National Poetry Month: Issue 17

National Poetry Month continues. I'm looking for more entries to fill out the rest of the month, so if you're a poet, or know one, send one or more along and I'd be happy to post them.

Today I'm featuring one of my own favorite early poems that was featured on Heavy Bear online magazine. This piece is an interesting take on the stifling of expression and it's effect on our health. Nothing proven, just postulation. Makes one think.

Doctor Recommended*                                 by Jim Landwehr

What if they discovered that
the stifling of self-expression
caused the early onset of disease?

That if everyone who ever
had a song in their heart, but did not dance,
set the stage for an aneurysm at forty-four?

Those who wanted to sing
at the top of their lungs in the library but didn’t,
generated cancerous cells?

Or if not hugging your father,
or not crying for fear of ridicule,
jump started your own arthritis?

What if we could live to be 140
if we took that guitar lesson, got that tattoo,
or grew those dreads we’d always meant to?

Maybe if we built more art galleries, concert halls and bookstores,
taught more viola, art history and rumba,
we might do with fewer hospitals and nursing homes.

*Previously published in Heavy Bear magazine.

Jim Landwehr enjoys writing creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. His first book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir will be released by eLectio Publishing on June 17th, 2014. He has non-fiction stories published in Boundary Waters Journal, Forge Journal and MidWest Outdoors Magazine. His poetry has been featured in Verse Wisconsin, Torrid Literature Journal, Echoes Poetry Journal, Wisconsin People and Ideas Magazine, the Wisconsin Poets Calendar, Off the Coast Poetry Journal, Heavy Bear online magazine and others. He also has a fiction story published on the Free Zombie Fiction Blog. Jim lives and works in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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