City Silence


Mindful Poetry December Gathering

Posted December 02, 2020 in News Articles

This month we gathered to listen, contemplate and respond to Lucille Clifton's poem "song at midnight." We were joined by Sarah Yeung of SKY Sound Yoga, who led the opening sound meditation. As well as, Rana Dotson and DeAndra Beard of Three Sisters podcast, who led the poem discussion and response. This powerful and generous hour wrapped up our 2020 virtual gatherings and we are so grateful to all who have participated. Below you'll find participants poems written to the prompt "write a letter to someone that the writer wants to see them/a call to celebrate what the writer is asking to be seen."

Mindful Poetry is a collaboration between The Well and On Being. Gatherings are supported by The Hive, The Mercantile Library and WordPlay.

Community Response Poems

My Great Edna
by Holly Brians Ragusa

I never knew you by sight by touch and scent
The flour caked on your hands
Smudged on your apron
The sound of your voice wafts on other winds
In earlier times carrying your wisdom and joy
Along with the hint of your sorrows echoing still
From the times life took its slice
Never saw the sweat that crossed your dark brow

I know the years that peeled away at you like the
Potato skins left in your chipped porcelain sink

I want to hear the songs that sent you to sleep
That sent your own seeds to sleep
Hummed on a summer breeze
Pressed through the screen door slammed
Too many times for kids to listen

I want to thank you for the love you gave
For the love you lost for the pain you denied
Yourself so that others could smile
Remembrances of you linger in my aging mothers mind
In your cryptic cookbook handwriting
In the vase and the broach you left her

You lived
It was enough
I hope you know it was enough

by Asiyah Kurtz

I am here but I am altered,
The person who occupied this body is no more.
Every second of the last two decades I killed her off, chipping awa
like Michelangelo at
the identities
that no longer made sense.
I suffocated the voice that said, "You are not enough."
Immolated the flesh over
a fire stoked and restoked and
fed my forebears with the altar smoke.
I want you to see me.
Like a bell-shaped curve, I eased down my descent settling firmly
into the softness reconstituting me.
Embrace my contradiction.
The vulnerability that calls me to regognize the hurt in the child I was.
The reformed sinews able to bear weigh
and labor
and love.

by Lauren Sharpe

I sit, covered
in black cat and striped cat.
Aimlessly moving about the apartment,
fulfilling nothing but
the business of that particular day.
I want to be known
for coining phrases that stick.
For my gentleness, not
for the times that I yelled
so loudly that our ears rang.
I want to be known
for what I’m doing, not
for what I did last week.
That’s all over now,
after all. I will be known
for moving around the earth,
a basic goodness in my heart,
learning in the center place,

open eyes and ears,
never having done enough.
It’s hard to believe it’s half-over.
I keep moving myself --
plates of food, tote bags
full of materials, bottles of water.
Back and forth, on my way
to the next shiny thing that catches my eye.

I’m sorry I couldn’t stay longer.
I didn’t know where to find the door.

after the empire falls (early draft)
by: Troy Bronsink

the pale skin
I wear
has cursed us both

but lets keep vigil.
peer into
my heart
as I watch for yours.

after the empire
falls withint
he straight white male

even forgotten love,

I’m not telling.
I’m inviting.
I’m wondering with my pink hands wide

growing colder,
holding snow
slowly warming
into water

how else might I learn
this time around?

how else would we
feel this
forgotten life
reshaping us all
and again

without these melting bodies of ours—
yours and mine?