Selected Poems

by Linda Albert

How to Nurture Your Soul

Carve out big slices of time.
If you don't have a holiday carver
a kitchen knife will do.

Use your will as a wand;
you have to be ruthless.

Hollow out space like a pumpkin.
Carve windows and doorways,
make room for the senses.

Drink in every color of green,
oaks, banyans,
willows, palms,
the one that's more silver than green.

Be startled by red;
geraniums, poinsettias,
orchids, impatiens.

Touch silence.
Listen to the refrigerator hum.

Wear wind on your skin.
Breathe air in like menthol.
Read the earth in your footsteps.

Taste compassion
for those who have failings.
Start out with the fruit of yourself.

Dither, dabble, do nothing.
Inhabit your dreams.
Learn labyrinths and limbo.

Remember the soul
needs a parent.
If you don't protect it
who will? 

~ Linda Albert

(First published in Today’s Caregiver 2014 Conference Guide)



Linda Albert

​​Managing a Planet

​I can't be the only person
to have had this epiphany;

how the circus is not an escape at all,
but instead, a mirror -

how the ringmasters in flashy suits
are just actors with a big voices
who pretend to know how to run these shows;

how the clowns with painted tears 
who trip over everything 
and chase around in circles 
have a familiar ring;

how the animals might roar for a reason;
how they could escape their bars 
and trample us, shake off their riders 
and stampede;

how the ladies in leotards
who fly through air above us
might not be caught one day 
by the men with bulging biceps 
hanging upside down 
and backwards;

how all of us are doing 
this high wire act 
without a net 

how all of us could fall;

how we might only be able 
to swallow so many swords, juggle 
so many balls, jump through 
so many hoops of fire 

before the greatest show 
on earth 
runs out of encores;

how even at age four I felt disquiet
at the circus;

how the cotton candy 
has been a bribe to distract us -

how the tickets don't come with 
money back guarantees.

~ Linda Albert

(First published in We’Moon Datebook 2014)