journey to peace


Hope is not a strategy
but a way of living,
letting loose what lives within
into a wanting world

a way of living rising
from roots planted
in the soil of love, twisting
outward to bear lessons

from all those years
of unfurling and return,
the unknown entered
in trust blessed

by seasons of rest
and ripening, their light
illuminating the one
thing that matters –

trust in our instincts
as nature’s creatures
sending peace ahead
of every breath.


With thanks to sister-blogger and supportive reader Philippa Rees for her recent comment in which she shared a phrase that inspired this post:

The mighty tree is alive with its roots deep in you…
Let what it sees guide you.

I spent the better part of yesterday – and it was the better part, I can assure you! – creating the collage and afterward, the poem. Thank you, Philippa, for the encouragement from afar that resonated so deeply within.


Credit: Deborah Koff-Chapin

Her luminous gray eyes, firm
arms outstretched to break the fall
into self-loathing – Kindness;
wavy black hair hanging loose
yet serene, a playful wisp escaping
at the temple – Kindness; her easy smile
and intent listening to encourage
the doubting, lost and seeking.

Kindness lives, I think, in the woods,
grounded in seasoned wisdom,
deep-rooted in the core of life,
her cycles one with Mother.

Kindness lives, too, in the rolling ocean,
her eyes mirroring moon phases, skin
translucent mother of pearl, aglow as she
mermaid-flips across the surf buoyed and light
as a memoried beach day, eternal and true.

Kindness lives in air, on the in and out
of every breath; flows around feeling, gives
voice to the possible, reminds
us to choose; she glides, slides, invisible
yet present in every moment.

Kindness lives in fire
forged of wisdom, her flame
drawing us onward when the way
is dark, the path alight with her
strength and example.

Only Kindness tucks us in at night, opens
our morning eyes with wonder
and gratitude for the gifts of each day,
blessing us along our way.


hot pink crayon and a power drill

One of the privileges of my work facilitating circles of writing women is that I hear all kinds of wonderful asides – sometimes as prelude to shared writing; sometimes as random reflections; sometimes, like this one, as earnest attempt to make a point.

In this case, that the purpose of sharing writing and asking for specific feedback is to gain a set of very specific tools for the writer’s box. Not every response or suggestion will be useful in the moment. One may even have no idea when, where or how some kinds of feedback will ever come into play. The point is: you just never know. In our circles, we strive to accept each and every offering as just that – an offering from another perspective. A fresh set of eyes and ears, directing us to a new way of hearing or living our own words. Something to take home, mull over, sample and try on. Encouragement to take an idea out for a spin, see if it livens or clarifies that straggling struggling sentence or coheses that confusion of clashing syllables.

It doesn’t get much more relevant than that. So whether it’s formal poetic structure, tangible steps to character development or a hot pink crayon and a power drill, my advice to you is take it. You just never know when you’ll reach into your toolbox for that very item. And your toolbox may be the only place to find it when you need it.

with thanks to Thursday morning writer AK for the inspiration