Robert Carroll has published more than thirty chapbooks of poetry. He was on the Los Angeles Poetry Slam Team for three years and has done poetry readings, performances, and workshops nationally. His current interests are in the healing powers of poetry and expressive writing. In a recent project he paired poets with brain cancer patient, so that the poets might help the patients find the words to express their experience. He edited the anthology "The Art of the Brain: Twelve Portraits" as part of that project. He has served as Vice President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. As a physician/healer specializing in Family Psychiatry, he has had a private practice in Westwood for thirty years. He has had articles, chapters, stories and poetry published in both the psychiatric/medical literature and poetry magazines. He is on the faculty at UCLA, and offers courses to the community on The Healing Power of Poetry through UCLA.

Being the Stone

I want to be the stone
              and tell
how she held me
in the palm of her hand
rolled me between her fingers
slipped me into her mouth
tasted my ocean
tumbled me around

Then she ran her tongue along my edge,
and rubbed my cool body across the scar
              of her breast
put me in her pocket
took me home
gave me to her daughter—
              a special gift.

Amazing Change

We can go through amazing changes
when we are faced with knowing
we have limited time.
After one woman got brain cancer,
she decided what she wanted
was to go to Africa
to see the gorillas.

She and her husband and the guides
began the long trek through the jungle
up the mountains, but the woman was
having trouble. The guides tried
to convince her to go back,
but she wouldn’t.
She struggled and struggled.
Eventually she won the guides over,
and everyone was rooting for her,
but there came a point.
She couldn’t go on, so

she laid down on the grass,
and when she did, the gorillas
came out of the jungle
to her.

I Have a Secret

I have a secret I keep
From myself. It’s not a bad secret—
It’s more like when you don’t
Throw your arms around someone
And tell them you love them
Or you leave the piece of meat
On your plate because you don’t
Know how to stop the hunger.

So, I go back to the silence
Behind the words
And I smile the smile
I see in the morning
After I brush my teeth
And shave my face
And take my pills—
Wash them down with a swig of water—
And wait for them to work.

Robert Carroll Moonday poetry reading

© 2008 Robert Carroll

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