Transition through Trauma 

Stroke Story


Poetry and stories began in childhood. I developed a rich imagination amid moves and transitions; schools and friendships--gains and losses.

Twelve years ago my life was transformed in a most traumatic way by a brain hemorrhage of unclear origin; possibly from an aneurysm. 
My need for expression was strong from the moment I regained consciousness that horrible day. I suffered from apraxia, a motor-neuron defect of speech, which caused my words to come out jumbled. And I had aphasia; a word-finding defect.


In the first months in rehabilitation, I could do little for myself. My right side was paralyzed.  


As soon as I could sit at the computer at home, I began to work on the gardening newsletter I had designed, authored, and produced for my 55-plus

community for two years.  Since I could no longer garden, I resigned from my newsletter, too. 


I decided to take online writing courses and delved into the meaning and making

of memoir. With practice and wonderful teachers, in 2016 I self-published "Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back."








Bad MountainWeather



Fog of voices

a cool white bed

"How do you feel? 

you are lucky--delayed ambulance--helicopter--

bad mountain weather"

This summer of bad weather

all I can is be

loss of worth and choice

in this place of respite

Through long, lost weeks, weakened

I work brain and body

in summer of no birds and gardens

until sky and mind clear


When sunlight sparkles red and yellow

and slanted daylight breaches my haven's notches

I speak, walk, in new strength

and drink from a chilly stream of courage


Laurel Ridge, Fayette County, Pennsylvania


Sarasota, Florida 

by Mary Ellen Gambutti

published Spring 2019 The Bamboo Hut











haiga of longing


If only I could gather


scattered rosebuds