Guest aoife

Healing Poetry

59 posts in this topic

Hey all

A new thread for healing poems. Thanks Cookie for the suggestion.



(Edited by aoife at 3:35 pm on Feb. 15, 2002)

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Aoife.. great idea :biggrin:

i have several 'poem-type-things i'd love to share, so sorry if i inundate this thread for a while..... ((huggles))

                To a Wounded Angel

You're so brave, so strong, so beautiful, and you can fly so high. I'm so often in awe of you, did you know that? And believe me when I say to you now that I value you every bit as much when you're stooping as when you soar. Right now, settled on the ground, with your wings folded down around you, I think I love you even more.

Everything happens for a reason good people have told you, and you've done your very best to believe them. This philosophy offers such comfort and peace. And in retrospect, when looking back upon my own life, for the most part, it rings true. So much that was painful or disappointing later proved to serve me. And I know with all of my heart that your own hurt will serve you. But I can't offer up that everything happens for a reason to you. My throat closes around those words the moment they occur to me, and bitterness rises up to meet them.

How can there possibly be a reason for women to be tortured physically, sexually, emotionally or spiritually? There is no reason. And I've long since given up my quest to acquire one. I refuse to tell you that the devastation that you suffered happened for a reason. What acceptable reason could there possibly be?

As an advocate, I've looked into too many pain filled eyes. Eyes that reflect a tortured experience, eyes that ask why? WHY? And you know what? There never was a why that I found acceptable. Not a single explanation that was ever good enough for me.

And so my tired angel, I come to you emptied of answers. I can't take away your WHY and replace it with an explanation. I wish I could. I want so very much to take your pain away.

Because I cannot take away, I come to you with a modest offering. One so small, that I'm humbled as I hold it out to you. It's a small stone with one word engraved upon its surface. The word is AND.

You were hurt very badly AND yet in spite of the hurt, you've grown. You were deeply wounded AND still you survived. You were exposed to the worst in human behavior AND yet you've always tried to give your best. Your voice was silenced AND still you've heard and responded to the pain of others. You were touched by evil AND you've chosen to embrace goodness. You were betrayed AND still you seek to trust. You've been vulnerable and exposed AND still you've sheltered lost souls with your wings. Your agony can't be denied, but neither my precious friend can all of the AND's that are contained within you. They too have shaped you, and even as your pain has left you grounded, they surely make up the magic that will lead you once again to fly. Take them with you.

Tammie Fowles, LISW, Ph.D.

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OK, sorry.. here's for #2  :biggrin:

                           When You Feel You Can't Go On

I'm sorry that you're hurting so desperately right now. I know how painful the seconds, and minutes, and days can be, how long the nights are. I understand how very hard hanging on is, and how much courage it takes.

I ask though that you hold onto one day at a time. Just one day, and slowly this despair will pass. The feelings you fear you're trapped in will serve their purpose, and then fade away. Difficult to imagine isn't it? Almost impossible to believe when every cell in your body it seems cries out in agony, desperately in need of comfort. When it feels like the only thing in the whole world that can touch your pain and banish it is beyond your grasp. And after all this time, the assurance that you will heal has become an empty, broken promise.

Just let one tiny cell in your body continue to believe in the promise of healing. Just one. You can surrender every other cell to your despair. Just that one little cell of faith that you can heal and be whole again is enough to keep you going, is enough to lead you through the darkness. Although it can't banish your suffering, it can sustain you until the time comes for you to let your pain go. And the letting go can only occur in it's own time, as much as we would like to push the pain away forever.

Hold on. Hold on to appreciate the beauty of the earth, to feel the songs of the birds in your heart, to learn and to teach, to laugh a genuine laugh, to dance on the beach, to rest peacefully, to experience contentment, to want to be no other place but in the here and now, to trust in yourself, and to trust your life.

Hold on because it's worth the terrible waiting. Hold on because you are worthy. Hold on because the wisdom that will follow you out of this darkness will be a tremendous gift. Hold on because you have so much love and joy waiting to be experienced. Hold on because life is precious, even though it can bring terrible losses. Hold on because there is so much that you can't now imagine waiting ahead on your journey - a destiny that only you can fulfill. Hold on although your exhausted and your grasp is shaky, and you want more than anything to let go sometimes, hold on even though. Please hold on.

So much in life can be difficult, even impossible to understand. I know, I know... So many of us have cried in despair, why? why? why? and still the answers and the comfort failed to show. Survival can be a long and lonely road, in spite of all those who've stumbled down the path before you. And it can be a treacherous, torturous journey - so easy to get lost, and yet impossible to avoid even one painful step.

And the light, the light at the end of the dark tunnel for so long cannot be seen, although eventually you'll begin to feel its' warmth as you move forward. And forward you must move in order to get through the #### of remembering, of despair, of rage, of grief. Keep looking forward please. Rest if you must, doubt your ability to survive the journey if you have to, but never let go of the guide ropes, although when you close your fingers around them, your hands feel empty, they are there. Please trust me, they are there.

When you're exhausted, when all you have to count on is a weakened, weary faith, hold on. When you think you want to die, hold on until you recognize that it's not death you seek, but for the pain to go away. Hold on, because this darkness will surely fade away. Hold on. Please hold on.

Tammie Byram Fowles, LISW, Ph.D

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OK, just *one* last one, then i'll leave you all alone!! lol This is my favourite one....... (((more huggles))

                 MY DECLARATION OF SELF-ESTEEM - Virginia Satir  

I am me.

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone choose it.

I own everything about me - my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all my thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, whatever they might be anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that come out of it, polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.

I own my own fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.

I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.

Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.

I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.

However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me.

This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.

When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something new for that which I discarded.

I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.

I own me, and therefore I can engineer me.

I am me and

                                 I AM OKAY !!!!!!

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This is a poem that I keep with me in my planner at all times and that I have stuck to my bulletin board next to my computer.  

The Friend in your Mirror

Speak Gently to youself.
    Speak Freely
in praise of all you are.
    Speak Clearly
with pride in all you've been.
    Speak Bravely
with hope for all you may become.
    Find in yourself
the powers that only you possess,
    the pains
that only you can oversome,
    the promises
that only you can keep.
    Look Deeply
into the mirror of your life
 and discover the very special person
    that only you can be.
Edward Cunningham

This poem was writen by a very close friend of mine.  It just came out in the end of an online conversation.

I am with you tonight
willing your peaceful sleep,
lulling your tired spirit into rest,
relaxing every muscle.
Release worry nightmare and darkness.
Breathe in calm and peace.
Let tonight be the beginning of sound sleep.
Remember this as you drift off.
Give away you dreams to me.
I will hold them for you.

They both mean alot to me and remind me of a lot of my friends here.

Take Care all

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dunno if this fits...or if its healing...if not im sorry ....

Survivor's Poem # 1 by Jennifer Lisa Vest

Who will deliver me
of this hateful birth;
This suddenly remembered
Child's terror,
This misty recollection
Forming a cloud
Raining on my
That was sanity
Who will take from
My weary arms
This burden too heavy
To hold?

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sorry..have to add another an english major and i love poetry....

Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhoods hour I have not been
As others were-- I have not sseen
As others saw-- I could not bring
My passions from a comman spring-
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow-- I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone--
And all I lov'd -- I lov'd alone--
Then -- in my childhood -- in the dawn
Of a most stormy life -- was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still--
From the torrent, or the fountain--
From the red cliff of the mountain--
From the sun that round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold--
From the lightening in the sky
As it pass'd me fly ing by--
From the thunder, and the storm--
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

i had never read a poem that got my emotions down so perfectly.  maybe i'm maudlin, but i love the dreary stuff...

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[b]Missoula Rape poem[/b]

There is no difference between being raped
and being pushed down a flight of cement steps
except that the wounds also bleed inside.

There is no difference between being raped
and being run over by a truck
except that afterwards men ask you if you enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped
and losing a hand in a mowing machine
except that doctors don't want to get involved,
and police wear a knowing smirk,
and in small towns you become a veteran whore.

There is no difference between being raped
and going head first through a windshield
except that afterwards you are afraid
not of cars
but half the human race.

-Marge Piercy

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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

"Still I Rise"

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

(Edited by alex0228 at 11:48 pm on Mar. 14, 2002)

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Phenomenal Woman
Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

One of my all time favorites, and one of the first that helped me begin to accept myself as MYSELF, without the need to change outwardly.

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I usually don't quote other people's work, but:

"I only told you those
   pretty poems
because the
   real ones
would frighten you"
that was Jewel Kilcher

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i just wrote this an hour ago...:sad:

Broken spirits
Full of shame
Full of sorrow
Full of pain
All these questions
All our cries
Eat away and drown us
Again the beauty within us dies
Why does filthiness still tend
To fill us with sorrow
When will it finally end?
When will You hold us ?
When will you heal us?
When will all our wounds finally mend?
Do You see us?
Do You see?
Do you hear us cry out in agony?
I'm trying to believe
I'm trying to trust
But, I see all my my effort
Turn into dust
I'm trying to believe You
I'm trying so hard to see
I'm trying to trust that You do care for me
I'm told that You cried
When you saw what he did
But why did You let happen?
Why didn't you protect me?
Oh, Jesus sweet Jesus
I'm sorry for this doubt
Please help me Lord, Jesus
Please cast this pain out

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I love this poem:

in time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so (forgetting seem)

in time of roses (who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if, remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek (forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me, remember me

     - e.e. cummings

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~Robert Frost

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I'm sorry. This may not be very 'healing', but i'm having a bad day and can never get into the "share your poetry" board.  I just wrote this and need to vent a little.  I hope it's okay to post it hear.  Please forgive me if it's not the place to post it.  :sad: here it is.....

If “regular” people only knew
The kind of pain we’ve been thru
If they could only grasp it

Unless you’ve seen the demons
Tasted the taste
Smelled the stench
Heard the awful sounds
And felt the blows
You don’t have a clue
Don’t have a clue

The unbearable scenes
Go around and around
They never stop
Maybe leave for small vacations
Only to return full blast
I die again a little each time

I hate the memories
Hate them and what they show
Feeling powerless and less than human
Filth and ugliness all around
Evil and hatred lurking
Satan and his flunkies laugh and leer
Yelling “give it to her”! she deserves it!”
Screaming and laughing, “she’s less than a dog”
Hot tears flow
Screams turn to soft muffled sobs of disbelief
I leave my body
Don’t want it no more

I scream inside myself
Aware that no one can hear
The turmoil inside my soul
I wish it would quiet down
Drown out
As I’m drowning

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A child's heart should never be broken...

I want so much to get out
to get away from my thoughts and fears
of the outside world
How do I expect to live a life
if I'm sitting in my room everyday
and all my chances go forward
while I continue to move backward
in confusion?
I don't understand my fear
what am I afraid of anyway?  - January 18,1999

I can smell you on my skin
throughout the day
what is that smell?
burning flesh
eating away at my bones
teraing apart my soul
do you see
what you have done?
You have destroyed my existence
my life
my bery being
I WILL FIND YOU  -August 21,2001

Catastrophic tendencies
flow through my hand
onto this paper
and all you can do
is sit there and read my words
but do you have any idea
what they mean?
do you have any clue
as to how I got here
how I can write such terrible things
and think such terrible thoughts
you have no clue
no idea
no excuse for me
to tell to anyone
and all I hear is laughter
and see your eyes
staring blankly back at mine
the wind caresses your skin
can you feel the fingers
cruising over your body
doesn't that frighten you
make you want to scream out
in the dead of night
wake you from your dream
and wish it was
don't laugh
don't laugh
my ears bleed from the sound
of your breath
heavy and hot against my neck
rough skin
rough movements
doesn't that feel good?
do you remember it
do you remember last night
I came into your room
you don't remember
but it was so good
I remember it
maybe I can tell you later
or even show you again
don't tell
it's a secret
blinding lights from the ceiling
imprints from the seat
try to take them off
they won't come off
can't get rid of them
of the lines
the thoughts
the pressure
I can't breathe
I'm going to sleep
see you in my dreams   -sometime in 2001

These are my own poems I wrote from my own experiences..I had a counselor tell me once, "if it wasn't for your poems, you'd be dead." i was suicidal at the time....

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For Children Who Were Broken
it is very hard to mend......
Our pain was rarely spoken
and we hid the truth from friends.

Our parents said they loved us,
but they didn't act that way.
They broke our hearts
and stole our worth,
with the things that they would say.

We wanted them to love us.
We didn't know what we did
to make them yell at us and hit us,
and wish we weren't their kid.

They'd beat us up and scream at us
and blame us for their lives.
Then they'd hold us close inside their arms
and tell us confusing lies
of how they really loved us --
even though we were BAD,
and how it was OUR fault they hit us,
OUR fault that they were mad.

When days were just beginning
we sometimes prayed for them to end,
and when the pain kept coming,
we learned to just pretend
that we were good
and so were they
and this was just
on of those days ...
tomorrow we'd be friends.

We had to believe it so.
We had nowhere else to go.

Each day that we pretended,
we replaced reality
with lies, or dreams,or angry schemes,
in search of dignity ....
until our lies
got bigger than the truth,
and we had no one real to be

Our bodies were forsaken.
With no safe place to hide,
we learned to stop hearing and feeling
what they did to our outsides.

We tried to make them love us,
till we hated ourselves instead,
and couldn't see a way out,
and wished that they were dead.
We scared ourselves by thinking that,

and scared ourselves to know,
that we were acting just like them --
and might ever more be so.

To be half the size of a grown-up
and trapped inside their pain....
To every day lose everything
with no savior or refrain...
To wonder how it is possible
that God could so forget
the worthy child you knew you were,
when you had not been damaged yet ...
To figure on your fingers
that the years till you'd be grown
enough to leave the torment
and survive away from home,
were more than you could count to,
or more than you could bear,
was the reality we lived in
and we knew it wasn't fair.

We who grew up broken
are somewhat out of time,
struggling to mend our childhood,
when our peers are in their prime.
Where others find love
and contentment,
we still often have to strive
to remember we are worthy,
and heroes just to be alive.

Some of us are healing.
some are stealing.
Most are passing the anger on.
Some give their lives away to drugs,
or the promise of like beyond.
Some still hide from society.
Some struggle to belong.
But all of us are wishing
the past would not hold on
so long.

There's a lot of digging down to do
to find the child within,
to love away the ugly pain
and feel innocence again.
There is forgiveness
worthy of angel's wings
for remembering those at all,
who abused our sacred childhood
and programmed us to fall.
To seek to understand them,
and how their pain became our own,
is to risk the ground we stand on
to climb the mountain home.

The journey is not so lonely
as in the past it s been ...
More of us are strong enough
to let the growth begin.
But while we're trekking up the mountain
we need everything we've got,
to face the adults we have become,
and all that we are not.

So when you see us weary
from the day's internal climb ...
When we find fault with your best efforts,
or treat imperfection as purposeful crime ...
When you see our quick defenses,
our efforts to control,
our readiness to form a plan
of unrealistic goals ...
When we run into a conflict
and fight to the bitter end,
remember ...
We think that winning means
we won't be hurt again.

When we abandon OUR thoughts and feelings,
to be what we believe YOU want us to,
or look at trouble we are having,
and want to blame it all on you...
When life calls for new beginnings,
and we fear they re doomed to end,
Wounded trust is like a wounded knee--
It is very hard to bend.

Please remember this
when we are out of sorts.
Tell us the truth, and be our friend.
For children who were broken...
it is very hard to mend.

by Elia Wise

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I thought I was "over" most of it -
but I guess I just found a way to
bury it deeper - and I HAVE to let some
of it out - with NO counseling, and only
a couple who believe me, I have a husband
who I can only hurt because he wants
to help me and he can't  . . . only my
dogs to share with, and somehow that just
isn't enough.  

Sorry guys, I HAVE to vent.

Bits and pieces in my mind
Not enough to help me find
What has happened in the past -
Only sadness, pain will last.

Segments of that anguished "dream"
Pieces of that "mental scream"
Bits of this and bits of that
Not enough to start a chat . . .

Whose voices came out from the walls?
Who shined lights in shower stalls?
Watching private parts of me
That no one will e'er again see . . .

Showing me where their minds were set
Watching me shower, seeing me "wet" -
Wonder what they wanted next?
Wonder why my soul was vexed?

Then when the walls no longer "talked"
Why did they follow me as I walked?
When their cars went to and fro -
Back and forth so I would know . . .

Only that I was being stalked -
No one approached me, no one knocked -
All they did was cause great fear
'Cause I could see they were still near.

Oh, the shame I now embrace
When in the mirror I see my face -
Wondering who my a*users were
Can they still see me? Are they here?

Do they watch me in the tub?
Do they see me as I scrub?
Whatever were they looking for?
Do they still think that I'm a whore?

Only pieces - only bits
Just enough to give me fits
Only parts of that strange night
Fill my nights with pain and fright.

Why did they come here as I slept?
What is the secret that they kept?
Why only pieces, why only bits?
WHAT did they do to give me fits?

I have no knowledge of what they tried,
On the night when my spirit died.
Who were they - the ones who hurt?
Why did they do it? I didn't flirt.

I wore no short skirts, my face was bare -
No make up, no jewels to adorn my hair -
Only me, and nothing else
WHO, what . . . WHY  ? ? ?

I'm told the past must be put away
Forget the horrors of that day.
"Move right on, leave the past behind"
"Clear your heart", "clear your mind" . . .

"You'll never know what gave you fright
On that aweful, trecherous night -
Only think of happy things -
It will take away the stings"

Happy things? Pray tell me please
What they may be - I must appease
This empty soul, this aching heart
Please show me how to play this part.

So I'll just keep on "keeping on"
Til all of my life is gone . . .
With hopes that one day I shall see
The happy one that once was me.

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This is a poem I wrote for a therapist I used to see.  I miss her terrible.  She was the greatest ... Read this and you'll understand why.

White Linen

She hears my silent cries
My hidden fears
And without judgment
She listens to my lamentations.
As my archives unfold
She accepts every word
Every thought
Anticipating the tears.
And the dark pigment flows
Onto her white linen pages
Etching the images
Of rents and abrasions
As I am etched
By shards of betrayal
Past and new.
And with each intimate passage
Respectful silence assures me
Of her unspoken promise
That my trust in her
Will be honored
And I can close each entry
I am not alone.

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"Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning."

This has always been my favourite poem whenever I'm feeling distanced from the rest of the world.

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I found this poem on a website about PTSD - and I think it's amazing.

<b>Survivor's Psalm</b>
by Frank Ochberg, MD

I have been victimized.
I was in a fight that was
not a fair fight.
I did not ask for the fight.
I lost.
There is no shame in losing
such fights.
I have reached the stage of
survivor and am no longer a
slave of victim status.
I look back with sadness
rather than hate.
I look forward with hope
rather than despair.
I may never forget, but I need
not constantly remember.
I was a victim.
I am a survivor.

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A good friend of mine sent me this a long time ago...

~ When we live our life, we leave a trail. We can choose if it is a trail of light, or darkness. It is what we leave behind when we are gone. Sometimes we don't see the impact we have on others. That is because we are facing forward and do not see the light left behind us. But we leave an impact, all the same. By seeing our own Light, we see the perfection within us. For we are mirrors for each other. When we see the effect we have on others, we see universal love at work.

Loving oneself is where it all begins. Seeing the beauty within us, reflecting off of those around us, is the first step to seeing our true spirit selves. ~
~ Joan St.John ~

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A friend sent me this, author unknown. It was this that finally got me to open up.

If I could catch a rainbow
I would do it just for you
And share with you its beauty
On the days you're feeling blue

If I could build a mountain
You could call your very own
A place to find serenity
A place to be alone

If I could take your troubles
I would toss them in the sea
But all these things
I'm finding are impossible for me

I cannot build a mountain
Or catch a rainbow fair
But let me be what I know best
A friend that's always there


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[quote]Quote: from Donna on 9:54 pm on July 10, 2002
Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~Robert Frost[/quote]

I LOVE this one!!!

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This is one of my favorites...

I think it is very powerful and strong, but read with care, it could *T*...






You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time --
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine,
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You --

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two --
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

-Sylvia Plath, October 12, 1962

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