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

 

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

Hope Was Not a Loss: A Story About Measles Encephalitis

Phoebemd.com is publishing a series of articles based on another poetry podcast I did on Podbean. You have seen this story of mine before, and I will tell it until I am blue in the face if it saves lives. Kids need protection – we all do – from the measles.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Health Story


In this article, I would like to share my story of how an illness I suffered as a child affected me. Particularly with the climate of today, I hope this will help inform people of the consequences that can develop in young children who are at risk of getting certain illnesses.

It was the summer of 1957, and it seemed to have happened all at once, where I turned from an active six-year-old girl to a helpless baby overnight. At that time, my family was living in Lewistown, Montana, where my dad was a Presbyterian minister. Mom was at home with three children, aged seven to four. That summer, all three of us contracted measles. But while my siblings’ illnesses took a more benign course, I developed a life-threatening complication: measles encephalitisa serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the brain…

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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 · 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

 

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

Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother

Phoebemd.com has published the second part of my article on my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. You can access Part 1 via the link provided before the article starts.
These installments are based on my poetry podcast on this topic.
https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/
Please like, share, and follow. Others with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s may benefit from the information.

 

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard

[This is the second segment of a 3-part series on Grief and Alzheimer’s. To read the first post, click here.]


As a way to examine grief and loss, I will share my story of the loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s, one of the most devastating forms of dementia.

What is Alzheimer’s?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a dementia caused by the building up of plaques—deposits of protein fragments that create spaces between neurons (nerve cells)—as well as tau tangles inside the cells of the brain itself.

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Podcast Water: The Sacral Way

Enjoy this exploration of the sacral way of water. Our steady and constant companion in various forms throughout the year, water reflects our creativity as well as our turmoil. Our emotional states are revealed in the many faces of water.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/water-the-sacral-way/

I share my poems “Listen to the Prayers of Snow”, “Be as Water”, and “This a River”.

Enjoy a poem by Walter Bargen: “Why the World Stops”, which is from his volume of poetry The Body of Water: Poetry by Walter Bargen (2003). You can find used copies of this book on Amazon, Better World Books, and other used book sites.

I’m grateful to Sharon Singing Moon for her poem “Autumn Grace” 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.

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

You will hear “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost (http://poetryfoundation.org); “Very Early Spring” by Katherine Mansfield (http://famouspoetsandpoems.com); “Tempest”, by Emily Dickinson (http://yourdailypoem.com)

I found an interesting article on the symbolism of water in literature. https://eduzaurus.com/blog/water-symbolism-in-literature

For more information on chakras, see Anatomy of the Spirit (1996) and Sacred Contracts (2003) by Caroline Myss, PhD. Also, A Handbook of Chakra Healing: Spiritual Practice for Health, Harmony, and Healing (2004) by Kalashatra Govinda.

Wikipedia has a good summary of the Great Flood of 1993. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1993

Please like, follow, and share this podcast. Thank you for listening!

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 Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog, meelosmom.podbean.com

Image “Sacred Waters” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

 

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

Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief

My poetry podcast on Grief: Fire and Ice, which shares my journey with Mom through Alzheimer’s will be published in segments on phoebemd.com. Here is the first installment. Check out her site. It is a source of poetry and articles on healing. We all need to bolster our immune systems, especially now with the stress and fear we feel in our daily lives and with COVID-19 spreading. Sites like Phoebe’s offer stories and poems of hope and recovery.

The original poetry podcast can be found at meelosmom.podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul). The episode is Grief: Fire and Ice.

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard


Robert Frost once wrote:

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.

Online, one can find many poets who sing about their grief. In this lyrical piece, Frost tells us that we face changes all the time. Eden, our paradise, has been lost. Life is temporary, terminal, and short lived. The sun both rises and falls; the seasons change, and we grieve.

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