Welcome to Poetry Party #70!
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 or join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there.
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).
We began this month with a Community Lectio Divina practice and followed up with our Photo Party on the theme of “Call to Newness.” (You are most welcome to still participate). We continue this theme in our Poetry Party this month.
The photo above was received by me this past week at Disibodenberg, the beautiful monastic ruins in Germany where Hildegard of Bingen spent the first half of her life as a Benedictine. This place formed her for all that was to come in her life. I love doorways and thresholds and how they beckon us to something new. You are invited to share a poem about the call to newness in your own life. What thresholds are shimmering?
You can post your poem either in the comment section below*or you can join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group (with close to 600 members!) and post there.
*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.
Just come to the page,
Sit at the desk, they say.
Today, I don’t have a page,
I am not at the desk.
I am lying facedown on the chaise,
in the early September sun
With my shirt off,
With my blonde hair
And all it’s split ends
Swaying downward in the breeze
Between my pointing finger
And the Notes screen on my iPhone.
I pretend I am young and reckless,
But this is not the Riviera,
And I am nearing sixty.
I am stealing an hour from drudgery.
On my private back deck.
A poem a day?
I can do that. Right here. Right now.
Throngs of minuscule birds
Twitter and chit in the tree canopy,
A soothing chorus of little friends.
And I hear an occasional leaf
Clatter away from its birthplace
Of summer green from high
In the poplars.
The heat seems too much,
The cat purrs past
to shade me for a second
on his way to hunt in the woods.
My arms are falling asleep,
But I need to soak in the Vitamin D
In this last vestige of summer.
Battery is 20% low.
Okay, observe and write quickly.
A curled yellow leaf with brown spots
Scuttles across the deck
In a willi-waw
And skids to a stop
against the iPhone.
A larger bird chit-chits through the ravine, and all the delicate birds cease their conversations.
A light plane flies by,
Just beyond the fringe of trees, bordering the ravine.
I am undiscovered and can carry on.
A new bird whistles in the distance.
A large truck roars by out on the road, laden with gravel or logs.
The dog ambles out with her
Clicking paws and clinking collar,
As if to check on me.
A Golden-shafted Flicker calls
Enroute to somewhere else and the
Yellow leaf shudders up against
My iPhone once again.
This is not the season of singing.
It is the time of paring down,
Packing up, moving on.
I won’t feel guilty
For this time in the sun,
Or lingering here with the words
And the birds.
Two more minutes,
Then I will pull myself together,
Roll myself out of this
place of very yellow repose,
Tucked into the beauty of my
secret cathedral of radiant cedars.
The cat gallops across the deck
And into the house.
The dog pants a little,
And slowly musters the will
To follow him.
I hear noises in the woods.
Time to sit up
With a pillow to shield my front
As I slip stealthily back
into the house,
Through the French doors
To return to my duties and my boxes,
My memories and my loose papers.
But I lay here just a little longer,
Savoring the warmth, the sounds.
Like a sundial, the spruce
Casts a shadow across the deck.
Reminding me, Playtime is over.
Time to get up, get back to work.
I will miss this place and time,
But now at least,
I can take it with me.
Two brief comments by way of introduction to this ‘poem in process’;
First, I’ve been quite ill over the last three weeks. Nothing serious – a nasty virus followed by a secondary infection (resulting in an anti-biotic) – first time in many years. My energy to attend here was pretty limited, but it felt like a bit of an oasis of nourishment, so I did what I could.
Second, I was pretty stumped at my response to the photo. I felt quite a bit of resistance to ‘stepping in’, and puzzled over this. It appeared too closed in, too confining to me I suppose. But the resistance also felt worthy of exploring, so here is what grew out of it:
Call to Newness
How old, this longing?
How old the internal call,
“Live from your center!”
How long has ‘what is’
not been working?
The body knows,
and calls it’s own
retreat, refusing to
rise up, defeat
‘the uninvited guest’
Illness as a portal,
rather than a burden,
Could the body
have its own wisdom,
sensing how deep
to letting go,
how closely fear
and faith ride together?
Give up the fight,
let yourself have it,
the offered ‘gifts’
hidden in the thorns
Be still, let it all go!
Perhaps this is the ‘good medicine’
you seek. Perhaps here
the silence can bloom
until at last
can be heard