Poetry

 

Mamma Coyote, by Jewel Mathieson
Are you ready to unplug from the mother matrix
surrender your mother martyr dish rag jag
unnail yourself from your homemade cross
let your hair down
pony up to a wild mans beat and spin your spurs silly
to grind into the groove until your little goody two shoes bore through the floor?
Are you ready to get down on your knees
newborn paws and knees and be bowed into another kingdom
to arch your back and let the hot tongue drum tease you
to stretch and take the music even deeper
deeper in to DNA that has already begun to mutate
to feel that beat inside of you like a phantom limb lover pulsing
to lay yourself out and let the didjeridu you?
Are you ready to have every atom in your body explode into Eves
to incinerate, selfebrate, rejoice, rejuice
to catapult yourself into unreserved love
to live in the sensual hum of breath sliding along aching bone?
Are you ready to be suspended in that electric
waiting for that first penetration sensation
mmmmmmmm you know that feeling
that wide open, first time you fuck a song feeling
when you court each beat like a long lost lover
and thrust all of yourself back into the riff
no no’s, no volume control, no jive, solo dive
where you nail the down beat against the wall with every bone in your body
and then you let the back-beat have its way with you
finally going all the way with yourself
I mean AAAHHHLLLL the way
Are you ready to ride the wave of your own rip tide
swiggle into a snake spine
paw and paw until root tips anchor you for a full body howl
Are you ready?
ARE YOU READY?
Phew! YES!!
Sweat Your Prayers, by Jewel Mathieson
Why dance? Why here?
This dance floor, my canvass, my playground
my therapist, my lover, my meditation, my church
The keys to the kingdom are rattling in my chest
the breath, lifeline to the divine
I come here for the caress of holy spirit thru my body
to feel the beloved in my blood, for a transfusion of light
I come here for the higher powered dance
To feel God’s love blazing in my body
salvation from my small self
this body, kindling for this fire, this rhythm refuge
every beat and rest of one heart
this is my tribal church, my communion
this monastery of mind
this holy place in my heart
this pagoda in my palm alms
this sanctuary in my spine a sacrifice
this temple in my torso testifying
this shrine in chakra number three freeing
this higher powered dance
this higher powered dance
this, this is why I’m here
this is why we’re here
for THIS dance
This Dance, by Jewel Mathieson
We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
But the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shaking ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.
We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take ten giant leaps dance The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.
We have come to be danced Where the kingdoms collide
In the cathedral of flesh To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced! We have come.
Self-Portrait, by David Whyte
It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day,
with the consequence of love
and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace,
Even the gods speak of God.
Tilicho Lake, by David Whyte
In this high place
it is as simple as this,
leave everything you know behind.
Step toward the cold surface,
say the old prayer of rough love
and open both arms.
Those who come with empty hands
will stare into the lake astonished,
there, in the cold light
reflecting pure snow
the true shape of your own face
Well of Grief, by David Whyte
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface of the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water,
cold and clear, nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown away by those who wished for something else.
The Journey, by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Book of Hours, by Rilke
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Last Sonnet to Orpheus Sonnet XXIX, by Rilke
Quiet friend who has come so far,
Feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Part One, Sonnet IV, by Rilke
You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks as it divides and rejoins behind you.
Blessed ones, whole ones, you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows and you are the target.
Fear not the pain.
Let its weight fall back into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.
The trees you planted in childhood have grown too heavy.
You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.
There is a Field …., by Rumi
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Don’t go back to sleep, by Rumi
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth to the threshold where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
If we come to sleep, by Rumi
If we come to sleep,
We are His drowsy ones.And if we come to wake
We are in His hands.If we come to weeping,
We are in His clouds full of raindrops.And if we come to laughing
We are His lightening in that moment.If we come to anger and battle
It is the reflection of His wrath.And if we come to peace and pardon
It is the reflection of His Love.Who are we
in this complicated world?
Water, by Rumi
How does part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?Don’t try to put out a fire by throwing on
More fire. Don’t wash a wound with blood.No matter how fast you run, your shadow
More than keeps up. Sometimes it is in front.
Only full, over head sun diminishes your shadow.But that shadow has been serving you.
What hurts you, blesses you.Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.I can explain this, but it would break the glass cover
On your heart, and there is no fixing that.

You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.

When from that tree, feathers and wings
Sprout on your soul, be quieter than a dove.
Don’t open your mouth for even a coooooo.

This Place Where You are Right Now, by Hafiz
This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and sky,
The Beloved has bowed there –
Our Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.I could tell you a priceless secret about
Your real worth, dear pilgrim,
But any unkindness to yourself,
Any confusion about others,
Will keep one
From accepting the grace, the love,
The sublime freedom
Divine knowledge always offers to you.Never mind, Hafiz, about
The great requirements this path demands
Of the wayfarers,
For your soul is too full of wine tonight
To withhold the wondrous Truth from this world.But because I am so clever and generous,
I have already clearly woven a resplendent lock
Of His tresses
As a remarkable truth and gift
In this poem for you.Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz
Not with wings, by Hafiz
Here soar
Not with wings,But with your moving hands and feet
And sweating brows -Standing by your Beloved’s side
Reaching out to comfort this worldWith your cup of solace
Drawn from your vast reservoir of Truth.Here soar
Not with your eyes and sensesThat turn their backs
On the earth’s sweet stumbling dance
which needs you.

Here love, O here love,
With your mouth tender and open upon your lover,

And with your heart on duty
To the souls of rivers, children, forest animals,
All the shy feathered ones and laughing, jumping,
Shining fish.

O here pilgrim,
Love
On this holy battleground of life

Where there are bleeding men
Who are calling for a sacred drink,
A gentle ord or touch from man
Or God.

Hafiz, why just serve and play with angels?
They are already content.

Brew your knowledge well for men
With aching minds and guts,

and for those wayfarers who have gained
The rare courageous thirsts
That can never be relinquished
Until Union!

Hafiz,
Leave your recipies in golden drums.

Tie those barrels to the backs of camels
Who will keep circumambulating the worlds,

Giving nourishment
To all our tender wondrous spheres.

O here love, O love right here.
Find your happiness, dear wayfarer,

With your beautiful lips and body
So sweetly opened,

Yielding their vital gifts upon
This magnificent
Earth.
Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz

When the Violin, by Hafiz
When the violin can forgive the pastIt starts singing.When the violin can stop worrying
About the futureYou will become
Such a drunk laughing nuisanceThat God
Will then lean down
And start combing you into
His
Hair.When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by
Others

The heart starts
Singing.

My Sweet, Crushed Angel, by Hafiz
You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet crushed angel,
To have ever neared God’s Heart at all.Our partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
To hear.So what if the music has stopped for a while.So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight.So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for Real Love.

The mind and the body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved’s eternal habits.

Have patience,

For He will not be able to resist you longing
For long.

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One.

You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
Oh my sweet,
Oh my sweet, crushed angel.

They Call You to Sing, by Hafiz
Stones are longing for what you know,
If they had the same graceful movements
Of your feet and Tongue,
They would not stop laughing
Between their ecstatic dance steps and unbroken praise.Your heart beats inside a sacred drum,
Its skin is tanned and stretched –
Our skin is alive and stretched with the wild molecules of
His Wondrous Existence.Your mind and eyes are an immense silk cloth
Upon which all your thoughts and movements paint.Now awake dear pilgrim,
With your thousand swaying arms that need to caress the Sky.
Now awake dear pilgrim with your love of Creation,
And celebrate.No more enemies from this golden view –
All who have entered this holy mountain cave
Have dropped their shields and swords.
Your joys and sufferings on this arduous path
Are lifting your worn veil like a rising stage curtain
And will surely reveal your Magnificent Self.In this holy mountain cave
God and His friends will forever
Sing and conduct the universe
From the vantage point of Love.

Where Dolphins Dance, by Hafiz

Again the work starts
As soon as you open your eyes
In the morning.

Hopefully you got
Some good rest last night.

Why go into the city or the fields
Without first kissing The Friend
Who always stands at your door?
It only takes a second.

Habits are human nature –
Why not create some that will mint Gold?

Your arms are violin bows
Always moving.
I have become very conscious upon
Whom we all play.

Thus my eyes have filled with warm
Soft oceans of divine music
Where jewelled dolphins dance
Then leap into this
World.

Call Me by My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Putting the Little Pain to Sleep, by Thich Nhat Hanh
The rain is falling softly
I listen deeply to the sorrow within myself
please go to sleep my dear little painLet me embrace you tenderly and
let my in-breath and out-breath
continue to lull you to sleep.Day and Night I water the seeds
of compassion and forgiveness so that
tomorrow the flowers of joy can bloom.Go to sleep my little knots,
tomorrow there will be a transformation
and we shall be able to help love to be reborn again.
Unconditional, by Jennifer Welwood
Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game.
To play it is purest delight;
To honor its form–true devotion.
A Blessing, by John O’Donohue
May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet
immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers
beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to
follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may
anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no
attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the
heart of wonder.
Bugs in a Bowl, by David Budbill
Han Shan, that great and crazy, wonder-filled Chinese poet of a thousand years ago, said:
We’re just like bugs in a bowl.
All day going around never leaving their bowl.
I say, That’s right! Every day climbing up the steep sides, sliding back.
Over and over again.
Around and around.
Up and back down.
Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.
Or.Look around.
See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.
Say, Hey, how you doin’?
Say, Nice Bowl!
St. Francis And The Sow, by Galway Kinnell
The bud stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
We give thanks for our friends, Prayer
We give thanks for our friends.
Our dear friends.
We anger each other.
We fail each other.
We share this sad earth, this tender life, this precious time.
Such richness.
Such wildness.
Together we are blown about.
Together we are dragged along.
All this delight.
All this suffering.
All this forgiving life.
We hold it together.AMEN
There is a Brokenness, by Sufi Rashani
There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.There is a hollow space too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.
Fast Streaming, Cosmic River, from the Hopi
We find ourselves in a fast streaming, cosmic river.
This river is so strong and powerful that many people are afraid of it.
They try to hold themselves onto the riverbank.
They will feel that they are being torn apart
and will suffer a lot because of that.
Know that this river has its meaning and its goal.The wise of the Hopi call to let go of the bank
and let yourself drift in the middle of the river.
We should keep our heads above the water to have a free glance of those,
like us, who float in the river with trust and joy.Take nothing personally.
If you do your spiritual journey will be thwarted.
The age of the solitary wolf is over.
Direct yourself to the group, to your fellow woman and man.
Lets not use the word ‘struggle’ anymore and strike it off our consciousness.
We should consider we do daily as a sacred act.
Don’t look for leaders.
Find your own strength and use it for your own development.
Maps, religious conviction and philosophies no longer exist.
From now on the assignments come directly from the universe.
The plan reveals itself every minute more clearly; invisible, intuitive and full of love.
Enter into your cells and you will learn everything there is to know.
Hokusai says ….., by Roger Keyes
Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive —
shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter If you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength is life living through you.He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
I take to myself, by Bill Johnston
I take to myself
my broken self:
my guilt, my peace,
my folly and joy,
my sickness, my health;
in laughter and agony,
hating and loving,
my fear and my birthing–
and I am made whole.
I take to myself
you, my neighbor,
cupping your life
within my hands:
your broken self
pure gift to me;
not burden, gift,
as mine to you–
and I am made whole.I take to myself
you, broken Earth;
stripped and abused,
paved over and poisoned,
you mother so freely,
abundant in grace:
clasp in your mercy,
surprise into tears–
and I am made whole.I take to myself
your broken self,
my dear, near God;
broken for broken,
for lost and for spent.
As fragmented love
and nectar of life,
you come, gentle God–
and I am made whole.
The Great Turning, Christine Fry
You’ve asked me to tell you of the Great Turning
Of how we saved the world from disaster.
The answer is both simple and complex.
We turned.
For hundreds of years we had turned away as life on earth grew more precarious
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river,
The children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa.
We turned away because that was what we had been taught.
To turn away, from our pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes,
From the drunken father, from the friend betrayed.
Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away.
And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world
Moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.
Until it seemed as if there was no safe space to turn.
No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.Yet, on one of those days, someone did turn.
Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smouldering world and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.And then another turned.
And another.
And another.
And as they wept, they took each other’s hands.
Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight.
People of all colours, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt but to beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with forgiveness and a longing for peace in their hearts.At first, the turning made people dizzy, even silly.
There were people standing to the side, gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet.
Their laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle
Until even the nay-sayers began to smile and sway.As the people turned, they began to spin
Reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears,
Knitting it back together with the colours of the earth,
Sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life
Might be seen and respected.And as the people turned, as they spun like the earth through the universe,
The web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket
Making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder,
To breath and give thanks,
To celebrate together.And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn.
We are in the rapids now, by Bev Reeler
We are in the rapids now
and there is no choice but to go with the flow
a rite of passage out of the plague of numbness
where we cant avoid looking into the ugliness
and where we have no choice but to wake up to the beauty.Perhaps if I walk the earth softly enough
I can feel the roots move below my feet in a slow search for water
I can feel the earth turn
and stay close to the magic
that holds me connected to all that is.The eye of the world watches as Gaia shudders
and thousands of lives are lost is on Burma and China
We are reminded of the frailty of our future
and perhaps our only survival
is to open our hearts to this great mystery.Will you step into this dream time with me?
Will you cross the gateway?
Ride these rapids?
This rite of passage?
Hieroglyphic Stairway, by Drew Dellinger
It’s 3:23 in the morning,
and I’m awake because my great, great, grandchildren won’t let me sleep.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams what did you do, while the planet was plundered?
What did you do, when the earth was unravelling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing
as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
Commitment, Aziza Sa’id
Commitment creates freedom.
When you commit to a movement, you make it with your whole body.
When you commit to a feeling, your passion will give power to your message.
When you commit to a dance, your feeling reaches beyond your limitations.
When you commit to your path, give yourself over to your way of growth,
Magic happens ………
obstacles get out of your way,
mountains lay down before you,
the sky opens up above you,
and you will find yourself transformed.
Occupy, Peggy Fitzsimmons
Occupy your (higher) Self. 100 %.
Occupy your heart.
Occupy the place where everything is connected.
Occupy your own rhythm.
Occupy compassion.
Occupy your creativity.
Occupy whatever is in front of you RIGHT NOW.
Occupy your feelings.
Occupy stillness.
Occupy the truth that you are good enough.
Occupy your physical body.
Occupy uncertainty.
Occupy the space in which you are never alone.
Occupy grace.
Occupy your OWN energy.
Occupy all points of view.
Occupy your intentions.
Occupy what makes You feel most alive.
Occupy your inner knowing.
Occupy a raindrop.Occupy your dreams.
Occupy acceptance.
Occupy what needs to be said.
Occupy sound and light and color and space.
Occupy a sense of purpose.
Occupy kindness.(breathe now)
Occupy your breath.
Occupy this inhale.
Occupy this exhale.(breathe. now.)
Occupy the space you are most afraid to occupy.
Occupy gentleness.
Occupy your relationships.
Occupy the ether and the deep ground.
Occupy your truth.
Occupy change.Occupy your deepest passion.
Occupy forgiveness.
Occupy the divinity of all living things.
Occupy your word.
Occupy the unknown.
Occupy your readiness to heal.Occupy silence.
Occupy whatever is downstream.
Occupy tranquility.
Occupy the understanding that there is always enough.
Occupy timelessness.
Occupy your power.
Occupy your seat on the journey Home.Occupy the mind that recognizes these words.
Occupy the eyes that see this grand vision.
Occupy the ears that hear this possibility.
Occupy the mouth that speaks only light.
Occupy the hands that long to share.Occupy the You that lives to love.Occupy this moment.
Occupy gratitude.
Occupy joy.
Occupy your fear and transform it into love.
Occupy. The beat. Of Your. Wild heart.
Occupy NOW.Occupy your (higher) Self. 100 %.
Warning, by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
DANCE! by Steph Bradley
My Dance
Came nervously
Full of self conscious
JudgementI remember those 12 judges
Of long grey beards
That danced about me
In a tight circleProtecting me
From what dangers
I shall never know
They drew me in to myselfAnd left me
Bereft
Of human contact
Alone, and lonely tooIn the great city of Berlin
By a lover betrayed
I danced
My beautyAnd was seen
By a man from foreign parts
Looking on
He honoured meWith words that
Spoke
He had seen my essence
The romantic soul withinWith tears
My being began
To see itself
In this body, nowAnd friends
They said, Come,
Beckoning to me
From the dance space they loved

And frightened fawn
That I was
Said I, No
Over and over

Till one day
My lyrical soul
Could bear it no more
To the dance

It declared
And took me off
To the 5 rhythms
Space in the centre of our town

Awkward, nervous
Painfully aware
Of the lover
Who betrayed

Dancing his heart out
Playfully
Lovingly
Fully himself

With every woman
But me
Blanking my hurting,
Bleeding heart

And yet still I came
And danced my dance
Painfully, awkwardly
Dancing my loss

Till one day
He was gone
And I was still dancing
Here in the space in the centre of our town

Heart of our town
Clunky grey edifice
Unwieldy clumsy elephant
Amongst graceful remnants of our past

Clunky grey edifice
Monday nights
You are redeemed
Holder of all of our hearts

5 rhythms on a Monday
I cannot begin to tell
The community
That lives within your grey walls

My heart could tell you
If it could speak
It would speak of Love
Connection and Family

It would speak of gratitude
It would speak of tears, of joy, and of fun
It would speak of brothers and sisters…
Of the real kind

It would speak of a place
Where 70 souls
Blend into one
Their prayers lifting higher the air about them

It would speak of a Love
So strong
It is palpable
That Love we all yearn for

At 5 Rhythms
On a Monday
In a clunky grey edifice
The heart of Totnes beats

Ever growing
Ever vibrant
‘Tis a temple
To the future

Our community
It does grow
Strong in numbers
Strong in intent

To be the people
We have been waiting for
My dance
It is sacred

To Love
It is the dance
Of my soul
With my spirit

It makes my heart sing
Even when it is tears I find
It makes me touch heaven
With my wings

It lifts me
From my head
And brings me down
Into my feet

It brings life to my fingertips
Expression
To my face
And enlivens the Love in my heart

5 rhythms dance space
Held in unconditional love
By She Who Would Community Found
We are the blessed

Who have come to her
From across the land
And across the oceans too
Our myriad experience do we bring

To our dance

With She Who Would Community Found
To our dance
To the centre of our being ness

Images
They come
Sharp and furious
The friendship bonds

The women who love me
Support my process
See my vulnerability
And allow it to be

The men
Whose very maleness
Awakens my woman
To passion, to full being ness

There are the ones who dance
Their full uninhibited self
The ones that hide their light
In shame

The ones whose grief
They wear as a flower
Upon their chest
And in whose eyes we all rest

The ones whose joy
Lifts us higher
And higher
Till we are spent

The ones whose communion
Is full of presence
With the one
Or with their chosen partner of the moment

The ones whose fatigue
Drags them
Down
To the floor

And the ones
Who would rage
Till all our passion
Is out

The writhing mass
Of loving bodies
When we know not
Whose arm, whose leg

All of us
It is
That we see
Here in this cameo

I today
You tomorrow
She next week
And he the day after

Would you
Be we
With us
In the heart of Totnes … ?

See the world in a flurry of colour
See the world in a theatre of movement
See the world in all its glory
Come a-dancing on a Monday night….

Hear the rhythm of your heart
Yea, and that of others
Echoing
The love

Feel the felt sense of body
Your body
My body
Our bodies

Feel yourself
Feel alive
Feel vibrant as never before
Come a-dancing with the heart of Totnes

Inner Peace! by Steph Bradley
And one who would seek peace
In the world
Must first seek inner peaceAnd one who would seek inner peace
Must first
Love and be lovedAnd one who would seek Love
Must first
Find their PowerAnd one who would find their Power
Must first learn
To love hate and angerAnd one who would love hate and anger
Must first learn
To know their hate and their angerAnd one who would know their hate and anger
Must feel it
Fully in their body

And those that let hate and anger
Flow though their body
Cast not blame or judgement

And where there is no blame or judgement
There is power, love, inner peace
And Peace on Earth

Each second of this life, by Kirsty Hurd-Thomas
Each second of this life
Is squeezed full of a million simplicities….The crunch of the frosted grass under my boots,
The damp warmth of my sock rubbing comfortingly.
The sea-saw of bird song, chattering first this way, then that way,
And the roar of traffic in the distance.
My nose cold, with the morning air,
My cheek caressed by the gentle warmth of the sun.
Frost twinkling in the sunlight,
Birds wheeling in a clear blue sky.
Body surrendering with each step,
Surrendering to this nothing,
Surrendering to this everything.Opening to the recognition that all this is here,
And I have been longing to notice it.
Ice-olation, Kirsty Hurd-Thomas
As my feet melt further
Into the fiery core of the Earths heart,
And I begin to surrender myself
To this mothers holding,I notice my fear
Like an icicle through my centre.
Holing me up and away,
Keeping me cold, shutting me down.
I long with almost every part of my being
To melt, to allow this warmth through me,
To radiate this love,
Let it move my body and heart.
And yet this ice aged coldness reigns,
It knows only that it mustn’t risk being smashed.
And is willing to lose everything,
Just to maintain itself.
Our eyes meet and I feel this tension in me.
This relating.
This isolation.
Knowing that as we melt we become one.
What do you do, by Ocean Hillfon
What do you do
when you have nothing to hold on to?
BreatheWhat do you do
when you have no one to lean against?
BreatheWhat do you do
when the rug is pulled away under your feet?
BreatheWhat do you do
when you fall without safety net and hit the ground?You don´t breathe
You are reborn
You spred your wings
and flyYou spred your wings
and flyhigher