Poetry from Issue 7

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.
                                       Eudora Welty
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,

and me, 
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”



Doo-Lalley Home
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
what had
the time
of becoming,
a whisper
the fallen

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.



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,
every thing
through an evolutionary, 
fractal spin, 
juicy with
elemental creativity.
This is what you are for.

Let your self be 
by darkly-feathered 
unchained hands,
servants on a mission,
come to take you
down to the wet caves
of what flushes your delicate skin,
dampens your palms,
wakes you like a raging 
into shimmering 

Here, you will know
you have no choice.
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,
the plump, pink lips
of your tender 
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?
Those are the Killers of 
what you are for.

The planet is
erupting with
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.



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,

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

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
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.



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 Ph.D. 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.



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.



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.



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.