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

It’s my lifeline to self-love

A woman sitting alone, on a bench, looking over a sunsetting horizon.
A woman sitting alone, on a bench, looking over a sunsetting horizon.

When I grow tired
I grow quieter
but you might think
there’s something wrong

You might feel
I’ve disappeared
but I haven’t
I’m just taking a stroll
away from this world
because the steady buzz
depletes me

Let me assure you
by giving me this space
to travel beyond
we will grow closer

Alone time
rejuices my inner juices
it’s my lifeline to self-love
alone time is the heart
of my introverted kind

You see, I’ve tried to endure
the boisterous sea but
it leaves me
exceptionally grumpy

Therefore, I skip off
beyond the fences of captivity
over the hills
down to the…


Take the time to listen to your dreams

If we listen carefully
to what’s inside
of chaos

it might turn
into a piece of word fabric
embroidered with our
truest emotions

like the sound
of hibiscus tea
pouring over
a mélange of cozy

it whispers on repeat
go gently
and tucks us under
a handstitched quilt

that gives a slight nod
of reassurance
as much as the daffodils do

settled on a wide windowsill
blue vase holding
their prose-like spill

coaxing our ancient eyes
to close
tired from folding
a thousand feels

if we listen carefully
as night grows
her garden of
sleep and dreams

we might just…


And a little sweet wine

Sweet, sweet wine
the kind that cools
a sultry summer mind
with a moon held high
lending kisses
into its rosy clearness

letting the dreams drift
by backlit shadows
only to highlight
the stories tucked inside

just let her go
let her wander
let no one tell her
it’s time to come inside

let her bare feet
saunter over cool grasses
while birds trill
their evening serenading sighs

how benevolent is a sip of
this sweet, sweet wine
asking little
yet providing nectar

as if I’m a hummingbird
tickling my tongue
down a poised
deep throated foxglove

I’m swaying in…


Especially when her inner talk rises from the keys

My fingers purposefully rest
on the keyboard
of ebony and ivory
as if waiting for the notes
to become chords

improvising
with the slightest sounds
curling around
the dappled light

my eyes closed
but my heart sees
the music wafting
over the edges
inner talk rises from the keys

pressing each note
into a stringed melody
not knowing whence it’ll go
it is my song played on repeat

something stirring
from my soul’s mind
felt in my chest
a pulse of integrity
and love notes of hope

spins me with irregular ease
not worrying about
the time or rhythm
letting go in a…


As soon as I meet you

A bright pink peony with a yellow center.
A bright pink peony with a yellow center.

How is it the sun bursts
into the folds of your petals?
Teeming the brilliance
of your bold and delicate

I’m smitten by your rapture
beholden by your color
if only you weren’t a flower
but my lover

And yet, with your
handholding from
the love of nature
I’ve been reassured

There’s someone out there
looking for me as
I am looking for you
in this vast wild meadow
cupping flowers

You and I
will someday meet
creating our love song of
people who need people
are the luckiest people

Squeezing our hands together
walking along the shore
soft sands holding our…


And discovering a felt connection to everything

Life is just right
when the sun lowers itself
into a sky spectrum of layers
those colors clearly secure me

wispy currents of delightfulness
a tranquil portal of stillness
relaxes me with ease
into dreaminess

while life is often too hurried
I take this break seriously
inside the abundance
of a natural closure from day

soaking into the songs
of a soon to be night sky
there I am
as close as I can be to silent

only to hear the imagined
afar with the above stars
performing puddles of light
seeking all that is to delight

a connection to…


Found after a storm

Stillness welcomed me
with chartreuse leaves
dangling off branches
as spectacular jewels

I found myself coveting
the silence in full sips
studying the contrast
from a late-night tempest

Where I heard the wind blow
imagining the roses
as if they were the skirt
of Marilyn Monroe

One window spoke
a heavy gray sky
and the other framed
a petite oval tree

As if to say
you’ll be okay
whether the day is soft
or holds a thunderous row

Whether you are pulled here
and asked to go there
following the symbolism
of life’s challenging array

Know that silence
is found in…


While the morning is yet awake

I very much enjoy
the quiet
spent in the morning
when the sun has yet to awake
the kitchen is blanketed
in the black scent of espresso

Curled and weaving around me
my cat and I
our needs are mutually met
while my pen rolls over
the blue-lined paper
hosting my newborn thoughts
without penance

We await sunrise
even if the sky remains
dim shades of dappled grays
peppering a smattering of thin clouds
outlining the horizon’s visage

I slice the silence
with a peeler
and exam the layers
without a microscope
to see the crystal rare formations

Such a…


Listening, accepting and honoring our needs

“Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me, too.” ― L.R. Knost

Healing takes time, and so does learning how to give ourselves the self-care we need. Over the decades, my idea of self-care has transformed. For me, self-care includes respecting my personal boundaries. Self-care is multidimensional too.

The difficulty with self-care, especially as a female, is how society perpetuates and abuses women as the caretakers of just about everyone. We genuflect to this role as quickly as the sky holds the sun and moon. We feel it is almost a righteous passage to give and give…


One that is the most consistent

The knee-high grasses
up there on the hillside
patches of gracious greens
gilding the browns
born of earth

pooled puddles of rain
gather at the base of each leaf blade
bending with a breath
of a daybreak breeze
tugging the sky’s summit

to open the cloudy curtains
seeing if the sun is welcomed
on yet another day
where I’m not sure if rain
will be the day’s garment

or if it’ll welcome gray’s solitude
with promises formed
by birds skipping rather than flying
finding sustenance easier
to break their fast

when night was colder
and soft glades of late Spring’s…

Carolyn Riker

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