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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

The art of writing through fallow places

A open notebook, pen and cup on a table.
Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

I believe the fallow places are the deepest parts of our unexplored soul. We might fester there for days and weeks. Sometimes decades. The longest time I went without writing was 19 years. It was a period where my words lost their will to live.

I remember the day I closed my blue floral notebook. It was twilight. Candles were lit in our tiny cabin. The sea was touching the horizon and a scent of softness mixed with a bit of champagne. It was late August in 1996, and I had just written a simple, whimsical love poem.

Out of…


An early morning tribute to hope

Photo by Timothy Kolczak on Unsplash

Faraway, on this chilled morn
daylight is still sleepy
yet, I turn the light on in my soul
listening to her mysteries

Chasing along open pastures
I write down hints of a nightdream
their intimate symbolic gestures
helps me to see life’s meaning

Into the sound of authenticity
this space elucidates a clear preciousness
of a smoothly said stillness
a fond fertile fortitude

I feel gratitude rise up
with the union of my singleness
a partnership with me
a recognition mixed with gentleness

And yet, when I daydream, there’s a twinge
one that curls around my shoulders
and dips down, deep inside
to…


Redefining the boundaries and accepting who we are

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

One afternoon, on a late walk, these words came to me: “The more we try to walk into the light, the bigger our shadow grows.”

Then I thought, we can’t be real if we only share what’s going well. What if we shared a little more of what’s going wrong to normalize how we aren’t perfect but beautifully real.

It is hard to be ourselves. We are told not to feel too much and to toughen up. “Don’t take it personally” is another adage flavored with condescension and minimizing one’s sensitivity.

What if you do take it personally and feel…


A lyrical poem

Photo by Fern M. Lomibao on Unsplash

Autumn is the ideal navigator
a pilot of sorts
welcoming the ability
to see and hear colors better.

Seems those scarlet jeweled leaves
compliment the persimmon ones
with round holy hums.
I tremble with glee.

Even with my eyes closed
succulent simmering amber hues dazzle me
with the sounds of their tiny flaxen bells.
Its enchantment hypnotizes me.

I favor these honey brown-toned days
because I’m pulled closer to my soul’s lineage.
There’s less light. It grows rest softer
and the sun sets easier.
Crispier nights add a spotlight
to the awe of imagination and her insights.

How my sweaters…


A lyrical poem of life, nature and diversity

Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs on Unsplash

My pace softened under a blue sea sky
and the clouds became whitecaps
while the browns and greens grew gloriously
turning the land to a wild bed of kelp

I held my own hand
and wrapped silence around my heart
pressing each footstep
into a cadence seeking hope

Within a mile, I released a hard held breath
and instead of rain, a gentle smile came
seasoned with the blue sky’s allure
I was embraced by something more

Swallowing gulps of children’s laughter
watching the wheels of a passing stroller
hearing the spokes of a bike spin
this very life pulled me back to…


A lyrical poem

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

A late summer sun speaks softly
with shadows for us to see
these moments
lingering lushly over languid layers
whispering
into the speed of summer’s slipping
even pinecones notice the gentle hum

The medicinal quality of cooler days
unfold a cloud speckled mountain top
and the dust settles quieter
next to a mouse’s twitching whiskers
uncertain at the chilly breeze
who scampers underbrush
weaving its way through tall brownish grasses
pressing its tiny footsteps
into summer’s end and autumn’s birth

The once exhilarating lavender is bent and spent
now greyish purple florets graze the tired earth
its sleepy idleness still feels like…


A nature poem

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Morning has broken
stillness reigns in gray flannel
birdsong has halted

Summer’s edges frayed
pull a comforter closer
faded seed heads sway

Nature’s transition
an invisible concourse
lush leaves turn ruby

No one hears the grief
it’s accepted as innate
a pure life cycle

Balanced with changes
soft and harsh are congruent
as if true lovers

The seasons elope
poignant sky to grazing land
meeting salty seas

Humming whales gather
dreamt by imagination
welcome summer’s end

Solemn tones held true
sensed golden summer’s edges
changes can feel blue

A special thank you to Galit Birk, PhD, editor and owner of…


Poetry is where souls meet souls

Photo by Anton Maksimov juvnsky on Unsplash

Under a sheet of slate-gray clouds
the wheat-colored grasses met the sky
poetry is birthed in these very moments

When stillness is tasted
as our soul-buds merge
with a spiritual sensation

Void of manmade gods
such as most religions
inside a 4-walled abbreviation

Poetry supersedes such principles
and becomes
the archetype of one’s soul

Poetry is often succinct
because each word holds
mountains, rivers, and skies

There are oceans of passion
while a poem sees all sides
of an orgasmic translation

Felt by the bridges we’ve walked
and those to be walked
uncovering the depth from inside

These poignant pieces…


Some Grandmas take their grandkids to the zoo, mine took me to find family tombstones

Photo by Freddy G on Unsplash

It wasn’t unusual to visit cemeteries as a child. My grandmother would ask me to join her to locate the tombstones of her dead family members.

She’d said, “Carrie Mae, your eagle eyes are better than mine.”

And off we’d go in her brown ‘76 Chevy Nova. Her car had a distinct smell of stale mothballs.

If I was lucky, she’d let me hold her pocketbook on my lap, which meant I could peek inside. Have you ever had the opportunity to explore a bottomless vinyl handbag? I swear it was endless. Tiny pockets lined the sides, and there were…


Where love is and what lovers do

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’m not sure if you noticed
but I wear my heart on my sleeve
that thump, thump, thump
is just me
letting you know
I feel everything

Sometimes
it annoys me
and yet
in all my peculiarities
this effervescent quality is hard
to compartmentalize

Feeling those feels
breathes with me
and I must be careful
who I let in
since not everyone is privy
to my inner soul’s secret gardens

What I share has been curated
by a Swallow’s singing sigh
and the tenderness of a bunny’s belly
freely cleaning its middle eye

You might think you know me
but I…

Carolyn Riker

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