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Well-practiced speech pathologist now practicing to be a children’s book writer — emphasis on practicing.

Paper Poetry | Writer’s Life | Writing Community

The doors are opening

Poster assembled by author on Canva using photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F Kennedy

For the past few months, gratitude has been a running theme here on Medium.

And rightly so.

Despite everything that is wrong in the world, we have much to be grateful for. It’s important that we give ourselves time to reflect, and opportunities to express gratitude for all that we have, be it big, small, tangible or intangible.

As writers, poets, and artists, we are in the fortunate position of being able to express our gratitude creatively in a variety…


Launching Paper Poetry’s Gratitude Workshop

The four words that told me I could fly

A surreal image of a bald eagle in flight above a dense layer of white clouds. A blue sphere with white markings, resembling planet Earth as seen from space, is in the background and partially hidden by the clouds. A radiant dot shines on the surface of the blue sphere in the same way sunshine is known to reflect on planet Earth. Crouched on the back of the eagle is a young girl with pointed ears like a pixie, short cropped blond hair and a sleeveless-legless black bodysuit.
Image by Willgard Krause from Pixabay

‘The beginning is the most important part of the work.’ Plato

Easier said than done, Plato!

And easier said in retrospect with the beginning already tucked safely in your hip pocket and you’re off flying along whatever path you’ve decided to pursue.

I didn’t have the benefit of retrospection in August 2020 when I decided to bite the blogging bullet and publish my first article on Medium. Prior to that my blogging experience, if you can call it that, was limited to Facebook and LinkedIn posts. I’d be the first one to admit, I had no idea what I was…


Sahil’s Poetry Challenge | Tercets | Anxiety

Day 7 the pain that I went through and heals me

Photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels

The pain of diffuse obtuse worry
The pain of contrived catastrophe
The pain that is curs-ed anxiety

The pain of thinking the worst
The pain of overthinking what’s first
The pain that is un-deciding what’s best

The pain of obsessive remembering
The pain of crippling forgetting
The pain that is there when it’s not

The pain of losing control
The pain of needing to let it unroll
The pain that is being trapped in the middle

The pain of the ache in the stomach
The pain of nerve-jangling panic
The pain that is muscles clenched flexed

The pain of non-restorative…


Poetry | Free Verse | Love

GiaB prompt #22: intimacy

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

He held her hand,
tenderly,
Palm-on-palm

He brushed,
feather-light,
each slender finger
Knuckle-to-nail

His hand stroked
her silk-silver hair,
gently
sweeping it away
from her brow

He ran his forefinger
s l o w l y
down the length
of her cheek
Temple-to-chin

His fingers trailed
upwards to her mouth
flip-turned
Tips-to-lips
a lingering
finger kiss

She opened her eyes
locking into his
Her lips moved
imperceptibly
“I love you,”
she whispered
and was gone.

© Carolyn Hastings 2021

I haven’t written about Lynda, my BFF-soul sister-heavenly muse, for a while. It doesn’t mean I don’t think of her; I…


Sahil’s Poetry Challenge | Free Verse | Self

Day 6 my important life choice

Image by efes from Pixabay

I sat on the fence for ages
undecided about which way to go
Do I choose work
and serve others,
or family
and serve them?

I was stumped and
somewhat dejected

I’ve juggled both
- work and family -
for as long
as I can remember
but,
let’s face it,
there’s no such thing
as the fountain of youth;
I only need look in the mirror
to see the undeniable proof

So, I sat on the fence a while longer
and pondered the choices
back and forth
One thing I was certainly sure of;
I was spreading myself wafer-thin
Something had to give,
and that something
sure…


Sahil’s Poetry Challenge | Emotions | Self

Day 5 the emotion that is complicated for me

“Anger” by anyone123 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s okay to be angry
Just take it over there
I can’t deal with the hostility
It makes me lose my hair

If you bring your anger towards me
This is what I’ll most likely do
I’ll try to pacify you — make you laugh
Because I hate it when you scream

If you’re angry and in a fury
Please don’t project it onto me
Because I’ll internalize and compost it
And that’s bad news for my spleen

If I’m the object of your anger
That makes things even worse
My emotional brain will be overwhelmed
Help! …


Limericks and a message for Patrick

“Remilia Scarlet — Little Red Riding Hood” by bdrc is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I once knew a guy who chopped wood
He’d talk wood all day if he could
What a pain in the neck!
I said, “What the heck?!”
I’m not Little Red Riding Hood!”

Okay, that was my warm-up limerick.

I haven’t written a limerick in donkeys. Something would always go wonky. Not hee-haw funny at all. Shock, horror when William J Spirdione challenged me to join Michael Burg, MD (AKA Medium Michael Burg)’s limerick war.

William, I thought we were sonnet sparring partners? Are you trying to trip me up with this limerick trick, or are you getting back at…


Sahil Patel’s Poetry Challenge | Japanese Micropoetry | Prose Poetry

Day 4 the moment when life was no longer a fairy tale

“Peter Pan Statue. Kensington Gardens” by amandabhslater is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Once upon a Timothy
A dedication poem
to a boy who needed us -
we turned him away

A Peter Pan I once knew
his death was no fairy tale
train surfing is suicide
the rumors were true

We were both sixteen
our futures untold stories
his ended falling

Dead in his life’s tracks
a boy who lived on the edge
trying to fit in
but never getting it right
his death taught me to choose life

© Carolyn Hastings 2021

His name was Timothy Clarke. He was the knock-about kid. The try-hard who tried hard to belong but never…


Sahil’s Poetry Challenge | Free Verse | Self

Day 3 — the thing that broke me from inside

“Imperfection…!!! Ü” by Denis Collette…!!! is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Betrayed I have been
by people I admired, loved, and respected
people I naively believed
could be whole-heartedly trusted.

I have been betrayed

It says more about them
than it says about me
If only it were that easy

Betrayed I have been
The pain and despair of being violated
The monster I now bear
There’s no undoing what hast been done

I have been betrayed

An alien imperfection
like a knobbly, rogue stitch
forever knitted into my fabric

Betrayed I have been
If I say it over and over
will it hurt less and less? …


Sahil’s Poetry Challenge | Poems |Prose |Prose Poem

Day 2 — the thing that makes my poetry unique

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

My poetry is like a box of chocolates,
you don’t know what one you’ll get
A monoku or a rondelet — maybe
or, if you’re lucky, a sonnet!

© Carolyn Hastings 2021

Sorry, you lucked out if you were hoping for a soft-centered sonnet. And the maybe it will be a morish monoku or a brûlée rondelet is a definite, dah-der.

So what is that four-line, Forrest Gump-ish micro poem?

For those who know me, you’ll already be counting the letters! 😉

😳 Why?
To check if there are exactly 100 of them.
😵 100 letters?
You got it!
😦 But why?
Well, I’ll tell you, but first, you have to make a…

Carolyn Hastings

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