Restoration

Restoration

Restoration – I recently visited my son and his family—his wife and one year old daughter. A relationship once broken, now restored…

Wonder and Beauty I See

Wonder and Beauty I See

I just completed my annual 4th and 5th step. I’m lucky in a sense that I first got sober in spring. Spring cleaning in AA feels good,creates hope…

Resilience

Resilience

For three decades now, I’ve studied the ability of ecosystems to respond to change, to ultimately adapt. I’ve never thought about resilience as part of recovery. Though I…

And One Day I Realized That I Was Creating My Own Mythology

And One Day I Realized That I Was Creating My Own Mythology

When I first began to write and share poetry, now approximately 4,383, but who’s counting, I sought to describe what I saw and how I felt. I did…

Just One More Day Was All It Took

Just One More Day Was All It Took

The day before I went to my first AA meeting, was almost my last. I was either going to kill myself or with any luck, not wake up. The day…

Holding Sorrow and Joy With the Same Heart

Holding Sorrow and Joy With the Same Heart

I used to compartmentalize my life, my days, my feelings. Sober I’m learning to be whole. I am willing to hold joy and sorrow in the same moment. This…

The Worst Days of My Life (Thus Far)

The Worst Days of My Life (Thus Far)

I’ve had many worst days of my life. Too many to count. Dark days when I stopped wanting to live and I bought a rope. The death of an…

When I Lost Everything

When I Lost Everything

What was your bottom? Twelve years ago, I truly believed that I was losing everything that I valued. Dying seemed a relief from a life I could no longer face…

When Want Became Need And I Became Free

When Want Became Need And I Became Free

I remember how uneasy I felt newly sober. Consequences still rained down on me, affecting health, relationships, finances and career. And it was my mess, the miserable mess I created…

God is Everything or Else He is Nothing

God is Everything or Else He is Nothing

I heard it again this morning for the umpteenth time “…we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is…

Stillness and Silence

Stillness and Silence

To sit still, quiet, a thing of dread in early recovery (sometimes now). A meditator for more than half my life and my first weeks sober and months before, I…

Anger

Anger

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger … but to alcoholics these things were poison … anger is a luxury we cannot afford “. Various versions of this…

Seeking

Seeking

Sometimes I find myself desperately seeking and searching for answers to quench my thirst to know. My greatest drive seems to be answer a never-ending quest for why. Why…

Bearing witness to the pain and suffering of ‘those who still suffer’

Bearing witness to the pain and suffering of ‘those who still suffer’

In my home group some that chair that meeting preface the prompt to join in the first part of the Serenity Prayer with ‘for those that still suffer inside and…

Christmas on Tobacco Road

Christmas on Tobacco Road

I grew up on a little hard scrabble farm in the hills and hollers of eastern Tennessee. Our farm was on a gravel road that connected to two more gravel…

What It Was Like Then and What It Is Like Now

What It Was Like Then and What It Is Like Now

I start my day with a 10-15 minute meditation. I’ve done this most days since I got sober. The form changes from time to time. Sometimes simply to…

Science and Spirit

Science and Spirit

When I was newly sober, my feelings overwhelmed me. I began to write and share poetry as a way to be with overwhelming feelings. Writing helped me observe and accept…

All This Rage

All This Rage

I wrote the fragment -“Greed, Rage, Fear, Hate, Such a tightly wound knot”- about a month ago. It felt uncomfortable and uncontrollable and so I left it in a drafts…

Things Could Always Be Better

Things Could Always Be Better

The November 24 reflection from Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life reference to Gabor Mate’s, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, reminded me of trying to quench…

Tales of the Star Child

Tales of the Star Child

I wrote this over eight mornings, a few years ago, writing a pair of verses each day not knowing what story would unfold. In fact, I didn’t know until…

Awareness

Awareness

Eleven years sober and I recently began to be swept away by politics, career and change. Anxious and depressed. Afraid and sad. It reminded me of how hopeless and helpless…

Poems to Shine a Light on Dark Times

Poems to Shine a Light on Dark Times

Of late I’ve found myself struggling again with heightened anxiety and darkening depression. I’ve been here before. Before getting sober and learning to cope with highs and lows…

Learning from Others

Learning from Others

Renga is a form of Japanese poetry of linked verses written by and with others. A couple of years ago, I saw a stately green ash by an old farmhouse…

Brief Poems About Time

Brief Poems About Time

Sometimes I notice that time rules my days. Appointments and deadlines. Calendars. So much that pushes and pulls me out of the sweet refuge of the present moment. Urgency often…

About Grieving and Grief

About Grieving and Grief

My first experience grieving, newly sober, was our 10 year old rescue dog. She became suddenly ill and had to have her euthanized at an emergency veterinary office. I held…

Us vs. Them

Us vs. Them

When I got sober and as I grew in sobriety, watching sports became less interesting and consuming. Underneath this, other things mattered more than what had once been lost weekends…

Storms

Storms

Looking back I see patterns and themes. Though these four poems form an arc about emotional storms and my relationship to rage, they come to a place of awareness, acceptance…

Recovery Through Poetry

Recovery Through Poetry

My writing seeks to let readers take what they need and leave the rest, to share my awareness as unfiltered as I can, to avoid telling the whole story and…

Monkey Mind and Beginner Mind

Monkey Mind and Beginner Mind

Long before I got sober, in fact, long before I had alcohol use disorder, I fancied myself Buddhist because I meditated a few times, a week to relax and I…

Notes From a Childhood of Mine

Notes From a Childhood of Mine

Sober several years, I still struggled with pain and childhood trauma. Prior to recovery, I buried it to the point of ignoring my childhood. These poems helped me appreciate the…

Rivers

Rivers

Rivers are sacred to me. A spiritual refuge in which I find comfort, peace and hope. Though I’ve studied them throughout my professional life, in sobriety, they’ve become…

Spirits in Nature

Spirits in Nature

Inspired by a recent meeting at his home group about the power of creativity in recovery, Robert wrote these poems centered around his appreciation for and love of nature…