New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

2 poems by Judy Shepps Battle

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Judy Shepps Battle began writing poems long before she became a psychotherapist and sociology professor at Rutgers University. Widely published both in the USA and abroad during the Sixties and Seventies, she deferred publishing to concentrate on career and family. Fortunately her muse was tenacious and she continued to write during the next three decades filling a file cabinet with scrawled and typewritten poems that are now being organized into chapbooks and individual submissions. The material submitted for publication represents her return to active participation in the writing community. She can’t think of a better way to spend her retirement. Her poems have been accepted in a variety of publications including Ascent Aspirations; Barnwood Press; Battered Suitcase; Caper Literary Journal; Epiphany Magazine; Joyful; Message in a Bottle Poetry Magazine; Raleigh Review; Rusty Truck; Short, Fast and Deadly; and the Tishman Review.




Remembering Del*

Wordless acceptance
breath shared

mind suspended
we meet at noon

share chicken biryani,
brown rice and dahl

sip steaming spice tea
until waiter whispers

“we close in 20 minutes.”

Del was my best friend and spiritual companion starting way way back in the 1960s. She was a psychiatric nurse at the VA and we met in the waiting room our two shrinks shared in NYC. She and her husband Ron stood up for me when my husband and I got married and hers was the first huge bouquet of flowers I got after giving birth to my first-born son. When my daughter was born, she sent a dozen red red roses with a white one in the middle that were starkly beautiful. We talked on the phone multiple times a week even after they moved to California from NYC. I was crushed when she died of cancer while in California. We still talk, but not on the phone.




Pre-Dawn Meditation


Artificial light
foreshadows dawn as

moments of gratitude
crowd center stage
birthing questions

How best to use today?
How best to be used by today?

palms extend
trust exudes

heart releases
skyward wafts

hope reborn
banishes fear

I follow the next breath
sometimes trusting

sometimes fighting
but always amazed that

Grace found me hiding
cowering in shadows

and waited decades
for my shy hello.





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