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Invitation to Poetry: The Call to Our True Selves

Brent Bill Poetry Party

Welcome to Poetry Party #72!

button-poetryI select an image (*photo above by Quaker minister Brent Bill) 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 from Thomas Merton and followed up with our Photo Party on the theme of “The Call to Our True Selves.” (You are most welcome to still participate).  We continue this theme in our Poetry Party this month.

Thomas Merton’s words invite us to consider the sainthood of creation, living into the fullness of their purpose and call. We can refuse this call for ourselves, and often do, but we can also choose to respond to the witness of nature to deepen into who we are.  Write a poem which explores this journey.

You can post your poem either in the comment section below*or you can join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group (with almost 900 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.

You can see the fall calendar of invitations here>>

*Photo by Brent Bill

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24 Responses

  1. Posture

    I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window of my neighbor’s house
    as I walk past
    Who is that old lady? I wonder.
    And why is she wearing my coat?

    I look to the trees to inspire my posture.
    I ask breath to uncrumple my chest
    Shoulders move back and chin lifts
    This temple feels like a Sacred Yes.

  2. Sausage

    No one wants to see
    How the tasty little sausage is made
    Much like the difficulty
    In viewing ones cracks and crevices
    The things that add
    Flavor, aroma, texture to our ordinary meat
    So often made of items
    We don’t want to see or have revealed
    The history of my life,
    The decision making process in my pointy head
    The patterns I follow to a fault,
    The quirks and bends of character
    If called out by others
    Cause me to shrivel in the heat of exposure
    Yet these bits of ear gristle,
    Rind, belly fat and dried twigs make me Me
    I am hand crafted by a Master’s touch
    To use the leftovers and discards
    To sizzle in the pan of daily heat,
    Turned again and again
    To deep golden perfection

  3. Learning to live with paradox in the Grace of God.. :

    The Forest through the Trees

    How more than sure the vision inside and through the barren, dormant tree communities of winter.
    Encountering within
    sky blues of hope.
    Pileated woodpeckers pecking at fresh layers of truth from the deepest Heartbeat.
    Pleasurable sights of colorful wild birdwing.
    Whispering sounds of alluring secrets ..
    Is this not an invitation to discover a clearing
    to the enchanted forest ?
    clarity, after confusion
    mercy after misery
    calm, after storm
    joy, after sorrow
    happiness, after weeping.
    Connecting through every season an inner path to the forest of what has always been.

  4. Reading the Lectio, I was actually struck by one of your words – “shimmers”. That brought to mind the description of the Spirit as “vibrating” over the waters at the beginning of creation, which then tied with Merton’s description of elements of creation as being saints – or “called out” and “emerging” …


    (In …)
    Nothing – non-existence.
    Surpassing mere emptiness, the lack even of possibility.

    A martial call rings out.
    Demanding of the nothing that it produce a potentiality.

    Possibility exists.
    A hovering vibration draws form from barren, shapeless entropy

    (The …)
    Nothing – powerless slave
    Poured out like water, emptied of identity and humanity.

    A call to freedom sounds
    Entreating, then insisting, that the enslaver undo the restraints.

    Nationality exists.
    A separate society from oppressed ethnicity born.

    (Beginning …)
    Nothing – impotent breath.
    Walking dead, a shell of the form of Him, void of the divine impulse.

    A gentle call rings out.
    Asking of the shell permission to fill the tragic void so enclosed.

    First inspiration exists.
    A pneumatic inhalation of the primogenetic substance.

    (God …)
    Something – undetermined.
    Potential, still unfullfilled, being gravid with deific substance.

    A sustained pure note rings.
    Impells, yet draws, toward an image distant yet ever so near by.

    Refinement continues.
    Shedding bits of snakeskin, torn free by the iron of mortal whetstones.

    (Created …)
    Thessalonian Trump!
    He has delivered me from that dead and powerless body of flesh!

    Emergence – Unfolding!
    Emergence becomes immersion, unfolding becomes enfolding in …

    The eucatastrophic …
    Moment when the tragic flaw is transformed into expression of glory!

  5. Your Heart

    Come, luv,
    place your fingertips
    on your heart

    This is your heart
    each beat
    a song of praise
    each beat
    a yes
    to life

    Again and again
    from your mother’s womb
    until the day you die

    It is you, luv,
    a gift
    to the universe

  6. emerging responses to Thomas Merton passage ~

    who am i? is asked
    breathe into lean into this
    open and receive

    “means to be myself”
    in the face of what may come
    walk with this one now

  7. When I saw the picture of the sycamore trees by Brent Bill it immediately resonated with me. Earlier in the day I had taken a walk with my camera and received this image of a sycamore tree only without leaves. Fall is a difficult time of year for me as I struggle with seasonal affective disorder and the lack of sunlight. I am trying this year to embrace winter for its gifts instead of dreading the season of darkness and cold. I have been reflecting on Merton words and was struck by the phrase “half-naked mountain”.
    My response to all of that is in the following poem:


    I see you there
    unadorned and bare
    having lost your summer wear.
    Sleek and slender
    your delicate form was hidden before.
    Now you are naked and unashamed
    facing the cold winter unafraid.
    I ponder your form,
    your outstretched arms, veins and pores.
    I have wrapped myself up in layers of warmth
    afraid of winter and its storms.
    But you undress before the watching world
    You do not hide
    You simply are what you are.
    I wish I could be as transparent as you are.
    David Mansfield
    Poetry Party #72

  8. (This very short poem came to me this morning as I was lying in bed. It has its own photo – which I will try to upload. I love the tree photo but decided I would just share what was given to me…)

    there can be no self
    but the one
    floating on the river
    of You.

  9. Could it be another way to grow
    Than to shed thy leaves
    To let the years flow?

    Would the branches not divide
    And thy path not cleaves
    But stay and abide?

    Always reaching for the skies
    With a figure that weaves
    Dancing, praising through the cries

    Bare is not so scary anymore
    Desired and longed for it appeals
    To find that which beat inside thy core…