Happy Day #9 of National Poetry Month!

Today, I took myself on an artist date to see the Alchemical Vessels exhibition at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery located in the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. It features 125 artworks by 125 artists in the Washington, DC metro area. Each artist transformed a ceramic bowl to reflect their own personal aesthetic and medium. Together, their work engages in a community dialogue on healing and transformation.




One of my favorite pieces is I love Pansies by John Paradiso (see photo above), a friend and fellow Smith Center Artist-in-Residence. John’s work reminded me of nature’s alchemy and the beauty that winter gives birth to during springtime. His artwork and the exhibition inspired my poem “Alchemy.”


She is standing in the same place I left her 25 years ago.
Feeling the same fears of failure and not being or having enough.
Wearing the same outfit of unworthiness.
Somedays she is able to mask her wounds.
Other days she is wide open.
Vulnerable to the emotional tsunami of pain.
I thought we had parted ways, but come to find out we just stopped being roommates who share a room in one of those homes that decorate the Gold Coast on 16th Street.

Our address is the same.
We just live in seperate rooms on different floors.
She’s in the basement bedroom.
I’m on the second floor with a window facing the row of pansies in the front yard.

When I look in the mirror, I see her reflection and realize we are one in the same.
Her wounds are my wounds.
I pause and breathe in and out as I process our truth.

As I sit with our truth, I begin to dwell in a place of stillness.
Her voice begins to speak.
She confesses how tired she is of masking her wounds.
Her confession opens the door to an intention to declutter her spirit, mind, heart, and body so that she can fully express wholeness.

Staring straight into her eyes, I bow to her highest self and extend my hand so that we can surrender to our soul’s alchemy.

Copyright 2015 by Madelyn C. Leeke. All rights reserved.

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