…wishing I could fly. Excerpt from the poetry collection “This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give A F*ck” by Janne Robinson. Published by Thought Catalog Books | ShopCatalog.com Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

14 Must-Devour Poets Whose Words Cut Straight to the Heart

“I love simple poems. Poems that cut straight to the heart.”
Laura Munson

When those words were spoken to me at Laura’s writing retreat it was like the sky opened up and God herself handed down a permission slip.

On it read: “You have full permission to write poems that come directly from your soul. No need to be smart, perfect or clever. Write your poems. People will read them. People will love them.”

Cool note, huh? But why hadn’t I given that permission slip to myself before then? Good question. It’s been a life-long journey.

Since that day I’ve allowed myself to write in a way that’s connected to my body and soul, without censoring the words. These kind of poems turn me on, light up my moments and inspire me to write more. I recently stood at a microphone to read them out loud at my first open mic night. There’s something magical about infusing the words with your voice, passion and body language.

My written poetry journey started with Warrior Love, a Journal to Inspire Your Fiercely Alive Whole Self and a piece I wrote and recited at a John F. Barnes Myofascial Release seminar in Sedona a few years ago. Read some of those poems for free HERE. Find all the Warrior Journals for sale on Amazon HERE.

Today I’m celebrating my poetry passion by sharing fourteen poets I adore, whose poetry cuts straight to the heart, without particular need for analyzing or thinking too much. These poets move words from their heart to their tongue and turn me on. They’ve helped me write my own soulful poems. They’ve inspired me to do this thing I love so much I lose track of time. I know you’ll enjoy them too.

You might recognize some of them, and some might be new to you. I encourage you to explore a new one and do them the honor of leaving your words as a review of their book on Amazon after you indulge. Let’s spread the love about the words that move us to live with more love, more beauty, more authenticity and more courage.

Guys and gals, this’s the longest blog I’ve ever written. Take it in bites. Mark the page and come back when you’re ready for the next piece. Read with presence, like each poet on this list writes. Feel the words and the life in each description. Many of them have offered their own words about how they came to writing. Maybe their words will light your fire.

And please, buy their books and devour these poems, allowing yourself to really let the flavors linger on your tongue, the colors be a feast for your eyes and the textures of these lives spin goosebumps up on your skin. Share the magic with a friend. Read poems to your groups, to yourself, to your partner, to your kids. Wallow in the delight of soul-come-alive in rhyme. Give yourself permission to feel every bit of them.

In random order, here are some of the poets who are dialing my soul full up with their words and lighting a fire of inspiration inside me:

1. Tanya Markul — The She Book

I found Tanya on Facebook and started loving, reading and sharing her posts. It felt like they were reaching into my mind, down to my heart and offering an it’s-okay-you’re-not-alone hand to my soul. I bought her new book, The She Book, and started reading her poems to my workshop participants. Her words felt like mine, as so many of the authors we love.

Tanya’s bio:

Tanya Markul’s path is one of the poetess, intuitive and wounded healer. An unwanted child, she was raised on barren soil, of shame, guilt and overwhelming self-hatred. From the womb, her inner navigation was tainted from an ancestry of addiction, instability, abuse and fear. Her journey to self-heal, and to become ready to guide others, has taken many arduous paths, risks and harrowing rebirths.

She is a guide to the other side of pain. A key and wisdom keeper. A creative midwife. An enchanting storyteller and quirky rule-breaker. She is a tree lover and fairy spirit. Imagination is her wand, the dreamworld her guide and Nature her map.

Tanya is dedicated to helping others heal by holding sacred space for their stories, and by unlocking the impossibility of shape-shifting their pain into soul-led healing purpose. Her medicine beckons the brave curiosity to look within, brings a sense of humour to cracked surfaces, unveils the beauty of hidden authenticity, and conjures the courage to love and accept oneself in this lifetime.

Tanya heals with words, the unseen world, sensitivity and vulnerability.

2. Charles Stokes — Love, Pain and Poetry, The Depression and Its Acceptance

I also met Charles on Facebook one day when I came across his Love Pain & Poetry page and shared a poem on his wall. Much to my delight and surprise, he posted it! I’ve since gotten to know Charles in person and began to understand his amazing, generous heart. His poetry hits us in the gut, makes us nod our heads and also makes us feel not so alone.

Charles is the reason I read my first piece out loud with a microphone. He’s one of the reasons I still show up to those open mics now, always a little nervous you’ll really see me. And of course, through poetry, you do see the truth of a person, because the words carry little chunks of their pain, their heart, their love and their soul from the inside to the outside.

In Charles’s own words:

Charles inventories his life as it begins to level and he accepts his circumstances. In this portion of the series he begins to take responsibility for what he can and discards pieces he can not maintain. Grieving, mourning and hurting from excessive losses of love and family members there is a turn of hope.

Charles was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq. He ws diagnosed with depression in 2017. He’s written three books since that time with a fourth in the works. Find Charles at lovepainandpoetry.com or lovepainandpoetrypublishing.com

3. Chrisa Tzortzaki Stratoudakis — The Secret Life of a Food Addict

I’ll never forget the night Chrisa joined me for an open mic poetry night. It was her first, my second. Chrisa recited a beautiful poem and then in the middle of the stanzas that already had me enraptured, she busts out in song. I was staring at my water glass that moment and whipped my head up and around, wondering who was making that angelic sound.

Chrisa shares poetry from her soul about a very painful time in her life and her courage and brilliance continue to inspire me every single day. I’ve since been able to get to know Chrisa in person through the On Purpose Women community here in Maryland, and always feel so honored to be in the presence of such creative genius.

In Chrisa’s own words:

Three years ago, when I moved from Greece to the US, I was faced with a lot of challenges. One of which was the fact that I was leaving my friends and family and everything familiar to me, behind. That led me to experience feelings of isolation and loneliness and I found soothing myself with food.

People can have different kinds of relationships with food, other than nutrition. Food can be many things: a kind companion in moments of loneliness, a relief from stress, a way to connect with ourselves and a way to disconnect from ourselves. We don’t eat only to satisfy our hunger, we eat as a response to emotions.

For me that was a big revelation. It meant I was basically using food to compensate for the lack of love and connection in my life. That repetitive pattern made food my drug. It was there when I was lonely, it was there when I was angry, it was there when I was sad. And although it didn’t satisfy my craving for deep love and meaningful connection, I kept using it as my way out of my difficult to deal with, emotions. Scientific research shows that behind any kind of addiction lies a lack of love and connection. Looking at the numbers of people who experience loneliness to have reached a new peak in the US I felt concerned, but I also felt I was not alone in my suffering.

As I was in the process of discovering all that about myself and the world, a strange thing happened: I was attracting people, women specifically who wanted me to help them with healing their emotional eating response. Although it didn’t feel I was fit to help them because I was still struggling with the same issue, I went with the flow and that had a healing effect for all parties involved.

This book of poems is a journey through the dark abyss of food addiction, towards the path of healing. I wrote it in a kind of symbolic/hypnotic language, otherwise known as poetry, to send a message to all those struggling with emotional eating: You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. Know that there is a place where you can make peace with food and yourself. I’ll meet you there!

4. Mary Oliver — Blue Horses

Do I need to introduce you to Mary Oliver? If so, consider this your lucky day. Mary’s poems have been with me a while now; I own several of her books. My favorite (if that’s possible) was a little ditty about dragonflies. Mary’s love of nature and the connection to the divine through that space is evident in her words. When I first started reading I realized that nature held poetry in it everywhere, and any time you felt like slowing down enough to look.

Much of my poetry is inspired by Mary Oliver, and this famous quote of hers:

“What will you do with this one wild and precious life?”

Write more poetry Mary. Write and read and recite more poetry!

5. Fateme Banishoeib — The Whisper

Fateme and I both attended Laura Munson’s Haven Writing Retreat and had very similar after effects! I mentioned it and Laura’s words in the opening paragraph. Like Fateme, I was connected with an unexpected gift after the retreat, and the writing just started coming and coming.

Here’s the moment in Fateme’s book where she talks about that retreat:

“The Whisper started writing this story during a deep dark moment in my life. At the top of my game as a woman in business, the Whisper saw more. She saw me dying to fit in. It all started with a writing prompt on the first night of a writing retreat in Montana: tell us something nobody knows. My answer was: I run a manufacturing plant. And I hate it.”

I love the way The Whisper takes us on Fateme’s journey. I love the authenticity and the way she writes her pain and her transformation. I especially understand the magic of when you sit with a group of women and healing takes place; the kind of healing that occurs when, maybe for the first time, you’re seen, listened to, honored and respected for who you truly are. Purpose oozes out of every page of this book.

In Fateme’s own words:

I name myself as many and multitudes, a bridge between worlds. I am a woman, a global leader, a business heARTist. I am a poet and a scientist, all facets that must coexist to make me whole. This means I am always seeking for the truth hidden in my own experience of life forging meaning with lyrical verses. A daughter of an Italian mother who taught me how to be strong and the value of hard work and a Persian father who gave me a love for beauty and mystery.

Some bio:

With a PhD. in Chemistry out of a desire for well-being and a career as Global Leader in the Pharma industry, the work she has grown to love most is helping organizations and teams change form the inside out. Her writing focuses on the desire to explore other cultures and territories and discover what makes us human uncovering the truth behind stereotypes and bias.

6. Oriah Mountain Dreamer — The Invitation

Oriah’s poem, The Invitation, came to me early on my journey with awareness. The poem resonated so much I’d read it over and over; “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for…“ I’m not sure anyone ever asked me that before. And since I get pretty high on the big questions, this one had me at “ache.”

I bought all of her books and devoured them in a short period of time. And again, if this is your first introduction to Oriah, consider it your lucky day. You’ll quickly find yourself on a magical, honest, spiritual journey among the pages of her many books.

The bio from The Invitation book:

“Oriah is the author of the poem and international best-selling book, The Invitation as well as the bestsellers The Dance and The Call. Her writing sets forth in detail how we can follow the thread of our heart’s longing into a life of meaning and purpose. Her latest book, What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul, explores creativity as a way of accessing and cultivating a spiritually rich life. Oriah is the mother of two grown sons. She lives with her husband, Jeff, several hours north of Toronto in a home surrounded by forest stillness. Visit the author online at www.oriah.org

7. Erica Sand- Close to the Bone

I got a message one day from Erica, “Wondered if you would consider writing a blurb for my new poetry book?” And, really, who can resist a book of love poems? I quickly said yes, completely honored to be asked, and read through the pages with an intense focus and delight. I’d finally found someone willing to write raw desire in the form of a poem!

My blurb resides on the back cover of Close to the Bone and here are the words I left on Amazon:

“Close to the Bone is a collection of delicious love poems that ignite every sense the reader has…deepening the ache within for the magical, tender kind of love there. During, between and around each line of lusciousness, I found myself wanting another poem, and wanting to be in the scenes myself. What a gorgeous tribute to intimacy and love.”

In Erica’s own words:

Close to the Bone is a culmination of twenty years of poetry. I started writing these pieces in college and continued writing bits and pieces throughout the years. Some of the poems won awards, were published in other journals, or are parts of what I could find or decipher from my chicken scratch writing on napkins. This was a cool project for me to work on as I saw an evolution of love and longing throughout my life. The artist Dorathina Herrero, came on board in the last year to draw the artwork as I wanted the poetry book to be more coffee table style. I love her interpretations of the poetry.

Some bio:

Sitting on the beach in her hometown in Guam, Erica Sand (aka Holly Rustick) dreams of possessing a superpower that allows her to create perfectly-formatted novels just by thinking about them! But until that day comes, she’ll have to contend with doing it the old-fashioned way.

When she’s not daydreaming of new superpowers, you’ll find Erica running a successful grant-writing business and drawing upon her own exciting life experiences (from being an international expatriate to a fashion model to an award-winning press writer and a published poet) to create her juice tales.

She’s also got a bad case of travel bugs having sojourned to over twenty countries. When not traveling, Erica adores drinking Pinot Noir and spending time with her gorgeous little girl — but not necessarily in that order.

8. Terri St. Cloud — Honor Yourself

I was introduced to Terri recently by a mutual Facebook friend. And boy, am I happy to have made the acquaintance of this poet-goddess! She has several books of poetry for you to enjoy. The one I’ve read, After All, is a collection of love poems, each a short, sweet, juicy piece of heart laid on the page for us to feel.

I’ll tease you with one of the poems from After All:

by Terri St. Cloud

how do you describe the joy of being with someone
for no other reason but to be?

In Terri’s own words:

Honor Yourself was compiled after I lost someone to suicide. Everything about it was made with her in mind. She was a teenager, so I wanted something that could be easily slipped into a purse or a locker. I wanted it to be inexpensive so anyone could get it, and I so hoped it could reach out to another who was feeling the same kind of pain, who was lost in the same kind of darkness.This book, out of al of mine, holds the deepest place in my heart.

I’ve called myself an artist and a writer, though neither title ever felt really true. What I believe I am is an emoter. I can definitely feel those emotions! I express them outwardly to keep my sanity and have been surprised and honored that these expressions, that I call “bone sighs” often resonate with others. Having bone sigh arts in my life if one heck of a delightful treasure.

Some bio:

Growing up believing that good always won, that the goal was the white picket fence, and that love was easy, it took some life changes, losses and darkness to birth new beliefs. And so the darkness came, shattered my world and knocked me down flat. And when I stood up again, I was facing a new direction and finding a new life as I traveled. I am so deeply grateful to those shatterings. For without those, I would not have had room for this journey I’m on now.

The bone sighs reflect that journey. If you look close, you’ll see a woman figuring out that holding on to herself and her value changes everything. You’ll see the understanding that to gain strength, one must let go of things that take away from who you are. You’ll see a woman learning how to see herself and how to offer herself. You’ll see a woman waking up.
Find Terri at www.bonesigharts.com Read a little more HERE.

9. Linda Aileen Miller — Life is the Muck, the Magic and the Miracles

Linda is an incredibly special soul who I’ve know for many years now though the healing community of John F. Barnes Myofascial Release. I’ll save her credentials for the bio, but want you all to know that Linda carries with her a special kind of love-energy that’s palpable. She’s lifted me up in ways that had me writing more poems and going after my dreams, all because she was believing in me more than I did some days.

This book of hers is poems, and so much more. It’s story-telling at it’s finest. It’s medicine. You can feel her through the pages and you’ll be addicted to the love and passion with which she writes.

In Linda’s own words:

This book came out of deep pain and shock when my son’s nineteen year old friend Josh died in a tragic auto accident. His untimely death rocked our town and our personal worlds. I have journaled for as long as I can remember and so I did what I knew to do. I began to write and write and write. I would pick it up and put it down. Sometimes the pain was so intense I couldn’t muddle through it. It seemed never-ending.

Life being life there were other deaths that happened along the way that year one after the next. I knew they were supposed to all be a part of this story. The poetry pieces came over the seventeen-year stretch between Josh’s passing and me finally being ready and willing to birth it into the world. The book is filled with grief that some have said they have a hard time experiencing. It is also filled with love, laughter, healing and growth in my own world and my son’s.

When I gave Brian (my son) his copy and he looked at the cover all he could do was cry. I didn’t know my words would help him heal. I didn’t know my words would help total strangers heal…and they have. I feel humbled and very blessed to share this journey with you and the world with the hope that we as humans will feel a little safer to feel, a little freer to express all of who we are.

If I have learned nothing else in this lifetime I can promise you this, in order to heal grief we have to walk through the crappy, lousy, painful muck to find the magic and the miracles!

Some bio:

Linda has 69 years of experience on this journey called life. Her education includes Transpersonal Psychology, Shamanic Journeys, Soul Retrieval, and Expert Level Myofascial Release. She is a retired International Flight Attendant and recently certified Holy Fire Reiki Shinpedin/Master Level II.

In 1996 Linda became an LMT, specializing in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release and she’s the sole proprietor of a healing center in Stuart, Florida where she focuses on those healing PTSD. The combination of life events and her love of children resulted in her becoming a DONA certified doula in 2013 because God intended birth to be beautiful and simple for women as for all of nature.

She’s the author of the book, Who Is That Woman? And she’s a co-author in Phil Tavolacci’s book, What’s In Your Web as well as Laura Di Franco’s Warrior Soul journal. Find her at https://lifeisthemuckmagicandmiracles.com and http://www.lovingbirthjourneys.com

10. Julia Ostara — The Girl Who Dances with DeLight

My connection with Julia started on Facebook. For those of you down on Facebook, I hope I’ve convinced you it can be a magical place for connection and collaboration by now. Julia seemed to create art that was the visual to many of my poems. We put some of those things together in my poetry journals and always marveled at our parallel journeys.

Soul sister is how I describe her place in my life. And her new book, The Girl Who Dances with DeLight is like looking down at the mud and seeing a sparkling sapphire, right there for the taking.

Here are the words I wrote for the back of her book:

“This gorgeous gem of beauty, light and wisdom from an equally gorgeous author-artist-soul is something you should not miss. From the opening poem, through the many magical, delicious daily rituals, to the D.A.N.C.E. steps and closing words, we’re invited to lighten up, liven up and vibrate with joy! This book is truly a gift. Through its pages I quickly and unapologetically recognize myself as a kindred sacred fool on this journey!”

And us poets, we’re all kindred sacred fools, aren’t we?

In Julia’s own words:

The year before I wrote this book, I had some scary health issues. I was monitored and tested for several months. During that time, I also started doing the morning ritual shared in this book on a more regular basis. Before the doctors were able to figure out what was causing the problems, the scary symptoms disappeared! I don’t know if the magical morning D.A.N.C.E. had anything to do with the healing, but it definitely made me feel better even when I was too tired to do much movement. It also helped heal my spirit.

I never intended to be a healer, but I needed healing for my mind, body, heart and soul. I share my journey because I can, because I have the ability, luxury, and heart to do so, because I’m grateful for beauty, blessings, love and laughter in my life, and because I’m still here. We never know who might be suffering silently. So, I’m sharing ways I’ve found to fall in love with life in spite of pain. I’m a survivor of molestation, substance abuse, and a river of grief. Many rather fortunate people experience depression and addiction that contribute to the state of our planet for better or worse. I’m glad to share ways I’ve found to heal, feel worthy of choosing joy, and capable of kindness. Maybe a book can be a nonjudgmental and encouraging friend. My husband said it felt like the book should be written in poems. So, I was inspired to write the opening and closing poems to wrap it up in a poetic hug.

Some bio:

Julia Ostara, aka Jules, lives in the ancient Appalachians with twin boys, a guitar man, a feisty orange tabby cat, and many woodland creatures. She might appear to be a mundane, middle-age, homeschool mom trying to pay the bills. Yet, she is painting the story of a magical opti-mystic mountain momma, thrivivalist, explorer, and presenter casting rainbows all around her. She’s an artist, creator of the “Heart of Life” & “Soul Songs” inspirational card decks, author of “The Girl Who Dances With Delight” and hostess of fun online creative courses at ThriveTrue.com. Her life’s work is to honor, create, explore, celebrate and share sacred beauty and presents in a wild, wonderful world and each of us.

Julia is offering a free creative course to email VIP’s in her July letter! You can sign-up for newsletters with art, poetry, inspiration & gifts at ThriveTrue.com/MagicMail. And you can have a look inside her book at: https://amzn.to/2yrdak7

Other poets you shouldn’t miss:

Some of my poet friends don’t have their books written yet. But you need to read or watch them anyhow. So I’ve included a few poets and some places you can click and read or listen and I really hope you enjoy,“like,” and comment on them.

Specifically, if you have a moment, do me a favor and comment with: “Wow, these poems are amazing, you really should get cracking on your book!” [giggle]

In random order, here are some other places to click and devour some amazing poetry:

11. Gradalove

I met Gradalove one night at Mr. Charles Stokes Love Pain & Poetry open mic. Watching her recite her poems had me mesmerized. Her messages resonated deeply. I’ve wanted to hear her again ever since. It’s one thing when someone can write a poem you love, but quite another to be able to perform it, wowing the audience with passion, without having to look at your notes!

Grada combines poetic words with the timely theme of self-love for a empowering, inspiring passion-filled performance.

In Grada’s own words:

My introduction to poetry came quite early in life. I was bullied and sometimes ostracized in elementary school and used reading to cope. Then Mr. Salaam’s eighth-grade reading class changed everything.

I would often write songs, skits and just random entries, but he introduced me to poetry and hip hop. We would really dive into the lyrics of Tupac, Nas and other hip hop legends. He gave us a safe space to share the vulnerable poems and entries from our journals. Ironically, I distinctly remember one of my classmates, Nicole, telling me I had a “wack ass rhyme scheme,” in front of everyone.

As embarrassed as I was at the time, I am so grateful that I didn’t let her words stifle my creativity. Today, I write my free-form poetry and perform it in front of any audience when given the opportunity. Thank you Mr. Salaam-you are the real MVP!

Some bio:

Gradalove is a spoken word poet, inspirational speaker, and host of her own YouTube series, #TeaTimeTips. She is currently based out of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Gradalove has been writing since she was very young but took the initiative to actively pursue performance poetry in 2018. Her pieces are reflections of her experiences — all aspects of love, self-discovery and storytelling observations.

She has been featured poet at various events including Interpretations III: The SELF-LOVE Project, Whiskey Girl’s For the Love of Our Men, and most recently at The Therapy of Expression, hosted at the Baltimore RL Hotel by Love Pain & Poetry. She has even opened up for the creator of the #BlackGirlMagic hashtag, Cashawn Thompson!

You can find her performing around the area at open mic events/venues including Busboys and Poets’ Open Mic, DopeDCCreates’ Puff N’ Poetry and Pure Poetry DC hosted by Orville the Poet.

Poetry slam judge has been added to her experience after being asked to judge High Roads Academy’s annual poetry slam this year.

Outside of performing poetry, Gradalove is also a visual artist and self-love advocate. You can follow her on all social media platforms @Gradalove and subscribe to her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/unbasicchick www.Gradalove.com

12. Laura Sharon

Like many on this list, Laura is a Facebook connection and a soul sister. Her work and experience in the healing world is great, and her passion for guiding others on this journey is real. She recently inspired me by sharing some of her personal poems, which filled me with hope and the courage to continue to share my own stories.

When you realize that grabbing hands on this journey is a superpower, everything changes. Laura’s helped me feel the community and reality of doing this thing together. And her poems will help you understand that.

In Laura’s own words:

I came to writing poetry as a way to capture what I was seeing, feeling, and/or fantasizing about when I was a teenager. I experienced life as a poem, and writing the words down that came to me, using poetry as the medium, was one way I could safely express myself. Making art was another way. I have been writing poetry ever since. It’s the way my brain thinks.

My first published poem appeared in my high school literary magazine in 1978. It was about my favorite place. The place where I found peace. My safe place. About 10 years later, as I was remembering and reliving a shit-ton of childhood trauma, I turned again to writing — no vomiting — poems about what I was remembering, feeling, and experiencing. And, I drew pictures to go with them.

Some bio:

Laura is an executive and life coach and seasoned learning and performance improvement consultant. Laura uses a wholehearted approach to help her clients be their best selves in life and work. Laura has a way of asking wildly open-ended questions that help people get to the heart of what matters most. Laura has a Master’s degree in Health Education from the University of Maryland has been a mindfulness practitioner for over 30 years and is an EQ-I 2.0 Certified Practitioner, trained in the Mindful Schools curriculum, a Kirkpatrick Certified Facilitator and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (CDWF). Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

13. Reuben Jackson

Reuben is an enigma. I was tagged in a post on Facebook by a mutual friend and have gotten to know him that way. He’s local. I keep trying to get him to show up to one of the events I’m attending, but alas, he eludes me still. Reuben writes about tough things in a way that makes you fall in love with him and his words. He’s sharing his journey, his pain, and his love through poems, and posts that read like poems. So for now, until his book is out, go read his stuff on Facebook. And here’s one old link I managed to dig up too:

In Reuben’s own words:

At sixty something, I am just beginning to rise from the hammock…This probably explains my excessive social media chatter. I held back a lot for a long time. After seven years in Vermont, it’s good to be back home. Even with some challenges, shall we say. I am just beginning to fully feel-and see-and taste life.

Some bio:

Reuben is a middle-aged dude-semi shy-who needs a clone in order to do everything.

(you can give me a hard time when I see you Reuben).

14. Backpack Jeff Young — Young Lungs Motivation

When I met Jeff he was performing at the Love Pain & Poetry open mic night. Jeff took the stage and proceeded to recite a spoken word poem from memory that caused me to stare at him with my mouth open until the room erupted in applause afterward. Damn, it was good. I’d enjoyed watching a couple spoken word poets online before that night, but Backpack Jeff lit a fire under that joy and created a spoken word monster in me.

Since watching him perform that night I decided I should try to memorize one of my poems and shortly afterward did just that, performing it at an open mic a month or so later. I’m so grateful to Jeff for inspiring me like that; for practicing his craft to the point it moved me to be better at mine. For making me want to do this poetry thing a little differently, and for making me want to put this “hobby” at the top of my bucket list more days than just that one in the future titled, “One day when I…”

Now, If I’ve missed you, and believe me, I know there are so many of you amazing poets out there — please, give us a taste! Post one of your poems here in the comments with a link where we can read more! Gonna be one big poetry love fest on this amazing blog! Ooh, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

And if you’re around Rockville, Maryland please come find me at the Love Pain & Poetry open mic night, hosted by Charles Stokes, every third Saturday from 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m. I’ll be there this weekend with my poet friends for some poem awesomeness. www.lovepainandpoetry.com

Me with a couple of the Warrior Journals

Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions. She’s a published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She was born to build a revolution of brave healers who are getting their badass, authentic voices published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, is now on Amazon! www.BraveHealer.com is where you can grab a free 30-minute call with her to learn how your story will heal the world.



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