Poetry has nurtured me and been a vital form of release for as long as I can remember.

Forever I have had books and scraps of paper next to my bedside, damp from tears of confusion and loneliness over my parent's divorce and questions about my place in the world.

As a teen, my step-mother read private letters to my friends and poems hidden in the back of my closet. She demanded my Father force me to write a letter of apology to her, including all of the commandments my words had broken. I tearfully refused. My sister, Jodi,  away at collage, heard about what happened.

For Christmas 1989 Jodi gave me my first cloth covered journal and inscribed on the inside:

your words are beautiful and matter


My hope is that these images and words will  offer amity, spark compassion, and help shift the dialogue


be the change- uplift the hope

Melanie McMullin

shift the dialogue

i sit in my car 

watching the rain

i cross out


return baskets

buy milk

missing from my list is



hear your faults in their tiny voices

if you saw my eyes

could you capture

the depth of my urgency

the despondency in my soul

the truth beneath the inevitable lies

 on the screen tonight

i will acknowledge

your joy, your pain, your dreams

i will assume to know


 is it possible

for the exchange of loaded words

to be enough to share

this burden of bliss


i want

my light, my love, my words, and images

to synchronously signal 

my gigantic yet gentle purpose


it is never too late

to shift the dialogue


i will crack open

and activate compassion

expose the shadows and

find a way in

for us all


weathered and worthy


driving past the floral hills

under a pale sky

the wind blows my hair wild,

the ocean smells sweet


my driver slaps her face awake


i am on i-5

from la to san diego

97 miles


although i pass the citadel

i have no idea what road you are on


they are called freeways here

where nothing is free

except the sun

that is supposed to shine 354 days a year


here in southern california

i have cried enough tears

for all the flowers

to last forever


here in southern california

i have learned

to let go of fear and

to forgive my past


here in southern california

there is gold in our shots

and i am not sure where i am sleeping tonight


here in southern california

will i be able to avoid the burn

and eventually begin again?


back near the apple

by way of the peach

the veils are all falling

back to the state before 

the fall

 in every face

in every crowded bookstore, bar, and mall

i see my reflection,

god staring back at me.

my construction of reality

is just that

something i created,

and time is suddenly slower

until it


and there is a


 and then great frenzy

and life moves faster than lightning

faster than i can handle

and i try

and i try

and i pause and

i pause

 and because of you

my heart quickens

at this realization:

nothing is wasted