Rumi Nights: Poetry, Song and Friendship

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

July 13 & 14 with Haleh Liza Gafori to benefit The Well and Mindful Poetry Moments.

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In different forms, The Well programs have been nourishing the community since 2005. In 2019 we became the artist-led non-profit, A Mindful Moment.

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In the News

Mindful Poetry Gathering - January 2022

Posted January 26, 2022 in News Articles

This month for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate the poem "When I Was in Las Vegas and Saw a Warhol Painting of Geronimo: by b: william bearhart. Stacy Sims, Executive Director of The Well, opened with a meditation. Jheri Neri, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition, the reading and response. (You can watch the full recording here and read the full transcript here.)

Community Response Poems

Woman’s Hood
by Holly Ragusa

Smileless faces and deadpan eyes
Kodak captured the veils worn openly
Stealing the reds of thoughtfully crocheted roses
The blush in a cheek
The chocolate river or blue bird
Flying through an iris
Statues of women haunt grey toned flimsy of film
Generations hiding the bared foot
The heeled shoe, the muddy hem
Stripping textures from of our days
Unseen, the rough worn or under utilized hands
Animal skins and woolen garments
Tight pinned hats and lacey necklines
Are the false guards against our weather.
Womanhood runs longer than bolts of fabric
Stands stronger
Against men, beneath parents
Before children, between each other
While some squeezed breaths into corseted busts
Others hid in trousers and marriage
Horses and vessels carried many breasts free
Without the Freedom wished unto today
Fiery in every bosom, wistful in every womb
Is a fabric yet woven
Tied to sequence and spandex now
And we can’t see you underthings
The armor of our fight
The future of our freedom
Is when a bra or a name
Or pant suit or a hairstyle
Or a surgery
Won’t make us or break us


Untitled
by Wade Hopkins

What could I have done
Boxed and beaten, hung on a wall like a quilt or a special feather
Forgotten -- until not.

Now a cypher
Well washed and skin soft, like a fetish in the pocket of a portugese slave trader
Forgotten until i’m angry.

Can I recognize which time to inhabit even when I am
only ever at home in my own skin.


When I fell into my bed (last night)
by Geralyn Sparough

When I fell into my bed (last night)
I was surrounded by my loved ones and
certainty that even though it's hard,
life is good.

When I awoke and ventured out into the world
my loved ones had been scattered
lured away by easy satisfaction
I feel the pull, too.

There are those who claim to be my ally -
some are sincere, others looking to exploit
my trust, my experience, my pain, my success
Am I a prisoner to others' ambitions
or do I hold the key to my own sovereignty?

The pain in my body goes deep within my bones
by Kelly Marie

The pain in my body goes deep within my bones
The spirit within me will never die
You look at my past and remember
I will never forget
The sky is dark, yet the moon shines bright
My story is told
I am not the person you see in the story told
The pain in my body goes deep within my bones
You stole my future
Yet you can not take away my spirit
I ask to forgive those that harmed me
Creator please, stand with me during these challenging times
I send love
I ask for love
To be seen
Not judged
The sun will shine upon the flowers
We grow in our beauty
Trees connected at the roots
We are all connected
Breathing in the air around me
The wind reminds me of the power
I am not in control almighty one
I release the grip and let go
I honor my ancestors for the hardships they had to overcome
Paving the way for me to have a better life
I hold the rock in my hand,
I listen for the answers from the elders
They teach me how to honor my truth
My core beliefs
It is a lifelong journey to become free
Then we die
The pain in my body goes deep within my bones
My body lays to rest
Sleep my child you are free

Stripped
by Sarah Pinho

I am Portuguese-American. Most people don’t contemplate Portugal at all, but when they do, they imagine blue tile, warm hospitality, vineyards, port. No one even knows that I am American because of a certain Portuguese dictator named António de Oliveira Salazar. No one reduces my other country to poverty and economic migration.

My first-ever boss was Persian. I was young enough not to know anything about Persians except for what he showed me: pictures of green, rolling hills, lamb stews rich with herbs, offspring growing up to be artists, the same tired misogyny I see anywhere. Only later did I learn that most Americans reduce his country to an old hostage crisis, to enriched uranium, to fear.

Geronimo was a native inhabitant of this continent. His descendents are still here, joyous, depressed, loving, angry, dancing, sedentary, creative, business-minded, literary, uneducated, erudite, leaders, followers, poetic, prosaic. They are here, right in front of us, containing their multitudes, and yet here we are, remembering, contemplating, romanticizing only trauma.

Chimera, Mask-less
by Emily Little

I am eight, learning tendus
            From Joanne-Torti-Robb,
            Plie-ing in pink and white,
And my hand comes to my mask-less mouth, in surprise.

I am seventeen, reading from
I, Rigoberta Menchu,
            Glimpsing colonization in the distance,
And my hand comes to my mask-less mouth, in shock.

I am twenty, grinding my ass in tight jeans
            With three beers and three shots in my belly,
            Singing ‘My love don’t cost a thing”
And my hand comes to my mask-less mouth, in horror.

I am twenty-seven, singing vows to my navy-blue groom, 
            With all our lily white family and friends and
He leans in to kiss me,
And my hand comes to my mask-less mouth, in dismay.

I am thirty-six, locked inside all week,
            Omicron finally humbled our
            Privilege and felled us each
            Gently, to lie in
            Darkness, let fever
Pass, wash sweat soaked
Sheets, unravel dreams of
All the days in my life I didn’t wear a mask.

Now a mask feels painted on my face,
a layer for all the days
except the ones that came before.

Before, when people wore a different mask to
protect themselves from my ancestors.

Now, when people still wear that different mask to
protect themselves from my white gaze.

Painting on a mask each morning when we walk out the door,
Making the adjustments,
Fitting the outer life to fit the gaze of the outer world.

Are we ever unmasked anymore?
Were we ever before?

The Dark Alive
by Kate Moore

I woke up, lost eyes crawling around in the dark. There was a sense of being right in the centre of home but so very far from it, blades of shame cold against my neck. Each breath was a loss of light, a moon that was always on the other side. When the birds sang, I allowed the light in through my ears so it wasn't gone forever. It reminded me there was freedom through my senses, especially in the dark.

The Girl With the Vacant Eyes
Stacy Sims

I commodified myself.
Screen printed lipstick and mascara
on my face
to animate my disembodied stare.

I draped my body
as though it were a marble
or styrofoam form
and posed for you.

My later work was
Performative.
Languid.
Evocative.

I let your gaze
Own me.
Until
I owned myself.

Ancestral Trauma
by Cari Rene'

Yes
trauma
Yes
     stolen
Yes
     homes
     sacred art
     sacred ceremonial objects
     stolen

     our lives
     our families
     our children’s lives
     stolen

     put in ghettos
     put in gas chambers

My culture has learned from thousands of years of persecution
to stay
to survivet
o thrive….
to be funny

Still
Still,
I won’t go into a holocaust museum,
one manifestation of our persecution
-The ancestral trauma.

Becoming one with all who have suffered
Holding the spacethe space
for all to heal

Towards fugitivity
by Lily Raphael

I woke up imprisoned in my body
ripped from the coastline that made me who I am.
Out there, bobbing on the water, the ocean assured me
she would carry my grief, while unable to promise me
freedom, life, or even another shore.

I think about my body, and all that it’s inherited, as I hurriedly scarf down
some store-bought mac & cheese before getting on another Zoom,
pit in my stomach dreading the unnamed ritual of convincing white people
that I matter, that I’m good enough for the conditions they created,
while ensuring that they're comfortable.

At the end of the day, I sit with some of what has been stolen:
soil
horizons
dreamscapes
flesh
lunch

And then I try to sleep.

Never miss a thing.

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