musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Writing Challenge – Day 4

 Welcome to Day 4 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

Congratulations, Jen D-K, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Jen, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt:  write about “something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns.” 



The therapist said
fear and shame
fear and shame
fear and shame
so many times and I
sat there blinking.
I’d lived
warped, cramped, small,
too long,
encased in
armor and stone.

It seemed to take an age,
water dripping on rock,
water rusting metal,
uncovering what I’d been
carrying all along:

Punched in the gut, can’t breath can’t
move, strapped to the gurney, branding
iron, hot, ready, heart pounding,
afraid of failure, rejection, loss,
never good enough.

Falling into the pit of oily
sludge, too thick, can’t swim,
face hot, heart turning black,
an anchor that used
to feel love, now shame
of failure, rejection, loss,
never good enough.

Feel it
Feel it
Feel it…
through the muck, the slime,
over the garbage heap of lies,
there, on the other side,
compassion, healing,
the sweet breath
of freedom.

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April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photo credits: Simon Rae and Nik Shuliahin, courtesy of


  1. Ann Hobbs

    Hard work

    • Theresa Alberti

      Oh, don’t you know it! But worth it, for sure.

  2. Jennifer D-K

    “Over the garbage heap of LIES.” YES. YES. And good for you for realizing this, my friend. You are so strong and good and lovely!! There should be no room for fear and shame in that big gorgeous heart of yours.


    • Theresa Alberti

      Awwww, thanks so much, Jen…. it has been a long time coming, but good to see new awarenesses sinking in and taking hold. I really appreciate all those kinds words, and your friendship! xoxoxo back to you

  3. Mary Lee Krahn

    Feeling it, healing it

    • Theresa Alberti

      What a great saying, Mary Lee…. and so very true!

  4. Barbara Moffett

    Yeah, the protection we can’t allow ourselves to give up.

    • Theresa Alberti

      For sure, Barbara. We usually have that protection for a very good reason. When it gets in the way too much, hopefully we are willing to peel it away.

  5. Kathleen W

    This is amazing! I know so many people who can relate to this (sadly).

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks, Kathleen! Yes, it is so very pervasive, and there are so many things to keep us from those feelings. It takes a lot to get willing to go there.

  6. Sharon

    The middle part got my heart rate up and I was feeling a bit anxious. But the end is so nice, like the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Theresa Alberti

      I hope not *too* anxious, but I am glad I was evoking some feeling, and that you could feel the hope at the end. Thanks for reading and commenting! I will check out your blog again later. 🙂

  7. Heather

    Very powerful!!! What a vulnerable and difficult thing you are doing, writing a poem every day.

    • Theresa Alberti

      Thanks so much! It certainly is a challenge for me on many fronts, but it is a good one for me. So many lessons to learn in just writing and putting it out there immediately.

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