Mental Wellness

A Poem: Love in the Cold

We like Star Trek in our house. Deep Space Nine was a particularly good series. Two favorite characters are the love birds Kira and Odo. What would Kira write about her partner? Here’s her new take on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18; Summer’s Day.

Winter’s Day Sonnet

Shall I compare you to a winter’s day
You are equally fair yet twice as cold
Thoughts silent snow, nary a word you say
Sheets frozen on the line none can fold

Sometimes too brief the eye of heaven shines
When snowstorms of solitude you’ve sought
Your spirit is willing but your mouth says nein
Thus my soul’s fire and flames warm you not

Eternal winter frosts lips and cools heels
In lieu of an embrace I meet an ice shield
You repel emotion; know not how you feel
In your insulated parka you remain sealed.

No one can bend your no’s and perpetual declines
Perhaps I cannot be yours and nor you ever mine.

–Kira (Rebecca Cuningham) 9/26/21

The two Deep Space Nine characters, hot and cold, Kira and Odo, have immense tension until one day Odo initiates their fateful kiss in the hallway.

Happy Manic Monday!

Mental Wellness

When Will Dawn Break?

I am lucky with sleep a lot of the time. There are weeks, however when my motor seems to get stuck at 2 or 4 am. Once I’m awake in that section of the night, my mind takes flight and doesn’t land again until 6 or 7 am. Then I fall into a deep slumber and don’t hear the alarm.

Why does this happen?

  1. Chocolate after 3 pm
  2. Sugar from desert
  3. Worry about health, wealth, relationships

Last night was one of those nights. Family birthday party for our child, chocolate cupcakes… At 1:45 am my legs wanted a track to run. I read Howl’s Moving Castle while doing leg lifts. Once I finished two more chapters, I felt ready to rest. It was Sunday, I slept in until 9.

Other early mornings I journal or stay in bed planning my day. I often think I’ll call my wake-at-dawn friend, but I fall asleep as they get up around 6 am.

Hopscotch on my pillow

Easy Two, Four, Six, Ten

Spin Nine, Five, Three

I’m awake again.

Mid clock numbers set me free

thoughts corralled into pen

Cradling and slumber me,

Again zzz, again zzz, again.

-Rebecca Cuningham, 3 January 2021

What is your recipe for good sleep?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Sun reflecting in a pond Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Mental Wellness

Plays, I’d Like to Write All Day

First flush of words, in high school and college I wrote poetry; maudlin love poems, nature’s joy, philosophical musings, or love’s epitaphs. Reading and writing poetry made me feel centered. Poetry and I went steady in my teens and 20s.

Then, in my twenties and thirties, I wrote short stories and fiction. I penned a novel named Spoke featuring a Vietnam Veteran whose heart found its way home as he cycled the Hill Country of Texas. One writer’s conference, an agent was interested, but her boss nixed it. I wrote a second novel about a young food critic in Minneapolis who falls in love with a chef from India.

In my forties, I worked on a memoir about studying abroad in Spain the fall of my junior semester. That trip was the pivot point of my life. I was changed irrevocably after four months talking with Latin American and Spanish students every day. My world became larger than the Twin Cities, larger than the state of Minnesota. I was now an American in the true sense of the word, someone from the continent of the Americas, along with my new friends from Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina.

Most recently, last week in fact, I wrote my first play. We were planning entertainment for our child’s school family night on Zoom. I had this idea for a mystery…

Mental Wellness

Dirt Under the Nails Set

I adore digging in the dirt. I like the loamy texture, the rich smells, the meditation of weeding.


I set my left foot, then my right on the shovel

years on kid stilts giving me me the balance

to wiggle back and forth leaning into it

then I hop off and up on the left again

for good measure, scoop dirt to the side

planting bulbs, perennials and vegetables.

–Rebecca Cuningham

Gaia’s Furrows

Good soil loved for years, whole century before me

the joy of color, of herbs, of growing food

the earth, present for all creatures and us the

stewards of her bounty; guardians of her waters

I lay my sanity at Gaia’s feet and she never fails me.

Every season has its task, its joys, its harmonies.

Rain and sun and snow bring us to life

we the tiny seeds so briefly on the earth.

The rhythm of the seasons matches our lives

Flower and pollinate while ye may.

For tomorrow is winter when tender stalks

sleep ‘neath blankets of snow til March.

–Rebecca Cuningham

Do you till the earth?

Happy Manic Monday! –Rebecca

Purple Clematis Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Mental Wellness

Mind ZZZ Gap

An Afternoon Nap

Around 3 pm, my attention span wanes. Heavy eyelids, nesting behaviors, yawns. If I have the time, I grab a blanket and snooze for half an hour. When I was 4 or 5, I stopped taking naps to my mother’s dismay. My child did the same thing! I guess I am making up for my missed naps now. Time to rest improves my mood and attention span.

Mind the ZZZ Gap

Don’t have the app?
Life give you a zap?
Go take a nap.
Put on a c-pap.
Don your night cap.
Go take a nap.
Employment mishap?
Spouse making a flap?
Go take a nap.
Need another REM lap?
Upgrade your neural map?
Go take a nap.
That’s a wrap, zzz.

–Rebecca Cuningham, 25 October 2020

Do you take naps from time to time?

It’s Manic Monday, and that’s a good thing. –Rebecca