Poetry Makes a Difference

poetry picture
Thirteen women. Different backgrounds. Different outlooks. Different lifestyles. But all in the same room, writing. Writing to tell a story. Through symbolism, art and passion came poems.

In conversation with Marvin K. White, GLIDE pastoral intern, he encouraged me to write more. Maybe “encourage” is not the appropriate word as there was a tone of expectancy. So I took his notion back to the Women’s Center and made this “write more” a community experience. I asked the ladies to identify an object of meaning, visually describe it and share a personal connection. Two drafts and one hour later, thirteen women had transcended the most ordinary of objects – through poetry.


My Lip gloss
Shiny and sparkly
like I know I am!
“Take that shit off
Before I smack it off,”
My parents would say.
I can’t go anywhere without
It like a curse!
Looking for my parents while
I look in my purse!
It makes me feel magical
Like my favorite Smack by Mac!
My Lip gloss.
Blood Jewel
Faceted hologram.
My mother’s red necklace
Is a vision through my soul.
Blood Jewel.
Creamy, rich, heirloom beans.
The kind I loved most at Rainbow.
The California Food Movement has been good to me.
Creamy, rich, savory, spiced.
The feel of steel around the well of ink.
Ballpoint slides to the rhythm of life.
Golden with bright colors-
With sayings-
Courage, strength, wisdom.
Go through the Now-
With grace.
White with an inspirational quote on the outside
And a mental health workbook inside.
For 9 months I carried it with me to treatment.
It held the key to my recovery.
Candle Holder
Amber brown and soft glow.
Calming comfort and soothing soul.
Candle Holder.
Pieces of paper with color and print.
Memories shared.
Bonding as father and child.
Now a fatherless child
Remembering the memories shared.
Yellow Bear
Big and stuffed.
Still and simple.
My protector.
My friend.
Yellow Bear.
Intense, petite package.
A gift that healed
My wounded heart.
The Sun
Bright and yellow.
Warm and caressing.
I seek happiness
In the glow.
I am provided comfort.
The Sun.
Ivory Soap
A white bar of soap
perfectly curved and carved
Smelling of floral fragrance.
A white bar of soap
That washed my mouth.
A white bar of soap
That tasted of chemicals
And nothing nice.
Ivory Soap.

Bernadette, GLIDE Women’s Center