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Invitation to Poetry: Written On Our Hearts

Our twenty-seventh Poetry Party!  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 or email me 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!)

I’ll add your contributions all week and then I will draw a name at random on Friday morning from everyone who participates. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog and encourage others to come join the party!

Yesterday Sister Lucy Wynkoop and I had our first book signing for Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening and Awareness at St. Placid Priory.  It was very well attended and the bookstore sold out of the hundred copies they had ordered. It was a gift to celebrate the publication, I hadn’t really been able to savor the experience until then. I realized sitting there in my chair with pen in hand, it was because yesterday we celebrated with the wider community. We were with the people who would be reading our writing and that made all of the difference. What a joy and privilege to greet each person and offer them blessings.

As I personalized and signed each volume I was struck by this act of writing come full circle.  The many hours of writing spent to complete the book and the way people seek out signed books in part, I think, to have a connection with the author, to know just for a moment the heart from which the writing springs. In that space a line from scripture came to me: “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by everyone (2 Corinthians  3:2). I reflected later, in my own experience of lectio, on the ways in which the sacred is inscribed onto my heart and my work is to share those words as well as I can.  Words like Love. Silence. Justice. Contemplation. Beauty. Words made substantive, enfleshed.

What are the words inscribed on your heart?


I sit in the sun,
my heart of clay
drawn to the warmth
washing over me.

How long
will I wait here,
by these stony
walls of doubt,
this prison
of my own making?

I have been here
it seems,
Life bursts forth
in riot
all around me,
but I am

Let the rains come
and wear away
the stone.
Let the sun warm
me with its
Let new life
spring forth
in this heart
of clay.


-amy at haiku paradise


joy is the word inscribed upon my heart.

even when it brings me tears, perhaps especially then.
even when my heart feels cold, joy beats the pulse within.

-lucy at diamonds in the sky with lucy


Feelings, dreams, hopes,
love, passion, desire,
life rend my heart
and leave it open
for everyone to see
everyone to touch
everyone to claim.

When you bend down
and brush it with your face
and listen
You’ll know it’s
your heart too.

-Theresa Walker


It’s easy to feel tossed about
by gentle waves or raging winds
It’s easy to feel cut loose,
anchorless, adrift.

It’s tempting to think of life
with no ties, no bonds, no restraints…

but in my heart I long
for rock-solid confidence
for sure and certain knowledge
to remember that your name
is written indelibly on my heart

-Anne Sims at Stories and Faith


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

-St. Patrick

(submitted by Wronda)


…..’Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.  With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.’
[UMC Hymnal #431]




Cold gray stone,
Stone lies on the grassy plain
Plain words spoken from the heart
Heart of stone

Kievas Fargo


Erosion, divine placement
We want to see that heart, I mean,  it’s only a stone
We honor its presence and yearn for others to see it as well

Erosion, divine placement
Doesn’t matter does it, I mean, that it’s only a stone
A heart, we refuse to overlook it and all that it means to us

-Sunrise Sister at Mind Sieve


“With Indelible Ink”

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.

Somethymes it just starts welling up

from within, growing, swelling.

I wonder how I can release it.

I wonder how I can contain it.

It excites me.

It scares me.

Is this the passion, the creativity, the authentic life within

that is seeking voice?

What other layers need to be peeled away?

What permission do I need to give myself?

What song am I becoming?

Moss may creep along the edges.

Weeds may sprout from the center.

Rain may fall, tears may flow baptism~like,

pooling in the crevices as new life bubbles forth.

And then I know

that healing is possible,

that You are enfleshed in my soul,

that “Life” is written

indelibly in my heart.

And gratitude pulses through every cell.

and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.



Dear One,
I have a heart
that will fit perfectly
inside of Yours.

When it is there
I am malleable
and snug, content
with who I am
and what I know;
at peace.

Then I am full
of gratitude,
and all I breathe
is Love.

-Martha Louise Harkness


My Heart Sings

Feet on the ground, stand firm;
Roots unfurl down into the fertile ground;
Reach down, through soil and stone,
Take hold and tap
Into the holy water of life.

Arms loose, stand tall;
Spirit unfurl under the eternal blue sky,
Open to the unending waves of grace.

Eyes unveiled, to see the light –
Ears, to hear the heartbeat –
And mouth soft to sing the praise –
of God in all creation.




My body formed of clay from earth,
my bones from random rocks.
I yearn to feel the blush of sun,
the soaking rain, upon my face
and deep within my desert soul.
The love inscribed upon my heart
lies too within imperfect bones.
Hidden to protect weak flesh
from daggers of a mortal love.
I look to nature for eternal solace
for there I’ll find my rest, my home.

-Rich at Pilgrim Path


I have seen this rock before. When I was younger I was mendable and shaped my body to the stone. As I grow older the stone has gone small yet the heart holds things that I would never impose with my adult self now.

-Tom Delmore at Crow’s Perch


Flugel Stone

A name I called myself when
you and I became one.
Flugel—from the German, wing
Stone—from the earth, you grounded me.

But the grounding
became heavy upon my wings.
I forgot the feel of blue space
and the dizzying rise and
fall of possibility.

I made my descent
to a place
with no light,
no light…

The darkness broke open
and I knew the fierce truth.
Wings gave flight
leaving nothing but shadow
indelibly etched in stone…listen:

Stay awake!
Your truth is a talisman;
face the darkness
and it will set you free…

-Kathy Flugel Colle


Although the inside of my heart
be muddy and dark

You open it wide
Show it the sun

Bring me to your warmth
Teach me to be free.

-Mary Beth Butler at Terrapin Station


“All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.”

-Julian of Norwich

I first read “Julian” about twenty years ago and was so touched by these words. I say them again and again…and know that there is NOTHING that can not turn out well, even if that is the end of this life.



a quotation  From Zen Master Dogen’s BUKKOJOJI
(trans. by Nishijima & Cross)

In the house of Buddha there is the Bodhisattva Regarder of Sounds of the World.

Few people have not seen her but very few know her.

We need not use coins to buy her elegant manner of being, and when we look into her faces, which is right and which is wrong?

In order to speak she turns [our] body round and mounts the Zazen platform; in order to listen she takes [our] hand and stands on the ground.

At places not hindered by even a single dharma, her compassionate eyes illuminate us.

Her response and our being responded to are a donkey looking at a well, and are the well looking at a donkey.

There may be no human being who clearly understands this state, “it keenly avoids verbal expression.

-submitted by kigen


Open the door
to the beauty
of your own soul.

Deep down,
there is the seed
that God planted,

Waiting to be watered,
nurtured and

A young girl is there.
Wide-eyed and innocent.
It is you.

Open the door
to her dreams.
Your song can still be sung.

-Pam McCauley


Fragments of time
scattered along changing paths,
these ancient stones . . .
gently gathered in my hands
your memories in my heart.

-Bette Norcross Wappner (b’oki)


Heart of stone?
Or heart in stone?
Entombed in stone, only now beginning to break free?

Your words are written there.
Love. God. Reality.

I have called you out of yourself.
I will cleanse you of your impurities.
I will take away your stony heart and
give you a natural heart, a heart of flesh
and feeling.

The many tears I choked back are simmering
below the surface, waiting to erode
my stony heart.

-Julie at Knitting Theologian


What is written on my heart?
Little more than endless pain.
Decades of
“tomorrow will be different
“this next thing will work
“all I need is a long night’s sleep…”
imagining and actually believing sorrow, loss, grief and hope
were the night that Spirit
would transform into dawn

-Leah Sophia at This Far by Faith


Stumbling Stone

Heart open to skies
you sit in rock state of
submission wondering
of holiness almost
unoticed etching
monument to snow’s
expanded feathery
fissures burst edges
rigidity tight unyielding
construction shattered
something broken boundaries
possibility of enfleshment.

Christine Eleanor Merritt


I’m a ragdoll
My bones spill out of the car and i walk to the bus
once there my eyes fill with tears
and my chest aches and i feel a rage of water coming forth
i put a smile on my mouth to shut that chasm.
and move forward

-vickie pellouchoud at in the acorn


A split tree is waiting for me
to mend its parts, to heal its heart, restore blessed unity;
but don’t you see, I’m too small,
I can’t mend that tree at all.

But I’ll climb its boughs
and I’ll hold its parts,
and in my breast will beat the heart
of my split tree, my split tree.

Jenifer Hartsfield






in my heart

Love is

Love is

Love is

-Mavis at set the bird free


-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts



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23 Responses

  1. Thank you Christine for a wonderful reminder of my own brief sojourn on Inishmore in 2005. Long gestation this week. To deliver:





    in my heart

    Love is

    Love is

    Love is

  2. Years ago as I began recovering from an experience which first shocked then cast me into despair, an image appeard as I drew in search of help. The image was (and still is) written on my heart. When I sought the meaning of the image these words came to me:

    A split tree is waiting for me
    to mend its parts, to heal its heart, restore blessed unity;
    but don’t you see, I’m too small,
    I can’t mend that tree at all.

    But I’ll climb its boughs
    and I’ll hold its parts,
    and in my breast will beat the heart
    of my split tree, my split tree.

    Jenifer Hartsfield

  3. I’m a ragdoll
    My bones spill out of the car and i walk to the bus
    once there my eyes fill with tears
    and my chest aches and i feel a rage of water coming forth
    i put a smile on my mouth to shut that chasm.
    and move forward