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Tag Archives: poetry

Foot Book

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They are the tools used to keep us standing,

Transportation from point A to point B

To me, however, much more than this,

Ugly as I think they be:

My child of ten, in younger years,

Was a fan of Seuss (as was her mother),

To her I’d read for hours on end,

Lots of books but among all the others,

“The Foot Book” brought my child delight –

How many, many feet,

On my lap, she would repeat the words and laugh,

Those moments were a treat!

Now she is nearly as tall as I,

Boy-band posters on her bedroom walls,

But my baby she’ll always be,

And I’ll treasure these memories of when she was small.


Truth Hurts

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Like bright white light shone into naked eyes Held open against their will, Truth hurts, doesn’t it? Some don’t hide behind lies in order to keep peace; Used to being unpopular. Truth is Lots of things in this life hurt. You just get used to it.

Be kind to yourself!

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A Time to Love Yourself

Those times when you look at your reflection long enough

That you see only a person, flawed to be certain,

But only human, maybe with a trace of people you love:

Your grandmother’s eyes, your mother’s nose,

A smile that sends a twinkle to your eye that is a family trait,

And you see that you are just a person, flawed to be certain,

But also a miracle, beloved, capable, part of something bigger.

When you look long enough into your own eyes

To see the hurt hiding there at the harsh criticism you’ve inflicted

And you see yourself trying to hide behind sarcasm and uncertainty,

This is the time to forgive yourself,

Accept and embrace the body

That moves you from one place to another,

That enjoys a cool breeze on a hot day,

This is the time to love yourself,

Body, mind and spirit.

A Time to Love Yourself by Karen Ballou©

Fighting Depression

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No one can force me to feel
Anything I won’t allow;
Mine is the choice and
Mine is the power.
Cruel words and actions, though,
They hurt me still –
Harsh criticism
Deep away I squirrel,
Stored for future use,
When my thoughts tell me I’m useless,
They become high octane fuel
To keep bound my spirit, down and depressed.
It takes courage to pray,
To hope and have faith,
To choose to leave
That numbing space,
One heavy foot in front of the other,
One day at a time;
To learn peace, realize your dreams
And know love, it’s worth the climb.

Good Enough for Me

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I used to admire intellect
And overlook lack of respect,
I chased after dreams of being
As witty and smart as you seem;
I allowed myself to feel small,
To feel inferior to all,
Because my brilliance did not shine –
Mediocrity was all mine.
I lacked faith and understanding
Cleverness is not what I bring,
But a heart that cares so deeply,
A love that forgives so easily;
In a word, my gift is kindness,
I’ll do well to remember this.
No more comparing myself to
Her or him or them, even you,
I am who I was born to be
Who I am, good enough for me.

Good Enough for Me by Karen Ballou©



Sometimes when I’m lying in my bath,
Water as hot as I can make it
Coloring pale skin red,
I fixate on the shower head
To turn off my thoughts –
They chase me everywhere
Often bigger than my control of them,
They’ve never taken to leashes or cages
Though there are a few medications that quieten them.
Some days I wish I were simpler,
Possessed of smaller, shallower musings…
I repeat to myself it is what it is
And fix my gaze on the shiny shower head,
Avoiding the inward looking
As well as window dreaming.

Avoidance by Karen Ballou, 2012©



How should our children be instructed?
Forced into boxes, packaged neatly?
Bent and twisted and broken to fit?
Taught with strict precision what to think, how to be?
What a sad state of affairs when the path of learning
Is under construction to be wide enough for one idea only,
When the students’ voices become too weak to be heard
And the teachers never deviate from their appointed litany.
Creativity is stifled, effectively replaced
With conformity that murders the motivation
To think outside of the box in which they were instructed;
How will these little man-made zombies ever lead this nation?

Education? by Karen Ballou 2012©