Monday, April 24, 2017

POETS OF MYTHOPOETRY: DEANNA MCKINSTRY-EDWARDS Song And Poetry #mythopoetry #guestpost #NationalPoetryMonth 2017

Written and performed by Deanna McKinstry-Edwards of Carmel, CA. Hopeful Ground is written and performed by Deanna McKinstry-Edwards and uploaded to SoundCloud by Stephanie Pope April 24, 2017 ©2017 Hopeful Ground Deanna McKinstry-Edwards All Rights Retained


I remember the world
when I was a girl,
And it all spun round
on hopeful ground.

I remember the way
The songs of that day
Carried the sound
Of a higher ground.

We are the girls
Who never stopped believing.
Our voices should be heard
For there are dreams worth keeping.
We’ve crested life’s fierce waves,
We’ve honored all the graves
Of those who came before us
Who even now implore us
To live on hopeful ground.

 I remember the way
the light shaped the day.
There were great things to do,
whole worlds to renew.

We took up the call
Risked taking a fall,
But it all made sense,
We were now off the fence.


BIRD DOG      For Asher

His mind moves
like a prophet
the beauty of food.

Every footstep a sacrifice,
a praise song of breath and motion,
a stamina born of tall grasses
and woodlands full of
ripe birds and the games of men.

Dreams soaked with hunger
pad his footfalls in promises.
He must not disappoint himself,
and his comrades.

The tall grasses have not forgotten him,
nor he their history
brushing against his fur,
hiding him as he moves
almost without moving, closer.

It is a foolish music
that can only win now and then,
but the now and then is the
music that drives his body.

And at night on the couch,
when he sleep with his legs
in the air like bent reeds,
I know I am seeing far, far
back into the friendship of fur
and human need
played out in olden times by firelight,
roasting the beatitudes of food
from the shared hunt.

©2017 Bird Dog Deanna McKinstry-Edwards
©2017 Bird Dog Deanna McKinstry-Edwards All Rights Retained


The dead. Rarely are.

Even if you walk in moccasins
through a mossy wood,
and disturb not a leaf,
the dead will be disturbed.
They can’t help it.

Even if rivers make promises
to swallow their ashes,
and mountains chew their bones,
their voices seep through
the smallest spaces.

The dead always slip through,
courting the living.

Something about death,
however, cannot last forever.
Something about forever
is little understood.

©2017 The Dead Deanna McKinstry-Edwards

©2017 The Dead  Deanna McKinstry-Edwards  All Rights Retained


Dying on the blacktop
from the wheels
of a fast moving traveler
the little mole
has waited for me to pass by.

Our eyes meet. 
He has me
the way an apple falls to earth
and the earth rises to greet it.

Lifting his
still breathing smallness
onto a large leaf,
I lay him in the soft touches
of spring throated grass
near the road
as sunlight and moonlight
sweep through each other
spinning tales of the
beginning and ending
of light.

©2017 The Last Light In The Moles Eyes Deanna McKinstry-Edwards

©2017 The Last Light In The Moles Eyes  Deanna McKinstry-Edwards
All Rights Retained



We carry creation’s seed
in the nest of our bodies.

We carry homeless
forgotten and forsaken.

We wear the earth
in baskets on our backs,
brimming with grasses and sticks.

We carry life-loving soil.
 dusty and flood soaked
 it stains our feet.

We carry the old wood
fires, and the future

We sit on mountain tops
weaving wounds into blankets
and balm for generations to come.

We carry the voices
of the valleys,
the deep, deep valleys
where meandering streams meet
the meadows singing
replenishing Hallelujahs.

We stand taller than pyramids
and buildings dedicated
to the sun, blinding light
and perfect measure.

We are the moon-keepers.
shepards of shadows
and shade, and the soul’s
never-ending thirst
for the murmurations
of meaning.

We carry our men
back to their hearts,
and they carry us
back to ours. 

have grown in each other’s
branches, twisting, tender
with longing, longing to trust
who we really are.
How vulnerable.

We carry death, and sing it
back to life again.

We carry songs.  We sing.
We always sing.  Especially
when we’re broken,
and the whole world feels broken, too.

We are the song
that allows starry nights
their moisturing dark
for dry days, and those to come.

We carry the hearth
of heaven
in our touch
and voices.

We carry.  We carry.

©2017 We Carry Deanna McKinstry-Edwards
©2017 We Carry Deanna McKinstry-Edwards All Rights Retained  


This is not a sad story.
Life moves on that’s all. Moves
around and through things
becoming something else,
continents shaking at their edges
trawling for missing pieces.

Take celery root.  It’s tuberous
hardness cooked supple and soft,
becomes celery salad.
“No, I ‘ve never had celery salad,”
I told her.

She lives alone,
by a sacred fire of small things
made meaningful by her attention
and 96 year old hands dicing, chopping,
peeling, mixing mayonnaise, onion
and vinegar.

Late afternoon traffic on Sunset Boulevard,
framed in her living room windows,
lurches homeward,
the drivers, listening to tapes, music,
the news of murders and quaking continents,
a hundred leagues away they are from where they are,
split by long drives and the misgivings
of the day.

But with her, there are no misgivings,
she is already home, into her
evening rituals, present to
the smallest, and her cat
circling around her legs.

The rush is somewhere else.
Celery salad is being composed here
by 96 year old hands and
old eyes dimmed by macular
degeneration. Her soul’s
eyes are another story.

She is not what she was,
but always what she is.

The cutting board crackles
under her knife, the cat’s bell
jingles the air. 
I’m sitting under the relaxed sky
of her roomy apartment, filled with
96 years of memories, china, photos,
animal figures, animal paintings,
stuffed animals, some who can speak
and sing…
Animals, animals, animals, part of
our shared sacraments and bond.

Her footsteps, barely audible,
fall like magnolia petals,
onto the linoleum.  Will I ever walk this softly?

She is content.  Prepared to live,
19 bottles of distilled water
within reach, and prepared to move on
to a place as certain and clear in her mind
as the purest stream and sky
she could imagine.

Do you know anyone like that?
To know even one soul,
like a single pelican
rising from a salty lagoon,
full of liftoff, fluidity and flight,
will lay you down at day’s end,
home again, with simple things,
and no rush.

©2017 Celery Salad And Old Eyes Deanna McKinstry-Edwards
©2017 Celery Salad And Old Eyes Deanna McKinstry-Edwards All Rights Retained

Celery Salad And Old Eyes by Deanna McKinstry-Edwards is previously published in Mythopoetry Scholar: Annual Reflections In Depth Perspectives Volume 2  “Matter And Beauty”, January, 2011


Deanna McKinstry-Edwards, PhD is a professional actress, singer, writer and Pushcart nominated poet.   Returning to college in 1999, she earned a Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Mythology and Depth Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute.  Her doctoral dissertation, Singing; Soul’s Mythic Mirror, explores singing as the indigenous voice and language of human beings.   Her lectures on singing and myth merge her performance talents with her academic background.  She teaches a course on Ecopsychology, and is the author of Psyche, Eros and Me; A Mythic Memoir.  



Sunday, April 23, 2017

POETS OF MYTHOPOETRY: DENNIS PATRICK SLATTERY Three Poems #guestpost #mythopoetry #NationalPoetryMonth 2017



To find in one another

some likeness in history

is unlike the seeing of the many.

Memory singes history

with its own truths, failures, limits

flimsy to the touch

but fierce in       staying power.

Now is the power of our birth, amen.

Cancelled checks singe money


I am unlike you in

dress and dross

And yet—

Below ground we circle slowly

in the same den    the same dim light

of a future undressed

waiting for a proper fitting.

You—a likeness monster

in your ordinary wrap

now find your own solace

where wind whistles in

the cave at dawn.

Similar yes like yesterday

But not the same really. 

© 2017 Serenity In Likeness Dennis Patrick Slattery
© 2017 Dennis Patrick Slattery All Rights Retained


Where goes what withers
to be refreshed?
The heat of a day’s longing
is enough to sap all moisture
from the stems of things.
Withering roots; where ecstasy
grows upward in a forest
without fear? Loosen your hold
on dry sticks when combustion
is near. Fear makes deserts of
our destinies.

Moisten your lips with olive oil.
Take pains to live close to a well.
Follow the white porcelain of mist.
Push fear to the curb and the stories
that wet its plots.

Danger in the details of a
negative narrative
dry the soul to a brittle cloth
bereft of blessings.
Seek still waters and


© 2017 Words Dry Out Dennis Patrick Slattery
© 2017 Dennis Patrick Slattery All Rights Retained


Music prints the air in sheets

enough to cover the path

she walks on.

Notes on her soles and

lyric lines limm her thoughts.

Between the aches of

an uncertain hour

and the long chords of lament

Behind glass melodies

without the rhythm

of lonely parts

She plays she plays

she plays.

© 2017 Melody Dennis Patrick Slattery
© 2017 Dennis Patrick Slattery All Rights Retained


           Dennis Patrick Slattery Ph.D. is core faculty, Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California.  He has been teaching literature and mythology for over 40 years.  He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of 24 books, including six volumes of poetry; he has published over 200 articles and reviews on literature, psychology, mythology, as well as popular essays on surprises in the world.

 visit his website at

Friday, April 21, 2017

POETS OF MYTHOPOETRY: LEIGH MELANDER: TWO POEMS #guestpost #mythopoetry #NationalPoetryMonth 2017



Spring breaks my heart

Being possible

Soothing away

The quiet lack of faith

Protecting me

From myself

A pilgrimage

Of violins and larks

Brings me back

To other springs

On a brick stoop

And praying crocus

A remembered light

To weep for

Joins me kissed

By wind breath


Hands held out

They call it awakening

Arising, quickening

I am so afraid

Of such hoping

And such joy

Spring breaks my heart

©2007 And, One Spring Leigh Melander All Rights Retained

©2017 And, One Spring Leigh Melander


This poem I wrote about and for Derek Walcott, and then studied with him. He just died at 87 last week (March 17, 2017), and it’s resurfaced in my consciousness.  At a pivotal moment in my life, Derek saw me as an artist, a poet, and invited me to come and study with him in Boston.  This act of kindness and of creative connection changed my life.

I heard a man speak tonight

Laurel words unfurling from his lips like

great white sails of ships

casting past the tide

and we ride out through the heat

and hear of Odysseus and his

journeys away from himself and

then back home again

where his solace waits nightly

alone in her bed

unsinging his death shroud



Leigh has an eclectic background in the arts and organizational development, working with individuals and organizations in the US and internationally for over 20 years. She has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology and wrote her dissertation on frivolity as an entry into the world of imagination. Her writings on mythology and imagination can be seen in a variety of publications, and she has appeared on the History Channel as a mythology expert. She also hosts a radio show on an NPR community affiliate: Myth Americaan exploration into how myth shapes our sense of identity. Leigh and her husband own Spillian, an historic lodge and retreat center celebrating imagination in the Catskills, and she works with individual and group clients on creative projects. She is honored to serve as the Vice President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation Board of Directors.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017



Summerland, CA.
February 17, 2017    

Is there a place
where streets have no names,
where they begin in clouds and end in thick green forests
with pungent odors of ancient beasts?

Is there a strange land
where rain falls up from the earth
and soaks the sky
with moist musings on the stars?

Or, perhaps, an invisible land where
birds beat with flying have gills to glide into the sea,
and fish fed up with swimming
have wings to wheel above the clouds?

Is there a nowhere land
where fish-birds, taking in greedy gulps of air,
and bird-fish, beaks moist with foam,
sing old fish songs from the cities beneath the sea.

Reading Mary Oliver’s book, Long Life
December 27, 2014

Was it ever necessary to be so quiet,
to dress in the quarter light of those early summer mornings,
to creep toward the door and unlatch it ever so slowly,
and close it without waking the sleepers in the house?

So young to become as if a thief or a phantom.

But to what end?

Was it the dreaming world just rousing itself from sleep ,
to dress itself in arranged and familiar patterns,
so easily passed over, as if they were always there,
concealing its daily rituals of new beginnings?

Each dawn a wonder for one who might witness
the charms of the world displaying itself—

when the trees might still decide not to be perfectly upright
and still that morning, but to wander as a shadow into the grassy green fields, or the light might choose to live that day
as a wish of being ripples of water dancing with the wind--

Rows of black ants moving to some inaudible tune,
descending and emerging from the dark caverns of earth--
Holy Mysteries!
A sly wink of the eye of God!

Asheville, N. Carolina
April 29, 2015

It was only a quick glance
From the road I was travelling
Toward the porch where a black man in a vivid blue shirt,
Flashing like a signal, was standing

Straight, still, he could have been a statue.
But he was a man, who, looking at nothing,
Was becoming the sweet smell of the morning Carolina air,
Or maybe the first drops of a soft rain falling on his fields.

A brief punctuation in the stream of passing moments!  
A thimble cup of grace pouring into the world!
A silent blessing!
Quite enough for a day.


Robert D. Romanyshyn is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Leaning Toward the Poet: Eavesdropping on the Poetry of Everyday Life, was published in 2014. A multi media work, it contains drawings of some of the epiphanies that arise where, while lingering in the shadows, and when, in the company of the poets, the splendor of the simple moment, the miracle in the mundane, and the wonder of stray lines display themselves. He is currently completing a detective novel, The Frankenstein Prophecies: The Untold Tale in Mary Shelley’s Story/Nine Questions and Replies.



Leaning Toward the Poet: Eavesdropping on the Poetry of Everyday Life

Monday, April 17, 2017



For years too long to count
I had been stuck there
in the gap between soul
and the words that speak it.

I see me
first mute, then wailing,
then seared with pain,
looking for my little boy.

His face, a memory
stunningly beautiful,
blue-black from lack of oxygen.
“I will find him. 
I will know him.
I will hold him.
I will take in his baby scent. ”
And in that moment of thirst quenched
and pain relieved
my heart will explode with pleasure enough
to warm the world.
For just one glance upon him,
one gift of seeing him breathe one breath
I will search an eternity.

Crazed beyond imagining by his cry one night
cat-like and forlorn,
I go down to find him.
I am Demeter, inconsolable
crying out for Persephone
her precious child stole from her,
swallowed by the underworld.
In the gap between soul and the words that speak it
I look down to the palm of my hand
where my own son rests his lifeless head. 

I am there always in times of breakdown.
We all are there in times of breakdown
to die, to suffer, 
to be turned into gold.
Out of this time in the gap

I find the words to speak my loss.
Pain is transformed into a union between worlds.
Tiredness in this new place is clean,
renewed with simple sleep.
Soft imaginings come on butterfly wings.
I am not afraid of the gap.
I am not afraid of hell.

Now I go with others,
fellow travelers.
I stand at the edge of the world
and give them the gift of knowing
that they can survive.
They will live for a time, long or short, it doesn’t matter
in that gap between soul and the words that speak it.

They will go down
and search
and grieve.
I will extend my hand.
I will go with them.
I know this place;
here lies the path to the end of grief.

©2017 In The Gap Mary Harrell
©2017 In The Gap Mary Harrell  All Rights Retained


Mythic hearts seek
old stories, lost loves,
riddles clothed in new robes.

Each circles wide,
meanders slow and
marks the way with jesters’ stones.

They find the truth
within the lie,
the lesson of the quest.

And still they’re meant to
start again, to
lose the newly found.

To hold the thread
that meaning makes
in soul’s recursive round.

©2017 The Thread Mary Harrell
©2017 The Thread Mary Harrell  All Rights Retained


In soft whispers and quiet evocations
We are called by soul to seek the depth of a thing.
To wonder what else, or who else is present
In the cavernous mystery of lived experience.

"Whispers" is republished by permission from Mary's first book,
Imaginal Figures In Everyday Life: Stories From The World Between Matter And Mind, Chiron Publications, 2015.

©2017 Whispers Mary Harrell
©2017 Whispers Mary Harrell  All Rights Retained


Mary Harrell, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist, and licensed psychologist received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is Associate Professor Emeritus at State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. Her chapters, in the areas of educational reform and imaginal psychology, appear in five books. In 2014, Syracuse University’s The Stone Canoe, a Journal of Arts, Literature and Social Commentary, No. 8 anthologized her poetry.  Her first book titled, Imaginal Figures in Everyday Life: Stories from the World between Matter and Mind was published in 2015 (Chiron Publications).  Mary recently completed her latest project, a young adult novel titled, The Mythmaker. She lives with her husband Stephen in South Carolina.




Mary’s Author Chat 

Mary answers readers’ questions on the Chiron Publications website 



Mary’s YouTube interviews include chats with Dr. Dave for Shrink Rap Radio, and withBonnie Bright for Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Discussions in Depth.

Friday, April 14, 2017


NEST   stephanie pope

A lady quail came before Passion Week
this year & laid 10 eggs in the patio
flower pot resting just underneath my
bedroom window. But last night I lay
at rest and dreamed an emptied nest.

In the morning how not removable
is thy lost word nesting where I lay
so stunned & moved by inner losses
throughout my own night’s sleep. Yet a way
of knowing moves in & is laid to nest here

with me. Something else
having pierced my breast
gotten under my skin diminishes
the low point and then moves on. 
My rest and my restless rest

sweetly worded wordless shape thy bird
what shaped in loss returns. In pale voice
a laid-to-nest begins in wing to seek
thy nearly touching hand: the empty nest
in likeness renders goneness small―_ _all

not read and empty yolks me
―I cradle your big history resting in
my emptied nap poetizing growth. How
no thing is in thy yellowing moment.

I forgot to say how the father quail
sits a good long while on those speckled eggs
during the day.  In heat, no word, these words are
so like thy yellow hand fashioning what a shape
in loss returns by thy nourishing masculine form.
A bird plays the big green role— my days, cracking
ten whole eggs darkly hidden in his feathers. 
Night, too, is dream-shaping my nest & with subtlety
suggests a bright lady yolks in my unrest, her goneness
reappearing as light

& days in the kitchen have blazed.

©2017 Nest stephaniepope

visit @mythopoetry

Monday, April 10, 2017




pelts & feathers
dead things
o my god
the thunder
says: you lit
me up then you
left me alone in the dark
or how you cannot remember
how the sea took you from shore
the dead in the streets of your heaven
suddenly underwater sign this with red seeds
with the leathery face of a madman aged in a day
the thin men in their gray mourning jackets
backs like wings of sullen angels
he did not want this distance
(but the distance knew)
the wheels turn
until only
the wisdom
of invisible light
reveals the stain of
having been the blood

removed without a longing

©2017  “pelts” Richard Lance Scow Williams
All Rights Reserved


a sea side carnival

the gaudy against the grey

no one on the boardwalk save

a few lonely ghosts—shadows hunched—

hurrying to appointments more mundane than sinister

all the rides locked tight—the barker’s voice replaced by gull’s cry

inside the tunnels the ghouls & zombies wait for their electric trip

no screams no giggles no nervous laughter to reward a patience

of plastic steel enamel paint the peeling of their cause

we imagine murder rape assault on body & soul

but no teenage fright fest hero today—worse—

a distance—a foreboding emptiness

the waves a hundred yards away

relentlessly pulled back

©2017 CARNIVAL Richard Lance Scow Williams
All Rights Reserved


tortoises bleeding

eggs calcified


reports on

her exotic


how to


the wild

inside a cage

without damaging

what makes the wild wild

you don’t—you adapt

you make excuses

you wince & say

this is not

the end

& you act

as if you are listening

to a voice that is so familiar

but you have heard it so often

that when the world ends

it is like you never knew

the tortoise crossing

that finish line

the hare long

given up

for dead

falling falling

into a boiling pot

black iron deep & vast

it does not matter the stars

for at that distance they are already asleep

©2017 Tortoises Richard Lance Scow Williams
All Rights Reserved

Sparkle Pony

Sparkle Pony was the name of a one-woman folk singer in the TV series Portlandia

those episodes were excruciating to watch in that they hewed close to the truth

i think of Antonio Salieri as portrayed in the movie Amadeus

of talent & near talent & no talent but ambition

an ambition to be seen as beloved

in & thru all time all space

you matter you glitter

your life is as wide

as you imagine

the depth of

all that is

fairy dust



magic princesses

knights in shining armor

deafening applause never ending

your name writ larger than Ozymandias

o ghosts of the nameless tell me you are

like blooms of stars to offer my small ego your coat

let me burn with you in the eternity of galaxies yet born

Sparkle Pony parades of countless knights & innumerable princesses

what matter the nature of a a burning truth

burn with me like time itself

burn burn Sparkle Pony

©2017 Sparkle Pony Richard Lance Scow Williams
All Rights Reserved


many can wound

do wound &

pick at

the scars

& you wince

wondering what

mercy could harm

the history of abuse

my friend says

we come now

to the end

of such


the world

now suppurating

in wounds too many to count

more than ready to form a weaving of scars

i do not want to look away from it all

i want to rub my scars

& remember

how kind

the flesh

to love

me enough

to remind me

we live in a world

that is always ready to heal

“scar” from Helga©2015, Bite Press,available from Amazon

©2017 SCAR Richard Lance Scow Williams
All Rights Reserved


shoveling ash from the fireplace into a metal bucket to take to the garden & pour it on the frozen ground—pour it or dump or deposit it (to pour seems more sacred)—my father said ash is good for roses (he knew about the growing of roses)—there are still some glowing embers—fist-sized pieces of char—when a human is cremated bits of bone can remain—bone & teeth perhaps & nail—my father’s ashes are in a box on the nightstand next to my mother’s bed—i do not know where we’ll take them & hers when she goes—Arkansas likely—Fouke or Texarkana north off Highway 71 or 82—my father when he would pass his grandfather’s grave (on Hwy. 82) would say, “i’ll smoke a Lucky for you” & turn to me smiling, “LSMFT—Lucky Strike means fine tobacco”

cigarette ash is not as fine as the seasoned oak piƱon pine & cedar
that burns to a dust in our fireplace—bed of ashes still warm twelve
hours later—turning the bucket upside down the mountain winds
carry a cloud of the dusty ash north past the wooden garden gate—some ash still clings to my boots as i walk back thru the snow to fill the metal bucket again

Richard Lance Scow Williams All Rights Reserved


Richard "Ric" Lance Scow Williams was an associate editor for The Austin Chronicle from 1988-2012. In 2007, his, the secret book of god was chosen by Robert Bonazzi of the San Antonio Express-News as "The Best Book of Poetry by a Poet Living in Texas." He lives in Glorieta, New Mexico, with his wife, astrologer Helga Scow Williams, and two cats, Bat and Mouse. His latest books are Helga (2015) and Jealousy Cured: Cancer & Other Invisible Matters (2016), both from Bite Press. His collaborations with David Jewell are and their latest 52 Pickup: Last Word/First Word: Volume 2 (2017), both also from Bite Press.

For Book Titles On Amazon

Helga, Bite Press, 2015

Last Word/ First Word: Volume 1 BitePress, 2015

Jealousy Cured: Cancer & Other Invisible Matters Bite Press, 2016

secret book of god, 2007