Let's celebrate poetry!

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

Mindful Poetry 2021 returns with a free playlist and virtual gatherings all April long.

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News

Mindful Poetry January Gathering

Posted January 27, 2021 in News Articles

Author: Rowe Schnure

This month we gathered to listen, contemplate and respond to Layli Long Soldier's Poem, "Whereas my eyes land on the shoreline." We were joined by Wellspring Fellow and Founder of Lilac & Indigo, Kara Pierson, who led the opening grounding meditation. As well as, Jhaleh Akhavan, Community Engagement Associate, Civil Conversations and Social Healing at On Being, who led the poem discussion and response.

This remarkable hour held space for us to consider the lines from the poem "I couldn't name it, but I could spot it" and/or "I couldn't help my body". Check out community response poems below, and if you write a poem in response you'd like to include please send to rowe@thewell.world.

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

Community Responses

Because, in others I hate the act of laughing when hurting, injured or in cases of danger
by Rana Dotson

Last night I dreamt her presence.
Lonely, intrusive, Lost and wandering.

This after spending days trying to forget.
To tend to the present.

I can't help my body.

She comes to me gaped-mouth and silent.
Always silent.

I feel her scream enter my chest. I can't help my body.

Some people pretend to be free, because inside is collapsing beneath barbs tangled & bent bars confining.
Caged-bird souls unwilling, unable to flee. To sing.

I saw it. Coming.
I couldn't name it, but I could spot it.

I wanted to shout out "run!" Run until feet bottoms burn. Run until chest cavity cracks wide open until wind dries
out eyeballs until your arms turn from churning to dangling and you are far away.
Limp and exhausted with freedom.

Instead I nervous-laughed and screamed-silent. I felt it cut down my chest, scrape down to my belly where it sits.
A perpetual unscream.

I can't help my body.

Who will cut the cage to see her free? Who will stop her from visiting my dreams?


disassociation
by Rowe Schnure

I couldn't name it, but I could spot it
that faraway look, like at any moment
my mother would dissolve into thin air.
Her detached voice saying "nowhere"
when I ask where she went, or her
long pause "yes" when asked if she
heard me.

I couldn't name it, but I could spot it
even over the phone, the inflected "oK"
to my stated boundary, my ask for respect
in just calling me my chosen name. Her
deflection to go back to work, her walls rising
again leaving me to fend for myself in the cold.


The Urge (of Trichotillomania)
by Elizabeth

I couldn’t name it but I could spot it
the way her eyes clouded over and
the way these shoulders turned
perpendicular to Orion when
I noticed he was
there.
watching.

his arm cast shadows across my chest
like wisps of hair across darkened carpet.

and the itch that tremors up
and down my neck. In
and out my ears. what
follicles of root and blood might ground
in my skull
is not anything at all
but crowns bestowed on a colonizer
of someone else’s skin
of someone else’s hair
of someone else’s eyelashes
and scalp and
scab and
scar.

and “I can’t help my body
Her revulsion: out!
with the rotting and in!
with the regrowth
but what am I doing to my body and
what is my body
doing to me when I rip each piece (hardly!) – each patch out
in trios of
black tar?


untitled
by Lauren Sharpe

I can’t help my body.
The tightness inside my right inner hip joint, the new uncertainty of my right knee.

I can’t help my body.
I know just what to do, but a perfect first position? now impossible.

I can’t help my body.
Quietly aging along with my mind, though I’m pretty sure somehow I’m still only 27.

I can’t help my body.
The long walk teaches me how to remember myself. The children--

I can’t help my body.
When she screams, like a growl, like the puma she changed my profile picture to

I can’t help my body.
Holding nothing but empty space and lessons. The one other person I hugged tested positive, but

I can’t help my body.
I lay on the carpet I need to get cleaned, turning slowly from side to side, find a tightness
and wonder what feeling has set up shop inside.

I can’t help my body.
The ticket, the ride, the rollercoaster, the jail cell, the silk scarf, the wave, the wax melting, the sinker at the end of the line, the line.


If you're hurting, cry
by Elena Estella Green

“Keep a stiff upper lip!”
“Never let them see you cry-
It’s a sign of weakness.”

I was raised this way
And my life until now
Was a slow crumbling down
Like Sandcastles near the Tide.

Feeling what you feel
Isn’t always easy.
My feelings wear so many disguises.

It is helpful to have a guide
Corporeal or Spiritual.
The heart knows how
And my heart is saying,
Now!

Tears are real
Opening the floodgates
Inside my Body.

Currents of Forgiveness
Wash over me.

If you’re hurting, cry.


untitled
by Lydia Dubose

she braved a new behavior
glanced around and feigned a grin
she stepped up, she stepped out
(but really she retreated within)

violin
piano
voice
sports
weren't these just for fun?
her true purpose (it seemed)
was to impress everyone

the more she showed a brave face
acted and played the part
the more she lost sight of her true self
she lost touch with her heart

smaller and smaller
she shrunk
she hid she retreated
but then she understood
it was her own true voice
that the world needed

now she is bravely becoming
more her, more real, more true
she is starting to find her footing
and today she begins anew


I can't help my body.
by Lily Raphael

Last night, I was undone
Internalized impostor
falling beyond a floor
Who am I to-
spitting fires through my mind

So I decided to breathe.
Someone said, the more resistance
the deeper the healing.

The body carried on,
and so did my mind.
Usually I try to fight it. Sometimes
even the gentlest of exhales
feels like a punishment to the thoughts.

But this time, the two were co-existing
without asking permission.
Mind race. Body slowed.
Mind punished. The body cried.
Mind made excuses and justifications
in formal and distant sentences.
Body amplified the tension,
felt all the worries, and carried thrashing mind
upward and deep,
without trying to change her,
letting her flail in the way she needed to
underneath the indigo light.
I can't help my body. My body helps me.