Alpha Poems

Summer’s Crop Mathews County, Virginia

I enjoy driving by this roadside farm, noticing how the view of the building and field completely changes throughout the year. This time I stopped and snapped a picture, and it seems to connect with some of my recent reflections.

My mother’s words came to mind recently— “Estelle, there’s nothing constant but change“. I used to feel irritated when she spoke this phrase; now, I hear wisdom. My mother is pretty darn healthy, coming up on 90 years of age. She’s weathered some big tides. I wrote an Alpha Poem in response to my memory.

Change comes, sometimes creaking, or crashing
Ownership generally
Together we can continue
Allowing ourselves to
Nestle in

I share the concept of Alpha Poems with friends and clients on a regular basis. I first learned about them when our son’s early elementary teacher gave each student a poem at year’s end. Using the students’ first names, she wrote a poem describing positive attributes of each child. I appreciated this gift, keeping it on the refrigerator for quite a while. I started writing my own Alpha Poems after learning about the practice of journal writing for health, through the work of Kathleen Adams.

To write your own Alpha Poem,  start by choosing a word, and use each letter of the word to form the first letter of each line. Play with using your name, someone else’s name, letters of the alphabet, emotions, concepts, relationships, sounds…anything.  Allow yourself the freedom to write your own poetry, for yourself, unedited. Be curious about images, ideas, words that you see, hear or experience.

Alpha poems are great for stress relief.  They capture themes quickly and get them down on the page with only a few words. Of course, you can write long alpha poems too. Go for it!

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