Spaces Between Words by Howard F. Stein

Spaces Between Words

I have attended to your words
One vowel, one consonant,
One syllable at a time, their
Flow into a stream of thought.

I have listened to the spaces
Between them: short and long,
Ones that rush to be filled,
Spaces to linger in, dwell.

Letters alone never offer
Fulfillment but a place to start.
Letters only give me hints
But it is in the spaces

where I can breathe
               and find you.

Dedicated to the participants of the International Psychohistorical Association Conference (May 19-21, 2022).

Howard F. Stein, Ph.D., an applied, psychoanalytic, medical, and organizational anthropologist, psychohistorian, organizational consultant, and poet, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA, where he taught for nearly 35 years. He has published numerous articles, chapters, and books, many of which are co-authored with Seth Allcorn. He has published 11 books and chapbooks of poetry, of which the most recent are Presence – Poems from Ghost Ranch (2020), Centre and Circumference (2018), and Light and Shadow (2nd edition, 2018). Finishing Line Press has published five of his chapbooks. He is poet laureate of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology. He can be reached at

Image Credit: Liminal Space painting by Holly Friesen []