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

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

I am humbled and pleased to tell you that my poem “Marie Kondo Cleans My Purse at Starbucks” won Publication of the Month of January/February at Spillwords! Thank you for your votes! The poem will appear in the right sidebar widget this month, March 2022, as you can see if you click the link below.

Your support shows that we do not walk alone in this world. When we reach out to others, they reach back. I’m so grateful. 

Thank you, Dagmara and your editing team, for this opportunity!

The poem is from my as yet unpublished poetic memoir of me and my mother, who had Alzheimer’s. I was her main caregiver.

My memoir explores the many ways in which our lives were entangled. We both experiences brain injuries that burned away memories- hers from Alzheimer’s and mine from encephalitis. And as she cared for me when I almost died from measles encephalitis at age 6 going on 7, I cared for her as Alzheimer’s slowly dissolved her brain.

Also, as the eldest daughter, I was second mommy in command, helping her with the four youngest, who were born between 1958 and 1961! A toddler in diapers, a set of twins, and the last baby. She almost died giving birth to her last, so I enlisted to help with baby care as it took her a year to recover. However, I didn’t know at that time that I was infertile because Mom took diethylstilbestrol (DES) when I was in vitro. My memoir explores the many facets of the ”mother wound” (hers, mine, and ours).

At issue in the memoir is the question my uncle asked me when I told him Mom was moving to be near me. ”Do you love her?”

His question threw me into a crisis. Did I have reasons NOT to love her? How could I care for her otherwise? What had I done to make him doubt my love for her? Was I not a good daughter?

The memoir also explores other triggers. I knew it would be impossible for Mom to live with me for various reasons. My husband and I worked full time, and she couldn’t be alone. I found her a nice independent living facility, where she thrived. Still, had I abandoned her? No, but I think she expected that I would care for her like she did her mother-in-law, who lived with us after experiencing a stroke.

Then, when Mom needed even more care, my brother and I moved her to assisted living, and she was unhappy about that. Regardless of where she lived, I had to be vigilant as problems always came up with her care. I was grateful that she was close and I could watch over her, but I always doubted myself.

This poem is about letting go of the past. Releasing the traumas that bound us together. It’s also about forgiving her and myself for our imperfections.

So this year, I hope to find a publisher for my collection, which I currently call “Three-Penny Memories”. And the reason for this title is another story and too long for this post.

Again, thank you all for your readership and support!


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

Awards · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Spillwords Press Awards 2022   The post Spillwords Press Awards 2022 appeared first on Spillwords.

Spillwords Press Awards 2022 — Spillwords

Thank you, Spillwords Press, for the award, Socialite of the Year Honorary Mention. I appreciate the support that Spillwords gives to authors around the globe. The diversity you offer on your pages helps to unify us, and I’ve made many friends. I look forward to another year with Spillwords.

Honors · Poetry · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords · Writing

Big News

I’ve been nominated for Author of the Month at Spillwords! I guess writing poetry while hiding away for almost two years has paid off. May I have your support? To vote, simply click on the link. To vote, you have to register or log in. Voting ends on October 29, 2021.
Thank you all for your support! You’re the best!

Featured Image: pixels.com

Honors · Memoir · Poem · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Spillwords · Writing

An Honor

My poem Cooking a Life with a Wire Spine has been nominated for Publication of the Month at Spillwords Press. People can vote for the poem by clicking on the link. You may have to register for free to vote. Thank you!! 🙏🙏🙏

Update: My poem didn’t make Publication of the Month. Maybe another time! 🍾🍾🍾

Ekphrastic Poetry · Free Verse Revolution · Martha's Artistic Flarings · My Screaming Twenties · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Recognition/ Honor

Sunday Best: phantom

6D06E4D9-3554-4AA4-9422-F20678FFB1A8
My poem “Dark Apostle” ranked top of three best chosen for this past week’s challenge, Phantom. My sister, Martha Harris, created the digital image, “The Devil’s in the Details”. Thank you FREE VERSE REVOLUTION!

(UPDATE: This poem is archived – the link no longer works – because FREE VERSE REVOLUTION has a new literary magazine. If you wish to access this link, let me know.)

Fullbeardlit.org · Go Dog Go Cafe · Recognition/ Honor · Writing

TP Haiku and Sunday Chat with Steve 3/15/20, the one where I thank old friends of the Cafe

Kind remarks from a wonderful support to writers!

Go Dog Go Café

White square rarity What else can serve your purpose? No one wants to know ~ Em C. 3.14.20

TP Haiku

Go Dog Go Cafe friends, baristas and guests… some of you may recall that the idea of an Internet coffee shop for writers was inspired by an exchange I had with Poet Girl Em a few years back. So when Christine approached me about starting a collective, I merged the Go Dog Go Treetop idea she and I had bantered about in comments with the Coffee Shop idea Em and I had bantered about and the Go Dog Go Cafe was born. Check out the About page for details…

Anywho… Em had been pretty quiet around these Word Press parts but she has come back with a humorous flourish with this haiku! Take the time to visit the First Friend of the Cafe and a dear old blogging friend of…

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Poem · Publication · Recognition/ Honor · Silver Birch Press

Three Flakes on the Front Door by Barbara Leonhard (MY FRONT DOOR Series)

I’m so delighted that Silver Birch Press published my poem “Three Flakes on the Front Door“. Last winter, these three cut outs of snow flakes appeared on our front door. I took a picture. We never found out who gifted the designs. However, it inspired a poem!

Silver Birch Press

door 1Three Flakes on the Front Door
by Barbara Leonhard

Front doors, gateways to stories
held in the arms of lovers.
Brides and babies travel
over thresholds that welcome
spring’s warm breeze, summer’s first bees,
autumn’s tumbling leaves, winter’s freeze
for child play in drifts of snow
cushioning the stalwart door,
where Mystery gifts

three flakes, cut-out lives
of transient travel
through passageways to greet
weddings, rituals, blessings,
celebrations, holidays,
date nights, lives guarded
by peepholes
and double-bolt locks
until the last flake
melts.

Clothed in frayed lives,
the dead flutter as birds
released
from their cages
out the front gate
into new gardens.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I find the concepts of doors, portals, and passageways inspiring. One winter day, someone pasted cutouts of three snowflakes on our modest front door. In this poem, I see the three snowflakes as metaphorical for the transience of seasons and the stages of…

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braveandreckless.blog · Ekphrastic Poetry · Go Dog Go Cafe · Original Collages · Poem · Poetry · Recognition/ Honor · Writing

Moon Ate the Dark Challenge: Moon Eats the Dark – Barbara Leonhard

I love Christina’s prompt! Moon Ate the Dark! I hope you enjoy my poem and original collage. Check out her site, braveandrecklessblog.com for more entries.

Poem and Collage: ©Barbara Leonhard

extraordianrysunshineweaver.blog
Check out my poetry podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul. Find it at meelosmom.podbean.com.

Brave & Reckless

In a nest of owls,
I awaken bare, bleeding.
Talons pierce flesh.
Stabbing beaks shear old skin,
mincing fat and bone.

I am released into cloud.
Glossy wings unfurl.
I chase stars
and alight onto rays
of petrified time.

I scan marvel
as Moon eats the dark.
I feast on corolla
of sunflowers that sway in breeze
as Owl eats the light.

Image ‘Owl Eats Light’ by Barbara Leonhard


Barbara Leonhard publishes poetry on her WordPress blog, Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver. She is a regular contributor to FREE VERSE REVOLUTION and Go Dog Go Café. She started a poetry podcast on Podbean called Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul.

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Free Verse Revolution · Go Dog Go Cafe · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication · Recognition/ Honor

The Battle of Escanaba – Barbara Leonhard — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Lake Michigan waves swoosh into his grandparents’ backyard. Go count the sand crystals on the shore, they say, for he is too loud. The sandy yard, the prickly lake grass, the lake water stirred gray by churning sand. On his knees, with the sun bearing down on his raw skin, he digs for jewels, […]

Thank you, FREE VERSE REVOLUTION!
via The Battle of Escanaba – Barbara Leonhard — FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

(UPDATE: This poem is archived – the link no longer works – because FREE VERSE REVOLUTION has a new literary magazine. If you wish to access this link, let me know.)

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

Image: Pixabay