The unspoken

They were the unheard
holding the unspoken
the taboo
and they told you
so what do you do?


The unspoken
just because unspoken
does not leave the room
it remains unsaid
so what do you do?


What do you do
with what is both
known and unknown
not wanted
and wanted?


Do you sit with it
withhold it
leaving the shadow
a glimpse of light
in the shadows?


Do you speak it
daring to light
a fire of possibility
that brings on the heat
of discomfort?


When is the unspoken
best left unsaid?
Is it a choosing
of discomfort
yours or the other?


And who gets to decide,
to choose the discomfort
in the end unknown
and unknowable
and who it will serve?


Who gets to decide
who remains comfortable
not knowing the discomfort of others
closed off to the shaking
mystery working us?


Those unspoken words
are (mysteriously)
yours and not yours
to be handled with care
as you decide how to share.


Is the readiness
you seek yours or theirs,
a seed for now or later?
A ‘see’ for now or later?
Who is ready for what?


Who is ready for what?
Is this yours to carry?



Depths of my inside world

The longer arm points to the camp
where I find prejudice and hurt
and hope
in the personal and local
I’m not so naive 
as I’m growing, discerning
what to say
what to be thankful for
what to look to: a spiral of fear or the good that always comes
what feeds my spirit Continue reading Depths of my inside world

For shamans at the edge

NestCity-BlogPostMiles from civilization
I take the world into my arms
I am washed on the wash
laid to bed, disentombed
dreams not parked
release a force
out into the world
a welcome mat
for shamans at the edge
of poetry that saves
lives with questions
evoking the holy mystery
of the soul
a call to open
to my changing heart
to my true


A poem caught with my writing friends at Self as Source of the Story, December 1-7, 2015, with Christina Baldwin and Kristie McLean. Continue reading For shamans at the edge

Story is sacred food


Story is sacred food: this is what community leaders found in Durant, Oklahoma, a small American city, as they embarked on a journey to step more fully into who they truly are, and lean into who they want to be.

As they settled in to their work together, some meeting for the first time, others have the conversation for the first time, a hosting team of Canadians, and Oklahoman and a Californian. We first broke bread together, and after the meal we sat back to listen, from the edge of the circle, to each voice, and the story of what brought us together.

Here’s the essence of our starting point for a journey that will take months and years:


Sacred Food
Story is
sacred food
a sacred pride
in community
in personal generosity
I’m a live one
serving, giving
the spirit of home
in my heart
to the promise of Durant
to the promise of being here
where I choose to be
to grow
with our family of well-being
standing out
(of our own way)
we are live ones 
embracing the village story
on our shoulders
our sacred food

What truly nourishes you?

What is your sacred food? 



Blessing for Katharine


The poem/blessing I caught during a wonderful ceremony for a friend who marked the transition to the second half of life: her 60th birthday.


Blessing for Katharine
I am always
always good enough
with no end
to the infinity
of nurturing I offer
I deeply treasure 
the happiness in peace
open to my true nature
healing whole-heartedly
with grace and compassion
I am a fairy godmother
with (my) stories

Carrot of potential


I have to laugh. The moment I feel I finally have a clear sense of purpose and direction in my work, the universe delivers a tantalizing carrot, enticing me to other work, testing my resolve.

Before this carrot arrived, I called a circle of 14 remarkable people, to begin a dive into an evolutionary purpose I sense we serve for cities: to create the conditions for cities to serve citizens well, and for citizens to serve cities well.

Each of us, in our own ways, are in the throes of discerning the work we are called to do for our city.

Here’s what I caught in our closing words before parting. A carrot of potential…


A carrot of potential 
A carrot of potential
personally inviting
me to grow
the innovation
in me stretching 
energy in the heart
of the dragon
here, in me
in my city 
in an ensemble
growing a whole
Nest City - unusual work 1 small

Alternative prosperity


The words “alternative prosperity” are alive in me today. As I’m contemplating the work that I want to be doing in the coming year, it is about so much more than money – the usual form of measuring prosperity. What about all the other things?

What about the time I get to play with my family?

What about the time I get to flop around in bed, read a book, play in the snow, ride my bike?

What about the charge in my soul when I get spend time with fabulous people and we do great work together?

What about the great pioneering feeling I have when I understand something for the first time, and it fills me with joy?

What about the thrill of being paid to be me?

What about the feeling after an intense three day meeting, when I leave with more energy than I had when I arrived? The words I caught in our closing check-out circle were wise:


Alternative prosperity
Welcome in 
the layers
of a rippling universe
of blessings
in a fire
what’s to come
caring to ride
the alternative
that accelerates
magic vows
the layers 
of a rippling 

A poem caught in the closing circle of fantastic business meeting last week. Wow.



Stretch and fold


The work we have to do together is to be ourselves. This is what my local community of practice realized this fall, when we took some time to settle into the purpose of why we make the effort to meet each month. Here’s what our circle had to say to us:


Stretch and fold
A spiritual shower
of inspiration and energy
in rest and replenishment
of the soul
a pause
where our only responsibility 
is to stretch and fold
the agency of community
the currency of relationship
to host



The art of Seattle


[They] sought to create art that consciously responded to the world events surrounding them. All saw art as a form of spiritual quest.

I found these words in the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) pamphlet on their summer exhibition: Modernism in the Pacific Northwest: The Myths & the Mystical, describing the work of Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson.  As I explored their work, and the text provided by SAM, here are some juicy bits:

visualizations of the world in flux, of the human spirit transcendent, or of the cosmos. 
If there was any hope that the world could survive the threat of annihilation, . . .  it was found  . . .  from the closely observed cycle of life.
. . . symbols . . .  through close observation of the world around them – in the energy of the wartime city or in the fight for survival that defines the natural world. . .
. . . the visual language of Northwest Coast people as a . . .  lexicon of symbols for conveying universal brotherhood, a common spirituality  and a belief in the primacy of the laws of nature. . .

And I was compelled to see how the titles of their artwork could fit together:

The mythic and the mystical form
follows man, a rummage of
moving moments 
riding on the mountain
in the white night
searching for the morning
dove of the inner eye
to find on the seventh day
the seed was in itself

And Seattle? She was beautiful too. She is her own artwork.




A change in perspective

retires one

for another

perhaps unknown

a journey of surprise

deliberate or not

either way it calls

for unguardedness

to allow

shadow to light

to allow

flow and movement

for which I can

(not) prepare



A poem caught while spending time with my community of practice last night.