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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson



Besides writing poetry, my other passion is my psychic work, most often manifest through reading palms and Tarot. I love both these practices that I believe help people (including me) find their true path and purpose in this lifetime.

Over the past year I have tried to merge my psychic and poetic work. It is easy to read poems that spark me intuitively. Reading great poems takes most people to a ‘higher place.’ It has been more of a challenge to actually write from my Third Eye. After much experimentation I have identified 6 ways that inspire me to write what I term Psychic Poetry. I think they might serve other poets as well. They are: Dreamwork, Memory, Soul Connection, Deep Awareness, Writing from the Tarot and Psychic Symbols and Events.

  1. Dreamwork. At Centrum in 2018, I took Bruce Beasley’s class in writing from dreams. I rigorously kept a dream journal for months, and still do. Noting down IMMEDIATELY upon waking, even during the night, even the merest snatch of a dream garners great inspiration. Sometimes I get an image and other times a word or line. These don’t always become whole poems; more often a metaphor or sound that echoes. They don’t come every night, although I do tend to dream vividly on consecutive nights for a while and then not so much. There are nights when I receive a dream that stays with me vividly, full of mystery blended with intense sensory awareness (usually sound and smell). I consider this a ‘vision’ and believe it carries a message, a great seed for a poem of personal exploration and discovery, something I absolutely must write.
  2. Memory. My most vivid memories from any time in my life come back with unfinished business or a haunting sense of incompleteness or even failure. Or a poignancy. Or happiness that is also heartbreaking. For instance, I am always trying to understand the troubled life of my grandmother Esther. And certain irrational fears from childhood continue to puzzle and plague me. I have remembered details of both my father and grandfather’s deaths that have been explained and resolved through poeming. Working through memories with words helps me to understand and forgive my younger self and the people who influenced me then – and therefore now. The outcome of these poems seems to come from somewhere not entirely of my making. And certainly not from rational thought.
  3. Soul connection. It is not only okay but important to eavesdrop on the Universe and on the couple in the adjacent booth in a restaurant. We never know when or how our Muses will speak. I believe that I have Poetry Muses who feed ideas and phrases into my subconscious. I have a whole collection of ‘Jess poems,’ Jess being a dear friend and fellow poetry lover who passed away at 101. Before he crossed over we had many discussions about life unseen, time and reality, and what happens to spirit and life force energy when the body no longer serves. Ten years later I still receive Jess Poems based on his humor and wisdom and vast life experience. They come in various voices or a song lyric or a cloud shape out over the water. Many of my poems are ‘to’ or ‘for’ someone, borrowing another soul whose struggle becomes mine in the co-mingled tradition of metaphor and image. I have learned to listen for the echo of another soul.
  4. Honoring instances of deep awareness. I believe we all have moments when the world around us suddenly becomes vivid, either deeply worldly or other worldly. We are forced to stop and embrace an instance when time seems to halt and space intensifies. We REALLY notice, not just glance. Green becomes more than green. The sound of wind becomes a voice. There is a redolence to the woods. These instances demand a poem. I try to describe the scene using all the senses and what they each call from within me: belief, memory, emotion, and often a surrender of self into what is entire and infinite. It is amazing what can happen in one line after such an experience.
  5. Writing from the Tarot. I have tried drawing one or more cards from my beautiful Tarot decks and creating, from their prompting, a poem. This has been much more difficult for me than I expected. I work with Tarot every day since I post ‘Tarot of the Day’ on my JoannethePsychic Face Book page. I tell lots of fortunes for friends, family and clients. I don’t have trouble receiving messages from the Universe through their exquisite images and ancient, sacred history. But how do I get them to send me a poem? The best I have done is to let them spark questions within me. In the age-old Celtic cross spread, the 9th card is ‘hopes and fears,’ like the yin and yang of any wish. When I draw a card (or several) – say Courage or Chaos or The Hermit or 3 of Cups, the Generations card, I try to write the best and worst this might mean. Some of my better efforts from Tarot are not about me. They speak about earth or larger themes through more universal poems.
  6. Psychic Symbols and Events. Whether we are talking synchronicities, déjà vu or ghostly apparitions, weird things do happen, often bearing their own appropriate metaphor. A friend told me recently about a very strange manifestation. She found a feather on her windshield, then another on her doorstep. Never before in her life had she really noticed feathers. By the time the third one appeared she had been notified that a person, with whom she had once been very close, had passed away. She felt he had come to say goodbye and the more she thought about it, the more appropriate the feather as his symbol, became. When things recur or show up in unusual ways, they are demanding attention and that attention can be a poem – with a central image already provided!

I continue to pursue writing from a place of deep reverence and gratitude. I hope the suggestions above might serve other poets. The ways to conceive a poem are endless. How wonderful is that!


Joanne the Psychic Poet

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