Fanore

Fanore, County Clare, Ireland

Another poem written to a prompt provided in How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination. On the technique of imagery, the prompt guided me to imagine a vivid physical setting from somewhere that I’ve traveled, focus on specific imagery from the scene, and transport the reader to that place.

Fanore
 
The long grass slumbers,
a field of feathery green;
succumbed long ago
to the wild winds off
the Atlantic sea.
 
A jumble of old fence,
worn wood posts and crooked cable,
finished blocking
the seekers from this
soul sanctuary.
 
Where the earth rises
to a crest, an alter high,
the view opens;
her arms spread so wide,
inviting you in.
 
The breathless blue sky
dips to meet the deep dark sea.
A mystery -
their infinite play
to the horizon.
 
Waves crash and collide
speaking to the stony shore.
Salty mist moist;
the hair on your skin
quivers with its touch.

This poem is part of an online collection I call Little Morsels of Delight.

what is truly calling

Photo by Vicki Flaherty | Brother-in-Law’s White Peonies, Chapel Hill North Carolina

Mark Nepo, in I Awake chapter of The One Life We’re Given

“The point is not to deify the events that break us down or open. But to lift up the mysterious fact that what we think we want, what we think we strive for, is often not the goal at all – just what we hold on to in order to discover what is truly calling us. Often, when we think we’re building one thing, we’re building another, or we’re the ones being built. When we think we’re giving one thing, we’re often giving another, or we’re the ones being given to. When we think we’re enduring one thing, we’re often being undone by life into the birth of a gift we’ve been carrying for just this opening. The point is, we’re challenged to follow our heart beyond our intentions in order to find our quiet destiny, the way a tulip or peony follows its urge to break ground, hardly imagining its life in blossom.”

This really spoke to me, as do so many of Mark Nepo’s words. I remember, when I was working at IBM supporting leaders in being their best, how I would have these moments when I could see and sense that what I thought I was up to was not really the point at all, that there was something deeper happening, something richer being created. Once I was leading a resilience initiative, facilitating learning circles with small groups of executives and exploring ways to support ourselves and others in self-care. On the surface the work looked like education, however, at a deeper level it was about our being relationship and our connection and what was possible because of it.

not knowing

Ireland, Ring of Kerry, near Killorgin

Not Knowing
By John O’Donohue

how would it be to allow for knowing
and not knowing:
allowing room
for the mystery
of creating
to be able to wonder
softly
without needing to understand everything
to trust in the process
to trust in love
to trust in the mystery and wonder
of the universe
that beats softly wildly
true
all round about us,
that is hidden
in the mists
in the clouds and the rain
in the wind blowing and the rain lashing down on your window,
reminding you
poetically
prosaically
that this is where you are,
on the island,
at the edge,
in a place of finding
and refinding,
and remembering
to remember
the feel of the mist, wind and rain.

I first discovered this wonderful poem on Radiating Blossom and found it to be an invitation to open to not knowing, to allow space for mystery, and to feel what’s present in the moment.