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Invitation to Poetry: Hidden Rooms

This is Poetry Party No. 7!  These are posted every other Monday.  I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc.  Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!)

Feel free to post the poem along with my image below on your blog with a link back to this post.  Please invite your readers to come join the party too!

This week I had trouble deciding between the two images below, both were taken in Ireland this past summer and each one makes me wonder what is behind the door.  But each door seems to have a very different quality, so choose one of them to write about or both!  I often have dreams about discovering hidden rooms, which speaks to me of new discoveries in my soul.

What are the hidden rooms waiting for you to discover?


Milton at Don’t Eat Alone shares the following lyrics from Bob Bennett’s “You’re Always Welcome Here”:

Lord, I hear you knocking,
knocking at my door
how long have you been waiting?
seems I never really heard you before
I’ve kind of let the place go
I’m ashamed at what you’ll find
but you can make yourself at home
if you’re sure that you don’t mind

that when I cry the roof leaks
when the wind blows the walls are weak
but a house is known by the company it keeps
I feel better now that you’re here
and I want to make it clear
Jesus, from now on, you’re always welcome here

there are dark rooms deep inside me
where light has never shown
and I often try to hide them
but I guess you’ve always known
that one day you would call me
I’d awaken from my sleep
and you’d take me just the way I am
and you promised me you’d keep me

but when I cry the roof leaks
when the wind blows the walls are weak
but a house is known by the company it keeps
I feel better now that you’re here
and I want to make it clear
Jesus, from now on, you’re always welcome here


two doors stood before me
one of joy
one of sorrow
i choose joy

-Kayce Hughlett at Diamonds in the Sky With Lucy


I had my lovely mom with me for only eighteen years, then she died suddenly of a
heart infection. She and I had a relationship that has only been matched by my
husband and daughter in love and intimacy. Perhaps it is because she died when I was
young but I forever remember her as radiant and perfect. Almost saint-like.

We often has strange psychic happenings between the two of us. I remember awakening
one morning at 6:00 and going to the bathroom, when I found her waiting.

“Nana Carol is in trouble,” she said. I knew it, too, and then the fire sirens
started ringing. My senile Nana was trapped in her house. She was able to get out
but we were both shaken by our mutual experience.

She was not the fifties version of Shirley MacLaine. My mom was a somewhat traditional
Episcopalian who had never heard or read of such things.

In my teens, I began dreaming of a farm house in Iowa, a place I could not recall
having visited. In a conversation with my mother, I discovered she dreamed of the
same house. We could never ascertain the meaning of our mutual “home” but would
discuss and describe the house to each other in great detail.

That is what is beyond the key for me…a view into something quite wondrous but not
understood. I have often wondered if this house was “beyond the veil” and maybe
someplace my mother and I had visited before and would visit again in another life.
I wonder if she is living there now. I picture her, rocking babies in the Iowa
breeze, as I have imagined her doing “in heaven” for many years. Her skin looks rosy
again and she seems blissfully happy.

-Suz Reaney


Hidden Rooms

Walking slowly down the hall

Dark, gray, cobwebs surround one who enters

Waves of funeral music filters through the vents

Turning the corner a dim light glows in the distance

The beam is startling at first almost pushing one to turn back

Trembling moving towards the light, lightness lifts the spirit

Turning the old wooden knob the room invites one in

The light provides a warm glow encouraging one to sit and rest

Rich deep scents permeate the room – cinnamon and clove

Come all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest

Stop now and lay your head down in peace

-Lisa C


The Door Into The Dark

When you learn to move without sunlight,
night opens into a living, growing space.
Branches breathe just as well without their colors.

Feel your way past vision’s locked doors;
open the places hidden by the sun’s glare—
in truth, no walls divide you from earth and sky.

Catherine Montague


Is the hidden
more valuable
than what is left
in plain sight?

Is what lies past
the locked door
more precious
than the door?


-Tess Marshall at Anchors and Masts


Two  Keyholes

Two keyholes have their  own identities:

one is enclosed in rough worn wood
the other embraced in a whimsical way.
One is my father, the other my mother.
One is me, so too is the other.
One door stands weathered, aged, hums of  usefulness.
One is bright and cheery, sings of playfulness.
There is harmony, there is joyfulness.

I’d like to go in, yet the beholding
calls me to repose. Like grandparents,
I want to sit with them and hear their  stories,
receive their wisdom, their quiet  glories.
What would they say about leaving and coming in?
What would they tell me of who they have  been?
Cherished and known with gratitude and  glee.
What is the dwelling?
Who holds the key?

-Martha Louise  Harkness

“The ecstasy to guess
Were a receipted bliss
If grace could talk.”

Rare “tercet” by Emily Dickinson
Poem (J-1608)
Submitted by kigen


What if…
on a mid-fall late afternoon
just as the light begins
to fail the day,
you were to take a walk
into a dark wood?

What if…
you heard the last refrains
of a robin’s lullaby?
you saw a chipmunk
darting home with a snack
to savor at midnight?
you caught the sweet whiff
of soggy leaves
in the brief moment
before they became rich humus?

What if…
on your walk
you came across
a small wooden cabin,
unlocked door slightly ajar
with a faint glow of moonlight
visible through the keyhole?

What if…
when you walked through that door
and knelt on the floor
you felt the well-worn tracks
where others kneeled
and prayed before?

Would you have any more questions?

-Rich Murray at Pilgrim Path



It can be said that the

longest distance is

the space between

our head and our heart.

We search diligently for

the key to shorten that distance:

in the isles of self-help books,

in the office of a therapist’s office,

in the tomes of novels and analyses,

in the pews of a community of faith,

in the posture of prayer and attentiveness.

Perhaps the key lies in our own hands,

opening our palms to the One

who bestows life in all it fullness:


-Cathleen at Back Road Journey


Hidden Rooms

The worn keyhole invites with faith’s bright promise,
But keyless hands have soiled the ancient door.
No admission, despite my pleading words.
Entry denied, against my angry fists.

Then submission bows and the door opens wide,
As boundless grace reveals the warm refuge.
Love’s obedience guides to calm communion
With God, my brothers and sisters, and self.

More hidden rooms whisper, “My child, come inside”.
As unlocked doors illuminate my soul.

Chartreuse Ova


Thus far,
the darkness of
the journey
had been
cold comfort.
Promised hope
seemed far,
far away.
Until suddenly
before me
I saw an opening,
a key hole…
… and I understood
at once
that the key
lay within
my soul….
I could choose to
remain in the dark,
or to step
beyond self
and into hope

-Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes


Resting its bones

I heard the gentle knocking
and slowly opened the door.

Boldly, the poem marched right in,
laid down and stretched itself out
across my paper.

Black ink draped across whiteness
that I was saving
for other thoughts and dreams.

Despite my surprise,
this poem has come to stay,
resting its bones after a long journey.

Although it entered as a stranger,
I recognize it now as an old friend
as it lays snoozing on the page.

-Pamela McCauley


Scents of life
whispering through a keyhole–
the ancient door . . .
hinged between the harvesting
of seedlings and memories.



The Burning Door

The door conceals the terror, yet leaks
An eerie glow. John Bosco waits
and hears the screams of boys
being tortured. They are trapped
by their humanity, betrayed
by their flesh.

He wants to save them from
the wrath of God. He sees the devil
ensnaring them. They are swallowed whole
by the ravenous mouth in which
fire burns eternal. This is God’s
will, he thinks.

He reaches out to touch the door
and heat singes flesh. He cries out
in pain, and wakes to find himself
in bed. His hand still burns. Is this the
reality of hell? Or is it just a dream
for Catholic boys?

Kievas Fargo

(to read more about Bosco for the context)
heart room(s)

almost contrary to a wide reputation for spacious capacity, my heart fears not so much someone else opening its door at my invitation or from their own intent, but more often I’m closer to concern I’ll let it swing open by casual almost mistake and my heart will need to carry too sizable regrets forevermore

-leah sophia at this far by faith

learned quickly
how to come in his door
without a key

we want to walk through doors the same way
no lock
just pushing it open
and walking through

but humankind has want of a lock
to keep out and in
how strange
open wide the door
to house and heart
come in friend-come in

-Bobbie McGarey at Southwest Parish


The hallway is dim.
The doors are varied,
Though always closed
And windowless.
The path ends here.

But , wait!
I see a ledge.
There’s a fringe hanging down
With a key tied on.

I look more closely.
There are strings of light
Faintly gleaming from keyholes.

The path must not end here.
There is a way out of this hall.
But like a young wizard seeking to save his friend,
I must find the right door.

There is only one key.
Patiently, I must try,
For old keys and locks sometimes “stick.”
They must be handled gently.
Turned with a firm, but easy hand.

And so, I search
With hope,
With dreams intact.
Believing that the next room,
Will add to my story.
And believing that
For many closed doors,
God leaves keyholes!

-Karla Grauberger

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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23 Responses

  1. I missed this last week! What wonderful poems. I don’t have one to share, but just a quick thought:
    I am reminded of Pixel the cat, from Robert Heinlein’s stories. Pixel was The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, who was too young to know that he couldn’t. Also Aslan, calling us further on and further in…