Thursday, June 29, 2023

For the Goudy’s, draft no. 1

The food was great

The company, better.

Brought home a robe

(but not a wool sweater).

Grateful for fellowship,

Offers to stain.

Maybe next time we’ll day trade

Or fly in a plane.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Poems for the hurting, draft no. 1


By Jen Hunt, LPC

Sometimes, when my patients are working on an exercise in session, I have a few moments to myself. Occasionally, I use that time to write them a rough draft of a poem, which I give to them at the end of the session. Here are some of the ones I've done over the years. (All identifying information has been removed.) 

My Savior is with me

All day and night

He’s led me through valleys

I’ve found the green grass

I’m peaceful, contented,

His child first and last

His burden is easy,

His yoke holds me fast.


What’s it like to play all day?

What’s it like to have something to say?

Something to share and someone who cares

Someone who stays and dries all my tears?

I never knew that in my childhood, years

But I can explore that now, in here

Or in a journal to myself

A note with my inner child’s help.


Held back for a time

The next  year is mine

I’ve said my goodbyes

On God’s wings I’ll fly

With worship, healing, friends in view

I am ready for him to make all things new.


Wherever I go

There I am

A calm, collected self I am

In touch with my feelings

In touch with my dreams

The next year will unfold



There’s lots to like about me

But I can’t always see it

There’s lots to like about me

But I can’t always see

The good in me God put there

I’m really not sure why

But I’m learning how to like me

Because God says I shine

With many glitters of his glory

I’m his and he is mine.


What a joy to know weight lifted

Free from my inner despair

Left my secrets on the altar

From God’s hand been given care

No longer bound, no longer victim

Released from sin and shame

“Beloved Daughter” is my

Eternal state and name.


Freedom is coming

This I know

When fears arise,

To the Lord I go

My gentle shepherd

Protects his sheep

I can rest and sleep in peace.


I’ve been through a lot

But this one thing I know

I’ve got a wonderful places to go

Good head on my shoulders

Dreams high and wide

I will do valiantly,

In my corner of the sky.


There’s a room just for you

Where you’ll grow and explore

Finding your way

To freedom’s door

Good head on your shoulders

And friends near and far

You will do fabulously

Wherever you are.


I thought the road had ended

But it had just begun

A part of me was hidden

Behind what ifs and shame

But now I’ve got a future

By finding me again

Archery and fishing

Hanging out with friends

I thought the road had ended

But it had just begun.


However did I get here?

Whatever did I drink?

Laying it all on the table

It was easier than you’d think.


Sometimes life gets boring

I’m facing it alone

In my room my tears are pouring

There’s nothing to be done


I wonder if it’s worth it

To take another breath

Part of me feels hopeless

Part of me wants death


But that’s not the deepest part of me

That’s not what brought me here

I want a life worth living

Joy and laughter, good friends near.


Sometimes I forget

The worth I have

All I can see are flaws

But with help I will remember

I am lovely, quirks and all.




You might try to fool me

But I’m not gonna be fooled

You might try to use me

But I won’t be your muse

I’ve got a lot of anger

Poking at my sleeves

If there’s anything you taught me

It’s I’m never gonna please

Some people some times

So I’d be better off pleasing

This broken heart of mine


I’m tired of blaming myself

For what you’ve done

I know when I am valued

I’ve found the perfect one


You might try to fool me…


There’s times when I forget you

Yet you’re always there

There’s times I fear I’ve hurt you

Yet you’ve always cared

I wonder why I slip into

Living like you’re not

Lord help me to be quiet

And wait for what you’ve got

A heaven that’s for certain

A kingdom that is here

You’ll never stop hearing

So I’ll bring my every fear.


Truths to uncover

Wounds to heal

So much strength though

The pain is real

Finding your way

To a life lived full

Rising from ashes

Loved and beautiful.


Before you float

You must leave the shore

Where everything’s safe, tidy, moored

But only in the water’s deep

Will you reach the height

You were meant to leap

Nothing is easy

Nothing is cheap

He gives to his beloved

Even in his sleep.


Everything is shifting

I’m on sinking sand

I’m getting kinda shaky

Wherever can I stand?

Please show me how to follow

With everything I’ve got


I’ll let my yes be yes

And my no be no

I won’t be afraid

To let me feelings show

Life’s too short

To keep it inside am me

Heart open wide

I can’t please everyone

All the time

But I can be me

And that’s just fine.


There’s a tug o war

Inside o me

Keeping me from feeling free

I’d like to have some peace inside

I’d like to feel arms open wide

To get my sad and worried parts

From making wars and causing fights

I think I’ll find a nicer way

By making friends with me today.


There are times I wonder

If I’m just taking up space

From someone more important

Someone smart or pretty-faced

But then I recall how Jesus

Loved the least of these

He tells me I belong here

Cause he created me.


Unstoppable is my word of the year

I’m leaving behind

Perfectionism, anxiety, fear

Good head on my shoulders

Good future to scout

Friends new and older

I’ll figure it out

Jesus, my pilot

Will guide me each day

Unstoppable me

Nothing’s getting in my way.


 I've lost at love

been heart-broken

learned life lessons

heard wisdom spoken

Not going to let it

ruin my day

I'm a survivor

Come what may.  


A part of me is groaning

another's afraid to hope

I'm caught between the longing

and the shame of trying to cope

He hasn't gotten better

if anything, gotten worse

but here I am worrying

if I'll end up as his nurse

A part of me has courage

and knows a better way

I'm ready now to listen

and give my heart a break

Lord, help me with the sadness

Lord, help me with the grief

As lonely as I feel now, 

I know you'll never leave. 


I'm spreading my wings

I'm ready to fly

No holding me back

I'm touching the sky

Fears won't define me

I've learned how to stay

Strong in myself

At school and at play

Hope on the horizon

Grace in my heart

My future is waiting

I'm ready to start

God, give me the grace

to not put you aside

amid all the hustle

amid all my pride

I know you go with me

I'm never alone, 

Your unfailing love

is my forever home. 


I'm coming undone;

I'm coming undone.

I'm not sure when it will end

Or where it had begun. 

Things are unraveling

to my left and my right

tears have been my companion

all through the night

My pillow is damp

Can't get out of bed

At times in this pain, I feel

I'd be better off dead. 

Lord, help I'm drowning!

The shrapnel is real

I don't know what to think 

or how to feel. 

Cradle me tenderly

close to your chest

Remind me you see beauty

when all I see is mess. 


There's a light at the end of this tunnel

A peace at the end of this song

I've been waiting to get to the end

But Christ has been with me all along

Nothing is easy in this life

I've taken some hits now and then

If I hadn't had Jesus with me

Lord knows where I would've been

Some lessons get learned the hard way

I'm grateful nonetheless

That God has good plans for my future

to make beauty from this mess

There's a light in the midst of the tunnel

A peace in the mid of the fight

No longer am I waiting the ending

Because Christ is with me in the night. 


So much about me

I can't explain

lots to uncover

laughter and pain

just when I think

there's no more to see

I find a new treasure

inside of me

It can be scary

looking inside

not sure if I do

I won't want to hide

but if I keep trying

one day I'll see

newly loved parts of me

flying and free. 


I've created a monster 

that's bigger than me

it started so cute

and cherubimy

promising peace and 

complete certainty

Now it's gigantic

and eating my lunch

I can't get to bed

without fielding the big hunk

of worry and what ifs

and habits and games;

it started so innocently

now I'm in chains.

Lord, help me to trust you

give me the key, 

so I can get back 

to just you and just me

without this big

son of a bum



I've got a good head

on my shoulders. 

I've got a good heart 

in my chest

I'm learning to hand 

Jesus my burdens

And to lean on him

when I need rest

Life hasn't always

been easy

More I could say

but I won't

Otherwise this will sound


And if anything's true

that I am not. 


Thoughts swriling 

inside my mind

why can't I be a good

friend to myself and be kind?

It's gotten quite heavy

this burden I feel

I wish I could let go

and find hope that is real. 

Life isn't easy

even at thirteen, 

Lord, wipe all my tears

and my slate clean. 

Only you can do that

and help me be free. 


Friends. What a mixed bag. 

Some jewels and some junk 

But this time I'm determined

not to get in a funk. 

When they whisper, 

look sideways, tell lies, 

or act rude

'cause I've learned

that dep down, 

I'm in gharge of my 'tude

No one can make

me feel this or feel that

I get to say

what I think, feel or act. 

I"m stronger, more stable, 

less prone to react

'cause no matter 

what's thrown at me

God's got my back

and I'm not giving up on me

that's a true fact. 


Start of a rap for a patient struggling with body image: 

 I'm [Johnny Joe]*  and and I'll cut to the chase

I'm tall and big and I take up space

And I will not apologize

for my divinely ordained size.... 

                *name withheld


If it weren't for my dog, 

I'd end up in a bog

If nothing gives

I'll stay in this fog

half awake

everthing's take take

Exhausted and reeling

if I could just 

keep on stuffing my feelings---

that's not going so well

I've created my own hell

where's God when I need him?

May as well be down and defeated. 

What's that I hear?

A rescue copter 

coming near?

I can't get up

he'll have to come down

If I hadn't looked up

I'd have never been found. 

I have never heard

a more needed sound. 


Weight off my back

nothing I lack

I'm growing through pain

found my footing again

The season was dark

on my back --a mark

but I can stand tall

'cause I've not given up on me

through it all. 


Anxiety didn't get 

the last word

I'm finding my groove

free as a bird. 

Nothing and no one

can tear me down now

I just needed God

and some time

to figure out how

to find peace

when my heart ached

joy where I am

Look out you meanies, 

[Girl Monday's]* in town! 


Keepin' it real

Keepin' it chill

Battles surround me

but I stay on my hill

away from the chaos

my life so sublime

you've got your choices

and I've got mine

at times it feels hopeless

here, all alone

but part of me longs

for a place called home

I'm bearing good fruit

I'm close to the vine

He's taking my burden

his lightness is mine

What a strange economy

where fruitfulness

can lightness be


For some life is short

For some life is long

But no matter the length

There is pain when they're gone

If they mattered to you

And you mattered to them

The love that remains

Is a bittersweet song


Am I back where I started? 

Is all my growth gone?

Will I never get passed this?

Will it take far too long?

Discouragement whispers

You? Deserve peace?

But the Shepherd, he prepares

a table for me.  


I'll miss him at the doorway

I'll miss him at the beach

Had him since I was wee little

Always been there at my feet

Nothing feels quite right now

Knowing he'll be gone

Losing a four-pawed angel

is a bittersweet song. 


Silence is golden

only this time, it's not

no one seems to see

me here, in this spot

Even God feels distant

I'm coming up dry

Does he really have a bottle

for the tears that I cry?

I will sit here a moment

and contemplate why. 

(Psalm 56:8; Rev 7:12)


Did I almost lose here?

Hard to tell. 

Getting a call from the social worker

handled it well

But, here in the aftermath

Something feels off

I see she is struggling

Lord, keep me soft

In the parenting journey

May I run to the cross

When I don't have the answers,

when I feel lost. 


"A caterpillar can't butterfly

without proper rest"

I've taken a slower road

God knows bets

What once seemed pressing

I'm letting go

The shedding of layers

fuels inward growth

"A caterpillar can't butterfly

without proper rest"

I've taken a lighter road,

God knows best. 


I'd like to fly

on the wings of a dove

away from the heavy

and undone stuff

missing my daughter

feeling alone

work has me dragging

and longing for home. 

Will things get better 

anytime soon?

Is there hope for me here, or

should I fly to the moon?

Lord, help me feel seen, 

known, and understood.

Help me trust that even now

you've prepared me a room. 


If eyes are the lamp

of the body

my whole body full of light

Then what shall I say

of my eyebrows

Truth-telling what's inside? 


If she's flesh of my flesh

bone of my bones

Why do I sometimes

feel all alone?

Has the tree been cut down?

Is no life to be found?

Within these four walls

where silence resounds?


Is there a root growing

from the tree's stump?

If I run from the knowing

If I let love hang limp

I will never find out

so I'll choose to stay in

Hurting, yet grounded

Suffering, yet seen

If there's a God who can heal me, 

on him I will lean. 


So much has happened? 

Where do I start?

Where can I find

a safe place for my heart? 

Enemies surround me

Outside and in

Oh, if I could fly, 

upon a dove's wings

So much is quick sand

So much is dross

there's not enough ink

to narrate the loss.

Lord, you are solid

Rock for my feet

Come quickly, come near

so I feel your heart beat. 


Poem for Panh, draft no. 1

 Panh, what a faithful friend

Sticks with me through thick and thin

Daring, loyal, partner in crime

One who'd give you 

Her very last lime.

Been through a lot and come out on top

The perfect guest for a weekly bar hop!

The Sherbet Sun Sinks Low, draft no. 1

The sherbet sun sinks low

Swaying, though the time is slow

Blushing cheekbones,


No one believes my story here.

I'd take myself to another place,

If I truly trusted God's grace. 

The poet laureate of Peonies Drive (draft no. 1)


The poet laureate of Peonies Drive

Wrote so few poems

Neighbors thought she wasn’t alive.

She went about from day to day

Flopping on sofas and beds in dismay

Saying, “I have nothing, plumb nothing,

Just nothing to say,

And it has gone on this way for interminable days.

Someone please take this poor poet’s crown away.”

So someone did and left her there

With nothing on top of her dark brown hair,

Alone and in throws of deep despair,

The once poet laureate of Peonies Drive,

Who had all but forgotten how to jive.     

January Haiku Challenge

Day 1

Poor amaryllis

facing away from the sun

proud, yet very lost


Day 2


ever in my thoughts and dreams

thumbprint for a house


Waiting for a prince

to whisk me to the ocean

how my ankles itch


Yelling at the app

for mucking with his order--

better fish to fry


Halo round the moon

branches still, no starts in sight

upper window view


Thought I heard dad yell

but it was a dog barking

diff’rence hard to tell


Day 3

Bike Trail Walk

Wind pushing our backs

cheeks pink with winter’s pinching

January stroll


Shower Her Off Dance

Four left feet between

us, cannot find the rhythm

yet stretching for love


Day 4


Putting groceries in

bags, feel twinge in lower back--

middle age is hard



Borrows yoga blocks

to lift his computer screen--

good to have son back


Day 5: New Walking Buddy

Left right left we go

walking around Titletown

stretching limbs and minds


Day 6

I think I am stuck

stucker than stucker than stuck--

time for paper dolls


On my phone too much

relearning how to dawdle--

how tech-free fun heals!


Day 7

Blood curdling screams

over electric fan wire

never mind my heart


Day 8

Assessing damage

alibis, apologies--

marriage is hard work


Day 9

My world is quite small

paper doll cutouts is all--

inner child work


Day 10

A family chat

community group women

holding what is good


Day 11

Arcs of heavy snow

shoveled toward the edges--

plumber on his way


Day 12

Posting on Facebook

never know the response to

moldy rugs, haikus


Day 13

Wordle running streak

broken by murky mistake--

still the world goes on


Day 14

Everyone read this

on women in ministry

before it’s too late


Day 15

Heart wreath on the door

Valentines in the mail box

Where is the postman?


Day 16

If I’m too na├»ve

to be teaching men at church

why trust me with kids?


Day 17

Tissue for my nose

brisk wind watering my eyes

January walk


Day 18

Nestled by the fire

stacks of books on the table

January bliss


Day 19

Trying not to scratch

itchy patches on ankles

eczema torture


Day 20

Huel in a cup

claims healthier than ramen--

nothing to write home


Day 21

TV in pjs

Next to hubby, watching Crown--

30 years married


Day 22

No snow on the ground

January protesting

I will not complain


Day 23

Mall walking with Panh

buying Christmas cards in January

can’t resist tigers


Day 24

Itchy red ankles

eczema on the loose

no doctor ‘til March


Day 25

Volunteering gig

Time to help the shop I love

DPCO fun


Day 26

I Timothy scares

Got big girl pants on, reading

Give me wisdom, God


Day 27

Slippery sidewalks

More excuses not to walk--

Oh, for willpower


Day 28

Clomp, clomp, swishy-swish

East River Park snow shoeing

glad for little wind


Day 29

Walking at the mall

so many stores on my route

yet, nothing I want


Day 30

Thirty-fourth birthday

of when I trust Christ

on PEF ski trip


Day 31

Haiku thirty-one

My month-long fun is over

Keep going! I say


90 Years Strong (to the tune of “Coconut Woman”)

Who hails from Princeton ‘55

Knows every rock and plant alive

Plays American folk on the guitar

Did cartoons for his alma-mart-ar’

No, he isn’t turning fifty--Donald E

But he’s sometin’ pretty nifty--turns 90

No, don’t tell me I’m a liar--Donald E.

Yes, his age is getting higher--turns 90

 A docent and an avid reader

An Ancient Order of Essex Weeder

A guy who knows a thing or two--

Donald Miller you’re right, that’s who!

No, he isn’t turning fifty-- Donald E

But he’s sometin’ pretty nifty--turns 90

No, don’t tell me I’m a liar--Donald E.

Yes, his age is getting higher--turns 90


90 years strong and more to fill,

Just gave 90 ties to the Goodwill.

Delivered more babies than New Hampshire had bats;

Guess he’s loosin’ it up for the final laps.

No, he isn’t turning 50--Donald E

No, he isn’t getting wimpy--turns 90

Donald E like iron--Donald E

He be strong like a lion--turns 90


Let’s give one last cheer to the dapper chap

Donald Miller, the most cherished pap

If you see him on a drive or at the store

Be sure to wish him “Happy Day” and many more

‘Cause the fella’s turning 90--Donald E

Donald E, the strong and mighty--turns 90

Donald E like iron--Yes, indeed

He be strong like a lion--turns 90



How Weird Is It?

                                                 By Mom/Jen Hunt


Treated to meals out, meals in,

Mini golf, hikes, plays and gin*,                                    

Scrabble and streaming,

Thrifting and mammoths,

Chinese and church friends,

Dr. Pepper and sculpture gardens

Magnolia, Rudy’s, HEB and Buc-ees--

Getting writer’s cramp just

documenting all the activities--

To wrap up, let this poet laureate confess,

Austin may be weird,

And have hip things to do,

But the best thing by far

Was seeing you two.


*(tequila didn’t seem to fit)