonhard


robin nest