When you hear a man speak…

When you hear a man speak
rough as rocks, slow as stone
like he’s trying to build a bridge
over river’s flow
there’s a feeling in the water
that’s wanting to come home
there’s a story in that place
wanting to be known

When you hear a man snap
like a twig on the ground
there’s a child in that man
trying not to make a sound
there’s a voice in that child
wanting to be found
there’s a secret in his voice
to which he feels bound

when you hear the wind sigh
see rocks cry
there’s a wetness in his pocket
treasured moments forgotten in time
storms inside
shell blue sky
follows black of crack of day
throbbing ache
becomes anaesthetised
each time harder
to begin again
begin again

When you hear a man speak
rough as rocks, slow as stone
like he’s trying to build a wall
so as not to feel so alone
the ruins of what he’s done and said
as they fall and fade away
like the stardust
from which he’s made

the ungraspable space
in which he’ll never be alone
the unutterable prayer
in which he’ll always be home

the hand he holds
the flesh and bone
the warmth at night
the seed sown
a drop in the ocean
the unstoppable waves
the pounding of his heart
on and on it goes
always coming home

(Simon Williams, 12.9.2013)

Holding tension

Anger (Jeff Brown)

‘Just as passive aggressiveness causes suffering, so does passive non-aggressiveness. Passive aggression hurts those who fall victim to its misdirected arrows. Passive non-aggressiveness wounds those who bottle up their expression- their anger congealing into a cache of weapons that explode internally. The healthier approach is to learn how to express anger healthily and in a timely manner, so that it doesn’t turn outward and harm innocents, & so that it doesn’t turn inward and cause disease. Because of all the horrible things that humans have done in anger, anger has been given a bad name. But it is a legitimate emotion that signals that someone has been violated. Its time we raised healthy anger back to the rafters of acceptability, and worked together to clarify a way of expressing it that both holds everyone safe AND allows us to honor its inherent wisdom. Not abusing self or other, but seeing the feelings all the way through to the healing and lessons they contain.’

(Jeff Brown)

Honouring the sacred place

As a poet, you do not necessarily need to locate or define or understand where poetry and inspiration come from. What is absolutely necessary is to honour the place where inspiration gestates and poetry emerges, and to carefully cultivate this sense of honour in your daily experience. In other words, you need to know where you are coming from, which is not a static reality but a dynamic and continuous process. A sacred knowing and becoming. Let your muse be; and simultaneously be present to your reciprocal needs and impulses. Further, you do not need to fear or control these needs and impulses. Emerging from this sacred place within your everyday, they are potent and awesome; wholesome and ordinary. What is good may speak and may hold silence; both are poetry. What is written may be ‘you’, and may be greater than you: both are life.

(Simon Williams, 13.02.2013)

The Words (Simon Williams)

the words
sit there
up in front
like a statue

too bold
and bright
to enliven
and befriend you

come this way
down the half-tunnelled path
cool mud under your feet
mind brushed by springing leaves

honour your thoughts
as you put them to rest

life offers you
this hand
this walk
this place

honour it
with your breath

(Simon Williams, for Geoff 29.1.13)

Love is always heard

I hold a small poem
in my arms,
quiet and still

Leaning in,
I feel warm breath
coming from dreams of earth

Suddenly and softly
eyes open wide –
and my eyes, the sky,
open wider,
and rain love gently

When poems are alive
you can feel them,
whether they make sense or not

Like infants who hear the love
behind the words

So I talk on, sure and soft,
knowing my words will not be lost

Knowing love is always heard

(Simon Williams, 26.12.2012)

With a Child’s Trust, a Christmas letter by Br. David Steindl-Rast

A profound poem!


It is not so much that the boat passed
and you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopping
directly outside your bedroom window,
the captain blowing the signal-horn,
the band playing a rousing march.

The boat shouted, waving bright flags,
its silver hull blinding in the sunlight.

But you had this idea you were going by train.

You kept checking the time-table,
digging for tracks.

And the boat got tired of you,
so tired it pulled up the anchor
and raised the ramp.

The boat bobbed into the distance,
shrinking like a toy—
at which point you probably realized
you had always loved the sea.

Naomi Shihab Nye, Different Ways to Pray- Breitenbush Publications, 1980

I love how this poem points to us being blinded by our attachment to things being a certain way – the many good and beautiful experiences that we might miss through…

View original post 63 more words

Generousity of not knowing… (Susan Murphy)

So generous, this act of not knowing, of entering unawares,
of allowing the dark of your own being to be the rich source it always was.

(Susan Murphy, ZEN Open Circle Sydney)

Origins of words and life…

One of the joyful tasks of a poet is to understand words,
to know their origins, to bring forth their meanings into our lives…
more deeply to imagine the context of those origins,
the breath that bore meaning, the glimmer that reflected love…
and deeper still (or perhaps returning to the surface to breathe),
to articulate the origins and conditions of life,
I don’t mean in an archaic way but in terms of where we are now,
in the writing of these words that connect and inspire and create
within the medium of our daily lives…

(Simon Williams, 19.10.2012)