Selected Articles & Essays

The Use of Poetry in Exploring the Concepts of Difference and Diversity for Gifted/Talented Students »

Teachers of gifted/talented (G/T) students have known for a long time that poetry is a very special medium with their students. Many G/T students write poetry on their own, and those who are assigned to write it are often astounded with their results. Those of us who are familiar with poetry therapy know how poetry can bring out inner knowledge that was previously hidden from our psyche. This article addresses the concept of "difference." G/T...


The Use of Poetry in Identifying and Coping with the Emotional Tasks of Moving »

Moving has been identified as a major stressor and quantified in terms of life exchange units (LEU's) in several widely used stress surveys (Coddington, 1972; Holmes & Rahe, 1967; Sarason, Johnson, & Siegel, 1978.) I am now preparing for the stress of my fourteenth move in twenty-five years of marriage, moves which have included living in eight states, buying and selling eleven houses, negotiating rental agreements, moving and packing...


Sand Between the Toes: Keeping Creativity Alive in Children »

"We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose, And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes." -- A.A. Milne

Sand. Doesn’t sound creative to me. It works its way into carpets, beds, corners. What's so great about sand-between-the-toes? It itches. Causes blisters when you put on shoes. Christopher Robin doesn't live in my house, and I don't have a nanny or a maid to pick up after him. But if I think hard enough, I do remember when...


I Choose to Call Myself: Inspiration & Feminism »

The poets I know hesitate to call themselves poets. They are waiters or business women or nurses, those labels that give out a steady paycheck. Poets don't get paychecks, two copies of a journal maybe. I knew when I could call myself a teacher. I celebrated when I finally got board certified as a social worker, but it took years before I called myself "Poet."

It happened at the publication of my first book. Others referred to me on...


Swords into Plowshares: An Essay »

The pops of a shotgun awakened me. It was a crisp, November morning, squirrel season, too beautiful to stay inside – but too dangerous to walk in the woods. It was our land, but Louisiana country folk don’t cotton to northerners buying up land and posting “no hunting” signs. We’d already had our gas yard-light shot out, and my just-planted winter pansies rolled over by not-so-accidental truck tires.

So my husband and I decided to go to...


Life & Death & Doctor Shows: An Essay »

I tried to write a television screenplay once. They told me my characters were too one sided. That meant that the good guys were too good and the bad guys too bad. It's fun to watch tv movies now and guess how the good guys will screw up and the bad guys will pour out their heart. It has to happen, otherwise it won't sell. That's how it is in real life they say. But is it?

Let's compare some television doctors. Remember Marcus Welby?...


Hear the Eco-Speak: An Essay »

It was 1978 and I was eight and a half months pregnant as I sat, uncomfortably, listening to a professor at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities tell my class that for every non-inclusive, sexist term in our papers, we would be marked down one whole grade. Half my class was female, unheard of in 1978, and I felt totally liberated - until my paper came back, marked with red ink, and lacking any grade at all. It didn't take long to...


A Skit for Youth: "The Story of Adam & Eve" »


Excerpt: "Adam and Eve lived in the beauty of the Garden of Eden where it was never too hot, and never too cold. They ate fruit freely from the abundant trees. Animals surrounded them as friends. There was no hatred, war or bullying in the garden. It was a paradise of peace..."

To download the skit, please click on the PDF below.


My Sunshine: A Meditation »

This March (2004) is the third anniversary of Ed's near fatal car accident. Each morning he thanks God for the new day, and each night he goes to sleep to the words of You are my sunshine. That's the song I sang to him over and over in the hospital when I had run out of words. You'll never know Dear, how much I love you, and then the prayer, Please don't take my sunshine away. I knew I was not the only one praying that prayer. Thousands of...


Alleluia: A Meditation »

A year after the accident Ed and I joined the choir. Vicki moved the tenors over to the opposite side to accommodate Ed's wheelchair, and Jerry helped Ed learn the music. He was frustrated because the respirator tube had created so much scar tissue in his throat and vocal cords that he could not sing clearly. But one Wednesday, as he was singing Alleluia he felt a great ripping pain. The scar tissue let loose, and he is now able to sing with...