Poetry and Stories

Welcome to the Poetry and Stories section of the website.  To heal the symptom, James Hillman argues, we must heal the person, and to heal the person we must first heal the story in which the person has imagined himself.

Poetry and stories speak to us in metaphors and symbols that touch us at the deepest level of the soul. They capture our imagination and ignite a connection to something larger.  They call us to retell them over and over again. The power of word has the ability to create our worlds and to influence our healing.

Over the years,  I have collected the following poems and stories that have been particularly inspirational either to me in my individuation journey or my clients. I hope they touch you as well.

Detour – Ruth Feldman

Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Poetry | Comments Off on Detour – Ruth Feldman

Detour – Ruth Feldman

Often the trajectory of our lives is not a straight line. We think we are going toward a particular destination. Then life disrupts our plans and intentions. Ruth Feldman’s poem reminds us to trust the process of the deeper intelligence that is the foundation for everything that we do. (more…)

Autobiography in Five Chapters – Portia Nelson

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in From The Blog, Poetry | Comments Off on Autobiography in Five Chapters – Portia Nelson

Autobiography in Five Chapters – Portia Nelson

I was first introduced to this short passage in James Hollis’s book The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife. (Inner City Books, 1993)I love this poem very much because it reflects the process we go through as we strive to be conscious.

It reminds us that there are many chapters involved in the process of tackling the tough complexes. We fall into them many times before we are able to be clear. At some point in the journey, we have to accept the responsibility for repeating the same pattern over and over again and make different choices. (more…)

The Journey – Mary Oliver

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on The Journey – Mary Oliver

The Journey – Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver’s poem journey speaks to challenges we face when we embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-exploration. It is a process of discernment, of distinguishing the voices of parents and society from our true voice of authenticity.

One day you finally knew what you had to do,
and began, though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice
— though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!” each voice cried. (more…)

Touched by an Angel – Maya Angelou

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on Touched by an Angel – Maya Angelou

Touched by an Angel – Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear (more…)

The Guest House – Rumi

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on The Guest House – Rumi

The Guest House – Rumi

The being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest
generally have I make.
honourably.
He may be clearing you out (more…)

The Well of Grief – David Whyte

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on The Well of Grief – David Whyte

The Well of Grief – David Whyte

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface of the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water,
cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness
glimmering the small round coins thrown away
by those who wished for something else.

Faith – David Whyte

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on Faith – David Whyte

Faith – David Whyte

I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,
faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.

But I have no faith myself
I refuse it even the smallest entry.
Let this then, my small poem, (more…)

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I have long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, (more…)

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on Love After Love – Derek Walcott

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you have ignored (more…)

The Rainmaker – A Chinese Story

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Poetry | Comments Off on The Rainmaker – A Chinese Story

The Rainmaker – A Chinese Story

This story was apparently told to Carl Jung by his good friend Richard Wilhelm.

Robert Johnson has written a nice article on the Relationship of the Inner and Outer using this story on Inward Light.

A Chinese village is besieged by drought and unless there is rain quite quickly, the village is going to starve to death. They have tried everything they know. They have tried all their local people so they finally decide to send, at a great distance, for the famous rainmaker. (Have you ever noticed that all wise people come from very far (more…)

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