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Poetry's Power To Heal

Susan J. Farese is the President and Owner of SJF Communications. SJF Communications, originally established in 2002 in San Jose, CA, provides communications services including Public Relations, Publicity, Marketing, Websites, Filmmaking, Acting, Social Media, Writing and Public Speaking, Photography, Mentoring, Coaching, and Legal Nurse Consulting services. MSN/RN, PR/Publicist, Author/Poet, Actor/Filmmaker, Coach.

Why did you start writing poetry?

To heal from the loss of my maternal Grandmother in 1991 - reflecting 20 years after her death in 1971.

What impact has poetry had on your life?

Poetry has changed my life in that I see the value of the healing aspects of poetry and other arts as a Nurse, Mom, etc. I published a 2nd edition of my 1993 book. I taught nurses and others the value of poetry. I teach Haiku workshops. Poetry is phenomenal for self-care, stress management, healing from grief, values clarification, etc.

What inspires you to write poetry?

Whatever I feel inspired by, conflicted about, in search of, things such as nature, family, grief, politics, etc.

If you could bottle up one feeling or emotion and give it to people to experience, what would it be? Why?

The catharsis of writing healing poetry

What are you looking forward to improving this year?

Continuing to teach Haiku workshops.

What is one big dream you have?

To connect with right-minded people and share the value of poetry/Haiku

What advice would you give someone just starting out in writing poetry?

Jot it down or record it when you have a whim or are inspired!

ANN'S ZEST ENDS (1993, 2021) by Susan J. Farese


Her zest for life, boundless energy

A smile a minute, so full of glee…

Remembrances of my grandmother Ann, so significant to me.

She ran the show, she was “in the know”

About this or that, nonetheless, always on the go!

So sharp, so much fun, and so “on the ball”

How I long to remember, and long to recall:

Endless walks, sun or snow, when I was small…

She’d pick me up, when my spirit would fall.

My first real buddy, my first true friend,

Her ears and shoulders she’d always lend;

If I was sad, my pain I’d spend

(But always through her, my heart would mend).


But when I was about seven, in 1963,

Something in her changed, so drastically.

She would no longer laugh, (she no longer knew me).

She would wander about, so aimlessly

She would light the gas stove, and let the fire run free!

Her eyes then would gaze, in a wild “combat stare”

She grew mute and confused, (she would pick at her hair).

Who was this new stranger, taking over her mind?

Where did her spirit go, what did it find?

From doctor to doctor, this mystery grew,

It was 1965, and still nobody knew

To a state institution eventually,

(Her spirit then faded each day, religiously).

She grew steadily worse, it took six more long years

I would visit her with my mother, (we would share many tears)

Day passes were draining, the public would stare

We’d assist her in the bathroom, (comb the knots from her hair).

I wonder how she felt, personality “withered”

Did she realize her melt? (Were her synapses in a blizzard)?


On the thirteenth of April, 1971

When the hospital called us, 'twas the weight of a ton

She was terminally losing the battle, and had wasted away,

Lost all faculties, (not her choosing)

She died soon after that day.

I reached for her hand at the bedside,

To say “goodbye, friend” on that fateful day;

She mumbled and stared and “connected”

She mumbled as if to say:

“So long for now, Susan, for I’m afraid it’s time to take my rest,

-cause Alzheimer’s drained my life away,

(But at least you’ve inherited my zest!”)


Twenty years later, I weep for the past

Fond memories of Ann (she left the “good life” so fast).

Her suffering, although it was an unfair curse,

Was the stimulus for me to become a nurse.

As I seriously reflect on this draining disease

That “robs the brain” of freedom cells, and “independence ease”



If I had just one wish that would be granted to me

I’d want to spend a day with Ann, just her and me;

Her cheerful style, giving nature so gold,

Her best feature “zest”, her stature so bold…

(…But who’s kidding who…she was taken away in her prime-

A true servant of God, strong will, lost mind…)

Signed, “One who can still remember”

Connect with Susan here: and

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