Thursday, April 18, 2019

NAPOWRIMO April 18, 2019

Image by Mauro Pittarello from Pixabay

Like a toddler winding up
when everyone else is winding down
resisting the pull of sleep
distractions to stay awake.
The loss of consciousness
a scary, mysterious state
a sense of being left out.
unlike a toddler’s fear of the unknown
More a dread of the known
another day of marching in place
another day of anxious pacing
forgetting the plans made the night before
during the anxiety over
©2019 Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

NAPOWRIMO April 17, 2019


Perhaps the rabbit hole is necessary,
a tumbling journey into mayhem
all while alternating the way you fit in the world.
conversing with or projecting madness,
realizing it all was a game of chance,
played in a high stakes garden of lies,
leading to the final understanding:
You will leave nothing behind but a smile.
©2019 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 15, 2019

NAPOWRIMO April 15, 2019

photo of an hourglass in focus, with a blurred background of pens, books and alarm clocks.
Photo by Mike from Pexels
The Conservation of Verse

The ides of April find me
short on poetry,
at least of my own making.
As a crone of waning moon
resources are conserved,
for joy more than utility.
That which brings light is welcomed,
words sparse but far more intense,
weighed against the measure of time.

©2019 Noreen Braman

Sunday, April 7, 2019

NAPOWRIMO April 7, 2019 Catching Up


Consumed a heaping plate
Of imposter syndrome last night.
Wondering if it is still a syndrome
If it's true.
Convinced of ineptness in all that I do,
A shadow still lingering in early morning light.

(C)2019 Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

NAPOWRIMO 2019 April 2-3

April 2, 2019


The engine of memory

constantly churning,

looking for patterns,

with sensitivity heightened

by uncontrolled anxiety

and constant reinforcement.

©2019 Noreen Braman

April 3, 2019

Children of Dragons

Chaos and laughter exist in a whirlpool.

Each maintaining its position by centrifugal force,

controlling the waters of fear and joy,

alternately pulling down and pushing up.

Inescapable waters to tread,

a baptism of pain and pleasure,

shielding those born in the shadows of dragons,

in whose mouths is both love and fire

and whose teeth both smile and bite.

©2019 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 1, 2019

Poetry, Humor, Aging: The Cruelest Month Returns

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
                                        TS Eliot, The Waste Land

Every April, I herald the arrival National Poetry Month in what TS Eliot called “the cruellest month.” The first few lines of this much longer monumental work speak strongly to me, not only for the herculean task of Spring wresting life out of the cold hands of Winter, but how it truly defines my own series of personal springs – stirring my own “dull roots” back to productive life.

April is also National Humor Month, the light side to my sometimes poetic dark side – again, speaking to me at the root of who I am. And it is no coincidence that I have chosen this month, this year, for even more literal head-to-to reinvention, starting with those dull roots pushing through my scalp. Whether I’ve been walking around with a headful of dried tubers is probably overworking the metaphor. Or the analogy. Could even be a bunch of similes trying to sprout on my head.

So, I officially welcome you to the 2019 Edition of The Cruelest Month, my attempt to keep up with the poem-a-day concept of NAPOWRIMO. as well as share some humor  not necessarily combined. I’m sure something will touch on the fact that, as an April baby, I get to hear the Beatles singing “When I’m 64” ad nauseum in my head all month long.

The Work of Spring

Resurrects the anxiety of of unfinished business
laid to rest back in December,
Persephone demanding sunlight and fruit. 
Renews purpose of earth and spirit
with temptations of growth and pleasure
to soften the bittersweetness of harvest. 
 ©2019 Noreen Braman

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

And now, a message from our sponsor

Well, actually, I am my own sponsor. So, nothing wrong with taking an ad for myself on my own blog. Right? Last year and this year has brought me an enthusiastic increase of interest in The Smile Side of Life, giving me hope that another reinvention of myself - this one completely of my own design and on my own schedule, is on the horizon. So here is my PSA - Personal Service Announcement. More information at Let's talk about bringing the Smile Side of Life to your "neck of the woods."

How I Started Living on the Smile Side of Life - and you can too!

(JAMESBURG, NJ) In 2010, Noreen Braman—who had already reinvented herself in 1997 after a contentious divorce—was reeling from a corporate downsizing, dealing with a economic recession of historic proportions, and facing her own midlife issues. Soon  her  skills as a strategic communications professional, humorist and performer would send her in a new direction.

By the end of that year, she became a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, had her mind blown at a conference called “Can Humor Save the World” and studied the Psychology of Laughter at Rutgers University. In 2012 she added certification in Laughter Wellness, studied the Science of Happiness through Berkeley University of CA in 2016, joined the Association for Applied & Therapeutic Humor (AATH) and has been presenting laughter for the health of it through her Smile Side of Life Laughter & Happiness Club presentations ever since.

Noreen is again “reinventing” herself, this time to take her message about laughter to the world on a full time basis. This means spending time analyzing financial implications, doing as much as possible on a part time basis, and “working” all the promotional outlets she can find, including local events and social media. IN April 2019, she will add another giant step to the process with her Keynote presentation at the Society for Emotional Intelligence's 9th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. And on May 4, as part of an early celebration of World Laughter Day, she will be presenting free sample sessions of Laughter Yoga/Laughter Wellness at the Health and Wellness Fair at Brunswick Square Mall in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Noreen credits Dr. Paul McGhee’s book “Humor as Survival Training for a Stressed Out World" as helping her understand the importance of humor and laughter to all humans. With the physical and emotional health benefits that come with humor, laughter and mindfulness, Noreen deals with her fibromyalgia and thyroid disease with humor, reminding us all that yesterday’s problem can be today’s funny story. 

Recently, she expanded ways of helping others enhance well being, with a workshop of self-discovery through developing a vision, mission statement, and strategic plan for one's own life. Noreen’s own vision and mission statements can be found on her website at, along with more about enhancing well being with laughter, helpful articles she has written, and videos.

Find out how you can bring the Smile Side of Life to your workplace, organizational meeting, conference, event here!