Plague Morning

Global Poemic

by Ann E. Michael

I had been well, twisting the stem
of a cruciform blossom or a forget-me-not,
and everything was ripening then
I took to my bed for dreaming.

When the birds began to waken
I found myself unwrapping a flannel sheet,
then bones, then a bloodless knot
at my feet, whitened

contrasting this damp dark soil,
the wide field tilled but nothing sown, and knew
at once that weeds would claim it—
but what of the unclaimed bones?

I don’t know, I could not tell
if they were my own or the bean-field’s
or dream-skeletons or a wayward bird’s.
I only know I took, then, to my bed.

Ann E. Michael lives in Pennsylvania, USA, where she currently directs the writing center at DeSales University. She is a poet, educator, essayist, and librettist who has appeared in print regularly since 1982. Her most recent collection of poems is

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The Adventures of Rix Rocket & The Poo-Bag Kid

Our normally quick around-the-block morning business trip took a bit more time today. We were out for an hour because this wee little otherwise adorable dog decided, two doors away from home on our first go around, that he needed to desperately poop. He even tried to find a spot on our own front lawn … Continue reading The Adventures of Rix Rocket & The Poo-Bag Kid

When you’re “stuck” in PTSD…

Walking In My Shoes

When you have PTSD, especially those of us who were first responders, life changes dramatically. Some of us, with timely, appropriate intervention and a caring, supportive community, seem to bounce back with only a “momentary” (a few months to a few years) interruption to our lives and functioning. Yet others of us encounter complications in our path to healing that keep our brains and nervous systems enmeshed in that traumatic experience, resulting in a situation where we are seemingly permanently stuck in fight or flight.

Chronic, or more commonly, Complex PTSD, is the term given to this situation where our brains and bodies are “stuck” in PTSD and reach a point where treatments often stall. Despite all of your best effort trying to get better with treatment, things don’t go completely away.

In trying to define C-PTSD the experts have described situations of prolonged abuse (years); weeks of threat in…

View original post 563 more words

When you’re “stuck” in PTSD…

Walking In My Shoes

When you have PTSD, especially those of us who were first responders, life changes dramatically. Some of us, with timely, appropriate intervention and a caring, supportive community, seem to bounce back with only a “momentary” (a few months to a few years) interruption to our lives and functioning. Yet others of us encounter complications in our path to healing that keep our brains and nervous systems enmeshed in that traumatic experience, resulting in a situation where we are seemingly permanently stuck in fight or flight.

Chronic, or more commonly, Complex PTSD, is the term given to this situation where our brains and bodies are “stuck” in PTSD and reach a point where treatments often stall. Despite all of your best effort trying to get better with treatment, things don’t go completely away.

In trying to define C-PTSD the experts have described situations of prolonged abuse (years); weeks of threat in…

View original post 563 more words

Walk it off

Walking In My Shoes

An old friend/coworker of my late husband is undertaking an ambitious endeavor to hike the Bruce Trail end to end in 30 days. He’s named his hike, PTSD HIKING 4HEROES.

He has established a GoFundMe in that name and hopes to raise funds to secure training as a Forest Therapy guide, as well as establish a forest therapy program for first responders / former first responders fighting with PTSD.

He is, once again, carrying my husband’s coffee mug on his journey, as he’d previously done in his hikes in both BC and the East coast. I delivered the mug to him and with mixed emotion, gave him my blessings on his new journey.

Doing this sort of thing is quite difficult for me, entrusting my late husband’s memory to another feels like I’m betraying his trust in me as his wife to care for and memorialize him in the most…

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Why I scroll past mental illness denial memes. (Thoughts on happiness as a state of being.)

That Asian-Looking Chick

Self-help has good intentions, but I think it’s gotten a little out of hand. I mean, I shouldn’t be, but I’m still kind of astonished when I scroll through social media and see that suddenly, everyone has become a life coach.

Wisdom wrapped up in little square boxes. I post memes, too, sometimes. The last one I posted said, “Reading can seriously damage your ignorance.” Most of the few I’ve posted have been fitness-related.

My pet peeve of the self-help meme universe is the genre I think of as “mental illness denial.” At the tired center of this genre, you get phrases like, “Happiness is a choice.” “Happiness is a choice, not a result.” “Today I choose to be happy.” “Happiness is not a feeling, but a choice.” And so on. I know that these are meant to serve as motivational, but I have a hard time with this category.

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Greta Thunberg: In Response to Lies and Hate, Let Me Make Some Things Clear About My Climate Strike

Vox Populi

If everyone listened to the scientists and the facts that I constantly refer to—then no one would have to listen to me or any of the other hundreds of thousands of school children on strike for the climate across the world. Then we could all go back to school.

“I am just a messenger, and yet I get all this hate,” writes Thunberg. “I am not saying anything new, I am just saying what scientists have repeatedly said for decades. And I agree with you, I’m too young to do this. We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.” (Photo: @GretaThunberg)

Editor’s note: Originallypostedto Facebook, the following is a statement from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg as a response to circulating“rumors and lies” as well…

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Paramedics & PTSD: Suicide Talk

Walking In My Shoes

There’s been a lot of focus lately on the 9 recent police officer suicides here in Ontario – and my sympathies to my fellow first responders and former first responders who are struggling out there; these headlines are absolutely the hardest things to see when we’re holding on by the skin of our teeth, I really wish I could shelter you. When you’re holding on by a thread, the last thing you need is to repeatedly see that others are letting go “so easily”.

But these are the headlines recently, all in an effort to make those who don’t understand, see – see what I’m not sure. See that when life really super sucks some of us can’t hold on anymore?

You don’t have to be a first responder to do that, just take a look at the current rates of reported suicide in the general population – which by…

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