The month of May reminds many of us of Mother's Day, and I happen to have a deep connection to this month because I was born on Mother's Day, many decades ago! But not only does the month remind me of mothers, it helps me remember the importance of self-care and mothering myself. It also makes me think about how important it is to honor the sacred feminine and the significant female figures in our lives.

On a personal level, I was deeply influenced by my grandmother for teaching me to type on her Remington typewriter, as that experience inspired me to write my first poem when I was eight years old. My first memoir, Regina's Closet: Finding My Grandmother's Secret Journal, was inspired by our close relationship. For decades, I've had a black-and-white photo of my grandmother on my desk. She continues to inspire me even though she died in 1964. My recently published poem, "A Child's Fear," was written about an event that occurred a few years before she died.

Now that I'm a grandmother (of five beautiful grandchildren, ages from infancy to six), my hope is that my influence on them will also leave an indelible mark. There's something very unique about the love between grandparent and grandchild, as it is precious and completely unconditional.

Recently, I watched the new Tina Turner documentary: TINA. Turner is known as the Queen of Rock, and she is surely an unforgettable icon. The documentary was so touching. Yes, she's had more than her share of hardships, and she is a survivor, but by sharing her musical talents, she's brought joy to the entire world. In addition, she's taught us that in spite of being raised in a dysfunctional family, success can happen. Truly, this is a story about survival, tenacity, and endurance. Turner had it all, and now she claims that she's ready to step out of the limelight, and she certainly has the right to do this for herself.

Then, finally, I was honored to have my poems "His Smile, "My Heart Broke Loose with the Wind," and "Pacific Sunset" published in the While You Wait anthology, reviewed below. The poem "My Smile" is dedicated to my son, so that's my Mother's Day offering.

All good things,

  • Write about an important woman in your life.
  • Write about a famous woman you admire.
  • Write about one of your grandmothers.
  • Describe a book written by a female author you admire.

“His Smile,” “My Heart Broke Loose with the Wind,” Pacific Sunset” (poems). While You Wait: An Anthology. Gunpowder Press. 2021.

“Flawed by Life,” My Body Shut Down” (poems). The Stray Branch. Spring/Summer 2021.

A Child’s Fear” (poem). Peeking Cat Literary. April 3, 2021.

The Power of Poetry Therapy.” Psychology Today. April 7, 2021.

The Divine Feminine: Tao Te Ching (nonfiction) by Rosemarie Anderson, PhD.

This is a perfect gift for honoring the feminine, motherhood, and mothering. Anderson, one of my PhD professors at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (currently Sofia University), has pioneered the first translation revealing the feminine nature of the Tao. She says that translating the Tao Te Ching was a work of love, inspired by a psychology/research position she had in Asia in the 1970s. During that trip, she effortlessly embodied wi wu wei, meaning to "act without acting," or "knowing without knowing." Thus, when aligning with the Tao, we become more spontaneous and selfless.

"Tao," says Anderson, "is consistently referred to as 'mother,' 'virgin,' and 'womb of creation,'" clearly making it feminine.

When read out loud, the 81 verses in the book have a beautiful musical quality. In fact, Anderson suggests singing them to your favorite tune.

This book is destined to become a classic. One of my favorites is Poem 36:

What you wish to diminish
You must first let it stretch
What you wish to weaken
You must first let it strengthen
What you wish to destroy
You must first let it exalt
What you wish to seize
You must first let it rise up
This is called subtle knowing
The soft and weak overcoming the hard and strong....
While You Wait : A Collection of Santa Barbara County Poets (poetry) by Laure-Anne Bosselaur, editor

This compelling collection from 80 poets was compiled by Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emeritus Bosselaur as a volume to keep patients occupied while waiting to see their healthcare providers. It consists of poems crafted by published poets, emerging poets, and also children.

The collection is "Dedicated with Gratitude to Our Healthcare Heroes," especially during the pandemic, but really always. In the foreword, written by my friend, the editor of Gunpowder Press, Chryss Yost, she expresses her personal gratitude to a cardiac surgeon at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital for saving her life when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest due to an extremely rare cardiac condition, where only 10 percent of victims survive.

Although the book was released during the pandemic, the project was conceived by Bosselaur when she was elected as the Poet Laureate in 2019, before the beginning of the pandemic.

Due to the generosity of the community, more than a thousand hard copies were donated to the tireless healthcare workers. The poems are also available free online at For those who want a hard copy, it's also available on Amazon for $18. An inspiring collection for the aspiring or published poet, and a wonderful gift for someone you love.

Highly recommended for all ages!

Celebrate the women in your life this Mother's Day. Whether it's your mother, your grandmother, someone else's mother, or your tribe of mom friends...the importance of honoring our human connections and sharing our stories has never been more important.

I've created Conversation Cards for Meaningful Storytelling as a way to connect with family and friends in person, over the phone, or via video chat—across the table or across the miles.

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