Monasteries of the Heart

Poem--July 2012

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German theologian Dorothee Soelle called in “theopoetry”—doing theology by communicating with God through images that spring from our everyday experiences. Once a month I present a starter poem from the Japanese monk poet Ryokan and my response to it. Then it’s your turn. I invite you to join the conversation.

Ryokan poem

When all thoughts
Are exhausted
I slip into the woods
And gather
A pile of shepherd’s purse.

Like the little stream
Making its way
Through the mossy crevices
I, too, quietly
Turn clear and transparent.

Kownacki Poem

When all thoughts
Are exhausted
I walk to the Neighborhood Art House
To teach children
Who are poor
To write poetry.

Like the purple Johnny-jump-ups
Now playing hopscotch through the neighborhood
The children’s words humble me.
I, too, turn simple,
Open to surprise.

Your Poem