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.