The beautiful words you will read below arose in the consciousness of participants in my recent writing workshop at the Garrison Institute. The workshop was based on Five Directions, my system of creative, psychological, and spiritual growth through rhythmical writing. Each of the brief passages here offers a glimpse into one moment of our weekend-long journey through different language rhythms, exploring a new aspect of the self with each rhythm.
As I chose these selections for inclusion here, I found myself moved beyond words by the ways that the different writers’ work flowed together and apart in a harmonious dance. I hope you will enjoy reading them, and I encourage you to read them aloud, enjoying the rhythms in your body as well as in your mind. The selection concludes with a poem from my own most recent poetry collection.
Beginner’s Mind by Misha Abarbanel
What are you remembering when you hold your shoulders
crunched up at the ears, holding breath on a runway,
assuming the pending collapse of the floor?
and what did you think every sunrise might offer
but chances, each moment, to cradle the only
companion you’ll never have moments without?
Success by Belinda Aubin
Yes, succeeding might be a challenge for you.
Be determined, have faith in all that you do.
Photo by Emily R. Farache
I picture it still now, my perfect oasis,
A falsehood returning. The dream fading, going.
Who watched us? Who told us? The moment’s temporal.
Come to the Temple by Pratibha Kelapure
Come to the temple of rhythm, the waterfall,
listen to swaying waves roar on the tidal eve
breaking on rocks wet and craggy, gray ocean calls,
Cry no more, answer it, run to the ocean’s love
Bring Back by Julia Soto Lebentritt
When we were young we were floating around inside
mothers of peace, and calm; swooshes of sleep in her
daily rounds. Time was complete, no need to cross streets.
What happened? Soldiers were born and went out to war.
How can we turn the tide? Bring back the child inside?
The Door by Jenna Rai Miller
The soul of my being is beauty and pure,
A loving and gentle compassionate door
Conception by Lisa St. John
Persephone tugs at me, “wisdom is coming.”
She whispers, she shouts, “let the summer fulfill you,
the easy prescription is sorrow unyielding.
Our mother is singing majestic beginnings.”
Conception comes easy but birthing—exhausting,
and somewhere inside me there’s fear of discovery.
Warning by Dee Stevens
Dig into thy wounds of madness
Purge the hurting of the world
Mother earth and Goddess sun
are warning us
with grace and love.
Time Means Nothing by Mary Waldner
Trauma’s patient. Time means nothing.
Living through so many spirals
Waiting till the right alignment,
Trigger, memory, clicks in place like
Tumblers in a bankers vault,
Inner child supported now by
Strong adult who knows the ropes.
Wind and waves and giant storms, the
Tears and shaking rearranging
Cells and bones, dissolving scars of
Many lifetimes. Generations.
Time means nothing. Healing happens.
“A Blessing on the Poets” by Annie Finch
Patient earth-diggers, impatient fire-makers,
Hungry word-takers and roving sound-lovers,
Sharers and savers, musers and achers,
You who are open to hide or uncover,
Time-keepers and –haters, wake-sleepers, sleep-wakers:
May language’s language, the silence that lies
Under each word, move you over and over,
Turning you, wondering, back to surprise.
From Spells: New and Selected Poems by Annie Finchh (Wesleyan University Press, 2013