Opening to Peace- Poems from Interweave’s May Writing Circle


Dear Friends,

Opening To Peace was the theme for our May 2016 Writing Circle. It grew from our fall, winter and spring themes: Autumn, Keepsakes of the Heart, Miracles, Courage and Heartbreak. We learned that through all the transitions and challenges we traverse, Peace waits patiently for us to invite Her to sit with us and within us.

May the words and drawing that follow – from St. John the Divine, Thich Nhat Hanh and our dear writers – help bring an experience of peace to you with a sassy dollop of humor. The prayer from St. Teresa of Avila is personally very special. I discovered it in clearing out my mom’s house. It was in a booklet prepared for the parish of St. Teresa’s in Summit, commemorating its 100th anniversary year in 1973 – 1974. Our family belonged to the parish and my mother had saved it.

Wishing you a green and glowing summertime. Our circle will resume in October.

Warm Regards and Happy Writing!

Lorri and the Writing Circle

June 2016




Dig Here The Angel Said

St. John the Divine


She caught me off guard when my soul said to me,

“Have we met?”


So surprised I was to hear her speak like that

I chuckled.


She began to sing a tale: “There was once a hardworking man

who used to worry so much because he could

not feed and clothe his children and wife the way he wanted.


There was a beautiful little chapel in the village

Where the man lived and one day while

he was praying, an angel appeared.


The angel said ‘Follow me.’ And he did out into the ancient forest.

‘Now dig here’ the angel said. And the man felt strength in

his limbs he had not known since youth and with just

his bare hands he dug deep and found a

lost treasure, and his relationship

with the world changed.”


Finding our soul’s beauty does that – gives us

tremendous freedom

from worry.


“Dig here,” the angel said – “in your soul, in your soul.”


(Translation, Daniel Ladinsky – Love Poems From God)




Being Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh


“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, such as the blue sky, the sunshine, and the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, anytime … If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we can’t share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. “ (p. 13)


“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the sky? No, we just enjoy it…” (p. 13)


“Wherever we are, anytime, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing. We can be in touch with these things right now….” (End p.13)


“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work”. (p. 14)


“Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace”. (p. 18)


(Excerpts from Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh; Copyright by the United Buddhist Church)




Let Nothing Disturb Thee

St. Teresa of Avila


Let nothing

disturb thee;

Let nothing

            dismay thee;

All things

            are passing;

God alone is               


Patience gains

            all things.

Who hath God

            wanteth nothing.

God alone suffices.




Nancy Burgas


The angel of death

swooped down over my bed last night


Brushed my neck

with the tip of its black wing


Eyes wide in the inky dark

I merely watched


I did not panic

but waited


You see I did not want to leave you yet

your love held me fast


Wordlessly the thought conveyed

through the molecules of the black night


Touché the specter whispered

I will return


And so I awoke to another

dazzling daffodil morning 




Interweave Your Voices

Margaret A. Dukes


Opening to peace

isn't that almost the same

as opening to love ?

if you want peace

you have to love something

so much

you're willing

to let the scared side of yourself

be still,

while the smaller

brave voice

in your head

has IT's say.

Doesn't it, too,


equal time

with the

screaming Mimi's

of your scared self?

Go slow

if necessary

Be brave:

– extend your love

– peace will come.




why did the cat pick me today?

Margaret A. Dukes


why did the cat pick me today?

he wouldn't leave me alone

at the desk

until I must give him "good face"

scratching his cheeks behind his whiskers –

he extends his leg so his paw

can touch the shiny glass of

my iPhone

 he pushes my pad of paper

then covers it with his body

switching  his tail to hit my hand

his cat collar with green bow

against the black of his fur

his white paws  resting

on my poetry paper –

now he reclines in peace

having had his say.




is it just like a rainy day to thrust peace upon us

Margaret A. Dukes


is it just like a rainy

day to thrust peace

upon us

in the upper room

the diverse women

of ages


hair color

skin tone





all joined

all open

to peace

   extending out to

a bright


the gift of our





I broke the last of the dishes

Margaret A. Dukes


I broke the last of the dishes

smacking them against the edge

of the dumpster –


to be so destructive of

her remaining things –


– after the yard sale

– auction

– giveaways to extended family

– items left at the curb

   to be taken freely.

I see those broken pieces now

myself standing alone

in the dumpster


 I didn't have to

do this work.




Reflections on Peace

Sue Edmondson


Peace be with you and me and the whole world.  Oh, how lovely that could be.  Many years ago when I was in college I was told there were only two times of peace in our world’s history.  Oh, if I could only remember when those two times were – now they are history to me.  So may there be peace with you and me and the whole world.  Smile and the whole world will smile with you.  Be in peace and the whole could smile with you.


Peace is when one is sitting peacefully and meditating on a nice warm sunny day on the beach and seeing the power of the waves wash up on the warm sand.


When one smiles the whole room lights up and peace is with us all.  So I believe.




Poetry and Peace

Eileen Gerety


Sun shines

Power – ON!


Rain upon













My spirit

Joy anew





I’m so



BUT… Life







How I’m






With you








Times past


What a blast!





Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace”

Eileen Gerety


Yearning for Peace

My soul cries out

Will darkness cease?

At times – some doubt.


Traveling the journey

Smiles and sorrows

My spirit tries turning…

What’s up tomorrow?


Glimmer slides through

Listening and learning

Help me renew

Now – insight growing!


Enjoying the sunshine

The presence of another

No longer sighing

No longer the OTHER!


Smiling will heal

“Yoga for the face” *

The darkness will peal

For ALL in this space!


Blossom like a flower

Hope – the world over

Smiling brings power

May peace now hover


Over this time and this space

We write of peace

For every one, every race

It’s light – we embrace!


Poetry provides solace

The muse comes through

My wish is for Peace

For me and for you


Writing together

Each month as we do

Poems – they tether

Circle members – how true!


Yearning for Peace

As I many times do

I definitely enjoy

Writing poems with you!


(Words in italics reference Thich Nhat Hanh’s excerpts from Being Peace.

*“Yoga for the face” is a term coined by one of our circle members on 5/7/16.)




Make Room for Manure

Karen Knops


To grow, we seek the fertile soil

To sprout and kiss the sun

Envisioning green harvest

With little toil

Seeking magic of nature

Dreaming sunshine and dew

What arrives

Is manure

An uncivilized load

“Not that” we say

“Surely that isn’t for me”

Pungent and dark

Unbearable shame

But we need its riches

Just the same

Don’t run away

Lest it petrify

An untouched monument

Of worthless stone

If we can return in time

Turning it anew

Let in fresh air

The richness is ours

So plug your nose

Roll up our sleeves

And know

Life’s greatest gifts

May come to pass

By the unquiet grace

Of a horse’s ass




Can You Do It For Yourself?

Karen Knops


Enough with the others

Stop walking their road

That is for them

Let the burden unload

Control and distraction

Junk food for the mind

Sickens the soul

In the end, it’s not kind

To you or to them

You offer your “help”

But isn’t it braver

To begin with yourself

Stillness can find you

So look in your heart

Heal your own wounds

It’s there you must start

Painful as ever

You’ll pray for release

But feeling that moment

Is the process of peace

Not a stale pool of water

Like a river it goes

Can’t hold or contain it

It ebbs and it flows

Don’t fight in your rowboat

Deep down you must know

To be one with the water

Jump in and let go




Opening to Peace

Stella Humphries



Why and How?

Now? at this time on planet Earth?


Those from dimensions that see beyond ours encourage us to peer

Above the dense lid we built with centuries of thought 

They bid us to loosen the threads that bind our thinking to groundless beliefs

Seeded by thought that serves the few to which we align perhaps innocently at first  

Thought that smokes the lenses of perception until oppressive constriction rules reality 

And we no longer recognize the maze of crazed thoughts bred in fear and separation with which we crush our own spirit 


The original light and might of each one of us shrinking, shrinking in the breathless space beneath the lid 


Only pale glimmers of radiance in odd places surface now and then to awaken us for a moment to other possibilities…

and even though we may dismiss the significance of their source we cannot totally forget.  


But now it is changing.  Forms wrought from iron thought are breaking apart. 

Tiny fissures are riddling the lid, 

Thought emerging is formed of Light.

Clear breath seeps in to re-inspire perception to see beneath form.  


We see the gossamer of connection across all living things, seeping into awareness. 

Waking us with possibility of truth arising 

Calling us ever more consciously to understand the common needs of each other's hearts 

The healing of fragments into wholeness has begun

Inviting new thought rooted in the soil of old wisdom

Buds hint at emergent forms; their full expression and splendor still enfolded

Each day possibilities open.  Choice.

Poised in the shimmering confluence between old and new perception

The veils lift for a moment and the whole is revealed – 

There is nothing to fight, nothing to despair, all is in order 

The veil drops and the fire of fight burns again

Each time less brightly; the scorched patches formed in judgment shrink 

The cycles are fading … fading… the buds are growing … 

There is flow.

There is nothing to fight, nothing to despair.

I can see past the burning fires of your Soul into your heart

Your heart and mine are not separate. 

I see you.  

I celebrate you

All is in order.

All is in order and the circle widens

All is in order, the circles interweave

All is in order, we see we are One. 





Peace Drawing by Janeen Sharp, Interweave Writing Circle