1
March

Poetry Offers Outlet to Cancer Patients

iv_drip_2I stumbled across this fascinating article about using poetry as therapy for cancer patients on the Dallas Morning News website and thought to pass it on to you. Thankfully, I’ve never had cancer. Knock on wood as I rap my knuckles against my head! However, I have had several family members who’ve suffered and succumbed to this terrible disease. I vividly recall the conflicting and confusing emotions this disease caused them and their loved ones. Emotions that often found no healthy and therapeutic way of expression. The article discusses not only the psychological benefits of poem therapy but also that there may be benefits for pain management!

I began writing poetry almost 2 years ago as my own form of therapy. Not because I suffered from some horrible disease but simply because I suffered from life. Life, while a wondrous and precious thing, can also treat us terribly at times. During a particularly difficult time in my life I found an unexpected emotional outlet in the form of poetry. First in the reading and then writing it myself. It helped me cope immensely.

It seems to me that writing poetry would be a natural form of therapy for those suffering not only from cancer but any other life-threatening, life-changing or chronic disease. It could provide a healthy outlet for the myriad of fears and confusing emotions as people face their own mortality and the fragility of life. The article, written by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times, makes for an interesting read. Have a look! You or someone you know may benefit from it.

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12
February

Lake Sunrise

Lake Sunrise
Click to enlarge image
Photo: Richard Stephen - 11-Feb-2013

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8
February

What’s in the Spaces? by Rick Stephen

What is it about writing that makes it more than a mere collection of letters and words? I’m thinking in particular of poetry since that is what I write but the question applies to all types of creative writing. Clearly, the words themselves have meanings and words when organized properly can convey even more complex meanings and messages. This is clearly seen in textbooks, instruction manuals, newspapers and such. These are writing forms that have the intent to convey knowledge.

But with creative writing, be it a novel, short story or poem, often the total exceeds the sum of the parts. The words or something also there on the page invoke an emotional response that can’t be accounted for by the collection of words themselves; feelings that can’t be conveyed by mere words. Yet, it seems the words themselves do just that. To those that have experienced being moved in such a way the phenomenon is clear. It’s almost as if the author was able to include amid the letters and words and lines a little bit of his soul. Just enough to convey the emotion the author felt through the dried ink on the page and into the reader’s heart. My poem, “What’s in the Spaces?”, is my rumination on this topic, on this mystery. I hope you enjoy it. Better yet, I hope you experience it. Both as a reader and as a writer.

What’s in the Spaces?

What’s in the spaces
between the words
so painfully crafted
into lines and then verses?

Mere separations,
blank white spaces
or is there more
in those vacuous places?

read more …

2 comments

5
February

Yet I Try by Rick Stephen

plantincrackToday I published a new poem on HubPages entitled “Yet I Try.” It’s about holding on to your dreams in the face of disappointment and repeated failure, about not giving up. It’s likely most people will be able to relate simply because very few dreams of any substance are realized without a measure of blood, sweat and tears. The bigger the dream the more blood, sweat and tears are usually shed realizing it.

I wrote this because a dear friend of mine has been struggling lately, feeling dry, defeated and like giving up. I wanted them to know that they can and will push through these hard times. That they are stronger than even they know and that their talent and ability will shine brightly again … soon. I hope you enjoy it and maybe draw a little inspiration, if you are feeling this way too. Remember, it’s not something unique to you. Everyone feels this way at some point. As always comments, suggestions and criticisms are always welcome!

Yet I Try

I lose
yet I win
for I try once again

I doubt
yet believe
or my dreams life will thieve

read more …

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23
January

Poets.org Events Calendar

eventcalendarIf you’re looking for a poetry-related event in your region or are looking to publicize your group’s event, the Events Calendar at Poets.org is a great tool. The calendar allows you to search the large Poets.org database of events by state, date range or keyword. It’s a great way to quickly find poetry events in your area.

If you or your group has an event you would like on the calendar, you can submit the details by clicking the ‘Submit an Event’ link on the left. Fill out all the relevant information and provide contact details, click the submit button and you’re good to go. It’s a great resource for those looking to find or promote poetry-related events.

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6
January

The Last Few Leaves

The Last Few Leaves

The Last Few Leaves
Click to enlarge image
Photo: Richard Stephen - 4-Jan-2013

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4
January

A Random Act of Violence by Rick Stephen

I’ve finally finished a poem after the Christmas holidays pretty much shut me down. Each December I have two weeks off until just after New Year’s Day. I had hoped to have lots of spare time to devote to writing. Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out to be the case.

So it was with a sense of satisfaction that I finally put pen to paper or more accurately fingers to keyboard and started to write yesterday. “A Random Act of Violence” was the result. I’m not quite sure how this poem ended up as it did. The poem was inspired by childhood memories of laying on the snow at night watching new snow fall out of the darkness above. How and why this pleasant experience morphed into this poem I honestly have no idea. Still, I hope it brings a chill to you in an unexpected way. Enjoy!

bloodysnow
A Random Act of Violence

A bed of fresh snow
sends chills down my back
but the will to move
is something I lack

above me snow falls
with nary a sound
twinkling like stars
against blackness profound

they dance and they swirl,
flitter and flutter
on breezes unseen
with millions of others

read more …

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6
December

Micropoetry – 12/6/2012

her smile
lit up the room
when flashed my way
signaled my doom

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4
December

Dew Drops on a Daisy

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18
November

November Crescent

November Crescent
Click to enlarge image
Photo: Richard Stephen - 18-Nov-2012

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