Poetry Month Day #10: “Success” Poem

Happy Day #10 of National Poetry Month!

This week, I completed Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s Manifesting True Success 21-Day meditation series. Meditating each day on the wisdom they shared and chanting sacred mantras helped me redefine SUCCESS and plant new seeds of what it means in my spirit, heart, mind, and body. Here are some of the key takeaways from this experience.






They inspired today’s poem “Success” (see below). How do you define success?


Had to come in from the world because how I was being, thinking, living, and doing wasn’t working for me anymore.

I didn’t know what was gonna happen from moment to moment or day to day.

I just knew I needed to turn within and spend time decluttering my spirit, mind, and body so I could embrace my wholeness with an open heart.

As I reconnected with myself from inside of the Inside, my fears of failure, not being or having enough, and unworthiness visited me.

I tried to run from them, but there was no place to hide.

Meeting them face-to-face was my only option.

Our first, second, third, fourth, and fifth dates were horrendous because I was standing in a place of resistance.

Things got a little better when I decided to surrender and embrace the courage to sit with my fears right next to me.

Guess what?

They’re still sitting next to me and we’re still meeting face-to-face as I excavate, understand, and work to release their root cause.

Some days this process feels like a really bad root canal.

Other days it feels Lionel Ritchie singing “it’s easy like Sunday morning.”

In the midst of it all, I am learning to trust myself and not what does or does not happen in life.

And my definition of success is being reframed based on who I am and how I value my uniqueness from the inside out.

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

Photo Credit: ChopraMeditation.com

Poetry Month Day #9: “Alchemy” Poem



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.

Poetry Month Day #8: “Illumine” Poem


Happy Day #8 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Illumine.” It is inspired by a quote from Dr. Ernest Holmes’ book “Science of Mind” I read this afternoon: “O Eternal and Blessed Presence, illumine my mind and command my will that my Soul may be refreshed and that my life may be renewed.”


Vulnerabilities trickle onto the yoga mat as my hips open wide to release emotions that have decluttered my body temple for too long.

I breathe in and out as the wetness of my tears creates a mini puddle.

I wonder why all of this is happening now. When will it stop?

No answer comes.

I am reminded that I control no person or thing.

I am reminded to surrender to the Spirit’s healing light and love. So I do.

I allow it to shine through me and every part of my spirit, mind, heart, body, and life.

My voice gets clearer.

I hear where I criticize myself and engage in self talk that hinders my soul’s growth.

I come into hero’s pose and offer a prayer of gratitude and affirm Spirit illumine my mind and command my will that my soul is refreshed and my life, faith, and trust are renewed.
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, http://www.leighmosley.com

Poetry Month Day #7: “Bloom” Poem


Happy Day #7 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Bloom.” It is inspired by the beautiful flowers I saw during my afternoon walk.


Right where I am lies an opportunity.
It doesn’t look like it, but it is.
It is wrapped in a package I wouldn’t normally open.
My fear of what’s next is stopping me.
I can’t forecast my future.
I have no access to the details.
I can’t control it.
The only thing I can do is surrender, have faith, open the package, and bloom right where I am.

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

Poetry Month Day #3 Poem – “Flourish”


Happy Day #3 of National Poetry Month!

Today’s poem is entitled “Flourish.” It is dedicated to my dearest sistalove friend Evette Chambers, a native Washingtonian, wife, mother, natural hair entrepreneur, co-founder of City Kinks, and a holistic health enthusiast.



Today, while Evette took great care of my locs, we chatted about living positively, being grateful, dreaming BIG, believing in ourselves and our dreams, owning our beauty and brilliance, making time to connect and have fun with our circles of supportive people, and taking great care of our bodies, minds, and spirits each and every day. Our conversation was filled with the essential ingredients of a recipe for a flourishing life.


From the core of my being
I choose to dream and live fully and freely
I believe I deserve this life
I own it
I do what is required to manifest it with grace and gratitude
It’s all mine
Every moment of every day of every year

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

Poetry Month Day #2 Poem – “Breathe” – From #FierceLivingat50 Series

Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com
Photo Credit: http://thehealthylivinglounge.com


Welcome to Day #2 of National Poetry Month. Today’s Poem-A-Day is yoga-inspired.


Breathe woman breathe



Let all of yourself out

Without censure

Speak your truth

Allow it to be heard

Embrace all of YOU from the inside out

Celebrate your strengths and weaknesses  

Revel in your vulnerabilities  

Play, laugh, and enjoy pleasure

Be grateful for your humanity

Breathe in your divinity

Exhale it out with beauty and humility  


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

Happy National Poetry Month: I’m joining the April Poem-A-Day Challenge


Happy National Poetry Month!

While I was at the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon, I had a great conversation about writing poetry with the “Naughty Poetess,” author of the Naughty Poetess blog. I shared how much I missed writing poetry. On the flight home to DC on Sunday morning, I decided to participate in the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I participated in 2008 and 2009. Both experiences helped me blog and publish my second book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery.

This year, I have chosen Fierce Living at 50 as my theme for the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I will be using some of my poems in my new e-book series and artwork that will be available on my Etsy shop this summer, Here is the first poem, “Unmasked.”


Buried wounds began to rise to the surface.
I tried to run and hide, but there was no safe haven.
So I stood in the tsunami of my pain.
My legs tired.
I sat still and allowed it all to come undone.
Five years of looking inside, looking outside, looking above, and looking below.
Peeling back the layers of my mask … the person who I thought I was and making peace with who I have become.
Arriving at 50 unmasked with acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and love…knowing and giving thanks that the journey continues.

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

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! 4/2


Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

It’s National Poetry Month! One of the places I like to visit during the month is Poets.org. It offers a new poem each day. You can even have it emailed to you. Click here to sign up.

Are you a poetry lover? Who are your favorite poets? Where do you go online to read poetry?

Photo Credit: Tim'm T. West, www.reddirt.biz
Photo Credit: Tim’m T. West, http://www.reddirt.biz

I love reading the poetry of Tim’m T. West, an amazing activist,author, educator, feminist, hip hop artist, poet, scholar, and singer. I met Tim’m while he was hosting The Front Porch, a monthly poetry reading series at Mocha Hut, a cafe located on U Street in Washington, D.C (closed in 2009). He encouraged me to participate in The Front Porch monthly readings.

Photo Credit: Tim'm T. West, www.reddirt.biz
Photo Credit: Tim’m T. West, http://www.reddirt.biz

His creative energy, friendship, music, poetry, and poetical memoir, Red Dirt Revival: A Poetic Memoir In Six Breaths, inspired me to write and publish my own poetical memoir, That Which Awakens Me. Take a moment and click here to watch a video of Tim’m performing his creative work at the Front Porch in 2007. Also, click here to watch a 2009 video of my poem dedicated to him.  Enjoy!

Watch Ananda’s April 8th author talk @9pm EST on UStream.tv – “Poetry as a natural medicine for the soul”

Hi all,

Join me for an author talk about poetry as a natural medicine for the soul on April 8 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST on Ananda Leeke Live! UStream.tv.  During the talk, I will share how I use poetry in my work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts and excerpts from my new book That Which Awakens Me.  Click on the link to watch the author talk: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live. If you miss it, you can always watch the video.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the power of poetry,