Thursday, 27 October 2016

Healing Powers of the Poetic Word

I really want and hope share and impart the rewards of using poetry for therapeutic release and personal wellbeing.

I love the freedom of expression poetry offers, finding pause to breathe with the luxury to empty my head and heart whenever I choose....wonderful!!....and then.... my inquisitiveness is given permission to flourish.

Poetry can be found in every aspect of life, opportunities are endless. In the smile on someone’s face to the sadness in their eyes, the web spun silently through the night caressed by the dewy morning mist, the unconditional love and sheer excitement of your family pet. It need not be in rhyming form but can be free verse, whereby opening up a galaxy of expression.

I began writing poetry whilst experiencing a particularly traumatic time in my life.  At first it was stuttered emotion, words slipped from me without order…randomly finding the page, raw emotion racing from my mind. I found release from this therapeutic outlet, a process of acknowledging, recognising and taking action felt good.  That I could do something about how I felt, not necessarily change or control what was happening, but could strengthen my wellbeing,  observe my emotions, read them again at any opportunity, allowing me a route map to begin managing my head and heart with increased clarity. This truly helped me shape a way forward, cut out a path, a direction in which to process my tangled thoughts.

Thinking at a deeper level, one particular perspective on life came to me….would we find time or even want to appreciate another's point of view (perspective) if our own stood in the way?  Would we wait long enough to draw breath, breathe it in and face someone, offering time to hear them? Would we know if this was needed, would we sense it? Would we look into the eyes of someone we know well, who perhaps we’ve overlooked unknowingly? Is time on our side to begin to see, to notice, to hold their gaze and reach out....?

Looking at you,

had I seen you lately?

in the true sense of it all,

I wondered if my mind

lived for the present,

within fallen days,

or racing future.


Had I observed

the breath-taking dawn,

the sun scorching the deep blue,

could I begin to look?

fresh out of closed eyelids,

blink away the blur

towards you

 Could we offer this to ourselves?  Begin to feel replenished with strong limbs, bones and sinews, our minds gently rocked to a lullaby of self-care. Would we fill our lungs with fresh air, breathe it in fully to the pit of our stomach and exhale? Would we want someone to listen, to reach out, to hear us? Is time on our side to get to know who we are, to see ourselves, to hear our voice, to make time for our thoughts, create our choices?

 I am within myself, somewhere I reside

fully kitted out, my choices

emblazoned like badges

clear to me now,

if I could speak my truth

feel a connection,

open palmed and close to me,

sit with you with offerings,

beginning to know them and who I am spoken,

time spent in companionship,

sharing a friendship bench,

watching words form and elongate,

accepting of me, reciprocal,

and so life begins for us with change

How do we take that first step if our footsteps are heavily laden? How can we enlist our mind to release us from entrapment, whereby we have become too tired, listless, without the wherewithal and unable to find enough get up and go to get going and gone.

Take me on a journey in my mind

to a place I do not yet recognise,

I will take a step,

persuasion punctuates me,

stepping up to the plate of thoughts,

the goblet to a calm lagoon

Well, fair enough you might say, still how do I do this? 

What is it you want?

I want the breeze in my hair,

to feel the warmth of a close friend,

to shake hands with myself,

introduce someone to someone else,

to absolve loneliness

 What is it you feel?

 I feel weary,

my legs are heavy,

my mind is corroding,

I want to be enlivened,

to detach the gum from my shoe,

unhook the line and roll it out

What are you thinking right now?

 I need to try

to slot the coin,

to kick the ball in the net,

tread on the cracks in the pavement,

jump in the puddles,

shout out for joy to pay me a call

How would you choose to think/be?

 I invite the unknown,

choose it from the menu,

unfold my arms,

toss a coin with hope it will work out,

I want to wave at strangers,

smile at improbability,

fight for the cause,

free the frozen challenge,

raise my arms for courage,

lift my chin to the world,

absorb the shock

and rock n roll

The journey into you or me can begin when we choose to decide, speak with vulnerability, see what it looks and feels like. Reach inside ourselves to find recognition, acknowledgement and start the flow to release our thoughts and feelings, filling the page with the light and shade of our lives. Writing questions and answering them in poetic form can be one way of expression.  Exploring what it is we want is certainly a beginning, it can increase a sense of who we are. Taking action as opposed to remaining stuck, if only a small nudge in the right direction, will employ a pendulum swinging, it has to begin somehow.

Choosing to open our minds is freedom itself, without financial outlay. We can converse with  ourselves, make an alliance with our innermost dialogue; the paper and pen becoming our pen pal, make friends with the written word and decorate the page however we wish.  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, it can be for our eyes alone, a love letter to ourselves, cradling our emotions in safety.

Collect me in your paragraphs,

write me in a thousand words,

hold my emotions within your hand,

cradle them to the page

Tell me of yourself,

how can I know you?

taste your words on the texture of my lips,

press them between tissue

 fold the page,

keep me safe

and I will hold you forever


 Some examples of different forms and types of poetry:-


A poem using the first letter of each line which spells out a word or phrase when reading it vertically

S          ense my inner soul

A         nnounce me to the world
F          ind a space for me
E          nliven, wake me from weariness
T          emp me from the straight and narrow
Y         earn for me

Choose what’s on your mind, in your heart:-

I ran a hundred miles, so it seemed,

to find peace, I found none,

and ran a hundred more,

crazy claimed and became me,


I took a stroll in another’s shoes,

reread their chapters,

used their words,

held my breath too long

Should we awake to raindrops pecking the window panes, will it devour our freshly woken mood resulting in showery conditions to permeate their way through our whole day?

Would we unconsciously choose the flooded fens?

Would we stroll the waterlogged walkways?

Would we deny the shimmer of diamond sun reflecting?

Would we crave the sun parched dusty roads?

Would we churn up an emotional deluge?

Would we slide into sodden self-absorption?

Could we awake and consciously splash away our woes?

Could we walk in purposeful puddles for the fun of it?

Could we shake the hand of the watery glistening glow?

Could we water away the dusty debris?

Could we churn out an emotional song?

Could we flow and glide on our felt connection?

I wonder........

In the hours before we sleep could we consciously tell ourselves a bedtime story about how our day will be given over to a changeful celebration, a meditation on mindfulness. Softening our expectations of ourselves and others, listening to the words forming in the moment and leaving aside the fast forward to a week that hasn't begun, that may or may not tap us on the shoulder.  So that we may take heed or ignore, and turn towards absorbing our surroundings.

Might we wake up to the here and now, place our feet inside cosy slippers, watch them miraculously follow our instructions.  Marvel at the simplest of things, reaching for the fine mist of your favourite perfume, the mornings first steaming cup of tea..

Keep freshness by your side,

walk hand in hand with who you are,

with your choices,

dance with your decisions

So take the challenge of beginning your poetic waltz....little by little, or tune into that right or left turn you've been out the direction it takes. 





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