Writing

Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures

A heart-warming post on a father’s love for his daughter. Follow his other links to the other stories and poems for her in the book.

rivrvlogr

Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures

From March 1999 to July 2001, I wrote a series of stories for my daughter. They were eight short tales of the adventures of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl, each written after the adventure and shared with her. The last was written after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, shortly before her ninth birthday.

For years, I’ve wanted to collect them into a book, and I finally sat down and did that last month. A photo/sketch accompanies each story, and the book closes with a bedtime poem that I wrote following her diagnosis. The photo on the front cover is of Alyssa at her first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Walk to Cure Diabetes,” in 2002. I even managed to finish it before her wedding, which is in two weeks. I gave it to her this month for her birthday, and she loves it. And, I’m a…

View original post 114 more words

Writing

PR for Poets & How Do I Promote My Books with Chronic Illness and a Disability? – guest blog post by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Trish Hopkinson

My new book from Two Sylvias Press, PR for Poets, is a guide for beginning to mid-career poets to learn how to build an audience and promote their books! Think of it as a guide to getting read.

People have asked me specifically about how do I, as a poet with a disability and chronic illness (I have MS, among other things), manage to promote my own books?

It’s a great question because not every writer is able to hop on a bus and couch-surf across the country to promote their book, and not everyone is able to work in academia and have a built-in support system. I think trying to promote a book with MS is probably similar to the way lots of people who are limited in time and money, or tied to day jobs and families and unable to travel, manage to promote their work. I…

View original post 895 more words

Memoir · Poem · Poetry · Publication · Spillwords · Writing

New Publication: My Hair Eats Everything

I’m delighted Spillwords Press published one of my poems.

My Hair Eats Everything

 

My Hair Eats Everything

Silver pelage. Static cling

Velcro mouth gulping my life.

My hair, a pantry of my days.

Famished patron of my past.

It shows in my sheen, the shine

Of a clean plate.

 

Baby hair matted with egg,

Pureed peas, sour milk, spaghetti sauce,

Bits of cereal. Mom’s cleansing spit

Over my crown. Kisses planted

In the soil of my hair. Luster of life

Grows into a hungry coif.

 

The long stems of flowers

Woven into braids. My first perfume,

Splashes of hot lavender baths,

Swashes of wet polish, and Dippity-Do

Cling to my curls and create a crown

Of a complex banquet.

 

Grandpa’s musty garage, his yard

Of lake breeze. The smell of sand

Tangles my hair into my mouth.

The steam of Grandma’s fried sausage, rising dough,

Stewed chicken, spilled honey from toast,

Dad’s Old Spice snared by my hair.

 

Sweat from the Ex’s hands

His bad breath on my frizz.

Bloody spittle of squabble,

His ashtray, blight of air,

Day-old wine and stale beer

Linger on my dead ends

 

Mother’s ambrosia steeps

My life, the whiff of her red lipstick,

Her aromatic apron, her savory hugs,

Her last breath as I held the phone

To her ear for goodbyes. The anguish

Of her affliction infuses me.

 

My hair swells fragrance

Of holy spring rain. Tiny fingers of new leaves

Sniff of pin oak to my roots. Sticky juice

Of tomato vines cling to my gray locks

As I reach for the fruit. Strands of silver

Extend from cloud. The scent of sun.

 

©Barbara Leonhard

extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul (meelosmom.podbean.com)

my featured image by ivanovgood, pixabay.com

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…

View original post 276 more words

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…

View original post 703 more words

Free Verse Revolution · Honors · My Screaming Twenties · Poem · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication · Writing

Sunday Best: saplings

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION chose my poem “A Rocky Start” as one of the top three for the weekly challenge Saplings.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

Dear reader,

And so the end of Blossom is here! Thank you to everyone who contributed a piece to this month and to those who have continued to follow, read and share the work published on Free Verse Revolution.

May’s theme is Illusion and contributing slots have disappeared; there are only three remaining which haven’t been filled or reserved. If you are interested in submitted before the submission window closes – see the guidelines here.

To catch up on the final pieces of April:

Tuesday – Holly Rene Hunter

Wednesday – Seraphina

Thursday – Devika Mathur

Friday – Candice Louisa Daquin

Saturday – Tabitha Delaney


This week’s prompt was ‘saplings’ and there were several responses across Instagram and WordPress. Below are the top three: if your piece wasn’t chosen I hope you will continue to respond to May’s prompts, it was a tough call!

A Rocky Start – Barbara Leonhard

View original post 173 more words

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.

View original post 521 more words

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.

View original post 1,097 more words

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Fullbeardlit.org · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Publication · Writing

Audio!!! Guest reader Barbara reads her poem The Unwelcome Tenant for today’s 5 O’Clock Poem

I am honored and humbled to be a guest on Stephen’s site tonight. This poem seems to be getting a great deal of attention since I posted it, so it speaks to our concerns at his time of a pandemic. Thank you Stephen! Your kind words mean a lot.

Image “The Infection” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

Fullbeard Lit

Today we are forced to sequester to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize how powerful we are when it comes to our wellness because we can make …

The Unwelcome Tenant

For today’s audio, I am going to turn over the mike to a new, dear friend Barbara who has written and reads a beautiful poem for these days. Please enjoy and follow this beautiful human!

View original post

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Original Digital Art · Poem · Writing

The Unwelcome Tenant

Today we are forced to sequester to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We realize how powerful we are when it comes to our wellness because we can make choices to prevent contagion by following the CDC guidelines and being loving to ourselves and thoughtful of others by wearing masks and gloves if we must be in public to get medicine and other necessities.

While sheltering, we can take care of ourselves by resting, drinking a lot of water, and eating healthy food. We do not accept the fate of this pandemic. Our positive thinking will boost our immune system. No one can take care of our temple but us. We hold the keys to the gate, and we do not welcome tenants who create chaos of our light.

I pray for a vaccine soon, and I hope everyone can and will get one. I know I definitely will.

My sister, Martha Harris, created this  amazing image of COVID-19 by layering several microscopic photos of the actual virus together. She calls the image “The Infection”. I think it is a masterpiece.

The Unwelcome Tenant

What is healing

but the stabbing to death of pain,

the banishment of shadows,

the release of sorrows,

the burning of poison arrows.

 

Healing requires arbitration and litigation,

for Illness takes possession,

the uninvited occupant in our temple.

It strips away a clean visage,

creates squalor and decay,

plants bramble in the garden,

makes infertile the soil,

evades eviction.

 

Illness commandeers the ego,

becomes its own soul.

This loathsome dweller deceives,

creates attachments,

becomes dependable,

appears useful,

provides false amenities,

orders demolition to the heart,

lays claim to property,

prosperity.

 

We are healers

who can vanquish this squatter

from sacred property

once we know our powers.

We the are the landlord

who owns the keys

and locks the gate.

 

We break this unholy contract

wrought by the wretched occupant

that creeps into our house

and garnishes our treasures.

 

Healing is evicting

that which does not serve,

does not align,

is unholy

to our divine.

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “The Infection” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog