Are you treating your words with the respect they deserve?

I once had a friend tell me that hearing one of my poems read aloud gave her goosebumps. She was so full of emotion as we spoke...I was floored and nearly in tears.

Most of us are conversant with the idea that our words have an effect. But, how often do we get to experience what that is first hand?

And, yes, it’s true that all words - spoken or written - have an effect. Yet words - like my poetry - that rise from the raw truth of our life experience and are crafted with exquisite intention - these words are especially effective.

With them we create in the fullest sense. People feel these words in their bodies. They find insights, inspiration, and a way out of the boxes of their lives.

If we treat our words as if each is a droplet of amber, if we treat them with the same reverence as those things most precious to us - a child's first smile, the cleansing tang of ocean air, the touch of a beloved - if we do this then the ripples we make with our words will assuredly nourish.

I never planned to be a poet. I certainly never planned to have any of my poetry published for the whole world to read. Now, I'm so glad I did, because there's at least one woman I know for whom my words made a difference.

So, my friends, never doubt that the words you share - that tell the raw truth of your life - are essential.

If you’re curious, here’s the poem that brought my friend to goose-bumps:

A little context…

This poem wrote me a few months after I spent a 30-minute lifetime on a mountaintop of exposed quartz during the Summer Solstice.

At the time, I thought I was just on a walk with friends. I sat down on a rose quartz shelf to rest. An instant and unexpected collision of woman + mountain + Solstice fire left me stunned and shaking. My mind rushed in to “make sense of things,” and I walked back into my life thinking the experience was over.

LIFE knew better, of course, and tumbled this poem out of my soul on a grey November afternoon when I realized how I was living my life felt deeply wrong. I was elementally changed, and what I was doing with my life needed to change, too.

my resilience

is so fragile



shreds it


dead leaves

fluttering anxiously

in frigid winds

torn branches

clutch uselessly

holding to



I’ve lost


in small




picture perfect

inward such




I found myself out


always afraid

others would see

past the mask

unveil the fraud


I did it




who am I



I can’t do this



competent face

tearing flesh


I can’t do this anymore


I doubt everything


no kernel of redemptive




this time


no positive words

trip away

from my mouth

to reassure



who relies on



I am lost


I doubt everything


(I know I’m in here somewhere)


what a relief

it is

to show my face

to the world

unsure and small



yearning for







what a relief

it is

to be just



raw © 2008 Tracie Nichols