We bring baskets of deviled eggs and ham,
whatever the dead might miss. We cling
to photos of loved ones, set chairs in a circle,
wait for the tug. We’re searching for what
we’ve lost, pieces of our hearts stolen
by death. For my many recent losses
I want to know if the dead heal, if they feel heat
through the veil, if they’re given explanations.
I don’t believe one god made all this suffering.
Or these scars. Or this sunburnt flesh.
A deity should have no patience for misery,
that’s what we were taught. The wind
howls like collapsed lungs; we close our sweaters
against the cold.…
Diana Raab is a memoirist, poet, essayist, blogger, and speaker. She has a PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology and a research focus on the healing and transformative powers of memoir writing. She’s published nearly a dozen books and over 1000 articles and poems. Her latest book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, was published by Loving Healing Press in September 2017.
In this episode of Cover to Cover with . . ., Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum speaks with Raab about the intersections between psychology and creative writing, including dealing with trauma, getting past mental/emotional roadblocks, and the like.…
Marcie had just watched a polar bear starve on television and describing the stumbling, saggy beast to her grandfather wasn’t easy. Her assertions came in a rush of breath. If the magnificent, lumbering polar bears were in danger, what would happen to the people? Not to mention the penguins and the seals and the spikey, mud-colored fish who couldn’t handle a PH balance over 8.1, but it was 8.2 of late because of all the plastic straws and the acid rain.
“I met a polar bear once,” said her grandfather. “Nasty thing.”
Marcie’s grandfather, who was prone to exaggeration and suffered from a nip of dementia, listed the bear’s attributes, starting with its fiendish, river pebble eyes and finishing with an account of the way it had lumbered home, disinterested towards an old man.…
I visited some fish
in a manmade pond each
a swimming body a mouth
opening and closing a tail
steering the muscle of self
through shallow waters
One small white fish leaped up
twice into air then vanished
Two narrow yellow fish
hiding within a rocky shelter darted out
for brief glimpses
The whole dark surface aswim
with purple blue orange
speckled contrasting bodies rippled
at my feet reflecting light churned
by the fish…
Lumped even before the liftoff my prayers take their bonnets off and bang their sketchy heads against the mirror. You’ve come here alone, you will die here alone.
Here alone—but I believe in heaven. Remain in love with him who finds no door out of drowning. Wait in the entrance of a cinema to watch nothing, with no one.
At 10 AM I remind a child crossing the snow-eaten street to hold the hand of his dead mother a breath-shaped figure with the trouble of being still walking beside him.
In the afternoon, a police operation leaves a dead dog behind.…