Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Poems to Savor by Pilgrims on the Wild Edges

© Anne Wicks – Kilmurvey Beach, Inismor, Ireland

August 30-September 7, 2015 we had 13 pilgrims join us for a very special pilgrimage and writing retreat on the wild edges of the world. We stayed on the islands of Inismor and Inisbofin, off the coast of Connemara and let the landscape inspire our creative process.

I am grateful to these dancing monks for sharing their inspiration so freely with the community. Pour a cup of tea and then savor these poems:

A Pilgrim’s Progress

She heard the call of wind and jagged earth, stones and hungry green; the raw bitter hum of want. Held to a moody sky of blue and gloom, of the spirit of rainbow and drifting cumulous, of rain and more rain; a volatile dome clothing this land.

She let the wind take her like bramble. Carried her over sharp limestone, over the courage of heather, and the green wild caught in crevices. Whipping away at her soft edges in a Pilgrim’s chant of many yesterdays to find her longing.

She let the hurt take her; reminding her of where she was and where she’d been. In that way of how the world is full of claws and serpent tongues. Of wordless stares projecting. Of the harsh spoils of thoughtlessness.

She let the wind take her in her vulnerability across the sparse hard that pilgrims had walked centuries ago to find answers to the ‘Why’? Hoping this place of stark refuge would push the questions into the heart to feel the answers.

She rolled and she tumbled. She gave no grasp to any of what might hold her to stillness. Letting what might be still settle inside her softly as her body found it’s way to the sea. Of shells, and stones, and seaweeds tangle. Of sandy grit and salty water’s healing lick.

She lay exposed in the tides ease under the sky-dome of every season’s moving. Letting the caress of home and belonging flow over her raw naked. Letting the query of her quest be her answer.

© Jeanne Adwani


I arise today by the grace of God,
surrounded with Christ’s love,
infused with Spirit’s power,
protected by Father’s arm.
I arise today by the grace of God,
the Holy Three,
the Ever One.
Open me today to wonder, love, and praise,
that I might greet Christ in all people,
that I might see Christ in all places.
Awaken me today to wonder, love, and praise. Amen.

© Carol K. Everson



How do you know to listen to the angel
who could be deer, could be skunk,
could be simply the brook water rushing
past in a constant murmur of invitation?
How do you know when the wandering
is complete, the place you are meant to be
sometimes the place you began, sometimes
so far away that everything familiar drops away
like a woman shedding veils in the moonlight;
all that is left of you is skin and soul?
Who are these saints, wandering until
they reach their place of resurrection?
You hold your doubts like burning coals
scorching your palms, smoke blinding you
to the dream just ahead
stumbling because you cannot see clearly
the one place you were meant to inhabit,
the island of your soul.

© Nita Penfold

“Why Are You Here?”

Why am I here?
to love and be loved
to listen …
and yield to the whisperings
of sacred wild edges
to bless and be blessed
open to spaciousness and wholeness
to dream, dance and sing
songs of gratitude …
to love and be loved
all the days of my life.

© Anne Wicks, 2015

Photo © Anne Wicks – Kilmurvey Beach, Inismor, Ireland

You might also enjoy

New Monk in the World Self-Study Retreat!

We are pleased to announce the release of our revised and expanded Monk in the World retreat! The retreat is an 8 week self-study that explores the principles of The Monk Manifesto. The new version includes: Registration is offered on a sliding scale and all

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Naimi Gonzalez

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Naimi Gonzalez’s reflection learning to be present through lectio divina. I am in the beginning stages of learning to be more contemplative

Read More »

5 Responses

  1. Thanks, Anne for sharing these beautiful poems ! They are so beautiful! They sure touch the soul and make you aware of the beautiful things that God has created for all of us to enjoy in our lifetime.

  2. These are so lovely. Thank you for being brave and sharing them with us. Each one is so unique. Something about this art form helps make the journey co-experiencial. Must be brain integration. Just so wonderful, this poetry makes me feel loved to go be love. A great way to arise this morning in the Midwest of USA.

  3. so moving and heartful ~ thank you, sharing the path, sharing your truths ~ inspiring ~

    with gratitude ~