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

Healing · Memoir · Mother Earth · Publication · Silver Birch Press · Writing

Instituto Terra by Barbara Leonhard (HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Series)

Painting: DEER IN THE FOREST by Franz Marc (1913).

Thank you, Silver Birch Press!

Instituto Terra by Barbara Leonhard “Nature is the earth and it is other beings and if we don’t have some kind of spiritual return to our planet, I …

Instituto Terra by Barbara Leonhard (HOW TO HEAL THE EARTH Series)
Honors · Poetry · Publication · Spillwords

Interview Q&A With Barbara Harris Leonhard — Spillwords

THANK YOU, SPILLWORDS!
Interview Q&A with Barbara Harris Leonhard @BarbaraLeonhar4   We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Barbara Harris Leonhard, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of October 2021.   50 more words

Interview Q&A With Barbara Harris Leonhard — Spillwords

Featured Image: Original Digital Art by Martha Harris. Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

Anti-Heroin Chic · Memoir · My Mother · Poem · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication

“Mother’s Light” – Up in Anti-Heroin Chic

My gratitude to the editors of Anti-Heroin Chic for publishing a poem of mine in this month’s issue.

http://heroinchic.weebly.com/blog/poetry-by-barbara-harris-leonhard

Free Verse Revolution · Healing · Poetry · Publication

Issue III released — Free Verse Revolution:

Issue III: hestia (hearth & home) is now available to download! The digital download is completely free but if you wish to donate/pay as you feel, you can do so through the Donate tab. Issue III: hestia (hearth & home) explores what home means to us all through poetry, prose, photography & artwork. Contributors reveal how […]

Issue III released — Free Verse Revolution:

I have two poems in this issue. ”Hestia for Hire” and ”Mermother: A Rogue Dream Poem”. As I said in an earlier post, I am so grateful. Thank you, Kristiana Reed, for including my work.

Free Verse Revolution · Publication · Writing

Coming 25th September

Featuring 54 fantastic creators and writers, Issue III: hestia (hearth & home) will be released on Saturday, 25th September. The issue will be free …

Coming 25th September

I have two poems in this upcoming issue of Free Verse Revolution: A literary magazine. The poems are from my as yet unpublished collection of memoir poems about me and my mother, who passed from Alzheimer’s in 2016. One poem is “Hestia for Hire”, which is about my last visit with my parents before my dad died and the deterioration of Mom’s health and behavior. The other poem is “Mermother: A Rogue Dream Poem” (after Melanie Figg). In a rogue dream poem, one dream interrupts another and the end of the poem shows the real outcome. I see my mother in one dream state on a ship and I am trying to protect her in a storm. In another dream she is a mermaid. I am her octopus friend. I also see us shopping and having fun in another dream. The outcome is my loss of her.

I hope you will enjoy the issue. The editor, Kristiana Reed announced the line up of contributors a few days ago. I am humbled to be among these writers. Thank you, Kristiana!

My collection of memoir poems I mentioned is out searching for a publisher! I submitted to some contests just to take a few risks. You saw another poem from this collection, “Cooking a Life with a Wire Spine”, which was published in Spillwords as a featured poem on their main page in August, and it was nominated for publication of the month. It didn’t win. Another poem from the collection will be published by Anti-Heroin Chic next month.

I owe a great deal to the Free Verse Revolution blog (now archived) and new literary magazine. Their positive response to my poetry has encouraged me to grow as a poet and aim high. This means writing my own poetry collection and finding success with other publishers. I am truly grateful.