10 fundamentals to inspire the muse

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Photo Courtesy of Marie-Michele Marchand

Every process begins with purpose. I write poetry to capture beauty in language and imagery in hopes of healing myself and the world. Whether a poem is a euphoric expression of love, a lamentation, or a clarion call, it hastens healing by creating connection. Poetry is evidence of beauty’s persistence through struggle. Mary Oliver called it “a life-cherishing force.”

There is the world, and then there is poetry — a force that speaks back, that resists injustice, that forges a new future. This art form enables us to project our internal topography outwardly. It is how we shape ourselves and…


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Photo by Jaroslava Petrášová on Unsplash

I breathed rumors of its fragrance
even before the purple bough
was shaken free and cut.

Beauty is effusive.
It travels like dust in a shaft of light
noticeable only in stillness.

Beauty floats, it swirls
it slides under locked doors
going undetected until we rest
then we see.

We are called. Not loudly.
Just a whisper is the invitation
to be free.

What holds us back?
Are we brave enough to
step out of our castles
and cocoons, our frayed
and wearied selves?

If we manage that, then what? Will we be brave enough to dance like sweet blossoms…


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Brett Jordan on UnSplash

Reflections on a Historic Day
1–20–21

Truth-words, gleaming.
Song-words, lilting.
Breath-words, dancing
under sunlight and
fleeting snow.

Voices coax us. Invite.
Come. Come to this edge
of newness where the
winter dove flies free.
Where love enfolds us in
a silent wind-drawn wake.

The world brims with words.
The ones we choose today
will sway our future selves
in tomorrow’s land. Come.

Language spoken, sung,
gestured, thought
directs our emotions and
somatic responses, shapes
our ideas of the world.

Will we despise, or love?
Will we ostracize, or welcome?
Are we in peril, or are we safe?

Life, elevated, invites humanity
into a renewed lexicon of
kindness, honesty, love.
Into new actions of
overdue justice and a
sphere wholly at peace.

Come. Come to this edge
where truth gleams,
songs lilt, and breath dances
from mouths open in awe,
from arms open to the
promise of tomorrow.


Social engagement for a cause can boost mental well-being

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Tim Mossholder on UnSplash

I’m still reeling and recovering from Wednesday.

With everything going on in the world, I constantly ask myself: How do I protect my mental well-being when the world is in chaos? Am I supposed to completely retreat? This is a popular strategy for folks right now, and for good reason. While meditation and journaling are in my self-care toolkit, I’m going to offer an additional perspective on self-care.

I was a hard-core anti-war activist starting in October 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan, up until 2011 when I got totally burned out. Actually, I got burned out in 2008, but…


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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I was six years old when I saw Superman.
My child mind could not reconcile the
difference between actor and character.
Wasn’t I just watching other people’s lives
only magnified before my eyes?

Isn’t this what life will be like
when I get a job and fall in love?

In that dark theatre, Superman
replaced Elvis as Man of My Dreams.

That night I wrote a letter to Superman
inviting him to spaghetti dinner.

“What should I write on the envelope, Dad?”
“Just ‘Superman,’ Honey. He’s so famous
his mail doesn’t need an address.”

Dad assured me Superman would get…

Marie-Michele Marchand

I write poetry to capture beauty through language and imagery in hopes of healing myself and the world. mishiepoet.com

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