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Poetry is my first love. 3 published poetry books. Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Dreamer. HSP. INFP. Love espressos & my chunky cat. www.carolynriker.com

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I’ve noticed when the inspiration to write has all but dried up, something is wrong with me. I’m ignoring a vital piece of who I am. I get caught in the undercurrent of being too busy and don’t allow myself enough airy spaces to breathe.

Like most writers, we need patches of fertile silence. Sometimes a coffee shop where we are cast under a spell with the whirl and hum of Italian espresso machines.

However, this piece came through as a jolt from the goddesses of compassion, catching my eye by offering me a sliver of the sun. That’s when…


Just when I thought my words had dried up

Photo by Luis Machado on Unsplash

I bit into a vine-ripened tomato
and tasted sunshine on my tongue’s bed

I birthed myself into the soul of an oyster
until I was created into a raw opal pearl

I gazed at a feral rabbit’s nibbling
and felt the grass blade’s reawakened joy

I become the vitality of a hummingbird
and soared the sky’s Neptune blue sea

With my eyes closed and my heart opened
I felt the parched earth breathe

Honeybees gave praise to the lavender florets
by combing the nectar for their colony

Simplicity found me and welcomed me home
away from chaos and distractions of…


A stacked etheree poem describing who I am

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

One night, long ago, I had a soul dream
with a message from whence I was born
a sister star of Pleiades
a traveler from afar
often a stranger here
feeling everything
needing quiet
a dreamer
soulful
soft
true
gentle
an empath
craving Nature
often observing
what others don’t perceive
I am a guest from afar
a galaxy of seven stars
translating a message from a dream
of who I am and where my life started

This style of poetry is called an etheree poem. According to Poet’s Collective, “the etheree is a little-known poetry format, consisting of ten lines…


A short exposé on the beauty of self-acceptance and joy

Photo by Alexander Shustov on Unsplash

It is easier for some of us to get caught up in worrying, overthinking, and overprocessing (which I kindly abbreviated as W.O. O.).

When I’m exceptionally tired, my state of woo-ness influences and amplifies nearly every nuance from the minute the sun taps the sky, with its colors, until nighttime deepens the queries. Lately, my insomnia has been triggering my sensitive woo trilogy, into overdrive.

Dr. Elain Aron, researcher, and psychologist for highly sensitive people (HSPs), refers to this as D.O.E.S.

D: Depth of processing. Highly sensitive people, go deep and do so naturally with just about everything.

O: Overstimulation…


Listen carefully to what is truly being said

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Sound sleep summoned me
and my spirit guides wandered with
through silver silent imagery
evoking emotions buried
in an unseen world

those pronounced chords
struck me down deep
through unfamiliar dreamy streets
rushing past hidden alleyways
knowing where danger lurks
in ordinary space
with the double entendre
it slips in as a gaslighting escape

yet, I’ve learned
in the shadows of each day
the surface words too often hypnotize
asking us to listen carefully
to what rivers underneath
when the charm weaves away
there’s a glimmer
of what really needs to speak

because you’ll usually feel
something deep rise within
what fears…


The role models we grow up with are often the first source

Photo by Brian Gordillo on Unsplash

We tend to repeat toxic relationships with partners, friends, coworkers, and the like because of the role models we received as a child. The more aware we become of those patterns, the less likely we will continue seeking and repeating them unconsciously. First, though, we need to bring our awareness to such negative relationships and what attracts us to them.

Over the decades, I have had a string of tumultuous relationships. After a lot of self-analysis, therapy, education, and support from friends and therapists, I learned how I repeated toxic relationships because they are familiar to me.

Sometimes I shake…


A poem on healing, hope and inner growth

Photo by Joey Kyber on Unsplash

There are days when hope
is the color of a bee’s buzz
or the wings of a butterfly
and silent as a breeze

There are days to engage
and other times to retreat
inside a thoughtful faded rose
shaded by a sunflower’s glow

There are lazy days
hearing verdant hills sing
consciously realizing the cyclical nature
that life is like a tree’s growing rings

There are days when the garden flourishes
as the summer’s heat peaks
and yet when winter comes the garden knows
this phase is complete

There are days we need to listen
and softly learn to hold our…


That’s the kindest way to grow

Photo by Ugne Vasyliute on Unsplash

Stop trying so hard
to impress
please and succeed
turning yourself
into someone else
isn’t what you need

You’ll miss
the forget-me-nots
and the simple spots
of brilliant tiger lilies
lining your way

Stop trying to compete
with those who have a
proclivity to dominate
you’ll notice them
by their arrogant sashay

Let them puff up and up
their shadow will give you
time to contemplate
in the wealth of a cool shade

Contentment isn’t settling
honoring simplicity isn’t passivity
daydreaming isn’t emptiness
managing the day-to-day
with a cuppa of espresso
centers our earthly stay

Fancy labels
aren’t the signs of…


A double etheree poem

Photo by Timur M on Unsplash

One
can feel
reassured
when seeing how
far you have matured
your inner needs versus
often forgetting your goals
for others and skipping over
what it feels like to honor your needs
perhaps this solo life is an exchange
to fully understand your inner quest
without the distractions of a mate
then you can learn to trust yourself
and follow your inner dreams
growing wiser with age
expanding your soul
close to Nature
in love with
growing
old

Special thank you to Melissa Coffey who wrote a lovely introduction to creating an Etheree poem. You can read her article here…


A playful lyrical poem of insights

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

You can’t force a poem
even when the sky is ladled
in a blue, so bright

the trees feel like a child
has painted them
on an easel

set in the center of a room
wearing a large shirt
to catch the spills

but the child doesn’t care
if blue runs with green
and orange gets splattered

because like a poem
art can’t be forced
and words

are a palette of mystery
ushered in
from another realm

wearing a smock
or perhaps a cloak
or wearing nothing

while the words howl
down a stream
until a boat is sketched

of…

Carolyn Riker

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