Medicine Poetry: Flute and Words for your Soul

Welcome!  Thank you for visiting.  I am an award-winning performance poet and musician, a healer and ceremonialist, and a leather-working artisan.  On this site you will find my performance schedule as well as other events of note, links to my books for sale, and some recordings of music and readings.  I will share about some other poets and writers that knock my socks off.  (Sandals welcome!) I'll post some musings, blog posts, and excerpts of new poems. 

Please sign-up for my mail list to hear about up-coming events.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Imbolc/Ground Hog Day 

greetings and happy Imbolc.  In many traditions today is considered the first day of Spring, the center between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.  Imagine the ground hog Shaman, walking underground amongst the roots, gently nudging them into stirring before awakening for spring.  

I always receive a burst of energy this time of year.  I want to be more active and make plans for my year.  I also have to remember to rest as winter is not yet over, and like our bear friends, hibernation still feels right.  We are between the two seasons.   

I am working hard on my next book of poems, and I’m excited to finish it.  It will include a lot of my work since Signs of Life was published in 2015.  I’m also updating my website and my Facebook page.  As an artist, poet, healer, Shamanic practitioner, teacher and musician, I find technology to be challenging and cumbersome.  I write all of my poems and essay longhand, with a gel pen 0.7mm point, black ink, on 20 lb lined paper!  Sometimes I use an 0.7mm fountain pen with amber colored ink. (I prefer it but it can bleed through to the other side of the page.). How’s that for particular?  I write most of my poems center-justified.  It’s a nice way to write because I have room to make notes.  I also journal in my notebook, so when I turn to a page with short lines, center-justified I know it is a poem.  

I’ve been editing my work a lot for the new book.  It’s tricky, a fine balance between craft and energy.  I want the poems to have their own sentience, their own life, and be the healers that they are.  I also want to craft them to a certain standard that I desire without killing the immediate raw energy that arrives with a new poem, that is the reason for writing it.  

What do you think?  How are you feeling the change of seasons? How are you supporting your creative spirit?

please be good to yourself and each other, and don’t forget to write!

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Step it Up at NCAR

NCAR , 1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO

Poetry and Native American Flute by Cathy Casper and Valerie A Szarek in response to amazing fiber art by artists for Citizens Climate Initiative. The artists will talk about their art. We ask: what can each of us do to help mitigate our climate crisis and learn about this common-sense initiative. Refreshments and interactive exhibits will be available before and after the performance. Free event.

  • This Winter’s Day
  • For Mary Oliver
  • A full quorum
  • of snow covers my backyard 
  • in the color it should be
  • in January
  • Reclaiming the brown
  • winter-dormant grass
  • that ekes a drone of 
  • longing into the back of my mind
  • I write this tribute poem
  • for Mary Oliver
  • on the day after her passing
  • and it seems 
  • it should be snowing, 
  • the sun bowing homage
  • while it reads her poems
  • Allowing her to be
  • the one to shine today
  • Mary, of course, 
  • would give the clouds
  • center stage
  • to slow us into
  • a deeper rhythm
  • for this one day,
  • this one wild and precious day
  • in this one wild
  • and precious life
  • She would take time
  • to count crows
  • and weave ibis wings
  • upon her tongue
  • Seeking prayers
  • in a blade of grass
  • beneath a broken bottle
  • in an abandoned city lot
  • her knees knowing the soil,
  • and the winds, her voice
  • and for so many of us,
  • her precious words
  • Wild and free
  • Valerie A Szarek
  • January 18, 2019