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This is a page to display the "Healing Poems" series by my cousin Joan.

The Marriage Dance

One step forward.
and two steps back.
You step forward.
and I step back.
I step forward.
and you step back.
And once again! One step forward.
and two steps back.
Anger steps forward.
but fear steps back.
And one more time! No, don't tire yet!
and one more time.
Now sashay left
and then reverse!
Two steps forward.
and one step back.
Now both join hands! Now together!
and you're doing fine.
Two steps forward,
and one step back.
Now to the side.
with no steps back.
And one more time.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ  June 2004, Rev. 2012

Souls in Cyberspace (Internet Genealogy)

Souls for centuries at rest, or
perhaps unrest
through cyberspace glide, or
even collide
from Australia to Tasmania, from
Malta to Gibraltar.
Secrets long suppressed
are suddenly laid bare,
while facts unknown
and for so long lost,
to far-flung continents
are thoughtlessly thrown.
Have good intentions exposed
things best reposed,
or, can truths revealed
our souls repeal?

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ  May 2004

Autumn’s Promise

Fields now yellow are swept with dust, trees brown from rain that ne’er came, aged pines are bespattered with rust; wind scampers amidst fallen leaves. An old woman as parched as the land, bends o’er her withered garden, a snowball in her shrivelled hand, its whiteness a promise of changes to come.

Joan Rooney Ⓒ May 2004

By Bifocals Humbled

Seen through my mother's eyes, Hurt vanity replies; With old age advancing Their strength now is glancing. At sight of her, once proud, Blurred by a humble cloud, I sneered -a child uncaring- At her old age's burden bearing. 'Tis now my arrogant sins Paid for, as confusion wins. Middle age understands, Former folly reprimands. Forgive my insensitivity, The cruelty of youth’s relativity. For now in my daughter’s eyes, The same sneer I much despise.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ June 1997 Rev. 2016

The Price of Pain

A child sends a glance as the curtains dance To the soft gentle wind. The summer’s breezes no one displeases, Since the heat they now rescind. Children do laze in July's hot haze, Spring's wild stirring now long gone. All breeze fades away from the languid day; Autumnal plans not even drawn. Wintry blasts now memories past, As aestival days grow long. All energy’s gone, heat lingers on, With lethargy now grown strong. Man’s mind does sleep as time does creep. Life for awhile stands still. Dark clouds brew, as storm fronts woo, Thunder roars at fickle will. The storm sends hail, mans’ crops to assail. Ominous funnels randomly roam, Wind lashes as lightening flashes. All creatures scurry home. As the storm abates th’ oppressive weight, Soon new strength emerges. The price of pain we feel again As life into our body surges.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ September 1996, Rev. 2016

Your Healing Hand

With Your loving hand now laid upon my head, And Your other hand in mine with love entwined, Through the softening mist, into Your light I'm led, As Your paternal ministrations my fears now bind. As Your song of joy upon my lips abides, Your soothing voice whispers softly in my ear. Your light in my aching soul again resides, Your wondrous truth my weary mind does cheer. With Your peace about my shoulders cloaked, Your sheltering wings spread wide beneath my feet, My cheeks, by Your loving Word so softly stroked, A true father’s love now at last I meet. My ego bruised Your love so gently eases, And my saddened heart Your joy appeases.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Father's Day Ⓒ  June 16, 1996

The Disgruntled Frog

A big fat frog, all yellow and green silent and still, on a lily pad sat. The air was slow and the water still except for the stirring of a buzzing gnat. Out swooped the tongue of the big fat frog, much too slow for the swift little gnat; the big fat frog, from its lily pad leapt, into the water deep, and no more sat. Too bad, Mr. Frog! Good luck Miss Gnat!

Joan Rooney Ⓒ March 1996

“Brick by Brick”

God's angels sent, The walls do tear; Brick by brick, Ne'er to repair. First goes shame; Most cursed of all. A glimpse of hope As rage does fall. Next crumbles fear; Recovery's bane. Then self-pity; True sanity's gain. Hurt falls hard- A painful thud; Hope breaks through As first light floods. Joy bursts forth; Blame topples fast. Then enters love; Anger crashes last. God’s healing light Floods warmly through. Warily tiptoes trust, Aside pure hope anew.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ March 1996

Femininity Rejected and Reclaimed

At the moment her sex was decided And a mix of genes her fate determined, No one her thoughts or wishes sought, As fairness might suggest one ought. While a woman's role she seems to play, Self-hatred destroys her, day by day. Her hate, she may attempt to disguise, But she does all womanliness despise. Her innate anger female ways does spurn, While her heart for release does yearn. Life's abrasive abuses her feelings increase, And her self-respect further decrease. And now with womanhood so ill-at-ease, Her body's ripe for all dis-ease, And to many illnesses she’s prone; Her feelings to her inner self well-known. Female functions innately she rejects; Though from it no relief detects; And so upon herself her hate she turns As menses pain her body burns. Her brain is jumbled and confused By the messages to her mind infused. Energy ebbs as self-esteem does drain, While suffering her martyrdom through pain. ********************* Pregnancy she patiently endures, Since its pain her sex's survival ensures. Motherhood's awaited with feelings mixed; Maternity with dread is fixed. Another girl into this world’s soon born- Her soul already en utero torn; Nurtured by love and hate confused, Her sex's role soon to be refused. What of the sons to this woman born; The males nursed on self-loathing scorn? These sensing that she her own rejects; What maternal love can they e’er expect? And, what of the husband blameless, Bearing the brunt of bitterness aimless, Of sarcastic slings oft thrown From anger long, long ago sewn. ********************** Her hurting child she no longer rejects, Her Heavenly Father every lamb accepts Her inner child’s shame needs His embrace As does her baby's innocent face. If God upon her heaps no blame, And with love shuns not her shame, Can she its visage numbed by pain despise, Or its pleading eyes that all love denies! She brings to her motherly bosom warm, The inner child whose pain she'll soon disarm. With loving hands, its face she does caress, Erasing with gentle smile all distress. As she more fully her child does accept, No more her female side views she inept; And no longer need she herself reject, But now her gentler side can respect.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ 1996


As we begin to share our pain The fetters of resentments break, And from our familiar prison we escape. As we begin our old ways to shed, And life for the first time fully embrace, An embryo stirs within, slowly awakening. As we learn to crawl and then to walk Inching forward step by step, Our wounded child from its cocoon emerges. As we begin to parent this creature There unfolds a being, distinct and unique, Innocent and free, fearless and brave As it explores its world in wonder A new force and energy erupts within, And we climb to heights hitherto unknown.

Joan Rooney Ⓒ 1996


What, give up my anger! How dare you even suggest! A faithful companion's Departure request! What trauma that would wreak! For so long we've embraced, That to wrench us apart Would now leave us disgraced. The thought's so revolting, My ire you have raised. What pain you would allow! For that you’d be praised? You'd suffer me depression, Only rage can displace? Why’d you endeavour Such a fault to replace? What ever could replace An ally so loyal? You would not insist peace? Every pique it would spoil! Why, my health I'd regain; New emotions discover; Old enemies I’d lose; and former friends recover. Now what folly is this! My heart will not so heed, Nor my brain so decree Precious anger recede!

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ December 1995


Those sweet and saintly ones - sinless and pure, Innocent and demure - or so we believed; Grandmothers and maidenly aunts, and all such dears, Were they truly, as we had so long perceived? Did no ripple of sinful passions ever stir Beneath those facades so serenely lined? What secrets throughout the family tree lie, Lingering amongst the branches entwined? Did they not share the same emotions as we; The same temptations their daily paths widen? Did not similar passions their veins course? What loves forbidden lie therein hidden? Did not remorse often mingle with shame? What secret lusts and loves stirred their passive lives? And what peculiar entanglements ensued, when Brothers single lived with brothers and their wives? What lessons passed they down, the lives to shape Of those to come, to whom they gave no thought? What censors placed they upon the ones who Later dared to live the sins they had taught? In your tender, all-knowing wisdom, Lord, Those saintly veils, we pray You will now lift, And the merciful way to forgiveness show, As the shame from the pain we now try to sift.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ November 1995, rev. 2016

A Treasured Bond

Where are the McGillicuddys, O’ Punky Doodle Corners known, Who lived b'hind the old garage Amid the vines now overgrown? Like many lost childhood friends They've been long since forgot O’er all the years of trials and troubles That life in modern times begot. They sparked imaginings long ago In a child, so lonely and old; A treasured bond between a child And her father distant and cold. The garden so mysterious, To the eyes of a curious child, So many awesome wonders held, In its spots secluded ’n wild. The graceful ferns amidst those solid pines, The fragrant rose so softly twined, The gnarled tree she loved to climb, With honeysuckles in behind. They’re all gone now, those dearest friends Who cherished all her secrets told, As are the house and worn garage, And all its treasured troves o’ old. A few bushes, and trees remain, Some credence left to lend To memories of one now gone Her troubled way through life to wend.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ October 1995, Rev. 2016

The Call of The Sea

The sea calls to the troubled on land; Somewhere in its great vastness must lie escape. Its powers communing with a primal need within, Luring the tormented with a trap of false hope; Its promise to fill the void of our longings, To calm the restless striving within our soul. Its moods a barometer for our own, The magnetic pull of its tides Draw the frantic fevers from our brains. A tranquil sea a serene lull provides; Till its restlessness returns Recalling our yearnings from their repose. God must be there somewhere, In it's upheaval or its calm. The incessant struggle we wrestle Against the power and might of its fury Provides an outlet surely needed for our own, Briefly lifting us above our source of pain. The gentle rhythm of the surf along the sand, The calm azure waters of a tropical isle Become a soothing balm for the aches in our heart. But, its fury and our own will return.                     True healing comes only from within, Neither from the sea nor from the land.

Joan Rooney Ⓒ Oct. 1995, rev. 2016

 “The Comfortin’ Down”

Gram, with age you gave up on life; Done your share and weary grown; Faced enough hard work and strife; For eighty years all your energy given. So one day you took to your bed; All daily cares to the young a-leavin’, As work and troubles you blithely shed, Life forsakin’ for the comfortin’ down. Many long years lay yet ahead, Well-borne from chosen confinement, Where bedecked like a bride just wed, With regal grace all guests received. Children stared in wonder at the sight; For framed by swirls of polished brass, And softly muted by a filtered light, To them very strange you seemed. Warmly wrapped ’gainst the draft, In wool, embroidered with lace, You spoke of things and times gone aft, For memories were all that was left. A smell filled the room as you joked; Scented flowers mingled with talc. While 'neath the quilt, daringly poked Two restless toes wi' spools stuffed b’tween. Your shook your white head amazed At the sight of how we’d all grown; Then your favourite saying phrased, "You'll soon be sweepin' the boys off the porch."

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ September 1995, Rev. 2012

A Child in Awe

Grandpa, I watched in awe As your big pouch I saw Smooth rolls so quickly filled, Strings of tobacco spilled Back and forth your lips licked; A razor cut ’n fags were nicked A kindly man to most, Seemingly without boast, You crossed the ocean alone To fulfill dreams long sewn By Nan, your dearest wife To forge here a new life. Perhaps that man you were not ? Troubled you often sought Dark obsessions to hide Evil impulses to bide; Emptiness ached within Perhaps, a stranger dwelt akin. The sins of your father, Un-repented, bother? Your father you knew not His father he knew not On these three souls before God’s mercy I implore.

Joan Rooney Ⓒ July 1995, Rev. 2016

Silent Longings (Pleadings to an Abstracted Grandmother)

Out the window you stared; your eyes lost and sad, your thoughts far away in unhappy times past. In the kitchen you stayed your emotions unstirred. In the garden I stood amid the ivy lost; longing to be held, aching to be touched.

Joan McEvoy Rooney Ⓒ July 1995

“The Long Bourne Hurts” (To a Great Grandmother I Never Knew)

Yer name I know, Mary 'twas. Yer father a Tipperary man. Straight off the boat were ye, From the famines of Ireland, When young Michael ye wed? Yer new life, was it hard? A-scrapin' a livin' from the land, And a-raisin' eight babes in a cabin sore small. From where springs the powerful need Life's trials t' escape, Into sweet numbness flee? Comes it from the smolderin' rage , Suppressed through years of oppression Yer forebears endured in the country of old? Or's it from the guilt they carried, who Left family behind a-facin starvation, Themselves escapin' to a better land? A new and better land that could Ne'er erase the scars o' the past; The pain and the shame ran sore deep- Sore deep their descendants carry them still, And suffer the rage yet unresolved, Aside the pain of the long borne hurts. In the ole country rage went to war, But fer those far across the sea Sickness 'r the drink were ways t' flee.

Joan Rooney Ⓒ 1995