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Letters (an example of an emotional processing poem) (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Poem number 5 from my collection called Does it Make a Sound? This one under "Falling" section/chapter. It is low hanging fruit for the concept of using poems as therapy. My mother died this Spring. She was one week from her 88th birthday. This poem was part of my grief processing. Like the poem someone shared about Garden Layers recently (in Poetry Showcase Forum), it is a classic "Lemonade" poem -- turning lemons into lemonade! My own version of a "God etching" (from the aforementioned Garden poem) was the emergence of a warm memory during the sad realization of loss.

Have others here written poems processing grief? If so, please share them here, so we can discuss the ways your poem helped you as writer. Also, if someone here has recent (or "like it was yesterday" not-so-recent loss) that the below poem resonates with, feel free to "adopt" this poem as your own, as though you were the author. Because if you weathered through grief/loss, you actually were a poet of life. It's more than okay to use others' words to process your life-experience/"poem." It's wise. And/or you can write your own personalized follow-up poem in reaction to this one. No matter how "poetic" the effort. The poetry-as-therapy project hinges on projection and reclamation of projections. A person can project onto their own poem, or onto others' poetry. Same dynamic. The key to healing and growth is to, as Gestalt therapists would say, "reclaim the (previously disowned) projections. Poetry could be a projective therapy, if we are of a mind and heart to let it be.


Mom died this spring.

This spring,

our Magnolia tree got too cold.

Its buds turned brown,

couldn’t bloom.

Just the other day,

the first warm remembrance

able to push the loss aside

came over me.

She drew the whole alphabet

onto a big sheet of paper,

and spread it across

the living room floor

one morning.

I explored,

traveled the world of letters,

so busy taking them in

I barely caught the school bus

(like the one I drive these days,

watching the letters arrange themselves

in the seats behind me).

A few late bloomers

on the old Magnolia


gave a sample

of the tree's brilliance—

just enough letters left

for me to move around

on the floor of my awareness

and make a poem.

Darrell (Mountainfaller) Moneyhon


Senior Member
Apparently, I get a lot of mileage out of my Magnolia Tree (two, actually) as a symbol of the beauty of life, despite its sometimes ugly turns. Can I apply that sense of grace/beauty when I'm most down or lost or about to give up? "Applied grace" is my favorite definition of "faith."