Comments Posted By Jolene

Displaying 1 To 30 Of 96 Comments

The word: Transient

Great poem, Martin! You’ve such a knack for rhyming and rhythm. And Yes, I can tell you speak from experience. Brain/Mind in all it’s incarnations!

» Posted By Jolene On June 22, 2017 @ 9:11 am

Kevin, love your poem. Such great metaphors and images!

» Posted By Jolene On June 22, 2017 @ 9:07 am

The word: Transition


Do not believe
transitions have to be hard
they have to exact that ounce of blood
exhaust you to the core

Transition can be a challenge, Yes!
But if you’re left dying and bleeding
perhaps you fought it every step of the way
resisting the change that would make you

more thoughtful
more compassionate
more energized
more inspired
more aware
more of something
you can’t quite define

good word
bad word
your choice

» Posted By Jolene On May 17, 2017 @ 9:43 am

The word: Prodigious

Love the images and idea of this poem.

Feedback from a developmental editor
so much to learn about writing
and yes, it’s my story
I get to decide
what goes in, what stays out

How much do I bore people with the details,
Can they understand my angst?
What the self-doubt feels like
and WHY do we insist on putting ourselves
through it again and again and again?

Sometimes the creative mind cannot rest
Especially when accompanied by a persistent mind
still trying to make sense
when perhaps there isn’t any

» Posted By jolene On April 26, 2017 @ 10:35 am

The word: Lobster | Book Announcement: PFS Vol II

Instructions on How to Live.

(with thanks to Annie Dillard too for inspiration)

Go into your body, like a muskrat exploring a beer can.

Feed your body. Ask it, what do you need today?

Go to the new Sushi place. Be like the Lobster, reaching for that piece of fish on the conveyor belt.

Listen as your body tells you: Grab that by the throat, refuse to kill the weasel, soak him!

Be stunned into Stillness by what your body says

Collect two brown hairs worth of wisdom each day. At the end of a year, use the hairs to make a wig.

Wear the wig to the next gathering of family or friends. Do not listen to what family says.

Locate the most tender and live spot in your body. Calmly live from that space.

Find your land of enchantment and dive into the urgent current that flows through it.

Be the falling snow. Accept your coldness, your quietness, the weight of you upon the land.

When the sun comes out, melt! Run down into the earth and go until you join the stream of humanity.

Take a hot bath, add a cup of Epsom salts, luxuriate until the water begins to cool.

Stalk your calling, and
Pray and

» Posted By Jolene On April 12, 2017 @ 10:03 am

The word: Dignity

Congratulations Martin! I’ve yet to get any of my poems published anywhere (except on this website, of course). But I keep trying. I sent off six poems to The New Yorker this week. . . . . . this will be my 4th try with them. Do they eventually get tired of rejecting you and publish something? I guess I will find out!

» Posted By Jolene On March 10, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

The word: Delight

are a delight
or an irritation
when they behave
like Boys

» Posted By Jolene On February 1, 2017 @ 9:37 am

The word: Adventure

I traveled

England, Italy
Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain
Mexico, Alaska, Peru, Venezuela . . . .

Airports, airplanes
ferries, cars, roads, trails. . . . . .

Now I seek small adventures
A walk to the river
Sledding with my granddaughter
A cup of tea by the fire
A book of poetry in my lap

» Posted By Jolene On January 10, 2017 @ 9:33 am

Love your poem!
A small adventure.

» Posted By Jolene On January 10, 2017 @ 9:25 am

The word: Eudemonic

A Poem for Ken
by Jolene Starr

At Sun Ray Cafe we gathered
four then five then seven

Hugs and Eudemonic smiles all ’round
Chatted of travel, singing, music and harvests

Sixteen years ago I met him
my second week at the VA

He proudly showed me ’round 2P
that was his domain

Lunch at the Cottonwood Grille
Salmon and salads and sweet tea

We talked of San Antonio
the Riverwalk, Air Force, med schools

Southernisms so easy to pick up
y’all and I’m fixin’ to . . . . .

Shared confidences, he divorced
me married

That first year, I had lots of free time
Why didn’t the Chief give me more patients?

Long emails to Ken
shared stories of skiing, Bogus Basin, Sun Valley

An occasional flirtation.

Years passed.
I divorced, he married.

Once in a while a hello, how’s it goin’?
How are your daughters?

The VA changed. Now with a new Chief
sitting in a monthly, now weekly meeting

Ken and I in a corner
fidgeting, cracking jokes

Dr. Starr, Quiet, Be Quiet!
I stilled, silenced

Yes, we were a bit like junior high students
but laughing instead of screaming. . . . or crying

I sat up straighter, zipped my lip, not aware
this was only a harbinger of what was to come

2010, I’m leaving
can’t take the Big Cheese anymore

Ken and I in my office,
he’s come to say goodbye

We reminisce, I got to go.

He stands to leave
You are an attractive woman, very attractive

You mean damn good-lookin?
I blush, we laugh, we hug

Six more years
Our paths cross only a few times

But here we are again,
warriors exchanging emails

Maybe there’s one more fight left in both of us
Who knows?

» Posted By Jolene On December 11, 2016 @ 9:37 am

The word: Relevant

What is relevant?
I asked myself
as I sat at the table
with pancakes and bananas
mom, dad

Large oaks shaded
the house, mostly
squirrels scurried
pecans lay in wait

Turkey roasted in the oven
potatoes boiled on the stove
black cats sat in the sunny spot
on the back of the sofa

Grace was said
hands clasped
food eaten
arguments unresolved
coffee served

Sun setting

» Posted By Jolene On November 24, 2016 @ 10:14 am

The word: Space

Once we allow space
in our days
in our home
in our life

We discover so much.

So many ways of feeling
of being

What if we are all of it?

And we get to choose who we are
in each moment!

» Posted By Jolene On October 21, 2016 @ 10:25 am

The word(s): Carpe Diem

When I was young, maybe 9 years old
we went to a stream
below a waterfall

We played in the sandy spot
where the water slowed
and swam in the large pool
beneath the falls

One day others came
we watched as they inched out above the
torrent, only feet from where it fell
over the precipice

Then moved to the edge
and jumped!

Inspired, my sister and I
carpe diem!
soon jumping and diving
into the deep aqua below

» Posted By Jolene On October 5, 2016 @ 11:01 am

The word: Waterfall

Love your poem, Elisabeth. Such wonderful imagery!

» Posted By Jolene On September 28, 2016 @ 9:54 am

The word: Sequin

The sequin gleamed in the dustpan
a shiny dot
that had fallen off
my grand-daughter’s tiara
or was it a left-over from
my daughter’s prom dress?
or maybe it dropped onto
the floor when the craft box got jostled.

Now it’s in the garbage can
who knows where it will show up next.

» Posted By Jolene On September 22, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

The word: Happiness

OH, I almost forgot. . . . we have those groups. They’re called parties!

» Posted By Jolene On September 15, 2016 @ 11:22 am

My new mission in life
to bring Joy to myself
and others

and is Happiness really so different
from Joy?

The sages (at least some of them) tell us there’s a difference
but frankly, I don’t care
I like ’em both.

Joy and Happiness, here I come!

» Posted By Jolene On September 15, 2016 @ 11:21 am

Martin, I love it! As I reformed psychiatrist, I can tell you that is mostly what happens at “self-help” groups! And Yes, even in the professional groups. . . . . . . . why not convene a group to rejoice in everything which isn’t going wrong?

» Posted By Jolene On September 15, 2016 @ 11:16 am

The word(s): Too much

Yes, expanding the container
the essence of me
sometimes feels like too much

But I am told
that this expansion is a good thing
that some day

The me that is more
will not feel like too much
it will just be

» Posted By Jolene On August 24, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

The word: Legendary

10 people
the youngest 7
the oldest 73
Molly the mule
Twinkle the pony
and three llamas
carrying heavy loads
so that we can hike unencumbered

The hike, formidable
3 1/2 miles
3000 ft. elevation gain

trekking up and up
along a stream
through meadows
Indian paintbrush
Lupine and Larkspur
white and yellow and purple
different shades of green

Ponderosa Pine
to Douglas Fir
to Blue Spruce
then Larch, that short-thin-needled
conifer that is deciduous
turns yellow in the fall

Finally we make camp
eat hearty stew
crawl exhausted into our tents
a hailstorm hits
pea-sized bits cover the ground
with white

The next day
another 1000 ft. hike/climb
up to Scatter Lake
a beauty gleaming blue
with plenty of trout for dinner

sound sleep
big breakfast
then reverse our steps
down, down, down

Pile ourselves
and our stock
into the vehicles
drive home.

A legendary hike
a legendary memory.

» Posted By Jolene On August 17, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

The word: Close

We are close.
Until something snaps closed.
An unkind word, a look, a judgement
who knows what?
how something is perceived.

Close and open.
then closed, snapped shut.

A loving touch
now open and close.

» Posted By Jolene On August 4, 2016 @ 9:42 am

The word: Fluidity

The pain and stiffness
of my low back
reminds me how energy
needs to flow through the body.

Energy, like water
flows fluidly
where knots have been dissolved
by love.

» Posted By Jolene On July 13, 2016 @ 8:31 am

The word: Sensuous

My man brings me coffee in bed every morning
No expectations, just the aroma of coffee
and the sensuous moment.

» Posted By Jolene On July 6, 2016 @ 9:36 am

The word: Unforgettable

Love it Martin! I’ve been to England a few times but never to Stonehenge. Sigh. . . . . so many places, unforgettable.

» Posted By Jolene On June 30, 2016 @ 9:54 am

A poem must transport
us to a wholly new place
yet it must also be a touch familiar
like gazing at the majesty of Mt. Ranier
from the valley after a long hike
yet still known.

» Posted By Jolene On June 2, 2016 @ 10:29 am

The word: Mental Health

After too many years
in mental health
both psychiatrist
and patient

I’ve determined the real question is not
Myself or myself
but MySelf and MySelves

the committee gets too crowded
one must take control
but who will it be today?

Not easy to decide
sometimes the strongest
sometimes the stubbornest
sometimes able to breathe in and out
and some other Self comes forward

Maybe it’s the wounded dogs turn?

» Posted By Jolene On May 4, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

The word: Sunshine

You are my Sunshine
My mother used to sing
Now I sing it to my grand-daughter

You make me happy
I make myself happy
Yes, Singing makes me happy
I sing every day now
to myself

And to anyone else
who wants to listen.

» Posted By Jolene On April 9, 2016 @ 9:03 am

The word: Heart

The ways of the heart are mysterious
but shine through the eyes
sadness, mirth, joy, benediction
they cannot tell lies.

» Posted By Jolene On March 23, 2016 @ 10:54 pm

The word: Tea

Yep, been there. . . . love that you included the youtube video!

» Posted By Jolene On March 18, 2016 @ 9:08 pm

In my little Balinese cottage in Candidasa
making a cup of tea.

Boiling water into white ceramic cup
covers the bag of Yellow Label Lipton

Looking through canisters on shelf above the sink
Sugar? No, Salt!
I reach for another

Some milk would really be nice
Ever since my travels in the Cotswalds in England
I love to have my tea with milk

Oh, well, have to do without
Can’t have everything
Last night, arriving in Candidasa
too tired to search for store for groceries

A knock on the door
Who can that be?
A small Balinese woman, dressed in yellow and black
batik patterned blouse
and unmatched blue and white skirt

“I brought breakfast,” says she
holding out a small bag
“Oh,” I say, reaching out to take it

“I Ketut, I clean,”
“Later,” she adds.

Startled, I simply say thank you
In the bag, I find:
a loaf of white bread
four brown eggs
and “Ultra Milk.”

Sitting on the lanai, staring out at the ocean
Sipping Tea
I chuckle.

Wow, the power of thought is working well for me today!

» Posted By Jolene On March 18, 2016 @ 6:48 am

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