Category Archives: Poem

Hitting Bottom: When The End Greets the Beginning (Poetry by Ross Rosenberg)

I wrote this twenty years ago, when I had hit what I thought was the bottom of my life.  The poem helped me put into words the trauma i had endured while in a relationship with a very abusive woman.  It served as a catalyst to understand and eventually heal the highly traumatic abuse I had endured.

Although the trauma of the relationship seemed to have ended, the impact of it was embedded in my psyche.  Writing the poem helped release some of this toxic energy welling up inside of me.  Writing  it also helped me create a clear boundary from where I was and where I needed to go.

 

When The End Greets the Beginning

The Fist clenched, balled tight
Waving high in the sky
Like a tattered flag of war
Firmly declaring the message of hard fought freedom

The Arm stretched higher than its length
Wanting to go even higher
But held back by its physical limitations
Desiring to support the rage of its neighbor hand

The Body tense with anxious exhilaration
Energized by the wave of spontaneous emotion
Reacting – wanting to release
Neither knowing nor understanding the electric energy

The Mind, racing with scenes of the past
Remembering the torrent of pain
Memories frozen in time – razor sharp
Unable to understand, but finally able to feel

The Heart embattled and tired
Once protected by walls made of carefully controlled rage
Cracking, crumbling, disintegrating under their own volition
Heralding the light to pass through

The Soul, confused and bewildered
Like the newborn’s terror at birth
Interpreting the beginning as the end of safety
But all the while willing to open his eyes and greet what lies ahead

Ross Rosenberg
9/22/97

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

 

Heaven. A Poem About On Everlasting Impact. By Ross Rosenberg

 

HEAVEN

The pebble is worn smooth
Made small over time
A product of a cataclysmic force of nature
A fragment of mountainous sheets of rock
An accidental offspring of a boulder.
But just a very small stone

The pebble’s place in our world
Is neither understood nor appreciated.
But when thrown in a glassy calm pond
Its insignificance is transformed.
Its meaning and purpose is unleashed

The instant the pebble kisses the pond
Its signature of concentric ripples
Spiral outwards
Moving far beyond itself.
Gently affecting everything in its wake
Forever altering the smooth placid surface.

The pebble creates its worth and meaning
By unleashing its unimagined power.
Into a dueling force of action and reaction
Creating karmic energy
Producing a lasting and fluid impression

Aren’t we all pebbles?
Feeling small and insignificant.
But ultimately recognizing
That who we are meant to be
Can never be measured in isolation
on a path into ourselves

It is true:
Our everlasting future
Is created by the indiscriminate tossing of pebbles
Into the pond of life
Creating ripples
which leave a unique mark on our world
Not because of thoughts
or well meaning plans
But because of actions
Our life’s prayers our answered
Because even the smallest pebble
No matter how seemingly insignificant
Change the course of the lives
Of those who we touch.

And when the icy winds of death
beckon our lasting attention
We will gently leave this life
With the knowledge that
because of that one pebble
The world will never be the same

And then we have heaven …

Ross Rosenberg
8/18/03

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

 

SMILING SKELETONS POEM by Ross Rosenberg. Healing from Childhood Trauma. Letting Go of the Past.

 

This poem reflects a latter portion of a healing process that many codependents, or those with Self-Love Deficit Disorder, choose to take. It illustrates the very important psychological milestone when a Codependent or SLD (Self-Love Deficient) is ready to face-down their consciously forgotten childhood trauma (repressed memories),  in order to accept the sad and lonely power it has always had over their Self-Love Deficit Disorder.  Embracing the trauma memories, sorting them out, and accepting them as one’s unfortunate but immutable history, is a crucially important and necessary milestone in one’s SLDD, recovery.  It paves way for the eventual transition from SLDD to SLA – Self-Love Abundance – “The Codependency Cure.”

 

skeleton-thumbsup-copy

SMILING SKELETONS
By Ross Rosenberg

Strolling dreamily down
a familiar street
in the direction
of places long forgotten,
I was obliviously drawn
To my childhood home.

The houses painted anew
with unfamiliar
over-grown trees,
could not hide
the memory-stained streets
of happily playing children
who never thought about
lonely shadowy figures
deprived of sweet
summertime frolic.

Like a magnet,
I was irresistibly pulled
in the direction
of my home,
where lost days,
weeks and years,
were anonymously recorded
on a calendar
that no one ever saw.

Until that day,
I had been too afraid
to revisit the rooms
long closed to me,
where broken toys
and missing game parts
were carelessly strewn
on the ruby red
matted shag rug
of my youth.

In the farthest reaches
of my lonely drenched bedroom,
the closet beckoned me
To enter its dark and cluttered domain,
to sift through
flash-frozen
aching memories
of an emotionally abandoned boy.

Among the stowed away
remnants of my youth
sat clattery boned skeletons –
“closet skeletons,”
who rejoiced at the opportunity
to dance in the light of recollection,
and finally end
their long winter of slumber.

Memories of the loosely connected parts
of the lost child
I used to be,
enervated my skeleton friends,
who frenetically discharged
the repressed electric energy
of the frightening
but dark and dreary
memories of yesteryear.

The battle between
wanting to run
or stay put,
to recover the truth –
the accurate narrative
of my youth –
compelled me to remain
just long enough
to survey the darkly lit
container of my youth.

With eyes wide open,
courageous but anxious,
I fixed my gaze
on my bony friend’s shadowy,
but kindly countenance,
and for the first time
I decided,
I am strong enough
to be vulnerable,
so that I can finally remember
my lonely-boy-self,
and absorb the unthinkable
memories of my youth.

It is time to let go.
Bid farewell
to my skeleton friends.
Seal shut
the closet of my youth
and return home,
and live gratefully in the present.

I have spent a lifetime
afraid of dark specters
residing in my closet.
Now is the time
to meld the past and the present,
into a representation
of the person I always wanted to be.
It is the right time
to release the phantom pull backwards,
while gently grasping the hand
of the beautiful present moment,
that pulls me increasingly closer
to where my self-love lies.

Ross Rosenberg
10/1/2016

smiling-skeletons-pic

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

 

 

 

Poem: On Becoming a Rose: The Journey to Self-Love

self-love rosenbergON BECOMING A ROSE: THE JOURNEY TO SELF-LOVE 

Inspired by Anaïs Nin.  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Breaking through to self-love
is the most difficult journey
for paralyzed and anxious
rose bud people,
whose roots are deeply
and inescapably implanted
in the inhospitable soil
of forgotten and discarded dreams.

The long winters of waiting
tires any rose bud
who has had a lifetime
of disappointing dreams
of not being able to open up,
to share their nectar of self-love.

The sun-drenched landscape
where happy and fulfilled roses
freely bask in golden rays of love
to share their delicious fragrance
remains the forbidden sad dreamscape
for many a frightened rose bud

Rose buds dream
of throwing caution to the wind,
risking predictable harm
and inevitable pain
for the moment of pure happiness
when hope and love
overtake the loneliness of safety

We all start off as a rose bud.
Perfect and pure,
filled with potential
to become a most beautiful, unique,
and remarkable flower.

Wounded roses
who were neither protected
nor nurtured,
know only to hunker down
in a safe bud state,
to weather unpredictable storms.

History has demonstrated
that decisions to open up,
to bloom,
have predictably been met
with the opposition of
gale force winds
and torrential storms.

There comes a time
when the courage to transform
into a beautiful rose,
the one we always were,
but didn’t know about,
overcomes our fearful vigilance
to avoid further harm.

The time is now,
to allow ourselves to understand,
finally,
that the fear of harm
brought more suffering and losses
than would have the rain, wind, and frost.

We need to bravely
be optimistic about the world,
about ourselves,
and decide to no longer settle
for loneliness infused safety.

Deciding to bloom
allows us to come to terms
and accept
our frightened rose bud life,
and why our parents
could and never would
tell us about our beautiful flower.

It is time to discard our life
as a lonely self-love deprived
and unrealized rose,
and bravely allow ourselves
to transform into the flower
we always have been.

As we vulnerably and carefully
come to full bloom,
stretch our arms out,
and connect with an unpredictable
but potentially loving world,
we will experience,
for the first time
the freedom of a flower.

Only at this time
will we finally understand
the cost of mistaking ourselves
for a rose bud,
and not the flower we always were.

The companion (to this poem) YouTube video

Heaven Is In The Ripples

Seven years ago I was asked by a friend if I was “religious and if I believed in God?” As a (formerly) practicing agnostic I quickly answered:”no.” However, I defended myself by explaining that I lived my life according to universal principals of “right and wrong” (as I understood them). Because I believed that our deeds create a lasting effect on the world, I felt confident in my everlasting future. In other words, I wasn’t worried about there being a heaven or not. I told my friend that when I die, I am banking on knowing that my impact on the world will be ever lasting. My “heaven” will ultimately be the creation of the the sum total of all my actions.

I will never forget my friend’s response: he looked at me with glassy eyes, and told me how deeply spiritual I was. I didn’t see it. It took five more years to see what he meant. Such was the inspiration of the following poem I wrote.

HEAVEN IS IN THE RIPPLES

The pebble is worn smooth
Made small over time
A product of a cataclysmic force of nature
A fragment of mountainous sheets of rock
An accidental offspring of a boulder
But just a very small stone.

The pebble’s place in our world
Is neither understood nor appreciated
But when thrown into a glassy calm pond
Its insignificance is transformed
Its meaning and purpose is unleashed.

The instant the pebble kisses the pond

Its signature of concentric ripples
Spiral outwards
Moving far beyond itself.
Gently affecting everything in its wake
Forever altering the smooth placid surface.

The pebble creates its worth and meaning
By unleashing its unimagined power
Into a dueling force of action and reaction
Creating karmic energy
Producing lasting and fluid impressions.

Aren’t we all pebbles?
Feeling small and insignificant
But ultimately recognizing
That who we are meant to be
Can never be measured in isolation
on a path into ourselves.

It is true then:
Our everlasting future
Is created by the indiscriminate tossing of pebbles
Into the pond of life
Creating ripples
that leave unique mark on our world
Not because of thoughts
not because of well meaning plans
But because of actions.

Our life’s prayers our answered
Because even the smallest pebble
No matter how seemingly insignificant
Changes the course of the lives
Of those we touch.

And when the icy winds of death
beckon our lasting attention
We will gently leave this life
With the knowledge that
because of that one pebble
The world will never be the same.

And then we have heaven …

Ross Rosenberg
8/18/03

Learning to Fly Poem by Ross Rosenberg

man in yellow field

LEARNING TO FLY

Crack!

Out of the canon I shoot
In a single split second
I explode outwards
Upwards
Into the great unknown space
Toward places never before dreamt of

As I rise to new heights
Glide toward the heavens
I am liberated to move in new directions
To explore what has been hidden
And to rewrite my life story

The clouds are now are my destination
Birds my neighbors
And the altitude my friend

For the first time
My vision is clear, accurate, and sharp.
My dreams are now within arms reach
To be touched, felt, and tasted

These dreams
are no longer held hostage
By empty hopes
False expectations
and fear of failure.

Goals that were once placed
on too high shelves —
once beyond my reach.
Are now within my grasp.

In the recycle bin
of forgotten self promises
I now retrieve old abandoned dreams

And with joy excitement
My hear swells with hope!
Because today I learned to fly

 Ross Rosenberg

6/13/03

The Will to Survive: Poem and Photo by Ross Rosenberg

scan0013

Ross Rosenberg
(c) 1986

The Will to Survive

The old oak tree stands tall
but crooked.
It’s cracked,
coarse,
creviced surface.
reflects the assault of the seasons

The rain,
heat and snow
of seasons yonder
grate at its surface
with diamond sharp teeth.
Digging in
Leaving permanent marks.

In defiance the tree stretches,
Grows
and moves skyward.

Its roots reach around rocky obstacles
Firmly anchoring itself the earth.
Exerting strength and desire.
Forcing its viability
to grow into yet another season

Roots that are deeply implanted
into uninviting
rocky
and inhospitable soil
Forcefully create a home

And the tree proclaims:
“I am a tree
I am from the earth
Neither rain,
snow,
wind,
heat
nor cold
will supplant my desire to leave

I remain where I belong”

Ross Rosenberg

1996

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
Psychotherapist & National Seminar Trainer

Owner of Clinical Care Consultants
Co-Owner of Advanced Clinical Trainers
Author of the Human Magnet Syndrome

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Smiling Skeletons. A Poem About Healing and Transformation by Ross Rosenberg

Smiling Skeletons (A Poem about Healing and Transformation)
By Ross Rosenberg

Walking down the usual paths in my life,
without a thought,
without a plan,
I unexpectedly found myself
mysteriously drawn
toward the direction
of my childhood home.

This repository of childhood dreams,
was barely recognizable
and frighteningly familiar.
Although ladened with bittersweet memories
I was beckoned toward it.

A memory of the child I was,
whispered to me,
encouraged me
to approach the front door,
grasp the door knob.
Feel its cold metal welcome.
And enter the haunted domain
of my childhood.
Long not visited,
long avoided

Until now,
I have not had the energy:
To enter rooms long closed to me.
To open up closets.
Expose dark clutter to the light of day
Fearlessly sift through memories.
Feel that which has been safely frozen in time.

My neatly packaged
stowed away memories,
took a new surprising form:
Transforming into skeletons.
Clattery boned friends
comprised of loosely connected parts
of the child I was.

The battle between
the effort needed to be honest,
and the courage to explore the truth,
kept me out of these rooms.
Kept me far from these sacred closets.
Disallowing me to fully accept
this bittersweet memories of my youth.

I think I am ready now
to sustain an episode
of honest recollection.
To venture into darkly lit closets.
To bring the past into the present.
To face my skeletons.

I am no longer the same child,
who with nervous and frightful glee
watched the Saturday night horror movies,
That showcased the dancing bony demons.
And being afraid to sleep.

With each skeleton I encounter,
I find I can open my eyes without fright.
And see that they actually smile at me,
Explaining to me,
with their dark happy and kind eyes:
It is now ok to remember.

Ok to let go.
Ok to close the closet.
Ok to go home.
And Ok start living in the present.

I have spent a lifetime avoiding skeletons.
Now they are my friends.

Ross Rosenberg
3/26/06