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 · 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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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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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 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.

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

Grief: Healing Through Poetry — Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard [This is the third segment of a 3-part series on Grief and Loss. To read the previous post, click here.] I processed grief over Mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s through poetry writing. The fact that caregivers—such as myself and many other poets—can relieve grief through poetry supports my belief that poetry is both the […]

via Grief: Healing Through Poetry — Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

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

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

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