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Invitation to Poetry: Fierceness and Courage

Welcome to Poetry Party #49!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections.  Scroll down and add your responses 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) and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

On Friday, January 28th, I will draw a name at random from the participants and send the winner a free registration for the Lenten Online Retreat: Journey with the Desert Mothers & Fathers.


Roar, Lion of the Heart, and tear me open!


When I was in Vienna over Christmas I ended up in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism.  Thirty percent of people die with this condition.  This brush with death has had a powerful impact on me that is still shimmering across my life and I imagine will for a long time.  In the quiet days of healing that followed my husband and I wandered the beautiful old city streets, cherishing one another, savoring life.  In our explorations I kept discovering lions calling to me – in churches, on street corners, in building entryways, on door knockers. 

When I returned home I went to see my spiritual director to share the story of this journey.  We talked of many things, but one which especially resonated is that he said there was a fierce part of me that chose to keep living and I was being called to discover what that fierceness was fighting for.   As he uttered those words I knew immediately that this was connected to the call of lions.  There is a roar inside of me that is tearing me open to new layers of discovery.

What are the things of your life you are called to protect fiercely?  Where are you being called to greater courage? 

I invite you to write a poem about fierceness.  Much of our talk in spiritual circles is about what feels good or pleasing, and while these are important, just as vital are those experiences in life that confront us with the underside of things, that call out of us a fierce longing and sense of the the fertile depths.  Give your fierceness a shape or form, explore its roar through poetry.

(Photo of lion in Vienna)

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62 Responses

  1. Summer/Eros
    Your tender thumbs wipe away the dark, sad circles under my eyes and you gently kiss my resentful mouth. Your laugh is like an invisible cord that leads me on, past the empty boxes and dusty shelves, towards the scent of lemony magnolias.
    I see the window, open to the green earth and sky, the ivory curtains blowing like resurrected grave clothes.

  2. Choices
    Protected with fervor and fierceness
    Attended with courage

    offered as a gift with grace ~ a gift of new life

    received in desperation
    when life was seemingly lost

    that can be lost as quickly as they are received
    especially when not cared for with fervor and fierceness.

    Today, I sit in the meeting
    Why did she choose to drink…
    What demons did the greeting…
    What did she think…
    Did she remember the grace
    or the desperation…

    All the while knowing
    this is what an alcoholic does

    Alcoholism ~
    the disease that tells me i don’t have a disease.
    the disease that is cunning, baffling and powerful

    My daily prayer is that i remember
    my solution is sobriety – it is the gift of choice
    a grace-filled gift that is given and received –
    a gift that will not be taken away but can be thrown away

    Sobriety ~ my gift of new life
    protected with fervor and fierceness
    a way of life lived couragously
    given with grace and received in desperation.