This is the first in a series of poems written in response to the various themes and dynamics of a week-long psychodrama intensive, developed and facilitated by Dale Richard Buchanan and Nina Garcia.  These were primarily posted for the participants, but are offered to anyone who might enjoy them...



What is a mirror?

     Just quartz – sand- backed by silver

     simple enough materials.

No wonder Alice found it an easy choice

     to step through the looking glass.

     Once she had passed through glass and silver

     Things got curiouser and curiouser

           yet strangely familiar.

     Her return portal rose out of chaos.

     Poor Alice!


The problem with mirrors is that

     silver may tarnish or flake off,

     and gradually, the smallest imperfections

          expand, spread,

     until no surface of the looking glass

          offers an authentic reflection.


Golden mirrors are different.

     (Did you know gold leaf can be thin enough

          for light to pass through, if the gold is pure enough?)


The best gold for mirrors

     comes from forgotten treasure chests

          those lost at sea, buried in earth

          even forgotten in a childhood attic.

     Sometimes gold was stolen

          and we must journey to reclaim it.

     Each nugget increases in value

          for having been sought and won.


Refining gold for mirrors takes patience.

To purify gold takes heat.

     Not a torch or furnace-

     There is heat in stored anger, when released,

          perhaps a warm heart,

          a burst of spontaneity,

          or that moment when creativity ignites!

Sometimes the impurities dissolve in

     an explosion of laughter.


Other gold leaf is pounded thin.

However, gold for mirrors is prepared with compassion;

     Gentle pressure of acceptance and self-care.

     Sometimes we press down with courage

          by confronting our fears.

     We might spread our gold leaf in celebration.


Once our gold leaf is prepared,

     we must attach it with patience.

If we want a reflection free of distortion,

     we cannot rush.

     Remember there is time enough.


The best adhesives for applying gold leaf

     to a mirror are natural—

          salt water; whether tears, sweat or the ocean.

          a sunrise, or breeze, a rainbow can all create a bond.

          (and actually, mud works like magic!)


Frame your mirror with love!

What supports you will support your looking glass.

     Sometimes family, friends, Higher Powers-

          there are supports in abundance, within reach

          even in this very room and moment!


Now stand before the mirror you created and look.

The magic of a golden mirror

     Is that the reflection gradually emerges

          as you are ready to see.

     You can stand very still

          or dance

          or sing

Be patient, without judgment, and the precious image

     will surely delight you.


Alice, alone in her parlor

     chose to step through her looking glass.


The final secret for a golden mirror

     is that, when you are ready to step through,

     you must first hold the hand of a special someone,

          and breathe—


Dedicated with gratitude to my summer camp psychodramatic family, for their inspiration, support and love, July 2012 

Steve Kopp


Make a free website with Yola