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Life In Poetry


“I can tell you the past is a bucket full of ashes.” -Carl Sandburg
“In the carriages of the past you can’t go anywhere.” -Maxim Gorky

I have recently had the opportunity to do a poetry reading and talk at Brookwood, which is a group home for teenage girls. The girls there have either been placed there by their families, or by state agencies. I attempted to entertain them with tales of my tortured childhood. I shared through my poetry how I have transcended my past and because of that, I now enjoy life in ways I could never have imagined when I was their age.

Yes, I am aware that the challenges they have survived and are living through make my childhood look like a breeze, but that is not the point. The point is, that these young women are looking towards the future. Looking towards a life they can celebrate. I left feeling inspired and hopeful. They want to heal and move on from their past. They are trying to find ways to forgive those who abandoned and abused them. They know, even at such a young age, that they will never be truly free until they do. I am praying that they will find their freedom.

This whole experience got me to thinking about people who never seem to move on from their past. Whether it’s because the prime of their life was “back then” or because of some “wrong” someone did to them, that they must get revenge for, or a wound they continue to relive over and over, which they never allow to heal. Their every move and decision comes from the past. These people never live in the present, so their future is just more of the same. More than likely, if they are holding onto grievances from their past, they are holding others back with them. Continually punishing them, which is a form of hell, instead of letting them go with love. Unfortunately, they will never experience the grace of starting a new day with a clean slate. The girls at Brookwood, without a doubt, could certainly teach them a few things about how it feels to fly through forgiveness.



I am a fraud.

I mascarade as a poet,
but my pen is dry.

I pretend to be a mother,
but I have no love left to give.

I talk like a teacher,
but my words contain no new knowledge.

I advertise I am an explorer,
but I remain in bed all day.

I carry myself like royalty,
but I have holes in all my clothes.

I pretend to be sympathetic,
while wishing they would stop whining.

I say I am healthy,
while devouring a cheeseburger and soda.

I promote world peace,
then yell at my husband, child and dog.

I am a fraud.

Thank God, tomorrow is a new day!

Maureen McDole is a poet, motivational speaker and owner of Summerfolk Press. Her first book of poems, EXPLORING MY OPTIONS, came out in 2006. Her second poetry book, LONGING FOR THE DEEP END came out in 2011. She lives in Saint Petersburg, Fl. Her work can be found on her website: www.maureenmcdole.com






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