The Light and Dark Poetry Process

One of the goals of trauma healing is to allow what is hidden in our bodies to be felt, expressed, and released, as safely and gently as possible. We have hidden feelings, emotions and impulses leftover from past traumas and stresses. We also hide some or many of our current feelings, emotions and impulses from ourselves, out of a self-protective habit.

This Poetry Process is one way that I have found to incrementally surface hidden experiences. The process is simple. I give myself the assignment to create a Dark Poem, and then to create a Light Poem. [or vice versa, either can come first.] “Create” is not exactly the right word. My intention is to allow some of my uncomfortable – or pleasant – feelings or experiences to surface. So in a way I am allowing the poem, more than creating it. “Poem” in this context does not mean structured verse – it simply means free-flowing non-structured language that expresses an inner experience, often in metaphor.
At the time, I may be feeling neutral – neither joyful nor upset. I may not be aware that I am feeling anything at all. When the poetry comes out, it can sometimes be surprising, enlivening, or tender.

Here are examples of a Light and Dark Poem that have arisen in response to this process over the past months.


There are little light energy beings
Inside of me or around me.
Perhaps they are me.
But no matter what
They scurry about playfully 

Little Skittle Scurry Furry Feet


Gravity is too much
Entropy is too much
Falling down a long flight of stairs into a dark dank basement
It’s like that.

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