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Invitation to Poetry: Love Letters to the World

Welcome to the Abbey’s Poetry Party #55!

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! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

On Sunday, February 19th, I will draw a name at random from the participants and the winner will receive a free registration spot in my upcoming online art retreat for the season of Lent – Soul of a Pilgrim (February 22-April 7, 2012).


This week we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Instead of writing love letters and poems to our lovers and beloved ones, I am inviting you this week to write a poem that is a love letter to something from daily life, something absolutely ordinary, but when viewed in the right moment it becomes luminous.  It could be a seagull hovering over the water, steam rising from a cup of morning coffee, the beginning shoots of spring, even the dirty laundry left from someone we care about deeply, whatever it is that is calling your attention this week in the most ordinary and extraordinary way.

Click on the “leave a comment” feature and scroll down to the bottom to share your poem with this community.

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71 Responses

  1. On winter afternoon walks
    I am heliotropic.
    I want to see the western sun as it sets
    as its light diminishes.
    I alter my route to face it;
    if I must, I turn my head to look
    as if the setting sun is my hope,
    my icon of peace.

  2. Love letter to Keegan’s debris

    I see signs of you everywhere.
    The Baritone is abandoned on the floor after practice.
    I see your sweet face, puffed with each note.
    The furrow in your brow shows your concentration to keep those untrained cheeks flat.
    Dirty socks lay the hall.
    Free the feet! And off go the socks the moment you arrive home from school.
    The empty hamper is 10 feet away and longing for dirty socks.
    No need to leave post-it notes to remind me you are here and there and here!
    I open a drawer and find a post-it note on my lip balm.
    Laughter bubbles out.
    Don’t worry, I know you are here.

  3. Counting Everything, Everything Counts

    Counting everything
    I seek the sacred in the day-after-day

    Cultivating the ability to see without looking
    Anticipating delight without the constraints of expectation

    Simply showing up for what matters
    Even when I’m unsure why it matters

    Especially then…

    Everything counts
    One step, ten, halfway, all the way

    There is no wrong direction, there is no right of way
    And sometimes trying means trying too hard

    Trusting the cumulative effect
    Gathering gifts, sowing seeds, leaning in, looking up

  4. Feet trudge heavily in the darkness
    over the infertile paving
    between structures
    Eyes see
    slow as molasses
    then quick as a gasp
    the scatter of stars
    tossed with loving abandon
    a cadence of fluid grace
    over the strictly metered ground

  5. Our Magnolia Tree

    The tree is thick with buds, my love

    My hands rest on her sturdy trunk, my love

    I touch the velvet moss, my love

    The early sun lights up that green, my love

    Can they be but five springs, my love

    That encompass the whole long story

    of you and me as one, my love?

    And now, my love

    You are free, my love

    And one day, my love

    We’ll be together, my love

    Together for love.

  6. I’ve posted my poem on my blog here:

    But here it is also for ease of reading:

    A Love Poem to a Wren
    in memory of Gerard Manley Hopkins

    oh, to have wings delicate,
    untethering my existence from
    this kidnapped planet—

    to flutter beyond mere feather,
    eschewing gravity
    ever so briefly.

    to skim the reverent waters,
    to see all anew—
    the vantage unfolding

    the fragility of dappled branches,
    pardoned, scrubby fields,
    plausible seas toppling over
    parchment edges.

    to be unpinned from the page,
    struggling forward toward
    that singular moment
    before the letting go—

    then ah, bright wings
    flex angelic,
    and at last I—
    somehow, I understand.

  7. The dancing flame
    Fills the hearth and woes the soul.
    Invitation opens
    Purifying, refining, healing, guiding.
    Silently space opens,
    Agendas shed.
    Breath inhaled.
    Presence known.
    The Spirit leads,
    Steps enliven.
    Divinity stirs, quickening within
    Possibility awakens.
    The dance begins.

  8. Letters of Love

    Six days a week love is carried around town,

    addressed to Ms. Sue and Mr. Tom

    and Chaundra and Shawn

    and Mr. and Mrs. Long.

    Coming from across the country and around the corner,

    these letters are written from the heart

    or chosen with care at the card store.

    They tell of

    …a mother’s love for her daughter just starting college

    …unspoken love after months of silent admiration

    …gratitude after 47 years of marriage

    …a sweetheart far from her beloved

    …forgiveness after words spoken in anger

    …love that is patient and kind and endures forever.

    The good news is this love is not reserved just for Valentine’s Day.

    With “Forever” stamped in the right hand corner,

    this love is carried on paper and in our hearts.

    1. This is wonderful… especially during this era of e-mails. Nothing better than a card in the mail.