awakening, Being a nurse, Being a poet, creative non-fiction, Essays, Personal Experiences

Happy Nurses Week

I wrote this poem in April, while taking part in NaPoWriMo 2018,  in examen of two different supposed dichotomous “identities” of my life: being a poet and being a nurse. For most of my time in healthcare, I’ve never felt like I could have a tender poet-side AND be strong nurse. I’ve felt silly for having a side that wasn’t evidenced-based or life-saving or practical. But lately, I have come to know that the most hidden, most tender parts about a person are also the parts that make them brilliant at what they do, and help them be present to the people they care for. The tender and hidden parts are the parts that whisper for you to pause in what could be a life changing moment. I have seen those parts shine through on the faces, in the hearts, and within the actions of the nurses I have worked alongside during my nearly eleven years being a nurse.  So guess what guys, you are all poets and you didn’t know it! Or maybe you do know and you embrace it.  That would be even better…..

On Being A Nurse

Eyes in the interstitial

Holding space for the untouchable

Fine tuning intuition with what lives and breaths

See, hear, smell, palpate, seek

Peer into physiology

All senses keening

Flourish the world with healing.

Intuit the liminal

Hold space for the unnamble

See. Hear. Smell. Palpate. Seek

Peering onto the world’s underbelly

All senses keening

Flourish the world with prophecy

Boyhood, children, creative non-fiction, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day One: The Green Marker Magic Trick

The prompt for day one was to write of a guilty pleasure or of a shame. This is not a poem about either one of those things… yet… it is about a secret game (seemingly at the time)  I used to play with my little brother.  I guess I felt guilty “tricking him” at the time, but as his big sister, I also relished in being in charge, which is an odd thing for a 9 year old girl. As I wrote, and examined, what emerged for me was the beauty of the multifaceted tandem dance  of love and trust between siblings and children… the multifaceted dance of childhood. It also made me remember how dear my little brother was then, and is now, to me. And his eyes will always be as blue as I remember them when he was two or three.


Four pairs of blue eyes

yours and mine

in the mirror and from out of our minds

looking back at us in the bathroom 

at the back of the old stone house where dad used to live

Sometimes on those days, it seemed we were alone in a castle

Dark halls and half cracked open doorways

Shadows and light playing across wood and stone and plaster and overstuffed dusty furniture

“Would you like to wear earrings?” I’d say, taking your hand and smiling

And you’d look back at me with the most beautiful open face I’d ever seen

My brother

“Wait here” I’d  whisper

I’d drop your warm little hand and leave you for a moment 

To return with a green marker and small, desk-kit sized stapler tucked into the tiniest pocket of my jeans

And you always waited, so still for me to return

I never wondered whether you’d rather run, or laugh at this silly daily game we played

My brother

“Let’s go get your earrings on” I’d say and smile

And take your little hand, warm,  and lead you into the bathroom at the back of the house

Pulling the old wire chain meant flooding light over both of our faces

Four pairs of eyes, blue

yours and mine

in the mirror and from out of our minds

looking back at us in the bathroom

“Close your eyes or it won’t work” I’d say and smile

And then your little eye lids dropped and you waited

“Hold still”, I’d whisper,  “Or they won’t go on straight”

And still you would remain, your little chest and shoulders rising quietly with every little boy breath

Sometimes I’d just watch you in the mirror, there for a moment, eyes closed and breathing

My brother

I’d pull the marker from out of the tiny jeans pocket

bite the cap off with my teeth and lay it down on the white porcelain edge of the sink

Next, the desk-kit sized stapler

Both now, carefully arranged and perfectly positioned in waiting

“Almost now, just keep still or they won’t go on straight”, I’d say

And still you would remain, little lids dropped shut and rising shoulders, blond cow-lick sticking up from the back of your head

So trusting

my brother

I never wondered whether you’d rather run

From my magic trick

My wizardry of sister

Teasing love

Next, came the tandem dance 

of pinching and clicking

The pinching fingers of my left hand squeezed your little earlobe while my right hand clicked the stapler just beside your head





And then on went the dot with the green marker

Your little face never flinching, I wondered

Because sometimes I pinched hard

And then the tandem dance for the other lobe





And then again, on went the green dot

No wince, no opened eyes

Just stillness from out of our minds

Trusting blond cow-lick at the back of your head shivering

My face just staring at yours, eyes closed, face open

My brother

“There you can open your eyes”, I’d say

And you’d see the two green dots, one on each lobe

And you wouldn’t cry, but I wondered if you wanted to 

My patient brother

And you’d whisper 

“Take them off please”

And in my wizardry of sister love I whispered,  “Close your eyes or they won’t come off”

And your little lids would drop

I’d lick my fingers with spit and wipe them clean, your lobes, one dot off and then the other

From you my brother

“There you can open your eyes—they’re off”, I’d whisper

“Where did they go?” you’d ask

“I can’t tell you it’s my magic trick”

And you’d just stare back at me, there for a moment, little open face now searching mine

from out of the mirror and of our minds

“Lets go play”, I’d say

Pulling the wire from the light in the bathroom at the back of the old stone house where dad used to live

Meant curtain closed on that show


And then we’d dash out into the castle hallways

Limbs tumbling

Laughter dancing 

with the dust and light and furniture

You and me

My little brother

2017, action healing, Atonement, awakening, creative non-fiction, discernment, Growth, Healing, Humanity, jesus, Personal Experiences, Soul, the color of moments, Winter, Year's End

“To Water, To Let Rain”

Oh lord

Release me from the bedraggled monotony of my ingrattitude

Haggard and dry, brittle and unyielding

Despair makes a mummy out of me

Withered patchwork of gray

Worn and frayed

I see through a veil of unease

How sweet the way the sun breaks through

How tender the rain on my bones

How spongy the fog makes the moss

Oh Hope, Oh lord

Release me from my bedraggled monotony

Send hope

Send rain upon this day