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Invitation to Poetry: Hospitality

Welcome to the Abbey’s 61st Poetry Party!

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!  (If you repost the photo, please make sure to include the credit link below it and link back to this post inviting others to join us).

Each month we have a new theme and for October it is hospitality, drawn from the second principle of the Monk Manifesto: “I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.”

Write a poem about this commitment and desire.

What is it that you are called to welcome within?

What are the challenging voices knocking on your inner (and outer) door?

What happens when you begin a conversation willing to be changed by what you hear?

Photo Credit: Steven Elliott (please use this credit if you repost this invitation on your blog and link back to the Abbey as well – thank you!)

Share your poem below in the comments with the Abbey community.

On Sunday, October 19th, I will select one name at random from the submissions and the winner will receive a space in my upcoming online retreat – Honoring Saints and Ancestors: Peering through the Veil

October’s theme is Hospitality (Abbey Resources):

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29 Responses

  1. Holy Purpose

    As long as our culture
    operates by the economy of scarcity
    and self-definition via competition,

    we will always create an imaginary line
    in the measure of productivity
    beyond which many people will decide

    they are entitled to hoard and hide,
    without recognizing the way
    this gating defies our holy purpose.

    No longer do we have
    the understanding that ability
    is a gift to be purposed for creation;

    instead we find ourselves
    privatizing the math of creativity
    with no possible factor beyond

    the lonely little X of self.
    Surrounded by our stuff,
    we devolve into endless appetites.

    Lord, help us find our way
    back to the table of community
    and abundance where none are uninvited!

  2. Oh! Let’s Have A Party!

    we’ll splash around like little birds
    with never a worry at all
    bring all your friends and neighbors
    all are welcome

    to swim in the river Jordan
    to laugh and to play
    all demons washed away
    and new white garments to wear
    all are welcome

    we’ll share a potluck dinner
    be sure to bring a dish to share
    at the supper of the Lord
    all are welcome

    after the party
    there is a special blessing
    and a companion for the journey
    the Spirit walks with us
    and we walk with the Spirit
    and all are welcome.

  3. Thirsting and Once In Need

    Twitter your criticisms loud
    as you like; others will shout

    you down for bad manners.
    Some might look away, a few

    even turn their backs, not sure
    their voices matter. Count on

    the quiet ones to make the move
    first, prepare the slippery slope

    for your first-time landing. Where
    room enough can be made, they’ll

    stand out by example, call for
    the rest of us to see just how much

    you are like their own brothers
    and sisters, thirsting and once in need.

    I’ll be posting this on my blog on Wednesday. A delight to participate. Thank you.

  4. Room for all

    Let come who will to bathe or drink

    these playful drops so cool, you think

    “how lavish God does pour upon

    this water’d life whose life He’s won.”

    And though the edge of this lagoon

    is busting, full of those who soon

    will push and tear and force their way,

    yet those who see can laugh, can play.

    For wherever all are welcome, there

    is space for all, both rough and fair.

    God it is who will decide

    the ones who choke out love with pride,

    instead the pain’d and poor, invite;

    together, let us dine tonight.

  5. family
    decorum forgotten they
    drink splash clean

    themselves as well
    as one another

    some stand aloof
    some annoy some carry

    all receive the

    drink splash clean
    you belong to us
    and we to you

  6. Flying high, I hear delightful splashes
    and laughter in your singing
    and I wonder, I wonder as I wander.
    Will you make room for me?
    The Bread and Wine that lasts.
    I want to become the gift.


    To belong–
    is to cross the threshold with muddy feet and cock-eyed cap,
    carrying life’s bundle unchecked at the door.

    To belong–
    is to bless reach tatter and patch with as much honor as each gem and crown,
    knowing the necessity of both.

    To belong–
    is to welcome beyond the Rules,
    setting the table with a sheltering circle.

  8. There is only so much room around the fountain
    only so many places for delicate feet
    to find purchase among cascading water
    and the cacophony of fellow travelers.

    Yet below the bubbling fountain,
    there are unseen ever ready reserves,
    enough for each to drink their fill.
    Just as when you and I are talking
    we go on and on together
    with our glasses
    constantly full.