Amethyst Review · Healing · Poem · Publication · Writing

Reclamation – a poem by Barbara Leonhard

Thank you, Amethyst Review! 🤗

Amethyst Review

Reclamation

A stretch of river he paddles
smothers from impenetrable vines
spiky buds of the invasive hops stare
from the brisling mats of leaves
hungry alien intruders
ravage, over run
steal sun, suffocate, shroud
saplings and wildflowers
with dense tangles. Turbulent

flood waters thrust
into the dense plumage
with violent twists, wrench
the miscreant from the banks
there lays bare a pristine meadow
disrobed of a weighted corset
she gasps
catches her breath
from shock of sun
sparkles in her wet dirt, saplings emerge
with curious caution
dance with daisy fleabane,
ragwort, lush grass
depleted deer tread lightly
on her floral spring frock.

.

Barbara Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger at Extraordinary Sunshine Weaver.  Her podcast Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul explores universal themes such as Grief, Kindness, and Presence. She taught writing for many years at the University of Missouri and is the author of 

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Memoir · Publication · Silver Birch Press · Writing

Lost on Maroon Bells Trail by Barbara Leonhard (LANDMARKS Series)

Thank you, Silver Birch Press, for publishing my poem for your LANDMARKS series! I’m grateful I returned from this trip! Getting lost on the mountains is no fun.

The day before, we had hiked for 8 hours to Maroon Bells Lake and camped over night. The next day, we were heading out for another long hike back to the trail head. I think we were an hour away from our car when I took the wrong turn.

Silver Birch Press

Maroon BellsLost on Maroon Bells Trail
by Barbara Leonhard

I.
The Maroon Bells chime,
So long, dear. May you dance
& sway with the breeze
In our floral meadows.
Do you know the edibles?
The wind ruffles my hair as I hike out.
II.
An old man limps from around a bend.
I take his course, turning right,
Not left. The path narrows,
But well-marked steps
Pin me to a destination
Down a steep hill on my behind.
The old guy did this?
I call for my husband, who had run ahead.
III.
A clearing opens, & prior travelers
show no sense of direction.
Their prints scatter like whitetail deer
Fleeing the hungry cougar.
I call for my husband over & over
& look for his shoe size.
IV.
He runs back to check on his mate,
But the two stragglers far behind her
had surpassed her stride.
She can outpace…

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Healing · Pillbaby.com · Publication · Writing

Healing My Inner Mom

Pillbaby.com asked me to write about my experience with infertility and depression. I had already written similar articles for Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry.  My pillbaby.com article does more with solutions to healing. They are looking for more articles related to this topic, infertility and depression, in case anyone has an experience to share.

How I healed my inner mom after infertility and depression

Thank you, Meg, for this opportunity!

Image: by Jelly on Pixabay.com

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

Podcast: Grief and Racism Unmasked

I finally have a new episode up on my poetry podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul. Even though I have gotten some poems published, I lost my focus and momentum with the podcasts because I felt waylaid by COVID-19.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-and-race-unmasked/

In this podcast, produced on Juneteeth, (June 19th), 2020, I recognize and honor the grief of African Americans, especially in light of current events with the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans by police. Racial discrimination is as lethal as another contagion we are fighting at present with COVID-19. Unless we turn to love and compassion, how can we heal? I selected poems that express different aspects of racial discrimination against Black citizens.

Poets read today: Phillis Wheatley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Rita Dove, Priscilla Jane Thompson. Their works read today were found on these sites:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

https://poets.org/

https://www.best-poems.net/

Juneteenth (Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day)

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/how-juneteenth-s-history-being-reshaped-america-reckons-its-past-n1231510

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/10-facts-juneteenth

Racial Disparities in Our Medical System

https://time.com/5855756/covid-19-racial-injustice-health/

Ahmaud Arbery

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/suspects-struck-ahmaud-arbery-vehicle-shot-dead-yelled-191300630–abc-news-topstories.html

George Floyd

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

Rayshard Brooks

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/garrett-rolfe-charges-rayshard-brooks-video-cop-kick-death-a9572141.html

https://www.foxnews.com/us/rayshard-brooks-atlanta-officer-garrett-rolfe-murder-charges-death-penalty-eligible

The image for this podcast was found on harpersbazaar.com, “Here’s How You Can Demand Justice for George Floyd”, by Chelsey Sanchez, May 28, 2020.

Memoir · Poet’s Notebook · Poetry Curator · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Publication · Writing

Memoirs

My poem Memoirs was published by Poetry Curator on Poet’s Notebook. It’s a beautiful site with many features and even gifts for readers. I downloaded some free PDFs. Denise Fletcher, who publishes the blogspot site, is very nice. Thank you, Denise!

https://poetrycurator2020.blogspot.com/2020/06/memoirs.html

Image: pexels.com

artisticflarings.blog · Audio · Healing · Martha's Artistic Flarings · Memoir · Podcasts · Poem · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Writing

New Look for Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul

I notice that I haven’t completed a poetry podcast since April 2. However, as you can see on my WordPress blog, I have done some publishing. It seemed easier to publish in on line sites than on my own poetry podcast in my own voice. I have to admit, everything of late has stunned me. I have lost focus to some degree when it comes to the intimacy in my podcasts.

Meanwhile, Podbean informed me my site design would not be supported, so I have  chosen a new theme.  Simple and clean.  Kind of like life could be at this time…at least in an ideal world.     https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

What the heck happened? What have we become? I was once a young girl riding my bike and playing with dolls. Now I’m hiding from a pandemic and bullets.

Does this pandemic represent our diseased minds and hearts? COVID-19 has forced us to retreat to the silence of our souls, our heart minds. Can we stand to be with ourselves? Can we cultivate our beautiful garden? Or can we only find comfort in noise (distractions, addictions, possessions). Can we truly see ourselves, love ourselves? Can we truly see and love others? And what about the Other, those who are from different tribes (families, societies, races, cultures).

What is hidden eventually rises for healing as is shown in the response to the murder of George Floyd at the knee of a cop. Racism, social inequities, corporate greed, and other forms of social, economic, and ethical/ moral malaise are symptomatic of another pandemic hidden in our Deep. George Floyd was strangled to death for passing a fake bill, but what about white-collar crime and all the money doled out to corporations while the average American can’t put food in the table with one job? With this pandemic, we suffer from huge losses in income. Our economy is flailing.

Everything that happens daily becomes the memoir of our society and our world. It’s all recorded not just on film (owing to technology) but also in our DNA. The ugly can make us ill. As Caroline Myss writes, “Our biography becomes our biology.”

I want to avert my eyes and deny all that is aberrant. However, I’m simply storing it away, like I do old journals, letters, and photos. Some things trigger joy, while others uproot pain. I think that if I don’t see it, it isn’t there, but it is creating illness.

It’s no coincidence I have taken to memoir writing, exploring my Deep. What have I buried from view? What do I need to heal? Looking at the truth is visceral and, I am told, bold maybe even courageous and healing. However, it is also dangerous. Being truthful to our word can create loss. These kinds of shifts occur because ‘all that is not aligned will fall away’. 

I have feared excavating my soul because of judgment and fear of alienation and abandonment, but I see my life from my lens while others, especially members of my tribe, have their perspectives, which they can explore in their own memoirs.

I hope to continue to explore these themes in my poetry podcast and other wetting, and see my morning awaken, as the featured image of this post shows.
https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image “Morning Awakening” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

 

Essays · Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Poetry · Publication · Reiki · Tai Chi · Writing

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 3)

The final section of my article on infertility is up on Phoebe,MD: Medicine + Poetry. Links to the other sections are provided. I am grateful to Phoebe and her beautiful site for being a major part of my journey with memoir writing.

PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click forPart 1andPart 2]

The bandage torn
From new flesh
Releases wails
The wound still
Imbibes air
The scab hides
deep repair
Let it rest. Wait
In time the scar
Records a fate

I learned that healing is a deep process. We may heal a physical wound, but to become whole, we need to heal emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. We need to dig into the old grout of our deep being. Moreover, we must trust help is available.

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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…

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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…

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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