Notes to Self: Poetry by Michelle McLean


Notes to Self IX

“Man was born free, and everywhere
he is in chains.”   -Rousseau

Lie you down in the sweet summer grass – 
Feel the sun soft-sweeping your skin;
If you must analyze, let it be
only the Rorschach of clouds;
Offer your palms to the wide open air
and let go
of what shadows the light
in your soul – 
Know you are whole; 
Invite yourself home. 

Get off the freight train of the mind – 
Join instead the discourse of trees, 
sanctuary of boughs
canopied over your fears of

Feel the earth hold you
in welcome,  
effortlessly –     
Root yourself in this moment,   
this body
and know in your bones
that you belong. 


Let spirit soar over
wounds and words
that have no place
in this space of light; 
Evanescence of angst, 
shedding armor too tight.   

Embrace the space between
chaos and shape – 
The formless wonder
of the felt unknown.
Feel the love you’ve been seeking
in your own, luscious heart; 

Awaken to the breath, 
the nuance of wind – 
This one precious life
nestled deep in your skin. 



Michelle McLean is a former high school English teacher, currently a clinical social worker, and has written poetry for most of her life.  Her work has appeared in Quills, Ascent Aspirations, Open Minds Quarterly, Toward the Light, Arborealis, Emerging Stars and Other Voices, and is forthcoming in Joypuke.  She is also a grateful award recipient in the 2007 Dorothy Sargeant Rosenberg poetry competition for “young writers of unusual promise”.  A collection of her children’s poetry placed 2nd in the 2007 WFNB writing competition, and she received an honourable mention for a poem submitted to this year’s competition.  Writing poetry has been both a compulsion and healing process in her life. Michelle lives in Carlow, New Brunswick with her loving family and her two exceptionally awesome daughters – and greatest spiritual teachers – Sophie and Lily.