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Please visit our past Poet Laureates


GAYLE SLATEN

HAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION FOR GAYLE?

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I was named Gayle Lindsay Slaten at birth—my mother said she gave me a writer’s name. Prophecy or not, I have been writing since I could hold a pen.  Poetry flows with my nature, helping me to discover myself through hard times and a good friend to me as I traverse this earthly path.  This column encompasses the balance between dark times and light, earlier musings and lessons learned along the way.  I share my writing to help others know that life can change in a moment, just by making and acting on one choice.  I am happily living in Tucson, AZ, writing, drumming, dancing and making art. 

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VISIT THE NEW 'POETRY CONNECTION!

This month, I have several friends in Hospice, waiting to transition.  This brings up memories of losing other friends.  I am sharing a poem about one friend’s process of dying and her community’s dread, and two poems I was asked to read at other friends’ memorials.

 

 

Restless

 

My friend just got a death sentence
The doctors tell her
Riddled with cancer,
She is about to give up
Our little community
Is restless
Ready to be there
To help her fight
We band together
Discussing what we'd do
To scare the Purple Dragon away
Calls and texts
Behind the scenes
Agreements made
To bring healthy foods
Be there to hold her hand
Anything to fix
An unfixable situation
Wanting to shake her
Into believing she can
Make it through
Restless because
It isn't up to us
And there is nothing
We can do
Only watch
And wait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chaos Unbroken—David’s Favorite

 

When in chaos
Be the eye of the storm

 

When overwhelmed
Breathe into your heart

 

Remember the unbroken chain of love
That surrounds you, enfolds you, protects you

 

When all is lost
Have tea and cookies
Gaze at sunsets
Beat a drum to your heart rhythm

 

Remember you can never be broken
You are whole
Find your inner light
And turn it up until you remember

 

You are a radiant being
You are perfectly imperfect
And the lessons are in that imperfection
Honor the chaos as your teacher

 

 

 

 

Eternal Dream—Ode to Denise

 

When I am free of my body

I will don butterfly wings

Of green and gold,

Strong and light,

Velvet smooth and soft

To carry me above the wind

To my castle in the clouds

 

I will gather exotic flowers

In shades of heliotrope and Byzantium

Sweet and fragrant

Earthy reminders of my roots

To adorn my inner sanctuary

 

I will invite a medley of songbirds

To perform in symphony

Resonating through the halls

The rhythms of life

To remind me of the earthly plane

 

I will relax in the beauty surrounding me

Enjoying the freedom from bodily pain

Knowing that a part of me

Will live on in the hearts of those I’ve loved

And in the memories we’ve shared

 

I am at Peace


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