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Mindful Poetry Gathering- November 2022

This month for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate the poem "Under One Small Star" by Wislawa Szymborska. Troy Bronsink opened with a grounding spatial awareness meditation. Scott Holzman selected and presented the poem and gifted us with a wonderful prompt: "A written exploration of apology."

We were delighted with the poems that were created during our refreshing hour together.

Here is a video of the gathering and live reading of the poems created by our gatherers. More poems created by the group are shared below!

A p o l o g i a
By Elena Estella Green

In defense of character, more than personality

More than words that hurt. This new self

Gathers no sin, no retribution.

Just an apology in letter form

Filled with confidence and grace.

This is me, this is me, old now

But younger than my youth.

Younger than time itself.

Back to the beginning

Where every comment

Was a compliment.

This is the other country

Where life is not an

Obstacle course.

Life is the essence of this apology

Forgiveness is its fruit.

I can spend an hour

At a bus stop.

A smile is a perfect apology

To a worn out world.

Tired of the fight.

We lay down our arms

Soldiers no more.

We join hands not as penance

But as a jubilation.


Bryce Kessler

I don't feel sorry.
I don't feel worry.
I have no regrets
to make my heart scurry.

But forgive me
for when I didn't listen
or heed my own advice.
Or the times I felt the pressure
of a cold and steely vice.

Forgive me for growing up,
for finding my own voice.
I've learned to fill my cup,
and I know I have a choice.


Kelly Coles


For bumping my flesh against yours, 

Bare there on the street in the sun, 

In the cold.  

For nearly throwing the door  

Into your face, in my hurry to be 

Once again outside it.  

For being here, at this place, seeking 


The same thing, at the same time. 

For my occasional dis-ease in my own skin, 

                                                --Okay--not so occasional as normal, 

The way it makes me red with bloodstreams 

Pounding their alarm at the nearness of humans 

When I am raw, naked animal. 


How might I live without these apologies,  

For taking this gulp of air, exuded from  

Ephemeral flowers, from giants across the land, 

from minute ones in the seas,

for being this one self 

Today in a stream of others, 

For having this soft earth cupping my bare foot, 

For my eyes having been the ones to meet  

With the little bear standing against their mother’s back 

In the deep twilight, for my dear hair to be blowing 

So intimately in this wild, in this wind, 

For my ears to be sucking in leafsong the way 

Sand takes in waves, always ready for the next  

Cascade. To be animal is to consume, and  

I’ll say it—I’m sorry, for eating this dripping moment 

And for staying beneath the roof for all the rest.


Dear John
By Sarah Pinho

Dear John,

I write in defense of a progressive, Unitarian church board willing to rent to a congregation of monolingual Spanish-speaking Pentecostals at a reduced rate.

I write in defense of the hyper intellectuals who have multiplied at an alarming rate in our humble little writing group.

I write in defense of the man who teaches the Anglos to speak and write a Spanish that breaks many rules established by the Real Academia Española.

I write in defense of the university professor who dared to teach children’s literature to working women in Los Ángeles, and in defense of the working woman who dared to read classical literature.

I write in defense of our board president, who suffers from analysis paralysis and spends an extensive amount of time thanking every single volunteer in superlatives and hyperbole.

I write in defense of my possibly witty but perhaps just misogynist use of the word “bitch” at the bar last night in my protest at being called a Christian.

I write in defense of our joyful, human, imperfect collective attempt at creating a beloved community.

Please don’t take your righteous self away. Please, bring your haikus and your multitudes and join us.




That one time
By Wade Hopkins

That one time it escalated from peal to howl

He sat red faced and indignant

His every imagined intent finally confirmed 

Sneering so smugly at the validation of my degeneracy

He always knew it would happen like this

Accused of an unrepentant soul

It should be obvious that I  must be held accountable to his title and his authority and his god.

Oh I’m sorry - now can we go back to class?


Mindful Poetry Moments, a collaboration incubated by The On Being Project and now supported by The Well and partners The HiveThe Mercantile Library, and WordPlay, offers a chance to pause and reflect on poetry’s ability to encounter ourselves, the world, and the mystery of each other.

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