Staying Present

One of the most challenging parts of my recovery process is gauging my mental energy. In the past, I feel like my ability to remain present was a lot less challenging. Now my brain flits in and out of focus and my train of thought needs to be recoupled.


Questions To Ask 

How do I benefit from things “as is”? What ways do I benefit, directly or indirectly from current injustice? 

Loving the Space Between

I see walls,
high walls of emotional defense,
of fear, of distrust
walls that surround

I see a space between
all these walls
littered with debris,
remnants, pain

But in that space
I also see small shoots of
green hope, flowers of love,
the fruit of human kindness

That space between
our walls is where
love can be found
where the self can
grow rather than be
confined, hemmed in

I have found the walls
can be prisons of our
own device, keeping us
“safe” but trapping us,
allowing our souls to
turn on us, devouring
the Light and hiding
it away, as though
it was only for us

To step outside the
walls is to risk exposure,
to be vulnerable.
The freedom to truly be
ourselves in all fullness,
in all frailty, is a fearsome

But when our deepest desires
are to know and be known,
that awful freedom, in deep
discomfort, becomes the
only thing, the only choice
the only space our souls find

A New Beginning

An insomniac Easter Spin in Four Acts

Act I: The Spin

My thoughts spin at the pace
my daughter’s heart
used to race
Too many shoes have dropped 
for my fearful flinch 
to be stopped

Act II: The Search

I long to find once again
that solace place within my soul
That place of rest
where the spinning stops
That silence in which
the only word is “love”

Act III: More Spin

It is hard to believe in happy endings
when, like a boxer over matched,
I can only wait for
the next blow

Act IV: The Find

I cling to the belief that
suffering and pain can be,
no, will be redeemed.
I cling to that lifeline
with every fiber of my being.
That hope is what pushes me
out of bed every morning, that
Easter message saying:
There may not be a happy ending,
but there damn well will be
a new beginning.

Looking Forward

The voice of the angel

cries out “Do not be afraid.”

And yet I tremble.

Fear tracks through my veins

Even though the comforting voice of

the Spirit speaks “Peace”

Fear is a pull or push

away from.

Away from others

Away from self

Away from God

The voice of fear says

“Isolate, insulate, build walls,

Use preemptive self-defense.”

Fear says no one is on your side.

But the messengers of God

Always say “Be not afraid.”

The voice of God says

“Fear not.”

“I am with you.”

“When you are forsaken,

I will pick you up.”

Fear sticks us, makes







Makes it hard to believe

there is a future

To look forward to.

Yet we are called

Out of fear

To look forward to

A future in the presence

Of ultimate love.

Into Focus

My recent poetry writing has been deeply personal and I have felt some trepidation about sharing it. My therapist thinks that these may help others with similar experiences find words that help express the struggles. I hope she is right.

For a moment, clarity.
I actually know what needs to be done.
Quickly! While the knowledge is still there
Get. It. Done.

Oh shit...focus is lost.
What was it I needed
to do, to finish, to write,
to hope, to dream, to get done?

Out of focus it goes, and
I feel like I am lost
Unable to follow through
on what is right in front of me
that I can't see through
the blur.

Can I ever accept the out of 
focus me, the brain that
slows to a trickle?
What I could do is sometimes
tantalizingly in reach
for a moment,
a single moment
of sublime focus
fading in and out.

Identity Shift

Who I am changes
     beyond my control
Neurons fire
     in new pathways
Around old traumas
                      new pains
Around my fear
               of not being
Enough for my family
                             my faith
                                    my friends
My mind in its healing
     moves in new ways and 
          stops me from taking
               familiar paths
Drawing me away from
     things which brought me comfort
Instead I am forced to
     stop and listen
I act from new, unfamiliar paths
     and try to fight the
          paralyzing fear and
               often fail