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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.

 

PhoebeMD: 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

PhoebeMD: 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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Poetry Podcasts on Kindness

My new two-part poetry podcast explores kindness and its antithesis, bullying, especially of children on the playground and online. My featured image is Izzy Dix, a beautiful 14-year-old UK girl who killed herself as a result of unrelenting bullying on social media. Before taking her life, she wrote a poem entitled, “I Give Up”, which I read. I also read poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye, Rilke, Emily Dickinson, and myself. You can access the podcasts at the link below.


Part I is 30 minutes and Part II is Around 20 minutes. In Part II, I rebroadcast a small part of Part I because of static and other noises which were too disruptive.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

The featured image of Izzy Dix can be found in this article. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/34256113/izzy-dix-took-her-life-at-14—then-her-mother-was-trolled-online

It’s heart breaking to learn that the bullies and trolls seemed to rejoice in Dix’s death and continue their abuse and provocations by sending Izzy’s mother mocked up pictures of Her daughter’s body. What can we do to heal this cancer in our society? Love is the strongest chemo, so we have to increase the dosage. Empathy, compassion, forgiveness and loving kindness are powerful healers if we choose to hold those vibrations in daily life. A smile, a kind greeting, an expression of gratitude, a good deed, all of these actions are life affirming acts of grace and mercy. No one is perfect, but we can all try to be better. Those who embrace the bullied can teach the bullies how to be human. 

© Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

 

 

Audio · Healing · My Mother · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Poetry Podcast on Grief: Fire and Ice

I have another episode up on my Podbean podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul.

This podcast episode is about grief and in particular, my grief over my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. I describe grief and the havoc Alzheimer’s wreaks on its victims, especially Mom. In addition to my poems, I include a poem by Robert Frost and another by Walter Bargen, Missouri’s first Poet Laureate, appointed in 2008.

Thank you for listening! This podcast is around 40 minutes.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com

©Podcast, Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

©Walter Bargen’s poem, “Migration” is from his book of poetry My Other Mother’s Red Mercedes (2018, Lamar University Literary Press)

Robert Frost reading “Nothing Gold Can Stay” https://www.modernamericanpoetry.org/video/robert-frost-reads-nothing-gold-can-stay

See also, Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, Poetry Foundation

Image and Music: “Fire and Ice”, original tune ©Dierik Leonhard, Ironweed Bluegrass Band, found at ironweedbluegrass.com

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Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul- Podcast Episode 1, We are Entwined Spirits

I have a poetry podcast on Podbean called “Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul“. Let me know what you think!

The post is called ‘We Are Entwined Spirits’. When we feel isolated and lost, Poetry is our medicine.

http://meelosmom.podbean.com/

This podcast has a new poem in it.

Memoirs

Poems are memoirs

Of our human journey

Our life stories

And spiritual quests

In images woven by craft

The history of life in one poem

Comprised of many poems

Each of which is a cell in our ‘bio’

Our biography, graphs

Pictures of words

Poems are lines

Connecting the dots

Bridges to specks of self

From other selves

Poets are space holders

In a matrix

The Tree of Life

The Tree of All

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.

Poems: ©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: ©Martha Harris, marthaflares.blog

 

 

Ekphrastic Poetry · Poetry · Prose · Tai Chi

The Death of a Farm

I submitted this poem to the July 2019 Ekphrastic Challenge, but it wasn’t chosen. I don’t have permission to use the image here, but you can check out Ekphrastic Challenge on Rattle.com for the exact scene. For this post, I chose some free images on pixabay to illustrate the poem.

The image in the July 2019 Rattle challenge shows a small farm with a house and trailer on the right, positioned behind a pen. In the muddy field, there are two cows. In the background to the left, you see an old silo and in the center in the background, a barn. Above the silo is a jet making a descent. The image is named: Restricted/U.S. Air Force by B.A. Van Sise from the artist’s “Elsewhere” series.

For me, the image on Rattle elicited memories of my time on a farm in Missouri. Our large family rented an old farm house for a couple of years in the early 60s.

My impression was of the passing of an era for the house, the farm, me, and even the nation.

THE DEATH OF A FARM

The house was a woman of years

refusing to sell to developers.

She still had her wringer washer

and coal-burning stoves waiting to be fed.

How she quaked with the roar of the coal filling her bins.

She ate that coal like candy.

And the ubiquitous black dust fought me each winter

as I scrubbed and scrubbed the cracked vinyl flooring

and the sills and woodwork that trimmed her bodice.

Each summer, the dust blown in from the fields

would blanket the old woman.

Her ivory dress, tattered and stained,

spoke of bygone trials and triumphs on her American soil,

where she stood her ground.

I was her caretaker in our sojourn there

as she indulged this family of nine,

who needed a roof with substantial lodging.

She complied with the courtesy of a elderly southern belle

eager for companionship as she had been lonely too long.

Her barn became a nursery for newborn kittens

and a playground for boisterous boys.

They climbed the rickety ladders to view her farm

from the highest loft overlooking the pasture

and her crop of tobacco and such.

barn-101273__340

The crops were farmed by hired teens

who tried to scare this young girl

with gross beetle larvae from across the fence.

Wanna smoke?  They would ask me.

I was too young for them  – and busy.

I worked for the sake of the house.

I would wring out the sheets and hang them in the sun.

The laundry on the lines would whip in the wind

to the songs on American Bandstand and the current top ten.

When free from the chores,

I took to the pasture to sing and dance to my own tunes

in the fescue that nourished the livestock.

woman-792818__340

My heart wandered in the farmland hills and the trickling creek

as I imagined my possibilities.

But one autumn day, the pasture became my refuge of tears

when I heard that President Kennedy had been shot and killed.

I ran from the kitchen to the pasture and

slumped down. My cries resounded as a death toll

in the shadow of an abandoned silo.

 

My old friend stared with wide, hollow eyes,

As her light dimmed to still night.

The cows scattered to the sound of a jet

descending to torn earth.

 

 

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Images: Pixabay