Creative Space

Poet’s Corner: More Poetry from the Virtual Conference Recital

Screen shot of Poet’s Corner members performing at the Virtual Conference

Poet’s Corner is an organic grouping of ISSTD members who share with each other poems that they have created, and which frequently encompass themes related to member’s work as trauma-informed therapists. On occasions the group come together for online recitals to share such productions with the wider ISSTD community. These poems then become available for further sharing, via our ISSTD News.

In October we shared with you some poetry from the ISSTD’s virtual conference which was held on the 22-23 October.

Once again, this month we bring you some more of the poetry that was performed at the Conference as part of the social program.

Poet’s Corner welcomes any ISSTD poet. It is a small, warm and supportive group. We hope all budding and experienced poets alike join up. Just send Valerie Sinason an email at

By Joan Turkus

Psychotherapy, two souls in the room

Heads bent over

Struggling to listen with ears wide open

Hours of spilling stinging tears

Angry red splotches of blackened shame on the floor

The mocking calligraphy on the wall

“In the midst of winter, there is an invincible summer” (Camus)

Waiting, secretly wondering

Whether the deep gray sky will lighten

Will the bright yellow forsythia bloom

Against the bleak landscape

Then, surprisingly, suddenly appearing

A simple line, “He never touched my soul”

The turning point announces itself!

Calling a joyous welcome to the human community

The shimmering promise of summer floats in the air

By George Halasz

not yet knowing where your body ends

and mine begins, I need your play

to make amends

to re-pair our self-fractured dividends

again, I listen to your curative narrative

I insert myself between your gestured silence to relive shared stresses, endless violence within and without,

we’re urgently buffeted between unspoken sensations

or floundering in each other’s treacherous privations eventually we emerge

stripped of sanity’s sterile veneer

long-forgotten vanishing points, shocking, reappeared precisely there, where long ago, you and I disappeared

where your body ends and mine begins

robbed of vitality, maligned, yet innocent of sins our subjectivity remains unsigned

beyond our body, beyond our mind

By Colin Ross

The north medicine men clan: to get in

You need not be pure nor free of guilt, sin

Or all that baggage other creeds carry

For life with pride in fact which they marry

For life. To join this clan you have to know

The way that living energy will flow

Flow free in rock in tree and in the sky

And learn that well that truth before you die.

The clan will let you in in life not death

While life is flowing in your lungs’ living breath.

They don’t hold meetings, keep minutes, charge fees

Or do those things that other churches do or freeze

Your assets in a tithe, no, none of that.

Tuned in on the granite on which I sat

There in the woods the home of birds, creatures

On foot with fur, and moss, lichen, features

Of that landscape, I joined but paid no fee

And thereby set my living spirit free.