Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Finding A Sanctuary

“Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person” — Rachel Naomi Remen


“So as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life” — Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Midweek Motif ~ Finding A  Sanctuary

In the din and bustle of daily life all need a little sanctuary to rest, heal and revive; a space to de-clutter stressful thoughts; a moment to usher in a glimmer of hope; a Tahiti, to take care of the soul, and find one self in safety, comfort and peace.   

Write about finding such a sanctuary.

You might also look at a wildlife sanctuary or a sanctuary for political refugee or a sanctuary for the homeless. Possibilities are many.

Walk us to this isle of grace today:

by Dorothy Parker

My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet’s the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges

by Elinor Morton Wylie

This is the bricklayer; hear the thud
Of his heavy load dumped down on stone.
His lustrous bricks are brighter than blood,
His smoking mortar whiter than bone.
Set each sharp-edged, fire-bitten brick
Straight by the plumb-line's shivering length;
Make my marvellous wall so thick
Dead nor living may shake its strength.
Full as a crystal cup with drink
Is my cell with dreams, and quiet, and cool. . .
Stop, old man! You must leave a chink;
How can I breathe? You can't, you fool!

by Jean Valentine

People pray to each other. The way I say 'you' to someone else,
respectfully, intimately, desperately. The way someone says
'you' to me, hopefully, expectantly, intensely ...
—Huub Oosterhuis

You who I don't know I don't know how to talk to you

—What is it like for you there?

Here ... well, wanting solitude; and talk; friendship—
The uses of solitude. To imagine; to hear.
Learning braille. To imagine other solitudes.
But they will not be mine;
to wait, in the quiet; not to scatter the voices—

What are you afraid of?

What will happen. All this leaving. And meetings, yes. But death.
What happens when you die?

"... not scatter the voices,"

Drown out. Not make a house, out of my own words. To be quiet in
another throat; other eyes; listen for what it is like there. What
word. What silence. Allowing. Uncertain: to drift, in the
restlessness ... Repose. To run like water—

What is it like there, right now?

Listen: the crowding of the street; the room. Everyone hunches in
against the crowding; holding their breath: against dread.

What do you dread?

What happens when you die?

What do you dread, in this room, now?

Not listening. Now. Not watching. Safe inside my own skin.
To die, not having listened. Not having asked ... To have scattered

Yes I know: the thread you have to keep finding, over again, to
follow it back to life; I know. Impossible, sometimes. 

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
                (Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Human Trafficking)



  1. Wow! What a deep and amazing prompt! Today is a traveling day for me, so I'll be back tonight for the feast of your poems.

  2. Thanks for another midweek jolt - me and Alice are in hospital yet again so apologies if I can't get back to your posts

  3. Rest well, Jae. I am glad Alice is with you. We are, too, in spirit. Thank you, Sumana for this prompt.

  4. “Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person” — Rachel Naomi Remen

  5. This is a fine topic, however as it'e late in the evening here I shall return tomorrow to read some fine poetry.

  6. Sumana, this is a wonderful prompt really & so very timely. It took me a while to come up with my approach, but I finally did.

  7. Well done everyone. Don't forget to support the others.


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