Sandra Cisneros says that “poets are in the professions of transforming grief into light.”

On some level, we all feel grief. In Eastern medicine, they believe that grief settles in the lungs. I have asthma, so I find this particularly interesting. I wonder how grief has affected my lungs, and how poetry could possibly help excavate stuck grief.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, so perhaps we need to pay attention to the connection of grief and lungs. I wonder how poetry could help us excavate our own grief. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all clear our lungs and heart from grief, and transform it into something beautiful and tangible?

Poetry– metaphor, truth– help us do that.

Write on.

Photo by Karim Manjra on Unsplash

Little Tornadoes

Inside lives a cyclone 

that can throw him to the floor. 

A punch to the arm 

he craves, a battle

in his ears to slay

the storm within. 

Give him a cinnamon stick,

ginger beer, 

whiskey cranberry sauce,

a lemon — anything 

to burn the fireworks 

in his mouth.

I don’t know where he gets it,I say

as I take a swig 

of Bulliet Bourbon.


Last night a meal

of bottled up words

popped off like shooting stars,

burned, then faded. Tide

swollen with grief

breaches the seawall and flows

over marsh and hollow, under lampposts

on which two Ravens perch as if extensions

of the infrastructure, beaks kissing.

Give thanks

for the paper towel

found on the floor of the car

to stanch the flood.

Put a cork in it—        she tells herself

Do it over with turkey tetrazzini.

Painting: “The frightened Turkey” by Nathalie Gribinski