City Silence


Mindful Poetry September Gathering

Posted September 30, 2020 in News Articles

We kicked off our Fall series of Mindful Poetry gatherings with Ada Limón's poem "Wonder Woman". Special guest, and host of Poetry Unbound, Pádraig Ó Tuama led the poetry reading and responses. Mindful Poetry is a collaboration between The Well and On Being, gatherings supported by The Hive, The Mercantile Library and WordPlay. Join us for our next gathering October 28th, with special guest Manuel Iris.

Response Poems

by Berdene Owen

I know it’s rude to chew
with my mouth open, but
I’m not sure I can close it
for all the feet I’ve filled it with.
Tell me how often I offended
or wounded with my words.
Tell me how my sympathy stung
how my FaceTimes failed.
Tell me what you did not hear me say.
Would that I could floss away those toes
make my mouth a quiet cave -
A chamber sparse of egos
rich with the echoes of mutual accompaniment.

What is the intelligence of the poem?
In Ada’s poem, a stranger says that she always looks so happy despite her chronic pain. In what ways have I unintentionally hurt my sister-in-law in her journey through breast-cancer treatment and recovery with my words? How do my assumptions of what she must be feeling continue to wound?The intelligence of the poem: However well-intentioned, our assumptions of what others are going though can impact how they relate to us, themselves and their pain.

What is the hunger of the poem?
If harming is so easy, how can we know what the right thing to say is? How can we accompany each other, and create a space to let each other be what we all need?

In Search of an Answer
by Joan Penn

Unlike the sphinx, the Cave or Wisdom
is reputed to resolve riddles, benignly
answer the seemingly unanswerable,

serve as wise resource when at a loss
for correct direction, always responding
in a gentle and non-threatening manner.

The Cav'es myth moves me as I stand
in front of its mouth, whispering
my question, listening

for a reply. I hear only an echo
the sound of my own voice,
my own words echoed back to me,

reverberating, reverberating,
before gradually thinning,
diminishing, until

the cave remains silent,
as if to admonish me,
The answer