City Silence


Mindful Poetry Gathering - April 13th, 2022

Posted April 13, 2022 in News Articles

This week for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate the poem "Coconut Oil" by Roshni Goyate. Sonya Verma, yoga and meditation facilitator, opened our time with a meditation. Haleh Liza Gafori, author and musician, led the reading and response. (You can watch the full recording here and read the full transcript here.)

Community Response Poems

The Miracle Between My Mother and Me
by Ellen Austin-Li

In my home, there was no shared culture
of hair. No young girl brushed or plaited
everyday. I wish there had been this ritual

at home, where I stayed a tangled mess
unitl I mastered my own comb. Independence
was the thing. It wasn't cold, just too many children

in the fold. I longed for the touch, though. Mother's
care came with my many skin maladies. The warm
washcloth she dabbed on my flaky eyes, the hot

towl she held behind weepy ears, medicinal
soaks to the plantar warts that blossomed
on my soles. It's not as if we didn't create

some shared history. At 95, she still talks
about the morning I was supposed to go 
to the doctor to get the warts frozen from

under my toes. I rose, my feet free of lesions. 

"An Ode to Quiet"
by Katie Rouse

I love a quiet room now.
It's jarring to walk into a room
full of noise--the TV blaring
with news or sports.
But this is what I
grew up with,
the soundtrack of my
story set
to Nascar races,
the loud engines' rev,
or the dulcet tones
of a golf broadcaster's voice.

I don't want this
ruckus anymore,
this draining melody,
this emotion-dulling roar.
Give me myself
and the music of
pen to page,
the click of computer keys--
quietly filling my days.
Give my ignorance ears
and let me hear
myself think.

How easily I turn away
by Wade Hopkins

How easily I turn away.
Any hint, imagined word, can tip me onto the edge.
My arms churn as if falling would complete my otherness

I reach for the common lies.
The watercooler chat cum internet forum cum facebook skreed cum reddit thread that
I use to pull myself back from the edge.
As if joining the mob could somehow deny my fact.

In later years I like to pretend that I am not so easily swayed.
As if this immunity is somehow more true.
And yet I persist as commidified, in a warm house,
My otherness made safely, private.