It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner(s) of the “Conversations Between a Psychologist and a Poet” 2015 Poetry Contest, sponsored by Depth Psychology Alliance, and judged by Brian Michael Tracy and Robert Romanyshyn.
This contest was offered in conjunction with the 3-part webinar series of the same name that took place via Depth Psychology Alliance in April, hosted by Brian, Robert, and Bonnie Bright.
Submissions were accepted during the month of April. The winner receives a signed copy of Robert Romanyshyns’ book, Leaning Toward the Poet, plus a signed CD of Brian’s poetry & music, Blackbird Ballads. The three winning entries will also be published in the Spring/Summer issue of Depth Insights scholarly eZine, due out later this month.
Congratulations to the poets, and huge thanks to everyone who submitted! Please keep writing, and we hope to see you again when Robert and Brian return to Depth Psychology Alliance for additional events.
Sponsored by Depth Psychology Alliance, with judges Brian Michael Tracy and Robert Romanyshyn
Remembering “No Place for You, My Love” While Swimming
By Mary Pierce Brosmer
Remembering "No Place for You, My Love” While Swimming By Mary Pierce Brosmer Deliver us all from the naked in heart.
Swimming laps, hand over hand / flutter kick/flutter kick, I think of you, Eudora, spinster of Jackson. I wonder at your moonflower stories sweet-smelling, darkness-loving opening in the ordered garden of your genteel life. touch the wall, surge, ahh... instant of pure flow, held breath, I imagine you in church clothes white gloves, pocketbook, hat hand over hand, flutter kick, flutter kick I cannot imagine you naked, supple or ever sensuous, save on the page ahhhhhhhh. . . where word after word, touch the naked heart pure flow, held breath, ecstasy carries you, writing, down, and me, remembering while swimming, your doomed-beautiful characters to depths I, living naked in heart, do not wish to be delivered from.
Mary Pierce Brosmer is a poet, transformative educator and a whole systems thinker, Founder of Women Writing for (a) Change which has affiliate sites in five cities. Mary hosted Writing for Change on PBS affiliate, WVXU, from 1998-2005. Mary was co-founder of Inside/Outside: a Prison Arts Program.
Mary is a published poet and author of Women Writing for (a) Change: A Guide for Creative Transformation (Notre Dame: Sorin Press, 2009).
In Consulting for (a) Change, Mary brings the art of writing and the practices of community to the work of organizational well-being and social healing in business, political, medical and educational settings.
Mary was a TEDx speaker in 2010, her topic: “Found: the Holy Grail of Organizational Wholeness”
By Roz Bound
Doo-Lalley Home by Roz Bound I am going doo-lalley: I dry feral wings, dance rings on the sand, spiral my name in heather and bones. My mother sky-dreams me, feather-glances my hand to proclaim that she sees. Blue-green moonstones stream over my head. Spear my heart, marine tears of childhood, unshed. Bumblebees honey-stick shells to my soles, ground me with lungwort and bluebells, wood marigolds. Music surrounds me wherever I hover, as I go doo-lalley. Am going doo-lalley; I lend seagull a quill. He dipped in the rain and waits by my sill befriending the moon, lasers into my brain calligraphy script, unlocks gates to her phases. Rock and roll with bay lobsters, dare them to stay. Soon two acquiesce, fall into my soul, crawl under my armpit. Sobbing loud while they tickle, I bless he who derides my hysterical wonder, proud secret we share in the tides of Doo-lalley. Going doo-lalley, I’m hoarding birdsongs in bloom, recording each tune on my tongue, raven-arcing them deep in my womb. Press my navel! They’re sung with the sweep of a lark, and I’ll croon along. Did you question my song? That’s okay, I remember my grandfather needing to hum every day. He’d fought in the trenches; numb, he thought he’d explode birds hid long in his belly quenching his words, then dismembered together, rode doo-lally home. Doo -lalley, I am going! Stuff hair shafts with sea-weed, a slippery crown, curls twist neat on my sun-grafted skull, birth mantle of air, fontanelle mist as gentle as down, rough pearls in my ears. Bleed me lips with the tears gone before, wad my feet full of clay from the core of the earth. Belay well. Child of the sea, I’ll follow the sails, hand in fin with a cod, who’ll deliver me late while the wild horses foam, cool in the shallows, they’ll shiver me home across great lands of snow. Doo-lalley slow.
Roz Bound is a writer and a healer living in Prince Edward County, Canada, where she has facilitated monthly Open Floor gatherings for local writers since 2001, offers writing workshops in her island home, and creates rituals that celebrate the wheel of the year, stressing the vital importance of myth, healing, and creativity – not only for today, but for our conscious evolution into an uncertain future.
Roz received a BA in Human Services from the University of Alabama in 1997, winning the Honour Award for her Senior thesis, a memoir. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College in Vermont in 2002, and is currently working towards a D.Min in Wisdom Spiritualities with the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies, writing her Doctoral dissertation on aging consciously. She was a teacher of both adults and children, and lived and worked in the Caribbean and South America.
Roz’s first poetry collection was Spirit of Lyme, (2003), now in its third printing, written during a year’s retreat by the sea in England after she retired from Seneca College. Her second book is The Fireman’s Child (2012). Her poems and prose have been published in books and magazines in Canada, including A Room of Her Own, in the United States, and England, and she writes the editorial for a quarterly newsletter published in Glastonbury, England, where she returns every year to work and give workshops at the Goddess Conference, now in its nineteenth year. Roz has spoken often in Ontario, Alberta, and England on creativity, spirituality and the strength of the human spirit.
Beyond what had been…
By Bonnie Pfeiffer
Beyond what had been… By Bonnie Pfeiffer Beyond what had been the time of becoming, a whisper kissed the fallen petals
Bonnie Pfeiffer is a Voice Dialogue Teacher/Facilitator, Dream Pattern Analyst, andSoulCollage© Facilitator, in addition to being a Lover of Poetry.
Dark Stars By Brian Michael Tracy I am told when your time comes they fall from below from beyond the surface waters of flesh turning the eye on itself condensing everything it has ever seen and dismissing everything it has not until all that is left is the naked outline of a mind: a silhouette of space and time, contained shimmering at its ends obscuring a divine radiance like an eclipse, moments before fulfillment lingering, ever so briefly in a glow of despair before consuming its own light.
WHAT YOU ARE FOR by Melissa La Flamme To imagine the impossible is deeply human. To re-member every thing is alive, dreaming, intelligent, coming for you to ravish you awake is your inheritance. To muster the heart to stretch to the edge of what beckons you is your ticket to ride. This is what you are for. Your cellular capacity to imagine — unbound — is a subversive technology, altering every thing through an evolutionary, fractal spin, juicy with elemental creativity. Dangerous. This is what you are for. Let your self be claimed by darkly-feathered unchained hands, servants on a mission, come to take you hard down to the wet caves of what flushes your delicate skin, dampens your palms, wakes you like a raging dream into shimmering forces unknown. Here, you will know you have no choice. Finally free, you submit to the way that has called you before speech. This is what you are for. Let this Trouble take you to your knees. With your sweaty, full attention, wrapped in the limbs of the sacred, kiss the plump, pink lips of your tender soul. But wait. This is not about you. You are being used. By every thing. This is what you are for. Now, draw into your being the throb of the one way of belonging that is yours to make matter. This is what you are for. The broken-hearted, glistening hum of your taut, tangled body will give off a fragrant, unruly intelligence beyond the Machine's measure of right, wrong, reason. This is what you are for. Have you come here to make Trouble for Assurances and Security? For Greed and Convention? For Routine and Predictability? For Comfort? Good. Those are the Killers of what you are for. The planet is erupting with Uncomfortable. The earth is writhing in pain. Feel her suffering in your blood, your bowels, and you will know what you are for. Taste compassion for the sacrificed, the slaughtered and you will love like the Milky Way. Shatter your old ways, and show me how your soul blushes alive with arousal. This is what you are for. Be an unpopular harbinger, an endangered one; a tender, firmly sprouted sentinel of the rhizome of archaic revival. Do not take a seat. She is ready for you. The soul of the world will see you now. What have you come to give her?
About the poem:
What You Are For is an invitation to a modern-day vision quest, visionary poetry that beckons a healing journey into the depths and heights of individuation. Offered up to simultaneously ravish and soothe the tender, broken-open heart, this piece was written as medicine for the soul.
Intentionally crafted to open the doors of perception and deliver the reader into her or his delicious potential, What You Are For engages the reader in the central conversation of this life.
All at once an encounter, lovely, heart-pounding, yummy and sensual, raw and erotic, heart-opening and heart-breaking, wrapped warmly in comforting, healing love. This poem is primal, poetic medicine for the 21st century soul.
This poem has been called “a shaman’s brew of poetic ayahuasca.” A vine of soul, of death, of new life. To sit with these poetic lines and the power of the word is in itself a breaking open of our egos, their compromises and identifications which bind us and hold us back. This is a new kind of poetry, medicine for the soul. Here we have shamanic poetry at its best, at its freshest, a post- modern poetry that unites the old initiatory shamanic themes.
Melissa La Flamme, M.A. is a visionary artisan of cultural evolution, author, poet, shamanic guide and teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, depth psychologist and troublemaker. Melissa is a graduate of Pacifica Graduate institute in Carpinteria, California. She lives in Denver, Colorado and serves souls — humans and other-than-humans — worldwide. Find her online at www.jungiansoulwork.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MelissaALaFlamme.
ICE FISHING By Donna May Past, present and future Swim below the surface Of frozen waters – alive and daring, Yearning to break free from Rock hard liquid, Resisting. Pen moves faster than Censor, Tap, tap; tap, tap, And a hole emerges large enough to drop a line through. A nibble, a tug, and We begin to reel in Unknown parts of Self, Alive and thriving, A kaleidoscope of remembering, Unique (like us). We say to those beside us: “Look at what I have caught!” Memories, sparkling in sunlight; NOWs large finned Truths; and Future’s pearls unfolding. Later ‘round campfire’s light We partake of the body of Our stories found, Communing with one another In a sacred circle United, Accepting, Believing.
Donna May is a therapist, consultant, and educator offering consultations, groups, and workshops on how to discover, deepen, and dedicate your-self more fully to Psyche’s call. Find he ron Facebook or at www.psychescall.com.
Decades, I wandered.... By Eva Rider Decades I wandered through dusty deserts of time. How many have they numbered? Can I ever recall? Swept through the violent tides of change, I have descended into dark depthless nights of snowdrifts, in deserted cracks of doorways I have arisen with the exultant joy of hatching new life in Spring Still, I wandered, with no direction, carried on a vagrant cloud drifting on wind hanging onto the delicate tails old spun dreams these too, now long since forgotten. Memory first stirs through sense of smell, and only then, weaves back into receptive cells of body. I began my life in a country still vibrating in sullen, stunned shock from a bloodthirsty stampede of the raw power of rage sprung from the loins of the Great Mother, running red with her blood broken in eternal battles between the red and the white mothers, they, the foes of blood of life and and bone of death, of darkness and of light. All one now, always, it has been so. I did not know my own name in those long, lost years of wandering and stumbling—seeking, between realms of star drift and clay bottom It was the distant echo of my own name whispered on the wind that was the first call to return, always, it accompanied me, a friend, wrapped in smoky dreams leading to softer landings.
Eva Rider, M.A., M.F.T., is a Jungian psychotherapist in California whose work encompasses unveiling the dreamland its relationship to myth, and the Emerging Creative Process. Eva has studied Western Metaphysics for 30years and incorporates Jungian theory, dreams, alchemy and myth in her work. She has taught at John F.Kennedy University, and is a graduate of the Marion Woodman BodySoul® Leadership Training. Find more at www.reclaimingsoul.com.
Precious By Matthew Fishler The settling of the world announces itself in a song, from a place where the ghosts haunting being call out from memorials of what is most precious. Precious, the places you are left behind, seeded to grow, constituted and dispersed. Where you are fugitive and many. These are the stones, once gathered, that speak to each other from separate graves, that join together in singing out from dark corners, calling you, again, into being. You are the fallen tree. The palm waving in the distance. The bedroom left empty at sunset. Not longing for wholeness lost but standing in a place, reverberating with solitude, where love was cast away. You are held there by all that you do not understand, waiting again on the passing. It will come again. You will be left again to your strange art of making tapestries of stones, of planting seeds in some invisible field. There you, and all of them, come to rest.
Matthew Fishler is a depth psychologist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. He received his MA and PhD from Pacifica, and serves as Adjunct Faculty at Pacifica (teaching in the Masters in Counseling program). His research and poetry embrace evanescent experiences, and the via poetica that gives them voice and form. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Poetry Quarterly, Psychological Perspectives, Soul Fountain, Ship of Fools, the Aurorean, Spindrift, Avocet, and Psychopoetica.
WHY NOSTALGIA STINGS LIKE A MOTHER By W. P. Basil How deep will you go, said the ancient but wise one, nostalgia being Greek for pain from an old wound. Keep calm and soldier on, you said on too many occasions. You didn’t want me to be your private fail or another hit and run away. Could you be any more unconscious? I wonder, could you be any more endearing too, with your toes like baby shrimp, nostrils that finds chaos so appealing to the senses, with ears for not listening? Your words, like your hair, don’t care where they land. Your mouth as wide as the Panama Canal, the same color as slice of watermelon at a picnic. It is always open but not for me. I’ll ask you then, where is my picnic? From the shoreline, you will check under the sea for motives and misgivings. Checkmate back to the future. Bounce check over the rainbow. Check “No thanks, I do not wish to be contacted” about past reveries if sad. I’ve been gliding away unheard. Didn’t you notice the grass stain at the door where I cheerfully left my loafers behind? My soul is in slippers now, so happy. And you will find a feast in someone else. To think that you were the loaf of bread, the communion I used to begger. I will recall that you were also the loafer, stuck in place, a needy Narcissus gazing in the tide pool. I find the water still and waiting and warm. My boat is made of old leaves and new lawn. I’ll make my communion with breadcrumbs on the sea, hoping they will lead me home to myself, beyond all symbols, symptoms and predictions. Dig deeper in your reedy greedy slumber. You can keep the words and the ruminations. They don’t travel well.
W.P. Basil has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and offers clients depthpsychology work through narrative therapy. She is also a university instructor, currently teaching psychologyclasses to students in all branches of military She is the co-author of the book SPINOLOGY, which is aJungian approach to marketing and media relations. The book, written with her co-author Sherry Klingerwas published by Depth Publishing in 2014, E-book in 2015 and is available on Amazon Barnes & Noble.
A child in the old world By Mary Ann Bencivengo A child in the old world asks her mother where babies come from and this is the reply: I am no different than the soil, find a delight in that. Not ever any need to differentiate a thing from any other thing. That’s where we come from, from any other thing. No part of us not a part of any thing. No thing not ever not a part of us.
Mary Ann Bencivengo attends Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Depth Psychology program for Jungian and Archetypal Studies. Prior to that, she received her MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis on Poetry after earning a BFA in Creative Writing.
CHATEAU MONTELENA By R. L. Boyer At the edge of the vineyard, near an Old pagoda overlooking a lake of Jade, I rest on a shady bank, drowsy With the first languid haze of summer. Nearby, a dark goddess—a great black Swan—nests in a womb of saplings, Where the wind whispers mysteries. Poetry bubbles up from deep springs, Overflowing my soul. Sweet perfume of Jasmine intoxicates in the warm breeze.
R. L. Boyer is an award-winning poet, fiction author, and screenwriter. He is currently a doctoral student in the Art and Religion program at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and holds an MA in Depth Psychology from Sonoma State University. He is a regular contributor to Depth Insights.
Seagulls Strolling Through Wyoming By J R Romanyshyn The world is: Three people too many, Dreams lacking dreamers, Dreamers with superficial dreams, Poets forced to compose office memos, That immediately decompose, While monkeys pray and live in monasteries, And monks are exhibited-ignored in zoos. The trees are falling! The trees are dying! Life is deaf! It cannot listen! Life is falling! Life is dying! The trees that are left alive, Try to bear witness to Episodic culture caught in perpetual reruns, Lazily lived as culture. The world is: Flocks of seagulls taking their time, Strolling through Wyoming.
J. R. Romanyshyn is a 47-year-old poet. He has loved mythology all his life.
IN THE GARDEN by Roy Rosenblatt I am crouching low, one knee pressing against the Earth for balance. Into a freshly dug hole, I pepper in long cured soil amendments. The pungent, earthen aroma slows me to a savoring pause, then coax a buddleia out of her nursery container and fluidly plant. These spikes of purple flowers will summon butterflies and imagining these visits brings a joy. I raise myself up to my full height, an admiring witness to all this beauty. In the garden, I am happier, kinder, wiser. And then, as always, I am drawn into the gap between sense-fed reason and the mysterious realm of sightless sight, the voiceless voice, soundless sound. Reason is denied comfort And unable trespass, my mind rails. Yet I feel it deeply each time the flesh of my hands or feet caress the flesh of the Earth. For I too am rooted in, and draw my nourishment from the soils of Gaia. A cloud passes, sunlight shimmering through windblown branches of a majestic Oak, one of three such sentinels that protect this garden. A warming ray catches the yellow of wings. A Monarch Butterfly engages the freshly planted buddleia in a weightless, fluttering dance. Even now, searching for the words, I am struck with silence.
Roy Rosenblatt is new to poetry. He originally cut his teeth in the field of screenwriting, settling into a comfortable lifestyle in what is known as a script doctor, being summoned when existing screenplays were on life support. When the first of his 2 children was born in1987, he sensed deeply that he could not maintain the intensity of this craft and be present for dad-hood. Now both are grown and he is writing again.