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RAW by Tracie Nichols

 This poem wrote me a few months after I spent a 30-minute lifetime on a mountaintop of exposed quartz during the Summer Solstice...

At the time, I thought I was just on a walk with friends. I sat down on a rose quartz shelf to rest. An instant and unexpected collision of woman + mountain + Solstice fire left me stunned, and shaking. My mind rushed in to “make sense of things,” and I walked back into my life thinking the experience was over.

LIFE knew better, of course, and tumbled this poem out of my soul on a grey November afternoon when I realized my life felt deeply wrong. 

The feeling, and the poem, propelled me into my current spiritual practice of healing my relationship with our beloved earth - and with myself. Oh, and the mountain and I are dear friends, now.


my resilience
is so fragile

shreds it

dead leaves
fluttering anxiously
in frigid winds
torn branches
clutch uselessly
holding to

I’ve lost
in small

picture perfect
inward such

I found myself out

always afraid
others would see
past the mask
unveil the fraud

I did it

who am I

I can’t do this
cast-iron competent
face tearing flesh

I can’t do this anymore

I doubt everything

no kernel of redemptive
this time

no positive words
trip away
from my mouth
to reassure
who relies on

I am lost

I doubt everything

(I know I’m in here somewhere)

what a relief
it is
to show my face
to the world
unsure and small

yearning for


what a relief
it is
to be just
© 2008 Tracie Nichols

Tracie Nichols has written poetry since she was 11 years old. While most of her early works are gone (this is probably a good thing) she continues to scribble poems at odd hours about everything from the state of her soul to the sleeping position of her cat. Her poetic heart mostly belongs to her nature kin, though. ~The rest of her life is an unwieldy balance between teaching and mentoring survivors of abuse, helping them find joy and peace (and perhaps a poem or two) in their own two-way relationship with our beloved earth, and loving her husband, three children and the aforementioned cat. Tracie blogs, shares resources and generally nurtures at her website here.  

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. Thank you for giving us a poetic glimpse into this life-changing moment of yours, dear Tracie. It seems to echo the very humanness that makes raw vulnerability so beautiful. I like the shift toward the end, which felt like the release of a breath you had been holding in for a long time. What a relief indeed!

  2. Krishna Kanta Dasi, I deeply appreciate having my voice join the voices in this community of poetesses. Thank YOU for making this sacred feminine space.


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