Pub. Date:
The Steps of My Life: Poetry for the 12 Steps

The Steps of My Life: Poetry for the 12 Steps

by Lynn Russo


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 23


A Soul-full poetic journey through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Poet, Lynn Russo, through her own struggle with alcohol, having hit rock bottom and entering into recovery invites the reader into a lifelong dalliance with the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) through her poetry and writings. From the joy of mothering both her own and children not her own, to the heartbreak and devastation of divorce and addiction, Lynn Russo brings the reader through the seasons of life into recovery and the rekindling of her faith.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524611095
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 10/13/2016
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Steps of My Life

Poetry for the 12 Steps

By Lynn Russo


Copyright © 2016 Lynn Russo
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5246-1109-5


A Friend of Bill W.

Much like the tribal shamans who painted their faces as a sign of power and wisdom, life had painted crow's feet upon Kurt's otherwise unblemished face. There was an angular crookedness to his jaw, matched only by his owl-like beak. His pearled flesh had the spiritual aura of a glazed icon. It was an aura that traveled upward across the territory used in the placement of a hand for a blessing. A few wispy hairs marked this territory – once graced by a full compliment. Like arrows, the tiny crow's feet attracted attention to his rather deep-set, earth-tone eyes. Most times they seemed to radiate with inner peace and flowing serenity but, often, they overflowed into pools of sadness created by the curvature of mans' destruction of self. He would leave this world as he had entered it, toothless, but for now, loose fitting dentures grated across his gums. A hearing aid nestled in wiry tufts of gray-white fuzz.

His strength came not from a muscular physique. A birth deformity had turned his spine into a question mark. Slightly hunched and in the twilight of his years, he was also prone to attacks of emphysema. But, his nobility is statuesque and he stands as tall as Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians. "What did she say?" His hearing impairment forces him to struggle desperately to catch the works of others. He turns his head, straining his neck. His hands are cupped behind his ears. His brow in furrowed ripples resembles a freshly plowed field waiting the planting of new crops. Yet, more often than not, silent syllables are all that fall within his grasp. He sighs, trying to force air into his damaged lungs. He speaks in short breaths but, words slide across his tongue like hot, melted butter.

His is the story of a dramatically, devastating childhood, the degradation of deformity and the downward spiral of self-worth. The consanguinity of this heritage left him with an affinity for consuming alcohol in excess. This seemed to be the only relief from his overwhelming pain of body, mind and soul. Hence, in his early twenties as he describes it, "I was a broken man." He speaks carefully and slowly in a Mark Twain rhetoric. "The pursuit of my illusions brought me to the gutter. The guilt. The shame ... I had become the man I most hated-my own father. I was so sick I knew nothing, but fear. I weighed less than one hundred pounds", he continued. "And I was powerless." Powerless! Those words echoed in my head. Had I not written a poem, "Powerless To Heal?" His power was his ability to meet a not-so-perfect stranger and make them feel like family. He was truly a friend in need ... in deed ... Indeed!

Her Poetry Before Alcoholics Anonymous

    Birth Of A Foster Child

    My child is not a babe
    That grows within my womb.
    My child is anothers'
    Born of whom?

    Beyond my soul,
    A power to believe.
    No swelling in my breasts;
    And yet, I conceive

    Aborted, all alone
    The family womb ejected
    Away from the heart,
    Self-preservation protected.

    And then, that breath
    Of total air
    Where germs may be present;
    But, someone can care.

    I'll hold you, my child;
    And, help you to grow.
    It will be painful;
    And, a little slow.

    Together we'll learn
    Of things we can't change;
    But, we'll also learn
    To rearrange.

    I too, someday,
    Must let you go;
    But, not 'til you're ready
    And, you will know.

    When the time is right,
    And, you are you.;
    And, not a child
    Who wonders who?

    Who am I?
    Where do I belong?
    When does the sun shine?
    What is a song?

    And, in my heart,
    Your life will be
    Not of the womb;
    But a part of me.


    Pushed beyond the strength I had; I found I could survive.
    I jumped the mountains precipice; And still, I stayed alive.
    Beyond most human endurance, I dared to take a chance
    I had to know the truth; If perhaps, for just a glance

    It saddened all my being; And, really wrecked my brain.
    I thought I'd never sleep to dream; or, dream to live again.
    I know now, I can bear it. But, I should want to kill.
    And, on an angels wing, I sleep upon a hill.
    My eyes are burning fires, Smoldering in the rain.
    My heart is oh so saddened. I have never known such pain.

    I feel, as though, I'm beaten. The fates have dealt a blow.
    I know that I will find a way. But, I feel so low, low, low.

    I wish that I could sail away, for just a little while.
    And, dream that all had ne'er occurred I really need to smile.
    But, the box has just been opened; And, the snakes are all around.
    Slithering and hissing. I cannot stand the sound.

    Would that I were deaf and blind. Facts are hard to face.
    Bad dreams are all I see tonight. Thoughts-I can't erase.
    It makes no sense to me, at all I feel not wrath nor fury.
    I cannot do the sentencing Nor, be the judge or jury.
    I crave some freedom from my thoughts; And peace, my heart be brave
    It does no good to ponder ill; Or I shall start to rave.

    I'm tired now, for all is done. It almost did me in.
    But, I will not surrender Howe'er, I cannot win.
    I'll walk the earth in emptiness. A puzzled look on me-
    For, what was once by God so blessed; Is now God-damned to be!


    Buy me a flower.
    Anyone will do
    A pretty fresh flower
    But, it must be from you

    I toil and labor to pull all the weeds.
    In my little garden I've planted new seeds.

    I can't understand it. Why don't they grow?
    I want pretty flowers all in a row.

    I'm trying so hard.
    They have plenty of sun.
    But, there are no flowers.
    No. Not even one

    Buy me a flower.
    Anyone will do
    A pretty fresh flower
    But, it must be from you.

    Plenty of water to make them grow tall
    But, no, not one flower-none in all.

    Death In Valor Of Reborn Central Essence

    Tears are hidden in her gaze,
    Melted snows of ice cold rage.
    Slipping over razors edge
    Qf baked enamel, to the hedge
    Sliding off the branch that lives
    To the rock- that never gives
    Painting wet- the rock, half-in
    Streams a trail, that's never been.

    Along the trail- a beaten path
    With hearths of stone, and hearts of wrath
    Upside the hearth, willows wave
    As if to mark a site- so grave.

    Yet, up the hill- from trials trail
    A seedling sits- that will prevail.
    Prevail as winds that show the way
    Blowing in- the answers May.

    The Journey

    Once upon a lifelong journey, she stops to look and has a
    yearning. Yes, so dimly she remembers the Decembers dying
    ember in the hearth of loves dismember

    Then she bolted and emoted. Pitter, patter on the floor.
    T'was her tears and nothing more. For, only she was jilted
    and her fragrance slowly wilted from the love that was before
    and never more.

      And, the whistling corduroy- swished and swished with audible
      sobbing in her chambers' bed. She bled. Pitter, patter – tears of red.
      Fears unfledged..

    With a slow emergence and the strength of true resurgence
      Enters woman – virgin to a world of drunken bitterness.
      Drink and purge
    and years of ten to splurge and regurge but she cannot

    Igneous Imagery

    Conjure a candle-shimmering in smoke
    The glimmering glow of light lazily leaping across opaque

    Mark the movement-overshadowing the obelisk
    The flickering flame of light prismatically providing eluding

    Entomb the ebony-damming the darkness.
    The optimal optics of light fearlessly firing hyper optic
    haloed hope.

    Independents Fear

    Flowing red
    No child in my bed
    Only me –a child in my head
    Sterilize my dread.

    Cutting white
    Incisors out of sight
    Tigers tooth uprooting at plight
    Vanquish my fright.

    Turning blue
    Your foot is in my shoe
    They are mine. Mine to wear I grew.
    There's no room for you.

    Heart Attack

    I've suffered-
        Pulmonary arrest
    Involving complications
        Of arterial sclerosis.

    Blood is seeping
    Through the cracks
    In the cardio vascular
    My lips are dry and blue.
    My tongue is swelling.
        Stand clear.


    As my labored breathing
    Racks my chest,
    Heaving heavy sighs,
    I gasp.

    Clouded visions-
    My Children's tears
    Weight my soul.

    I cannot escape;
    The gravity-
    Of the situation.

    I'd cry,
    But, there are no tears;
    Just an overwhelming feeling
    Of being;

    Of being swallowed up
    And drowned.

    My eyes
    Are heavy with sadness.
    And from beyond my vision,
    Familiar faces call- with clear voices;

        By the shallow air.
    Pure spirits- 100 proof


        A by pass
    Even pure oxygen-encased
    Becomes a pillow.
    Villainizing my visage.

    I'm in an airtight vault,
    On a throne
    Of feathered pillows.
    They allergize my bronchi


    I did not think!
    I could die twice?

Full Completeness

Inspired by the bible - Job 28:23-3 & 28

My soul treads in places forgotten by the foot of man. Seeking life's worth. To find wisdom and dwell in understanding; but, it is beyond the price for rubies and it cannot be bought with pure gold.

I dance in delight to the puppetry of Gods loving fingers. They are truly digits that confound the mathematicians and scientists.

Rockets may soar and roses bloom while, in between, we find the room to slither and slink with deceitful disdain. And align our course with the devils domain.


    I've drawn an illusion,
    A feast fit for the blind.
    No paper is needed,
    Just presence of mind.

    What else would I use?
    But, Invisible ink
    For what I have written
    Is all that I think.

    Now, this original copy
    Is one of a kind.
    The only dimensionThe
    perimeters of the mind.

    And, I don't need a desk
    For with a quick gust
    My illusion is gone
    Like skywriters' dust.

Step 1

We admitted We Were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable


    Newcomer, my little angel
    You have come back to see.
    Fly no more as stranger
    But, rest on wing-ed tree.

    Your face will bloom a smile.
    Your eyes will simply rest.
    Away from good and evil.
    The tree of life to test.

    The thunder of the cymbals
    Will hum a lullaby.
    And a clap of lightening
    Will twinkle in your eye.

    Eves' Skirt

    A fig for the figure,
    As waves lap the shore.
    What a price – for an apple core?
    (Cover the whore.)

    Now, to skirt the issue,
    How do I feel?
    "I need a heel!"
    (Adds sex appeal.)

    Like the shade of a lamp,
    It must fit the stem.
    "Raise up the hem!"
    (Ah, what a gem!)

    With a lemons' appeal,
    If chosen in haste,
    Lumpy as wallpaper paste.
    ("Where's my taste?")

    But, over it all,
    "I strut like a pheasant!"
    Wrapped like a present.
    ("Isn't it pleasant?)

    To turn the skirted dressing table.
    This cover for shame,
    Which was meant to tame,
    (Just adds mystery to blame.)

    Wounds That Bind

    Powerless to heal
    The wounds that bind
    Man of many,
    Yet, one of a kind

    A broken heart can scar
    And mend.
    But, a casted heart
    Can never lend.

    "Do not touch the hurtYou
    More than this,
    You cannot deal.

    An open wound
    That always bleeds.
    An oozing ulcer
    That always feeds.

    Unbind your wound
    And give it light.
    Look at it closelyThen
    put it out of sight

    Look to your heart
    To heal what ails.
    A tender touch
    That never fails.

    Ego Deflated

    I drank with neglect of
    others around. But, now
    with respect, we humbly
    bow I see the challenge;
    A mountain at best. Step
    one we bow and give it a

    A power so strong, we can
    feel the force If we just
    listen, He shows us the
    course. A loving arm that
    means us no harm,

    but, guides us away from
    John Barleycorn. With
    compulsion lifted we can
    make a choice. For now we
    have an ego deflated inner


Excerpted from The Steps of My Life by Lynn Russo. Copyright © 2016 Lynn Russo. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


A Friend of Bill W., 1,
Birth Of A Foster Child, 3,
Betrayal, 6,
Frustration, 8,
Divorce, 9,
The Journey, 10,
Igneous Imagery, 12,
Independents Fear, 13,
Heart Attack, 14,
Full Completeness, 17,
Illusion, 18,
Step 1, 21,
Newcomer, 23,
Eves' Skirt, 24,
Wounds that Bind, 26,
Ego Deflated, 28,
Touch a Friend, 30,
Step 2, 33,
Have an 'L' of a Day, 34,
Anonymous, 35,
Through today and tomorrow, 36,
Nightmare, 38,
Step 3, 39,
Out of focus, 41,
In Decision, 42,
A Tired Minds' ? Plight, 43,
A Work of Art- Our Father who Art in heaven, 44,
Step 4, 47,
As Grace Beckons, 49,
Clean your closet, 50,
Put Gratitude in Your Attitude, 52,
Step 5, 55,
Eyes Wide-Shut, 57,
Fool's Gold, 58,
Step 6, 61,
Rebellion is Fatal, 62,
Step 7, 65,
Lord I Am Not Worthy, 67,
Step 8, 69,
A Quiet Objective View, 70,
Prayer of True Repentance, 71,
Step 9, 73,
Serenity, 75,
Step 10, 77,
Patience and Persistence, 78,
Step 11, 81,
Waiting for the Snow to Fall, 82,
If I Knew Then?, 83,
Step 12, 85,
As Winter Wanes, 86,
Soul food, 88,
The Ocean Liner, 89,
The Fishers On The Break, 91,
The Phoenix, 92,
The Greatest Commandment, 93,
The Flower and the Breeze, 94,
Denise, 96,
10 Year Testimony Of Sobriety And In Praise Of A Sponsor, 97,
Lynn's Unfinished Autobiography, 99,
Know That I Love You, 103,
From Here To Eternity, 105,

Customer Reviews