By Karyn Braveheart
Words without a tune, paper without a picture
Nights without the moon, lessons without a Lecture
Love without a heart, years without a season
Hold onto your poetry, it’s within you for a reason…
l encourage everyone to share their own inner poet. Poetry is a way of getting a message across in a creative way.
I love to write, and poetry has assisted in my healing without me really having to try. It was an outlet for me when l couldn’t speak about what l needed to share during my recovery from an eating disorder and associated trauma; I would get an urge to write and the words would turn into a poem. The one thing l was confident about was that l could share how l was feeling through poetry.
Sometimes my poem would be for a friend who had shared something too painful for me to talk about, even though l had experienced the same thing. I knew by the way that it affected me that l needed to do something so l would write about it in poetry form. I found this to be very powerful in relation to the trauma I had experienced. Sharing my poetry gave me an outlet to address the secrets and painful issues with trusted professionals. It was an easier way out for me.
My poems often said so much that they would bring tears to a reader’s eyes, sometimes leaving the reader speechless but also opening new pathways to follow in my healing work. The poems helped my treatment team to know more about what they were dealing with and were more able to assist me. As well, I felt uplifted to know they now understood even just a tiny bit more about my inner fears and struggles.
Other times in therapy l would experience excruciating pain in a session but could not release it. I would freeze up in fear on the outside while on the inside l had much l needed to say but would lose my voice. I would go home and release the words in writing, sometimes re-traumatised, but that was a good thing because the words were raw and gut-wrenching but expressed the inexpressible.
Then l would send my writing to the therapist or doctor and my next session with them would be easier even though l would often feel embarrassed or think l should not have let the secrets out. The poems helped them and taught them about me, the hidden person inside who was dying within.
I also drew much self-comfort from my own poetry. When l was very sad, seeing my pain staring back at me so raw and real on the page, it led me to keep seeking help, and my trust and respect grew in my healing journey.
By trusting my own heart l was able to accept encouragement from others for my poetry writing and that made it easier to share.
As my confidence grew l was invited to attend a poetry group in a small town. l felt l had found my “place” in the world as the group was very welcoming.
l often shocked the tiny but talented group of mostly bush poets with my deep, humorous, gut-wrenching poem every week. Whatever the topic was l found a way to express myself often surprised as well with what l had come up with. This helped me to appreciate poetry from all walks of life.
I believe we all have the ability to enjoy our own or others’ poems to give a fresh outlook on everyday living whatever direction we have chosen for this moment.
Poetry is just words on paper but can be whatever you choose it to be…
Here’s to the art of poetry in all sizes shapes and forms.
Thank you for taking the time to listen, may we grow together always.
Boundaries are beliefs rearranged
I wrote a poem about boundaries when l had been working on self-care and the topic came up. This was a sensitive subject because l came from a place where there were no boundaries. Fear had engulfed me for most of my life because l never felt safe enough to just be myself. I had to learn as an adult how to put boundaries around my heart, soul, mind, body, and spirit, for every part had been damaged in some way.
Writing poetry has been a part of my safety because it has given me the confidence to express how l am feeling and to send on that message to others. It has been my way of letting myself and others know that we are all equal and that nobody has a right to break my boundaries when they are put in place.
I have learned that everyone deserves to feel safe and to know that it is okay to stand up for our rights and to protect our own selves in a healthy way. With this knowing and newfound self-care l have been able to grow as a woman and be able to protect my inner child. I take that burden away now from that little girl. I am grateful for my gift of poetry for it always has been another form of my protective boundaries.
My boundaries were never born.
I grew up lost and so forlorn
Whatever I did was never right
So confusing were my days and nights.
Too controlled, afraid to move
Constantly feeling I had to prove
That I was a good girl
That I was okay
But the rules were constantly
Changed each day.
So I never knew
I just could not win
And that was the life
That I grew up in.
The early years of everyone’s lives
Are where we learn skills
To thrive and survive
But if it is twisted
With nothing to guide us
The boundaries can’t grow
So deep down inside us.
The seeds are not planted
Or nurtured and fed
And safety and security
Become fear and shame instead.
It’s never too late
To get the seeds planted
And the challenge
Of healthy boundaries is granted.
I learned through mistakes
Others chose to make
And needed to heal
So the cycle could break.
I followed my heart
When it came to trust
I went with my gut feeling
When I knew I must.
I travelled alone
With faith and with doubt
But the highs and the lows helped me find my way out …
Into a world that
Was safest for me
To be loved and respected consistently.
With patience, I pushed on
To find the real me
So I could protect
Who I was born to be.
Boundaries are important
They follow on from change,
Change in our thinking
Discovering the truth
Taking a stand
Asking for help
Holding your own hand.
When boundaries are broken
Look up to the stars –
Choose one for yourself
For that’s who you are.
Valuable and unique
Claiming your rights
With a star in your pocket
To remind you of the light.
— Poem and illustration (star in the pocket) by Karyn Braveheart
Do you write poems? To share your story, write to: email@example.com
I live in Victoria, Australia. l was born and raised in the city of Geelong, but have lived in other states during my life’s course. I have always been a writer – as a child, I wrote letters and poetry and sometimes short stories. I love to write because it goes deeper than the spoken word for me. I can tell my truth through writing and l also write to encourage others through letters or cards, and sometimes I add a poem.
My life has been a battle but l have an army of angels who are always here for me. They have taught me how to be respectful and honest, without fear. Writing poetry comes very naturally to me and people have said that one of my poems can express as much as a chapter in a book.