Healing · Poetry · Publication

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women — Short Prose

Front Cover/ Experiments in Fiction /Nick ReevesGabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women When I posted the call for submissions to Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, I wanted to compile an anthology that would underscore how powerful women are, and how much they can…

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women — Short Prose

Healing · Poetry · Publication

An Exciting Update on ‘Wounds I Healed’… — Experiments in Fiction

I continue to prepare the manuscript of Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women for publication, with the editorial expertise of Amazon #1 bestselling poet Gabriela Marie Milton. Both Gabriela and I were deeply moved by the poetry of the many talented contributors to this anthology. We have added our thoughts on the book…

An Exciting Update on ‘Wounds I Healed’… — Experiments in Fiction

This beautiful work will be available in print and as an ebook. I will definitely be ordering copies.

My two poems included in this anthology are about the wounding from DES (diethylstilbestrol), which was prescribed to my mother to prevent spotting while I was in utero. However, this drug destroyed my reproductive organs, causing a miscarriage, two cancer scares, major surgeries, and other effects suffered by many DES Babies. One poem is about that and the other is a letter to the daughter I miscarried.

I’m grateful to Gabriela Marie Milton and Ingrid Wilson for bringing together the songs of wounded healers.

Publication · Spillwords

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords


Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   Isn’t easy to do on steep basement stairs. The basket, filled with the bemired nightmares of the day Stubbornly sticking to threads. 58 more words

Carrying the World in a Broken Laundry Basket — Spillwords

Thank you Dagmara and the editing staff for this publication in Spillwords!

Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Memoir · My Mother · Poetry · Publication

Issue V: Cassandra available now! — Free Verse Revolution:

It is finally here! Thank you again for your patience with this issue. It has been a busy week and a final hectic hour of making sure it is ready for you. Free digital download Issue V: Cassandra – digital version Print copy for purchase Issue V: Cassandra – print version Enjoy reading!

Issue V: Cassandra available now! — Free Verse Revolution:

Thank you, Kristiana Reed, for including my poem in this fine issue among so many insightful and lyrical poems.

My poem, ”My Mother’s Vanity” is on a tender and culturally relevant topic related to how the fire of personal truth is snuffed out by grief, guilt, and patriarchal shaming. I hold only love and compassion for my mother, who made a mistake ner first and only year of college in the mid 40s. Her choice of whether to bear the baby was taken from her by social conventions and her parents’ fear of embarrassment.

I wrote about Mom’s trauma to help her spirit heal. The fear, guilt, and shame she felt were passed down to her children, especially her oldest daughter. Me. She was very protective, knowing how easy it is for unguarded daughters to lose their way. I hold only love, compassion, and forgiveness in my heart for Mom.

When trauma is buried by secrets and not addressed, the rage and fear is released in unhealthy ways. Over reactions. Hyper vigilance. Rigidity. I had to work hard to gain my parents’ trust and my independence. Without knowing the truth behind their micromanaging.

“The truth will set your free.” While Mom held onto her secrets, I believe that disclosing abuse and trauma heals not just the individual but the ancestral line. The DNA. Studies have shown that trauma affects the DNA in the following three generations. I truly wonder if the trauma of Mom’s abortion left residual energy in her reproductive system, passing down her emotional turmoil to her kids. Mark Wolynn addresses the effects of trauma on subsequent generations in his book, It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.

Hold to your truth. Your true nature and authentic self. That act alone is healing.

I would include the poem here, but the formatting would be lost.

Please read this sensitive issue on Cassandra and purchase a copy.

Healing · Honors · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

“Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” – Nominated Publication of the Month at Spillwords

I am honored and grateful to the readers, and Dagmara and her editing staff for yet another honor.

May I have your vote? It would mean the world to me.

You can vote here: https://spillwords.com/vote/

Voting will cease on 3/1 and soon after they will reveal the winner.

Please note, you need to register and/or login to vote.

Here is my poem up for consideration as Publication of the Months of January and February. The format here is incorrect.

Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks

Konmari sees me at Starbucks,

my purse spilling over at the counter.

“May I help?”

She gathers me up

like I’m antique lace

washed too many times.

Before she begins, she whispers,

“Hello, the House,

I am safe. May I enter?”

She pokes through my purse,

pulling out the deck of cards

Mom once carried in her own purse.

A heavy bag of Mom’s pennies

to redeem for cash.

Her checkbook.

The messy old calendar

that listed her appointments

alongside my own.

The quilt she made me,

now falling apart. A cookbook

compiled in her own hand.

Konmari extracts other artifacts,

laying them gently on lined up tables.

People gather. My eyes bleed.

The extra-large pair of panties

Mom made me wear to Sunday school.

The wash, still not done.

A half-used bottle of Diethylstilbestrol,

she was prescribed to prevent spotting

when I was in vitro.

The tricycle she rode

around town at age three

because her mother never watched her.

My cancer scares, scattered

on the bottom of the purse

like cookie crumbs.

The scabs inflicted

by her compression stockings

I failed to wash one last time.

The clump of tissue

I miscarried, swaddled

in an inner pocket.

Her hysterectomy scar.

My hysterectomy scar.

Entwined on a spool.

My t-shaped uterus,

clenching a half-used packet

of Puffs Plus.

A dogeared photo of Mom.

A mirror reflecting

who I want to be.

Konmari has me

hold each item

one last time, saying,

“Thank you, tiny soul,

for sharing your life. I am

grateful.”

She teaches me

how to fold joy

three times.

How to throw out

what I can

no longer carry.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

Image: Pixabay

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

Bene [a poem] — PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor A note to encourage you in these challenging times. May you walk through the new year with grace and ease. 232 more words

Bene [a poem] — PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry

Thank you, Phoebe, for helping me share this blessing. This poem grew out of notes I sent out this year to family and friends.

♥️ May we all support one another in these uncertain times. ♥️

Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Publication · Spillwords

Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks

New poem up at Spillwords! Thank you Dagmara and the editing staff! This memoir poem is from my poetry collection in progress.

I’m looking for a publisher, by the way. 🙏🙏🙏

This poem, as do many in my collection, explores grief, the Mother Wound, our mother-daughter relationship, letting go, and healing. She suffered from Alzheimer’s, so I held her memories for her, especially her medical history for doctors, prescriptions, shopping lists, and the like. My purse was filled with both our lives intertwining. I was not only her daughter, but also her caregiver and guide.

My collection spans our experiences since my childhood. Mainly the ones that reveal the source of conflict and grief. When I was in vitro, Mom was prescribed diethylstilbestrol (DES), which made me infertile and caused my to have many cancer scares. This drug damaged many lives, as a matter of fact, for both men and women, and if they did manage to have children, their children’s reproductive organs were also malformed, and so their children also has to deal with cancerous tumors.

Mom was able to have seven kids, but I could have none. For some reason, she forgot why – perhaps her memory problems started years before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – and sometimes shamed me for not having kids as she was able to have so many. This was the wound.

Indeed, as the oldest daughter, I helped care for all the ”little ones”, her toddler, a set of twins, and her last baby, all born between 1958 and 1961. Can you imagine? I didn’t realize at the young age of 9 that this would be my only chance to mother babies.

My poetry collection also explores other parallels in our lives. We both experienced brain damage and memory issues, hers from Alzheimer’s and mine from encephalitis, which nearly killed me at the age of 6 going on 7. At that time, she was my caregiver.

Without a doubt, working this collection of poems has been healing as I excavate my past and pick through the artifacts to understand my relationship with my mother and to forgive her, as well as myself, for the wounding. When I realized she would need me to care for her in her final years, I felt an upheaval of unresolved grief, and I knew that I had a great deal of inner work and self care to do so that I could be present to her.

That I had this opportunity to care for Mom and hold her until her last breath was truly a gift.

Free Verse Revolution · Poetry · Publication

Issue IV available to download! — Free Verse Revolution:

Download here Editor’s note from Issue IV: hades (the unseen) It is with a heart full of joy that I present Free Verse Revolution’s finalissue of 2021. It has been a busy and incredibly rewarding inauguralyear transitioning from an online blog to a literary and arts magazine.We have released four issues which, combined, have beendownloaded […]

Issue IV available to download! — Free Verse Revolution:

With a grateful heart, I share Free Verse Revolutions’ new issue, Hades (the unseen). I have two poems in it: ”My Shadow, My Static Cling” and “Dark Apostle”. Thank you, Kristiana Reed!

Healing · Intuitive Listening · Memoir · Publication · Spillwords

The One and Only Real True Santa: A Memoir — Spillwords

The One and Only Real True Santa A Memoir written by: Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   I I was looking forward to the annual church Christmas party in the fellowship hall. 67 more words

The One and Only Real True Santa: A Memoir — Spillwords

Thank you, Spillwords, for publishing my short memoir for your Twelve Days of Christmas series!

Featured Image: one of my collages