And Then. . .

Today’s prompt, the last of the month, is to write a poem titled “And ________.” I will probably take a break from daily poeming after today, but I hope not to be so absent from the blog as I sometimes am between the Poem-Months of April and November. This month of poem-a-day has been almost as rich for me as the first one I ever did, which deepened my poetic voice. I am grateful for these challenges.

And then the story ended.

And then the wild one
broke through the walls we’d built
to keep out the harrowing questions
and protect our careful dogmas.
And the wind scoured our spaces
clear of the lies and dissembling,
tearing down the towers we’d erected
of malice and spite and smugness,
breaking down the bridges we’d placed
above the perilous chasms.
None of us escaped its shriving.
And some of us were devastated,
and many of us were relieved.

And then the story began.


Gratitude List:
1. Dogs. Every school should have dogs that come to visit sometimes.
2. Poem-a-Day. I loved the work of this month, and how it expanded my craft as well as pushing me to do more intentional inner work. But I am also tired and ready for a break.
3. Guidance and protection
4. A happy lamp–full spectrum light to get me through the gray days. (I do love rainy days, and even rainy November days, but it is nice to have my alternative sunshine to get me through days of no-sun and early night.)
5. Shiny stones
May we walk in Beauty!


“I don’t always feel like I belong, or like I understand the unwritten rules of certain groups, even though I think I am a pretty good observer of human nature. So when I am in a group whose rules accept everyone’s awkwardness and oddness unconditionally, which loves each one not in spite of our oddities, but because of them, then I feel safe. Then I feel belonging. I am especially grateful to those of you who know how to extend unconditional welcome in ways that make everyone believe they belong.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider


“To wantonly destroy a living species is to silence forever a divine voice. Our primary need for the various life forms of the planet is a psychic, rather than a physical, need.” —Thomas Berry


“All through your life, the most precious experiences seemed to vanish. Transience turns everything to air. You look behind and see no sign even of a yesterday that was so intense. Yet in truth, nothing ever disappears, nothing is lost. Everything that happens to us in the world passes into us. It all becomes part of the inner temple of the soul and it can never be lost. This is the art of the soul: to harvest your deeper life from all the seasons of your experience. This is probably why the soul never surfaces fully. The intimacy and tenderness of its light would blind us. We continue in our days to wander between the shadowing and the brightening, while all the time a more subtle brightness sustains us. If we could but realize the sureness around us, we would be much more courageous in our lives. The frames of anxiety that keep us caged would dissolve. We would live the life we love and in that way, day by day, free our future from the weight of regret.” —John O’Donohue


“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”

I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.

Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” —Audre Lorde

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