Invitation to Poetry: Community

Welcome to the Abbey's 62nd Poetry Party!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your own poem. Scroll down and add it in the comments section below. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog (if you have one), Facebook, or Twitter, and encourage others to come join the party!  (If you repost the photo, please make sure to include the credit link below it and link back to this post inviting others to join us).

Each month we have a new theme and for November it is community, drawn from the third principle of the Monk Manifesto: "I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.."

Write a poem about your own longing for community.

How do you connect with soul friends?

What are the gifts your community offers to you?

Photo Credit: Anna Seccombe (please use this credit if you repost this invitation on your blog and link back to the Abbey as well – thank you!)

Share your poem below in the comments with the Abbey community.

On Sunday, November 25th, I will select one name at random from the submissions and the winner will receive a space in my upcoming online retreat – Birthing the Holy: An Online Retreat for Advent with reflections by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB and myself, and the wonderful art of Mary Southard, CSJ.

November's theme is Community (Abbey Resources):

55 Responses to "Invitation to Poetry: Community"

  1. marthalouise says:

    See God in faces
    Community looks like that
    All of creation.

  2. Joanne Draper says:

    here among friends –
    I see the face of God,
    I hear His voice
    in their singing

    here among friends –
    all of us broken,
    but still hoping
    for a taste of heaven

    we stand together
    joyfully in this place
    hands clasped together,
    hearts open

    here among friends…

  3. No, not a village
    Rather, soul holding me close
    A sacred shelter.

  4. Sitting around the graveyard lunch table
    Sharing a meal with "foodies" and barbarians
    The lights are low in the wee hours of night
    Each a history, a song, joke or insight
    Each a chapter in a new story

  5. Betty Chrastka says:

    Five women,
    Soul bearing,
    Soul caring.
    Sisters in spirit only
    Not by blood, but by spirit
    Not by blood, but by longing
    Not by blood, but by need.

  6. Sheila says:

    Let us face the wind together
    Mingled with dirt, salt, sweat, blood, tears,
    Warm it with the fire within our bones
    It is fluid, sometimes, harsh
    Swelling over us
    As we collapse
    Smiles on our faces

  7. Liz White says:

    I am thirsty for companionship. Like a dog who has walked too far without a drink of water, I long for the refreshment and life that community brings. I invite others on this journey to be my companions. I need you.
    People of truth, people of compassion, people of vulnerability,
    please do not walk on without me.

  8. David Neilson says:

    The Edge…

    Come with me to a slender place
    where earth and heaven meet -
    To where the shadows are just as real
    and when all time will disappear
    and we are face to face.

    Come with me to the finding place
    where we can search and seek -
    To where our fears are faced and fade
    and we can taste the sweet perfume
    of being face to face.

    Come with me to another place
    where time stands ever still -
    To where the Pharisees cannot come
    where Scribes cannot their law give tongue
    and we stand face to face.

    Come with me to the binding place
    where we may speak our love -
    From where the rhyming words have come
    and we enact love’s contraband
    by meeting face to face.

    Come with me to a tender place
    where feelings can be owned -
    To where the bounds are opened to you
    and I step close and life imbue
    when we see face to face.

  9. Jan Jett says:

    Together

    My community
    Variety of individuals
    Caring and sharing.

    Living together,
    Questioning, searching, loving,
    Seeking to know God.

    Praying together,
    Differences accepted,
    My community.

  10. Susan Kasper says:

    "Hands of Love"

    We called ourselves "Hands of Love"
    Where did you go, sisters of God
    All my heart friends, taken, whisked away
    Leaving me here to fend for myself
    I know I'm not alone, but I feel sad, lonely
    Six of you, one by one
    My comrades, holy women
    Each in a state of Grace, consumed by Love
    Eternity has possession of you
    Only acquaintances strewn about
    My soul friends, my prayer friends
    My sisters of love, daily tears flow
    Earthly connection lost
    But memory resides within
    I search this earth, looking
    Seeking to find a new formation
    By which to pray, to play, to be with
    Who understands me and I them
    Where can I find sacred beings?

    Susan H. Kasper
    November 20, 2012

  11. An Invitation and Benedictus

    Come wade in the garden with me
    for night is certain to happen
    form a noteworthy tower of rock on a stump of tree
    amidst the taste, texture, sound and hues of dusk
    to make sure the night
    as we both , together, await the new dawn

  12. Debbie Headley says:

    Welcome, Joy Sorrow
    Broken embracing broken
    Pilgrims together.

  13. Carolyn Sargent says:

    Being Community:

    Gathering
    Separating

    Nearby
    Distant

    Embracing
    Releasing

    Speaking
    Listening

    Giving
    Receiving

    Leading
    Following

    Weeping
    Laughing

    Breaking bread
    Being bread

    Separating
    Gathering

    Being
    Community.

    • Amber says:

      Thank you for giving voice to these seeming polarities, all so important in being community.

      • Carolyn Sargent says:

        Thank you Amber for putting flesh on the bones of the words – 'giving/receiving' – to each of us 'gathered' here – what a sweet, communal, Sunday surprise.

  14. What is BOLD?
    We are women who come from different faiths but our mutual love of God and the gift of caring, have brought us together.
    Blessed to be in our 50's & 60's, we welcome you to join us,
    younger or older, any age is a good place to be at this precious time in all our lives.
    We are inviting kind hearted, God loving women who would enjoy sharing a morning in conversation, laughing, listening, prayer and perhaps a tear or two.
    Be BOLD, join us in the…Blessings Of Love Divine!

  15. AynE says:

    Sanctuary

    We gather bringing our gifts
    Mothers, sisters, daughters
    All.

    Rich with experience
    Knowledge, wisdom, insight
    Mother.

    Companion of days
    Joyful, sorrowing, laughter
    Sister.

    Full of promise
    Anticipation, hope, possibility
    Daughter.

    A three fold strand
    Woven, braided, bound
    Strong

    We become, together
    teaching, sharing, learning,
    Community.

    the idea for this poem came from the fact that the word "community" is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, "with/together" + munus, "gift").

  16. Karla Grauberger says:

    Sisters sojourning
    Sometimes together
    Sometimes separate
    But never alone
    Approaching,
    Crossing through
    Journeying past
    Thresholds of wonder

    Passing to and fro
    North
    South
    East
    West
    Shining lights
    Leaving stones
    Sharing amulets
    Blowing a feather forward

    In the center
    Darkness
    Time to reflect
    Inward on the lights
    The stones, amulets, and feathers

    The sisterhood
    Weaving a tapestry
    Of paths, of routes
    Guiding each other
    Supporting each other
    As Amma God holds us
    Hearts aglo in Her grace
    –Karla, 11/22/2012

  17. Jeanne Choy Tate says:

    A Thanksgiving Poem for Friends

    I know a deep and endless yearning
    for a community of people
    who share a vision of a world made whole,

    who draw near to one another to create
    that which could be but is not yet,

    who seek a space to breathe
    in sacred meanings,
    to live out strength renewed,

    who cup together many palms to shelter
    God’s warm and beating breast
    and then in turn extend that brief, small warmth
    out to the needs of all God’s own.

    Now and again I know in fleeting form
    and celebrate this community of the whole.
    It never takes the shape that I expect,
    its layers deep and rich,
    fragmented and complex,
    take me always by surprise.

    Yet I suspect it ever forms
    a grounding strong that lies beneath
    my blindness and my cares,
    upholding me, enfolding me,
    bringing me to fruition.
    In naming it and claiming it
    I see it here today.
    The ache within is silenced in the now. – Jeannie

  18. Elaine T says:

    The Clown Community

    jouncing and jerking
    on one flat tire
    we pull up, pile out

    our big round bottoms sway
    as we stumble forward
    on our gargantuan clodhoppers

    under red blobs of noses
    our mouths are painted up or down
    but our eyes are real
    and see
    our gift to you,
    incandescent laughter,
    holy in your hearts

    also see
    the sanctimonious mean
    fully robed
    in the front row

    see
    Mr greedy self-righteous

    we relish
    mocking their pomposity

    we are the clown community

    by our foolish humility
    we prick balloon egos,
    lighten the limited days
    of little bald headed children,
    raise up the sad,
    bring down the proud,
    and heal the wounds of life

  19. Mary says:

    Community is breathing
    Community is loving
    All over the world
    Where ever there is life
    There is a need to belong
    To fill the emptiness
    To close the space
    Finding the the sacred, The Divine
    Whole together

  20. mary benton says:

    there is very little that i know
    but one thing seems certain:
    i do not walk alone
    (no matter how alone i am).

    there is a longing within,
    an unquenched thirst,
    to know the wholeness
    of the holy Uncreated.

    it is not my longing
    but our longing.
    come, walk with me -
    let us drink of Him.

    let us drink of His healing,
    let us drown in His light,
    till selves be lost
    in sacred One.

  21. Helen says:

    Community
    Common unity
    Humanity
    Reaching out to the other
    Offering companionship
    Offering forgiveness
    Acceptance
    And openness
    To the unique individuality
    Of each piece
    In the puzzle of life
    The mystery of
    Community
    Always at one
    Linked by the invisible thread
    In the heart
    Of Love.

  22. Cindy Lufkin says:

    If God were a woman (a modern-day premise),
    Showing Godself in Trinity,
    Perhaps it would look like this:

    Mother, daughter, comforting friend,
    Entwined as one, inseparability,
    With no knowing where to find beginning or end.

    Nor is God a man (going against age-old logic),
    Looking on creation with standoffish pity,
    Speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

    God is love, dwelling among us, a fellowship of three persons,
    Past, present and future – a total reality,
    A fellowship of how we live, here and now, absorbing life's lessons.

  23. Marilyn says:

    Alone in my thoughts
    Heart yearning for connection
    Soul friends meet me there…

  24. Holly Moseley says:

    A poem about longing for community:

    We touch, just barely, with our eyes,
    Then glance away, unknown.
    You do not see my inner cries —
    We touch, just barely, with our eyes.

    My mind invents unfeeling lies,
    So still I am alone.
    We touch, just barely, with our eyes,
    Then glance away, unknown.

    (c) 1975

  25. Holly Moseley says:

    A poem about who I am in community:

    Within my crazy quilt of life
    I see what I have been –
    A mother, sister, daughter, wife,
    Within my crazy quilt of life.

    Though sometimes laden with sorrow and strife
    Love brings me through to win.
    Within my crazy quilt of life
    I see what I have been.

    (c) 1974

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