My Thoughts My Words My Poetry

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Contents

  1. well the last bird has today flown
  2. Talk To Me, My Words Are In My Thoughts And Heart, Relationship Poem
  3. Talk To Me
  4. Finding the Words to Say It: The Healing Power of Poetry

But, it is also sung when the child has broken with the community, committed a crime, or otherwise fallen out of harmony. The people tell themselves and each other who they are in the order of things, and can thereby bring themselves back into harmony with the world. The healing concerns of palliative care do not reside only with the patients. In , during my father's terminal illness, a friend of mine contracted a nasal sinus cancer, which was thought to be benign.

After several surgeries, all of which were too-little-too-late, the tumor spread into her skull and invaded her brain. When last I left my friend Ruth Ellen, the surgery to remove the frontal bone left her with a step on her forehead.

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When we went out, she wore hats. Today I'll visit her in her room. The tumor is no longer benign. In her head in her eye in what now appears to be the end of her life is my life. The end game. What a relief to know all that is left is to live. Time becomes pudding, pudding air, thick and everywhere. These are the best times of our lives, these pudding days of grace when gardens are our guide. They finally took her eye. Don't mind. When I arrived at the house, her daughter Molly gave me a hug. She'd gone slightly stiff. I walked in and looked out the back window. The garden was beautiful and overgrown, wet with new rain.

I almost missed her in her chair at the table, sitting there eating avocado, sliced and laid out flat. She looked cute in her bonnet and patch. Oh carry me wind for I am air; she's gonna lose her hair I fear she's gonna lose her hair and hibiscus's blooms and hummingbirds' wings and deep dark earth held our future as we shared the last bite of avocado. Ruth Ellen rose then retired to bed. Her black cat waited under the covers after licking Ruth's plate.

I read them poetry. We all tempted fate. I am gifted too, but unrealized. I don't know if I'll write. I don't know if I can. Whenever I try, it seems distant or removed. You must start with your own spoken voice, which is alive, not distant, here and now: your house, your garden, the crabgrass, a bloom the light playing through the leaves the mud that kept you company in the living room.

You remember the last bite of avocado creamy and green a friend your bonnet, the beeping IV Molly, kinked by your arm, the cat black and close— everything rich and scented with you. This is your poetry. This is your life. I went to the house to her room. Her face looked like a pumpkin swollen red and round as a plate. Her left eye was gone. She didn't wear a vanity patch anymore. I kissed her on the cheek.

well the last bird has today flown

Sometimes it scares me. I'm shedding, like wings. Sometimes I come out whole; sometimes it's an onion. Maybe I'm emerging. Sometimes I feel it. It's not nothing. It's something else. You know me, Robert, I don't get all mystical, but something's happening.

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Talk To Me, My Words Are In My Thoughts And Heart, Relationship Poem

I'm shedding from the inside. It's all falling away— beliefs, relationships— all falling. It's good you've come. Dying's no big thing anymore, It's a way to go. When I sat at my friend's side while she was dying and we wrote words like snow and shed wings, I was witness and scribe. We wrote poetry together, She and I. We wrote poetry. My father is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. They're replacing the clogged artery in his leg with a vein graft, also from his leg. The incision will run from his groin to his foot.

If they don't replace the artery, the toe will turn gangrenous, and he could die from infection. If they cut off the toe, the stump may not heal from the lack of circulation, so they have to replace the artery first, and the artery in the other leg, well, that can wait for now, but it will need replacement too, if he lives. My father called the other day. He told me a story from his childhood about a man who owned a one horse shay. The axle broke so he took it to the blacksmith to have it repaired. In it, a wife of 25 years speaks of her role as caregiver 2. I felt frozen at first.

As things went worse for his body there was a kind of condensation— like distilling our future into a very tiny space. Everything became condensed into moments of closeness. I became a better person. I stretched. Sometimes I wanted to sleep. Sometimes I wanted to hide. I was overwhelmed. I was envious of people. The humor we shared wasn't about jokes. It was about being silly. You can't be silly with just anyone. It's a real loss. I knew the minute he died. It was like he shrunk into his body. The soul may linger for a while, But it didn't linger in that body.

What was left was left in our hearts, not in the bed. I came up with this amazing idea That everything now is surreal, And the surreal is the new reality. I just thought of something wonderful. No matter how long we were together, There was always more. I wrote a poem. Here are a few lines. Nothing of love is ever lost.

You take each other in. The poetry and brain cancer project also produced poetry that presented a different sort of perspective. The first question most brain cancer patients ask is, How long do I have to live? I'll tell you how to Figure it out. First, think of a number. Any number. Now, this is where it gets a little tricky … Add the number of your surviving relatives Immediate family only please.

Divide by your estimated percentage hair loss. Subtract one quarter of the number of seizures per month. Multiply by the amount of times you cry. Divide by the amount of times you want to cry. Add the number of people in your email support group. Add twice the number of medications taken daily. There you have it. An accurate and realistic assessment of your life expectancy. We call it median mortality. In a soon-to-be published paper, Jack Coulehan and Patrick Clary, Journal of Palliative Medicine in press write about the need for professionals who work in palliative care to be able to process their own experience, specifically using poetry.

John Fox writes of this need amongst hospice care givers to find their own voices in the work they do 23 , Gregory Gross discusses the need to deconstruct death from his Scientific Medicalization to a more poetic remystification of the process of dying The Man With a Hole in His Face 31 by Jack Coulehan is a dramatic example of a physician trying to come to grips with his own reactions to the reality of this patient.

He has the lower part, a crescent of face on the right, and an eye that sits precipitously beside the moist hole where the rest of his face was. The hole is stuffed with curls of gauze. His nurse comes before dawn, at the moment the eye fears for its balance, and fills the wound, sculpting a tortured landscape of pack ice. The man's eye does not close because any blink is death, nor does the eye rest in mine when I ask the questions he is weary of answering. While I wait here quietly in arctic waste, the pack ice cracks with terrifying songs and over the moist hole where the rest of his face was, he rises.

This man is the man in the moon. Most of the experimental evidence as to the efficacy of Poetry Therapy comes through the literature on expressive writing.


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The seminal researcher in the field of the therapeutic uses of expressive writing is James Pennebaker 32 , Pennebaker has shown that the use of expressive writing for as little as 15 min over 4 days has positive health effects as measured by visits to physicians and a diminution of symptom complaints. His original work deals with the use of expressive writing to heal wounds from traumatic stressful events. Pennebaker's argument and the evidence for the efficacy of expressive writing is well stated in his most recent book Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval In it he summarizes his argument for the therapeutic effects of expressive writing on the immune system 34 ; medical health markers with asthma, cancer, and arthritis patients 35 ; and decreased physiological stress indicators in the form of lower muscle tension, drops in perspiration levels, and lower blood pressure and heart rate levels.

Findings from numerous experiments have suggested that writing exercises can give a whole array of health benefits including reductions in emotional and physical health complaints 37 , 41 , 42 , and enhanced social relationships and role functioning On the other hand not all investigators have found positive effects using writing, and not all people who wrote showed positive benefits Some writers have shown skepticism It presents cutting edge theory and research, and points students and scientist to new avenues of investigation.

It also presents how clinicians are beginning to translate basic research into practical applications. The book is divided into four sections: 1. Overall, the research on poetry therapy in general and expressive writing in particular is promising. I hope you've enjoyed the ride. If you've gotten this far, you've certainly had some kind of experience. You may or may not understand it, but ask yourself whether you have a better sense of being in the dialogue on illness, death and dying.

How do you already use your capacities for poetic expression in working through these questions? If on the other hand, you just skipped directly to this conclusion, here's something for you too. What I want is not words But where words come from The space within breath That calls out our tongue. According to the NAPT, the definition of Poetry Therapy is the intentional use of the written and spoken word to facilitate healing, growth and transformation.

The NAPT has been in existence since It's predecessor was The National Association for Bibliotherapy.

Talk To Me

Twenty-five percent of the members are mental health providers psychologists, social workers, family counselors, etc. Please refer to the web site for details. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Robert Carroll. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. E-mail: ten. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract My purpose in this paper is to help you experience for yourself the potential of poetry to heal by feeling its power through your own voice.


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Keywords: poetry therapy, poetry and healing, voice and healing, poetry and medicine. Introduction My purpose in this paper is to help you experience for yourself the potential of poetry to heal by experiencing the power of poetry through your own voice. Poetry as a Natural Healing Practice Many people have an intuitive sense that voice in general and poetry in particular can be healing. One patient reported his dilemma following brain surgery to remove his cancer, I felt I lost my edge and then I lost my place but the tragedy is I have so much to say. Amazing Change We can go through amazing changes when we are faced with knowing we have limited time.

Poetry and Therapy In my private practice of family psychiatry, I often ask whether my patients do any writing and for what purpose. The first words he wrote were 19 : I am tired.

Finding the Words to Say It: The Healing Power of Poetry

Eileen Eileen has breast cancer. Being the Stone I want to be the stone and tell how she held me in the palm of her hand rolled me between her fingers slipped me into her mouth tasted my salt tumbled me around. MeFather I rose in his wake. What Waiting Is We sit on the bench in the hospital corridor next to the cafeteria, and we wait.

The Family Plot I dig the earth with my hands, claw stones with my nails, sift ash through my fingers— bone and tooth fragments burned out by morning spread on the ground. A Note On Healing In Chinese, the written character for poem is composed of two characters, one means word and the other means temple.

Poetry and Palliative Care The healing concerns of palliative care do not reside only with the patients. The Proof in the Pudding When last I left my friend Ruth Ellen, the surgery to remove the frontal bone left her with a step on her forehead. The i in Poetry When I sat at my friend's side while she was dying and we wrote words like snow and shed wings, I was witness and scribe. Cherish My father is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. The Legacy I felt frozen at first.

I had to take a deep pause while performing a poem I knew mostly by heart because the impact of saying these things out loud — and in front of an audience — overwhelmed me so much. But when it was over, I had such a feeling of beautiful joy of having done it in the first place. I had such sweet relief that it was over. Like writing itself, it's so much better once you've done it, once it's over, and once a bit more practice is under your belt. After my performance, some people came up to me and said "I had no idea that happened to you. Even worse, a few people went up to my boyfriend and asked him how he felt about me reading love poems, or as the people asking him put it, "poems about you.

That's something I'll always have to deal with in poetry, though. I can't change how the reader perceives my work, and that's also part of the magic of it all. For every four people who respond to my work in relation to what my boyfriend may think, there's one person who is really moved by it, and who needed to hear what I had to say in that moment. That's what ultimately makes it worth it to me. I've performed my work a few more times since that first book launch, and it still hasn't gotten any easier. I even introduced a poet last weekend — and didn't even have to read my work at all — and still trembled as I got on stage.

I know it'll only get better if I keep doing it, but I'm also trying to be OK with how hard it is for me right now. I know my overwhelming nerves come from my absolute devotion to the craft. I still tremble when I introduce a poet in a room of poets because I'm so damn grateful to be there in the first place. So close you won't let anyone in, You say you want to find love again But want to take it slow One minute you want to spend time with me Then others you don't.

You share no feelings, or thoughts So that I can understand, It feels like you're using me, so you're not so alone I really like you and it would be sad to let you go I really want to know you as a person Even if it is slow When you're gone I miss you lots Even when you're here I still miss you Maybe this is not what you want, I would like to think that you would tell me, So that I don't feel so alone.

If you could just talk to me and let me know. Trials By Frank Mandarano. Did you spell check your submission? Common Mistakes: the word "i" should be capitalized, "u" is not a word, and "im" is spelled "I'm" or "I am". Menu Search Login Loving.