City Silence


Mindful Poetry Gathering - April 6th, 2022

Posted April 06, 2022 in News Articles

This month for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate the poem "December Morning in the Desert" by Alberto Ríos. Amy Tuttle, Director of Programming at WordPlay, opened our time with a meditation. Audrey Symon and Spring Star Pillow, poets and also part of WordPlay, led the reading and response. (You can watch the full recording here and read the full transcript here.)

Community Response Poems

by Wade Hopkins

The morning is a lie
How did 4:30 become a morning?

Small blue lights guide the cat across the hallway
The discernable hum of the LED streetlight stretches tiny fingers around the corners of the blinds

Elsewhere someone that loves motors is either very late for bed or desperately early for work

I find myself reaching grudging detante and accepting the terms
no top sheet, but yes comforter and quilt corner in consideration

The cat, more attuned to wakefulness than my watch, visits
in pretense of rest, she suggests that this time, is the perfect time

The bird songs come as relief
It is no longer too soon to rise

With no shame I admit defeat, ceding all covers and retiring
all the way
to the couch
to fall asleep
with a cat who cannot remember why she is annoyed.

Spring Morning at Bryce Canyon
by Ellen Austin-Li

After the eagle flew past our motel in Flagstaff, 
after we planned to wake int eh dark and drive
to Bryce for the sunrise over the canyon, after flash-
lights along the path to the overlook, after we settled
on the flat rock to watch, waiting for the sky
to break, there was still no list as we shivered
in the frigid black. After another hour passed
with no silvering in sight, no birds stirring, silence
its own voice, we suspected. After we had timed
the trip to arrive at daybreak, we had not figured
for Daylight Savings in the neighboring state. We froze
as we focused on the stars, now in the foreground. 
After we let go of our search for the coming
morning, the sky's latticed light filled our sight, 
the chill-dry air magnified each star in the night. 
Arms laced around each other, we named the few—
the Dippers, The Milky Way, Orion—that we knew. 
After we stilled, warmed by our breath, the gray grew—
the orange bloomed—flowered between the hoodoos. 

The morning is
by Nancy Paraskevopoulos

The morning is light and fresh on the water
The air has cleaned my bones out and
I float up - porous and still
Slow with remembered dullness

There are fish in the River, I know that 
But all I see are the irredescent ripples of slow waves
Blue sure, but green and purple, silver and even 
pink of unencumbered, unworried water

(Our ancient mother who has already filtered and re-filtered over and around every inch of this earth millions of times at least

Moves so steadily in my eyes, just now clean)
My eyes - so light and slow
(Moving so evenly)
My bones - calm and wide open(
Pushing the air that)
My body accepts now - its only expression of understanding 

by Scott Holzman

Into the mystery of our morning, moving
slowly because, we think, if we fai
lto stretch adequately we will have no one
to blame but ourselves - and blame
is a houseguest for the time being
but has made assurances that an agenda exists
for moving on. someday again
I will feel strongly.

The morning is out there, probably.
I am still inside, warm and lazy.

Eventually the day will stoop to my level
if i do not rise to meet it so I say hello
to the sun still getting its feet beneath it
in the wet cool air and I hear their breath shuffling
peach blossoms above an ear-clipped tortoiseshell cat
eating grass. A neighbor starts their car
drives away, returns, repeats the process
with their forgetful plan repaired.  The blood
center calls again, and I say I will give
of myself soon I swear
but for the moment I cannot afford to share.

Only half the day is done at noon.

These early birds could surely have no more worms than I do,
admire my worms, ye mighty, and tell me stories of despair.

by Kari Horn Morehouse
The morning is on pause - 
open to anything. 
Before wading into the waters of work, 
I glance around me. 
Looking East (how could I not)
to that sunrise
and bringing to mind my loved ones
who, like me, love mornings.
This holy time of day
before any minds are made up.
Before any plans get changed.
Just this pause, holding all its multitudes.
I count my blinks as the sky changes colors,
sun transitioning from rising to warming.
Love covering me like a cloak.

In Cahoots
(memories of a San Fernando valley girl)
by Wendy Cabell

Fairies in the Foothills merge force
with other winged things--choir unseen,
growing ring–-as I open shade, grab
energy bar, trudge uphill. Dawn at mountain’s
base being soft, cool hand (before the bake) and
being a being without wings I break my fast, turn
home at last, humming...