Disrupt Monday with poetry

May flower at Benedict Pond

Mayflower photo by Suzi Banks Baum with a Moments macro lens at Benedict Pond in the Berkshires

Most of the time, you are either doing one thing, or another, and likely both.
But when poetry shows up, you can only do poetry.
Write it. Read it. Share it. Proclaim it out at the laundry line:
“Hello sun in my face, hello you who made the morning.”

(this is Mary Oliver’s line.)

Today, Jeffrey Davis has a new book of poetry launching.
And, Wednesday, Jan Phillips has a free talk about her new book, Creativity Unzipped.

I cherish and celebrate this Rampant Sisterhood. Today, I am disrupting my usual posting schedule to share my poem and the work of my mentors. I hope you take this as nourishment for your rising forth.

Spoiler alert***I make a brief appearance at the end of Jeffrey’s video.

Here is my poem written between
Sacred Refuge Sunday yesterday and this morning, when I
disrupted my regular writing practice to work on it.
I stand on the shoulders of Lorna Crozier’s poem:
Packing for the Future: Instructions.

Instructions for travel in times of Doubt
after Lorna Crozier

Take a deeper breath,
the kind that quiets your belly
when you stand on the cliff’s edge of a new now.

When you release it, notice
the mayflower and trillium
though you won’t pick them, kneel
down and inhale your grandmother’s
story in mossy woodland air.

Slip in to your pocket the color of tangerine
and a bit of candied ginger, a tiny book
of poems written by love dogs and witches.
Trust the seams of your coat, but close the snaps
lest fierce winds rage.

Carry with you a brown paper sack, for it’s
utility as hat and a holder of peaches.
In it one pair of clean underpants, Carter’s and pink,
and a small spool of ribbon for
there is always cause to celebrate.

Pause to square the rugs and plunk out
one more rollicking hymn so that the choir
can carry your mother’s voice with you,
no matter what the weather,
now sings my soul.

On your feet slip your boots that have been mired
in defeat over a pig sty, that have plucked steps
over river rocks limned in the call of a brown headed parrot,
that have waited upon congressing salamanders
on a snow cleared forest floor and know,

that no matter what comes, it is your breath

and the space in between,

where light comes in.

Here morning returns after blackened night,
a friend offers high safety when you least
expect it, a blue stone, a song about the moon,
and a linen hankie for necessary tears.
Lean only on sunshine, sleep in trees,
live by the sound of your heart.

Suzi Banks Baum
May 23, 2016


How might you disrupt your day with poetry?

With love,



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Showing 4 comments
  • barbara

    so gorgeous. i loved every drop. it is my morning’s refreshment — wholly unexpected. wholly lovely. you make me want to set off for a hike in the woods. bless you…..

    • Suzi

      Thank you Barbara! I hope you can, at some point today, stand under new leaves. It is raining here, but that is not going to stop me. I will take you with me! Much love, S

  • Barb Buckner Suarez

    Wow, that was gorgeous and you are completely right about this (and so many other things…): poetry makes you stop and take notice of every word and image. It’s a wonderful way, a soul-filling way, to pause and breathe. Thank you so much for this. XO

  • Susan Heffron hajec

    “Take a deeper breath, the kind that quiets your belly when you stand on the cliff’s edge of a new now…” That quote will appear in my “Being Faithful to the Quiet” which I will complete by next Spring’s WWAM gathering which I will attend with a friend. I felt like I was taking a walk with you, Suzi.

    Tom’s ongoing skin cancer surgeries and travel to and from have given me a new now for over a year. I am now seeding this new ongoing now with creative intention and letting the dross fall where it will. What a lesson, what a slow learner.