New Year, New Blog!

Hello my lovely followers,

Happy New Year! To kick off 2018 I’ve decided to start a new blog dedicated to my spoken word poetry. It’s called The Vocal Poetess and I invite you all to follow along! The blog will feature mostly poetry, mostly mine. My intention as I get this blog off the ground is to post new poetry every Thursday and my older poetry (some of which you have seen here) every Monday.

Seekthepeace has changed and morphed since I first started it in 2011 and I’m so grateful for all you who have journeyed along with me from NYC to Philly to Vermont. This blog will still exist but will take a backseat to The Vocal Poetess.

Thank you again for dedication and I look forward to taking this new journey with you!

Happy New Year my friends!

Megan aka The Vocal Poetess

Let it Go


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Tell me, my dear,
when you listen to yourself
speaking about yourself,
what do you hear?
Is it sweet music to your ears,
or is it, as I fear, something else?
What lies do you believe about yourself,
in your heart of hearts?
What do you feel in your deepest parts?
What do you know so well that it’s etched in your bones?
What do you own about yourself
that should really belong to someone else?
Now inhale, breathe in deep,
then let all that seep out of you.
Exhale it into the shape of a balloon,
tie a string on the end,
and finish it with a bow,
and then,


Image courtesy of Google images



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When you blow on a dandelion
and the tiny flying seeds
float away on the breeze
this is hope to me.
Thousands of tiny morsels
soaring on the wind
not knowing where they will land
but knowing that releasing them from my hand
doesn’t mean that hope is out of reach
but that it is the extension of my reach
each speck a tiny arm
armed with promise
and possibility.
You see, hope to me
is exponential
its potential is not in what we can see
but in the release,
in the throwing of tiny seeds,
in the trusting of the breeze,
in the knowing that these
have a life of their own,
if only for a moment, a chance
to dance on the wind
in pursuit of taking root,
allowing room
for even more flowers
to bloom.

seeds 2

Image courtesy of Google images

What Remains


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“Don’t ever forget your worth,”
she told me.
When all the gold stops glittering
and the praise seems to completely fade,
when all you thought you knew
turns out to be less than true,
when all you wanted and hoped to be
comes crashing at your feet,
when the mirror of your dreams shatters,
when all else scatters from your presence
and you’re hesitant that you’ll ever find your bliss,
know this,
when you are stripped down, bare
bones showing
owing no one any explanation
or rationalization
for your place in this world,
when unfurled before you
is the very essence of you,
view it boldly,
hold that gaze,
because when all else fades
your worth will not change
you are what remains
and what remains
is glorious.


No Tears Today


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Imagine you are sitting on the porch, feet balanced on some empty boxes, elbows propped on the chair’s armrests, hands pressed together just under your chin. It’s dark and there’s a cool breeze causing wisps of hair to dance around your face.

You leave the porch light off, letting the darkness embrace you. This way no one can see or hear you and you almost become part of the darkness yourself. Almost.

Tears stream silently down your face, creating pools around your collar bones, dripping rhythmically off the tip of your nose. You don’t really know why they are falling, I mean you do but, at the same time, you don’t. You know it’s foolish to be crying, again. But you can’t stop yourself for the life of you.

A box of tissues sits on the ground beside you but there’s really no use for it because as soon as you dry the tears and wipe the snot, more come. So you let it all run down your face, down your body.

You have no idea what time it is or how long you’ve been sitting here. The street lights blur together with the shadowy tree branches and your thoughts with them. If only to melt away…

This is what it feels like sometimes. There are days I spend lots of time sitting and crying or walking and crying, stopping only to lay down on my bed or in the cool grass and let the tears run down my temples and pool in my ears. I shame myself, knowing it’s foolish to feel the way I’m feeling but, at the same time, feeling like I have no control over it.

“Maybe I’m not really depressed,” I tell my sister over the phone. “Maybe I’m just really bad at managing my emotions.”

“You know that’s just the depression talking,” she tells me gently.

“Yes,” I say, “I know.” But I still have doubts. Maybe it IS all in my head, the prospect of which terrifies me even more than having depression itself. At least with depression I have something to blame it on, It’s just faulty wiring, not a cacophony of character flaws.

A few weeks ago, while in an especially low spell, I wrote an email to my parents and sisters, trying my best to explain what I’ve been experiencing. The last few lines read:

“I’m not looking for anything profound or hopeful from you. Just wanting to let you know I am here and trying, even if it seems like I’m not. I’m trying to try, really I am. Hope is harder than you know.”

Trying to try. Trying to hope. It’s a daily practice, one I’m coming at from different angles: reaching out to therapists and friends, journaling, posting sticky notes on my mirror that say things like, Life is never as serious as our minds make it out to be and You are strong, confident, capable, and worthy, and jotting down things I’m grateful for on scraps of paper and putting them in a bowl so I can revisit them.

Are these things trivial? Perhaps. Are they helpful? I think so. I hope so.

I like to imagine that one day soon I’ll be sitting on that porch again, feet balanced on some empty boxes, elbows propped on the chair’s armrests, hands pressed together just under my chin. It’s dark and a cool breeze causes wisps of hair to dance around my face. Thoughts flutter in and flutter out, nothing too serious, nothing too heavy. Just thoughts. I close my eyes and let a smile play on my lips for no other reason than it wants to. No tears today, no tears today.

The Spin Cycle


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I’m sitting and watching the clothes spin and twirl in the sudsy water, sloshing back and forth, back and forth.

I wish I had brought something to write with, I always seem to want to write when I have no tools. I rummage through my bag to find a pen and ask the older woman who works at the laundromat if I could trouble her for a piece of paper. She gladly obliges and beckons me to follow her as she shuffles to her office.

It’s tidy, with rows of metal shelving full of laundry supplies, clothes, and towels. She opens a large metal desk, revealing pens, pads of paper, and other odds and ends.

“I like your coffee pot; it’s perfect for one person.” I tell her, pointing to the one-cup automatic drip pot, one of the few things on the desk.

“My husband got that for me about five years ago,” she recalls. “I didn’t want him to come all the way down here to bring me coffee in the winter because he would have.”

I smile, “He sounds like a good husband.” He reminds me of mine.

Her name’s Birdie, she tells me when I ask. I thank her for the paper and return to my seat to write, feeling hollow and filled to the brim all at once. Nothing to say yet everything to say.

14 minutes left on the washing machine.

The water rushes. I imagine it rushing over me, washing away all of this dirt and grime that’s built up around my heart, weighing me down, clogging the arteries to peace and joy. I see myself lying on my back in the river, my face the last to submerge under the current. Release.

It’s amazing how alone you can feel even when surrounded by people, people who love you. Like that mate-less sock someone unknowingly dropped in the middle of the laundromat floor. People notice it, think to themselves, Is that mine? Realize it’s not. Shrug. Keep going.

I’m weary in ways I can’t express. I feel it in my bones. I could have probably washed these clothes in my tears had I gathered them up in a bucket. But salt water doesn’t clean clothes well, only wounds. And it doesn’t heal beyond the surface abrasions; I need something that goes deeper.

This is stupid. I think, reading over what I’ve written. Stupid bullshit, trying too hard at expressing myself.

I recently read somewhere that if you don’t feel like you have to write then don’t bother. I don’t know if I have to or not but right now it feels like telling a piece of paper is at least some kind of release, to get the thoughts out of my head without burdening those I love. I would burst if I didn’t.

Some friends I can’t talk to about this. Most live far away and I don’t want our few sacred, cherished conversations to be taken up with my depression and darkness. It feels selfish, wrong somehow.

I’m shaky again, in my chest and limbs. I feel like more tears could spill over at any second. Is it the coffee? Doubtful.

I hid in the bathroom again last night, sobs racking my body until he knocked at the door to ask if I was ok.

“Yeah,” I feebly tell him. Truth be told I’m fucking embarrassed and ashamed and I know I put him in an uncomfortable position.

“I want to help you,” he tells me softly, rubbing my back. “But I don’t know what to do. How can I help you?”

I tell him I don’t know because I really don’t. Put a gun to my fucking temple, I want to say. But I don’t. I already texted him that I want to slit my wrists but he knows I’m just seeking attention when I do that so he doesn’t give those words much weight, doesn’t respond to that part of the message. It’s good that he doesn’t, it would only feed the demon.

I want to scream until my lungs burst that I’m not ok. I want to curl up in a ball and wail. But what good would it do? What good does anything do?

Some days are worse than others. At least once a week I collapse into tears for the better part of a day. It used to make me feel better but now it just makes me disgusted with myself. Fucking pathetic.

I wish I was stronger, like my sisters. Why can’t I fucking shake this? Why do I always sink into this pit when things are hard or unwanted? Why can’t I just suck it up and do what I need to do to survive? Normal people don’t imagine suicide when seas are rough. But what’s a normal person anyway?

The click of the washing machine door jolts me back to the present moment. I gather my wet clothes and mindlessly toss them into an empty dryer.

Birdie is doing the same, cheerfully chatting with another patron as she works. My work clothes gently dance in the dryer, waiting for me to don them this afternoon.

I slip the pen and paper into my bag. I’ve reached the end of the page, after all.

CR052K14-Washing_Machine (1)

Farewell to SIT: I now have a Masters degree!


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For new followers and those who don’t know me very well, I’ve spent the last two years at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont earning my Masters of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation with a focus in Social Justice Training; and I just graduated this past weekend! It’s been quite the journey, wrought with lots of self doubt, self discovery, and self acceptance.

As my fellow trainers and I debriefed on Friday morning after a long week of capstone presentations, I took our reflections and created a spoken word piece. (Some words and acronyms are SIT and training specific so I will define them at the end). Enjoy!

To this cohort,
these co-conspirators in co-creation
embracing complexities
as we flex these new muscles in our foundation.

Grounded in theory and reflection
emboldened by Friere, hooks, and connection
we’ve found a new direction
rooted in teaching to promote transgression.

With the banking model behind us,
experiential learning to guide us,
engaged pedagogy now defines us,
it’s our love for learning that drives us.

We’ve practicummed and capstoned
and honed in on our PGOs,
and now, moving forward,
where we’ll go from here, who knows?

The learning spiral is never ending
continually ascending up and out,
and part of this lifelong journey
is figuring out what we’re about.

As CLCs with new Masters degrees
we know what we need to do,
reflect on the old, embrace the new,
and see this journey through.

So reaching to the cohort that follows,
it’s our hope on you we bestow,
experience, learn, reflect, redirect,
plan like hell and go with the flow.


Friere: Paolo Friere – Brazilian educator and philosopher who advocated engaged pedagogy.

hooks: bell hooks – an acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer.

banking model: defined by Paolo Friere, refers to the traditional method of education where teachers fill the students with knowledge similar to depositing into a bank. Here, learning occurs in one direction and students are not empowered to take ownership and initiative in their learning.

experiential learning: defined by David Kolb, an engaged type of learning rooted in experience, reflection, abstraction and application. Here, all participants are students and teachers and can learn from and teach one another.

PGOs: Purpose, Goals, and Objectives – utilized in training courses and trainings

CLCs: Course-Linked Capstone


The beautiful view from SIT’s front lawn.


Me with my Masters degree.


My husband, Chris, and I. Could not have done this without him!




The World Needs More Dreamers


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This is a poem I wrote last year for a group of middle schoolers.

* * *

So many people in this world
have fallen asleep
they keep their eyes shut
their doors shuttered
their hearts that once fluttered
beat softer than words muttered
from beneath their sleepy breath.

So many people in this world
are burnt out and tired
the fire that once burned in their bellies
is now a well that stands empty
though plenty of work remains to be done
they’ve come undone
and no longer feel the warmth of the sun
on their sad faces.

So many people in this world
used to dream and scheme
of how things could be different,
better, stronger, if they no longer
held themselves back
with all the things they think they lack
and all the reasons and ways
things must stay the same.

So many people in this world
have given up
have tucked away
their unique array of colors
because one thing or another
has caused them to cover
instead of discover
their own true selves.

But these are not all the people in this world.
There are people who are awake
quick to shake off and shake up
people who break up
the monotony of how things “should be”
and dare to dream of what could be.

There are people in this world
who join together
to make the world better
because they know ideas grow best
when they are shared
and invested in by others.

There are people in this world
who are full of light
shining brightly in the dark night
of the soul
who are bold in their visions
but not too set in their ways
to not make revisions.

There are people in this world
who dream big and bigger
who have the drive to figure
out what life is all about
and shout it from the rooftops
never letting doubters stop
them from believing.

There are people in this world
who love others because
they are able to love themselves enough
to realize the uniqueness
of their own gifts and creativity
living life vividly
as only they can live it.

And this doesn’t mean
that because your sheen
also shines that it outshines mine
we all have something to bring
to the table
if only we are able
to make room for us all to bloom.

We are all people in this world
and we have a choice
to add our voice to the fray
joining in with what others say
is the only way the world can be.
Or we can choose to see
a better world, unfurled
in our dreams,
our hearts bursting at the seams.

We can choose to be the change
we wish to see
to open our eyes to what could be
and to live boldly as schemers
because what this world needs
is more dreamers.


Image courtesy of Flickr

Spring Time Blues


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It’s that time of the year once again
when the leaves are sprouting from the trees
bees buzzing on the budding blossoms
and the weather has me feeling awesome
until you come along.

Sometimes you’re with a group of friends
in the park or the end of my sidewalk
gawking at me as I cross.
Other times you’re coming out of a store
or lurking on the corner alone
it really doesn’t matter though
because your tone
is always the same:

“Hey baby, looking good.
I wish you would
sit on my face,
give me a taste.”
Or you make some perverted sound
with your mouth
some grotesque gesture or movement
with the intent to get my attention.

Or you yell from across the way,
“Hey beautiful, wanna make my day?”
and you expect my dutiful
reaction to be, “Awww thank you.”
And maybe I’ll throw in
a few giggles or a grin
just to prove the state you put me in.

But if I choose to ignore you
or worse yet, reject your advances
your stance is no longer sugary sweet,
it changed to anger and hate in a heartbeat.
“Bitch. You’re ugly anyway.
There’s no way I’d fuck you.”
Aww well now I’m really upset
because the whole reason I got dressed
was so I could walk down my street
and hear you say shit to me.

You think you’re a man because you stand
in the street yelling obscenities
to any piece of meat or ass
that happens to pass by
all just to prove to your friends
that you really can
get the attention of a woman.
Or may it’s to compensate for–
wait, let me not stoop to emasculate you
you’re doing that own your own, boo.
Or maybe your intention is just to work
so you have something to jerk off to
at the end of the day.

But it’s all a just a power play
and, anyway, we see right through you.
You really think your catcalls
make me want to do you?
Honestly, when you ask me
to sit on your face
you really expect me to say,
“Sure, name the time and place?!”

No, all you want to show me
is that you own me
and that I owe you gratitude
for your attitude of “sweetness.”
But get this,
I owe you nothing.
You don’t own me
any more than you own this street
or this air or this sidewalk or these stairs.

Grow up, have some respect
women aren’t objects.
You should have learned that by now
and, anyhow, what would your grandma
or mom or sister say
to hear you speak to women this way?

So next time you see me coming
and you really want to something,
swallow your words,
savor their bitter flavor
do us all a favor,
and don’t.


An image from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s art series Stop Telling Women to Smile.


An image from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s art series Stop Telling Women to Smile.


An image from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s art series Stop Telling Women to Smile.


An image from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s art series Stop Telling Women to Smile.

Save the Apology


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Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness month I am going to share a couple of poems I wrote last year regarding my experience with sexual assault and sexual harassment. This month also marks nine years since my major suicide attempt which the assault played a large role in. You can read the fully story of my assault on Our Stories Untold (OSU), as well as watch a video of me performing this poem last April. OSU is a wonderful, supportive space where survivors and allies can share stories, cry together, love together, advocate for one another, and hold institutions and individuals accountable. Love, light, strength, and courage to all you survivors and supporters of survivors. You are not alone.

* * *

“We’ll do better next time.”
“We’re so sorry.”
It’s the same apology after every
heavy indiscretion, forced confession,
by one of their own comes into the light.
After nights of lurking beneath the surface
the lip service they now pay
is a way to diffuse the “issue,”
“Here honey, have a tissue.
But please don’t ask us for empathy
or accountability, assistance,
in this instance our hands are tied
we had no idea the monster he was inside.”

Nobody wants to admit fault
when it comes to sexual assault
and the ways in which its downplayed,
displayed, smoothed over, pushed under
the rug, “Oh she was on drugs,
wore something too short, too tight
she’d been drinking that night.”
And so what if she was,
so what if she did?
Let’s stop the shaming
that is victim blaming by naming it
for what it really is:
your own fear that you may have just fucked up
or been found out
so you raise doubts
about her character and actions
in hopes that the factions
it creates will shift the focus on her
and not your bogus excuses for the abuses
she suffered at your hands.

You bet on your friends and institutions
to come up with solutions for your absolution
and you counted on her silence
to somehow equal compliance
with what you did.
But you didn’t count on this.
You didn’t count on the power of her voice
to rock the earth to its core
to toss waves onto the shore
her emotions calling up a tide
as deep and wide as any ocean.
You didn’t count on generations
of her people to create a nation
from every corner of creation
to undergird her, surround her,
ground her in her truth and boldness,
they hold this
with her when she can
and for her when she can’t.

You may not ever admit or even say
that what you did was rape
but that does not make
my truth any less sacred or true.
I told you “no” and you chose
to silence me with your vocal blows
and the power of your body over mine.
And when I confronted you that time
to find out why you did it
your response was,
“How could I have raped you if I didn’t even finish?”
The fact that you raped me
is not dependent on you cumming
or not
on whether you enjoyed it
or not
on whether you thought
I enjoyed it.
It’s about what I consented to
and you knew
that you didn’t get my yes
which is why you choose to profess
and protest the rape you committed
in such rage and lividness.

And I hate to admit to me
that I have to see your humanity
is somehow connected to my own
but, my God, my being groans
at the thought of it.
I’m enraged and I want you to know it
and I show it because I’ve held it in for far too long
it doesn’t belong inside me
where it festers and burns
turns me into someone I don’t recognize.
Your lies will not bring my demise,
oh I’ve thought of suicide
on the worst days
and been dazed and depressed on the best
but you won’t get the rest
of me
I’m setting you free.
Be gone.

And for those who hid your actions
and caused distractions
from the truth,
I have words for you too:
I’m calling bullshit
on your counterfeit lines.
Don’t do better next time.
Do better now
so next time
won’t be allowed
to happen.

We can do better