It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to a fellow poetess who is also a psychiatric nurse, like myself.
It is because the mind of a mental health nurse sees the world, reported by others, from a down to earth approach and also from a surreal sublime often bizarre experience, that I’m thrilled with Jo Dowling’s poetry. In a way, because we are so down to earth, we are also somewhat of skeptics, realists and also expect the weird from the world, at the same time.
We may write about “fairies” and fables, but under that fantasy is dirt truth… You must read between the lines that often have allegories, metaphors, parables and messages hidden in the gray areas of life, and from that we express the unexplainable in poetry.
If you live and move in these areas, then you too, understand the minds of psychiatric nurses… We are the eyes of doctors and therapists. We watch and never have to listen because we see and understand the unspoken language of the human spirit.
We are the Watchers, not exactly the listeners of words, because body language speaks louder volumes than spoken conversations, and psychiatric nurses see and realize the unspoken and that is why I love Jo’s poetry. She sees the reflections of the dark side of life and explains some secrets found inside closets and under beds in her poetry. The child that hurts, the person that still experiences the “boogyman” syndrome, Jo understands.
It is the human psyche and the sixth dimension that her poetry reflects. The empathetic observer that she is, who feels and deeply understands fears, horrors, paranoias and the sadness’ of many who experience mental illness or just simple fears and depression. Jo writes from their persona or perhaps she writes from her own experiences.
I love your poetry Jo. I understand and I relate to well. I know those demons thwarting our living day to day … So often those tormentors get away with robbing innocent victims.
I appreciate your poetry because you are truthful about what you’ve witnessed, and you have come to tell others, to alert them, and to touch them in away, through your poetry. Those whom read your lines, verse and choices of words, know that you do understand because you hit the demon on the head (just an expression) and expose those dark forces, so well.
Jo’s poetry is heartfelt spiritualality, but is not pie in the sky fairies and pixies, but it is about real life forces that have wounded many, and affect many daily;
So, thank you Jo.
Here is one of many of Jo’s poems.
Childhood was spent in China, Korea, and Baghdad. Attended college at the University of Arkansas, Henderson State University, and Texarkana College, obtaining a degree in Nursing. Became Specialized and Certified in Psychiatry and worked as a Registered Nurse at Baptist Health and Pinnacle Pointe Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Served in the United States Marine Corps, Intelligence Division. Retired early and returned to hometown of Foreman, Arkansas to write full time.
Sometimes we turn from the fire so quickly we stumble and fall in the flames and are burned
And sometimes we medicate painful mistakes with elixers of poison or promises made
We watch as the children grow taller and stronger and cover our eyes when they break down the door
We are of thunder and rainbows, and cyclones, and northeastern winds without warning or form
We are of time and celestial planets, and volatile poisons and critical mass
We explain meaning without understanding- our senses perceive only what we believe
Humanity, fling back the sheet from the mirror–
Focus your sight and define what you see
Quiet your mind and acknowledge your senses
Cry for humanity, tend to the bleed
Gold turns to blackness like fossil rock veins- meanings ingrained and embedded
Sadness strikes suddenly, point piercing through, wickedly splitting existance in two
Shaking from force of the violent blow- the meaning burns inward and down to the bone
The sound lasts for only one second of time, but the echo will last for an entire life
Biddable river shines bright in the Autumn
Dance with me under the river rock cliffs
Voluptuous evergreen lips kiss the sky
Come to the river
Swim through your mind
Grape vines entwine, hiding footprints behind us
Time cannot find this oasis
Tedious urgency does not exist
Prisms refract where the river falls spray
Wade in the wonder
Bathe and create
You can find Jo Dowling on FB. She has several poetry groups and you might want to follow her and learn more about the dark side of our mind….
I live there at times and relate to the closets hidden from the world of facade and often irreverent.
Thank you Jo for sharing your poetry and a part of yourself. Thank you for the work that you do and write about. It is because you relate so well to the human spirit.
Jo is a realist.
Thank you deeply and sincerely.