Saturday, June 21, 2014

Poetry as Therapy

Life hands us lovely days and awful ones; angry thunderstorms roll in that eventually fade to reveal cheery skies.  The sun rises to light our way, always setting to give darkness due time.  Every individual faces trials, feeling the weight of fear and sorrow as well as the immense relief that comes at their passing.

"No one is without troubles, without personal hardships and genuine challenges.  That fact may not be obvious because most people don't advertise their woes and heartaches.  But nobody, not even the purest heart, escapes life without suffering battle scars." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Coping with one's feelings during hardships, finding a healthy way to manage, can often be as challenging as surviving the trial itself.  For some of us, it may be the most trying part.  To think you can escape or anesthetize or ignore your scarred emotions, believing they will somehow no longer exist is like turning your back on the sun day after day believing this will negate its effects.  The sun was meant to shine and to warm the world, as emotions were meant to give experience and meaning to our lives.  Yes, even awful emotions have a place.  Various tools exist to promote healing during tribulations; all of them require the courage to feel.  
Poetry is one such toolmy frequent therapy of choice.  When I sit down to pen out a poem, it is with the intent of expressing the emotions and experiences consuming me at the moment.  It is a healing exercise to struggle with mixing words and my own feelings, pairing them up until I find myself mumbling creative lines that match exactly the sentiments gripping my heart.  Perhaps I do this to better understand myself, knowing if I can communicate well enough, others in similar circumstances will feel and empathize and understand.  I have written poems in the happiest of moods and in the depths of despair.  It may be that when you write, you choose to share your verse with others or with no one.  Either way, growth, cleansing, relief all come from the process.

I Danced with Gods

Last night I danced. 
My body rose from its slump for the first time since the beginning of sorrows
my fingers beckoning to the stars at arm's length, back arching as tingles bubbled up my spine, hips caught in a silent tempo while on tiptoe I twirled in endless euphoric circles. It didn't matter that you loved me or that you didn't. For I was wanted by the gods last night; their seraphs and muses descending on moonbeams into my midst, caressing my face and gliding their spirited arms about my waist, lifting my toes from the soil that I might feel what it is to fly without heaviness of heart. I danced with them under the glow of a loyal moon. For one brief, visceral dance I joyed as Heaven joysin endless bliss.
And the universe cherished me.

 — Richelle E. Goodrich 


The word alone sends shudders down a sensitive spine, troubling the thoughts of pained souls as their hurt swells in ripples. It is a sentence of undesired solitude often pronounced on the innocent, the trusting
administered without warning or satisfactory cause.

One day the moon is yours, or so you believe. The next, his countenance transforms from Jekyll to Hyde with no intention of ever turning back, and you are left trampled upon in a deserted street, concealed by dirty fog that squelches all illumination or any hope for future rays of light.

It is the worst of mysteries why a beast considered noble would forsake his duty, exhibiting a heart of stone. And all who once looked on him, now turn down their eyes and suffer, beguiled.

Some poisons have no antidote, but are slow, silent, torturous ends that curl up the broken body swept into a cold, dark corner. There she is left to drown in her tears
a dying heart.


  — Richelle E. Goodrich 

All That I Have 

My spirit mirrors the radiance of a clear, blue sky. With closed eyes I lift my face and smile, warmed from the core and from above. All hopes and dreams compete with this endless expanse of heaven, desiring the clock of eternity. I reach with my hands―frenziedly achieving―attempting to learn and do all. Yet I understand the humble truth; a drop of rain shall amount to my contribution among all the droplets in the vast ocean of human history. It is a pure and precious tear that seeps from my existence. Taste how sweet! It is all I have, given willingly.     

               — Richelle E. Goodrich 

Do I Love You

I stand in the night and stare up at a lone star, wondering what love means.  You whisper your desire—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes drift back to that solitary star; my mind is plagued with intimate uncertainty.

What art thou, Love?  Tell me.

I contemplate what I know
the qualities love doth not possess.  Love lifts no cruel or unkind hand, for it seeketh no harm.  It shirks from constraints and demands, for tyranny is not love.  A boisterous voice never crosses love's lips, for to speak with thunder chases its very presence from the heart.  Love inflicts no pain, no fear, no misery, but conquers all such foes.  It is said love is not selfish, yet it does not guilt those who are.  On a heart unwillingly given it stakes no claim.  Love is nothing from Pandora's box; it is no evil, sin, or sorrow unleashed on this world.

My eyes glimmer as the star I gaze upon twinkles with brightness I do not possess.  I recognize my smallness—my ignorance of the One whose hands placed that star in the heavens for me.

He is love.  By His own mouth He proclaimed it.

Again the whispered question hits my ear—do I love you?  I dare say yes.  But my eyes squint tight, wishing on a lonely star, wondering what love means. 

— Richelle E. Goodrich

Copyright 2012 Richelle E. Goodrich

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