“…be still enough
to hear direction
even when heart
pounds in the darkness…
From “After Lisel Mueller” in my book, As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power from Healing and Transformation. (p. 286 in the paperback, also in eBook formats) Listen here: https://youtu.be/p-qpdvOrGaA
Before I wrote this poem in mid-May of 1999 I had been deeply discouraged and had decided to stop writing. Lisel Mueller lived near me and, in 1997, had won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book, “Alive Together.” I already had tickets to hear her speak, so I decided to go. It was life altering. I learned so much from that one talk/reading. Some of her poems soaked into me as if she wrote them specifically for me, and others not as much. During the book signing Lisel Mueller was gracious and generous, taking unhurried time with each person. It felt like we were all at her house for afternoon tea.
This poem “popped out” as I drove home. (I did pull over to write it down.) And I discovered I was not going to stop writing poems, since “After Lisel Mueller” flowed out from me in one piece just like this. The words were very compelling and clear. My energy shifted, I was recharged in every sense of the word. Later I gave her the poem and she wrote back to me with an encouraging handwritten note. I am grateful still.
Let these words flow over you and recharge you. Breathe out and breathe in…
This poem is also track 35 on my CD. You can listen to all tracks here: Full Blooming: Selections from a Poetic Journal.