Is this what it means to be a poet?

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Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

In that other time
I spoke in prose,
ordered phrases
falling line
after line,
on to the page

I thought of myself
not as a writer,
merely a cypher
the pain of others

Then the words
slowed to a trickle,
syllables wrapped me
in warm confusion
until finally, I emerged
heart in hand

Now, with stringy hair
and blackened eyes
I pace the room
in yesterdays clothes,
searching for meaning
in abbreviated form

Sleep is a
tortured affair
as I wander through
watery dreams,
words percolating

I wake to find
mysterious hieroglyphics
scrawled on the wall,
the work of some


A prompted poem

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Photo by r m on Unsplash

I search
the white expanse
for signs of life
but find none

no criss-cross
from machines
wreaking havoc
in this quiet place

no solitary footprint
hinting at some
untold mystery hiding
just out of reach

no deer tracks
tracing a
meandering path
like unformed thoughts

no evidence of
predator stalking prey
like the shadow
that haunts my dreams

no melting drops sliding
down branches and
landing like tears
on a love letter

Today there are
no tracks in the snow,
nothing to mark
this blank page

as if the world
is taking a break
and telling me
to do the…


A speechless moment

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Photo by Juliana Martínez Atienza on Unsplash

One of my granddaughters was born ten weeks prematurely and spent ninety-nine days in the NICU. Although we were allowed to touch her through ports in the incubator, when it was finally my turn to hold her for the first time, weeks after her birth, I had no words.

I root myself in the chair, feet anchoring trembling knees

as outstretched arms beg for the tiny weight of her

A crowd is gathered around us, a protective gaggle

in case the tremors from my quaking heart

are too much for this precious one,

who lies deep in her nest of blankets, fragile as a newborn…


and went to bed

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Photo by Liu Lulu on Unsplash

Just a small glass,
smooth and milky
I turn off the news and
dance my way to bed

A little giggle, then
four blissful hours
until pulled awake

restless mind
sifting thoughts
I drift back
into dreamland

I am standing in a
winter white field
on the edge of
a black forest
I take a step in,
the dark is so dark,
a heartbeat away
from frightening
I turn and try
not to run,
not to give in
to rising panic

over and over…
a repeating reel
without end,

the movement of animals
that nighttime


connected by more than words

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

This was inspired by all the wonderful writers who remind me every day that we are a community and more than words connect us ❤️

Every day I feel the big,
the big of nature
the big spirit of animals

But today, I felt
the big of us and
the good of us

impossible words
I could never write
but I can now read

a sparrow in a tree
I have never seen
but I can now imagine

a woman walking in shoes
I have never worn
but I can now feel

a man buttering toast
I have never tasted
but I can now…


One way to banish unwanted thoughts

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Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash

I feel them creeping in,
the dark thoughts
that threaten
to block what
little sun
can sneak out
from behind the
angry clouds,
full of tears
that have been
shed before

Over the thunder
and lightning
a wiser voice

Hey you,
Dial back the dark!

I spit
the venom
onto a page

Then burn it
and get on
with the day

Dr. Jackie Greenwood 2021

Those were words that I had almost forgotten. My mother, having endured so many hardships of her own, had little tolerance for teenage angst, angst at any age — life was too precious to waste time being miserable.

Thanks for reading:)

and thanks to Veronica Georgieva for this beautiful piece:


Dr. Jackie Greenwood

Veterinarian, wife, mother, grandmother, swimmer. My writing muse has tracked me down.

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