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.

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    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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