The Healing Verse – Cydney, Yolanda, Ursula, Thomas - OC87 Recovery Diaries

The Healing Verse – Cydney, Yolanda, Ursula, Thomas


If ever there was a time when we could all use some thoughtful reflections about life and healing, this is it. For the past few months, OC87 Recovery Diaries has been thrilled to share the words and thoughts poets featured on The Healing Verse Poetry Line.

Beautiful but fleeting 
Cotton candy clouds with a blue back splash 
Making you believe you can fly
(from Beautiful but fleeting, by Cydney Brown)

When traditional gathering places for poetry experiences were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trapeta B. Mayson, the city of Philadelphia 2020-2021 Poet Laureate, wanted to find a way to reach people with poetry. In addition to her work as a poet, Trapeta is a licensed clinical social worker, with a focus on mental health. She is aware of the positive connection between poetry and mental health, so she tapped into the strong community of poets in the Philadelphia area and created The Healing Verse Poetry Line.

This is a prescription poem for pain.
Take this poem as directed by the Most High.
Apply this poem as needed.
Overdose on this poem…
if it cures your pain…
until it cures your pain.
(from Prescription Poem, by Ursula Rucker)

OC87 Recovery Diaries is thrilled to shine a spotlight on The Healing Verse Poetry Line (1-855-763-6792), a toll-free telephone line that offers callers a 90-second poem—and a moment of pause in our busy days to help us center, contemplate and think just a bit differently from the grind of everyday. Helping us reframe our traditional cross things off my “to do” list mentality.

Whatever the day or day before that, the feeling
was of sun and grandfather sitting.

(from When You Were Blessed, by Thomas Devaney)

We’re thrilled in this post to highlight the words and thoughts of Healing Verse poets Ursula Rucker, Thomas Devaney, Yolanda Wisher and Cydney Brown.

& then it comes
like finding something long ago lost
like a dip in a rare waterfall
this little pleasure of sound
this privilege of song
(from in the shuffle, by Yolanda Wisher)

As Healing Verse poet Beth Feldman Brandt says, “I think everybody needs to stop and rest a bit and maybe listen to a poem and just have a quiet or healing moment.”


EDITOR IN CHIEF: Gabriel Nathan | EDITOR: Glenn Holsten | DESIGN: Leah Alexandra Goldstein | PUBLISHER: Bud Clayman

Glenn is an award-winning director who loves to create compelling documentary story experiences of all lengths for screens of all sizes. He is an avid reader, studied literature in college, and his passion for stories with strong characters and interesting narratives stems from those years. His career as a visual storyteller began at WHYY (the public television station in Philadelphia) where he worked for 15 years before becoming an independent filmmaker. In addition to his PBS documentaries about arts and culture, he has directed films about justice and human rights, and now, mental health. He was emboldened to undertake his current documentary project, Hollywood Beauty Salon, a colorful feature-length documentary about surviving mental illness and finding the courage for recovery, after his transformative experience directing OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie, along with Bud Clayman and Scott Johnston.