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Invitation to Poetry: The Center and the Edges

Welcome to the Abbey’s Poetry Party #57!

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)

I have recently discovered a stash of copies of my first book on lectio divina (published by Paulist Press, written with Sister Lucy) and so I will be sending out free signed copies to the first 25 people to share their poems (will be mailed out the week of May 7th).  When you submit your poem, please also email me directly with your mailing address (I’ll send confirmation I received it, but I won’t be chasing down folks for their addesses).  This is my way of saying thank you for participating in the Abbey community.


This photo is of one of the doors to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  I love this found mandala, because for me, I could see the clear boundary of the center where the knocker for the door was and where you request entry to the inner sanctum, and then the extension outward from there of the design which had a reaching quality to me and sense of how our service to others extends out into the world.  We are called to dance on life’s edges, stretching the boundaries and horizon.  I felt the beautiful tension between the center and the edges and how we are called to both – each one nourishes the other.

I invite you to ponder this image and see what it evokes in your heart.  Let that be a starting point for your poem writing.  Then scroll down to the comments section and share it here with our Abbey community.

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54 Responses

  1. The Door

    The garden was turned into
    a great iron door.

    I step closer to the sun condensed in its’ center.

    Arabesques ask for a dance
    before entry.

    I foliate and bend into the swirl
    of lyre and light, I am a floriated being.

    In this door is the scent of white lilac.
    Leafy dreams spiral and play.

    How will I ever enter?

    My body is the answer.

    The garden is dancing there.

  2. The Cathedral Door

    today we worship
    in the Church of the Salish Sea

    the bronze cathedral door
    to such as us

    dark pews embrace our brokeness
    no longer
    stained glass illuminates our hearts
    no longer

    in the Church of the Salish Sea
    the great vaults of cloud-sky
    raise up
    raise up our spirits

    creatures of sea and sky
    in the mystical intricacies of their beings
    raise up each tentacle and wing
    in sacred praise with us

    as we kneel in the holy sands
    of the Church of the Salish Sea