My new inspirational poetry book, Allowing Now, which launches on the 25th of October, is a selection of mindfulness poetry.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” Alexander Pope said in his great poem about poetry writing and publishing back in 1711. I’m no angel but I do fear to tread into this vast, deep subject of mindfulness meditation.
Who am I to do so? I’m not a monk or doctor, spiritual teacher or guru, just a writer. Yet mindfulness has been key to my writing practice, especially my poetry, for decades. I share my inspiration meditation practice through Facebook Live with other creatives four days a week. As a poet, I spend a lot of time in that magic state of mindful presence which births my books.
And I have written poems that directly deal with this topic, thirty of which I have now selected for this book.
You’ve probably heard of mindfulness, a meditation trend that is currently sweeping through workplaces, doctors’ and counsellors’ surgeries, kitchens and bedrooms as well as temples, churches and meditation studios.
Science is confirming what the ancients always knew: this simple act of moment-by-moment awareness, of consciously living in the moment, stepping back from our “doing” to reside, even momentarily, in our “being”, is profoundly good for mental health and well-being, alleviating anxiety and depression and cultivating equanimity and joy.
Mindfulness is profoundly transformational, connecting us to the well of peace that lies, in silence, under the day-to-day noise and agitation made by our mouths and our minds. Mindfulness provides a channel for true happiness to rise in us.
And true creative connection.
Practicing mindfulness, though they would never have called it that, is something that poets—and poetry readers—have always done.
Poetry is intimately connected to the truth, magic and mystery of mindfulness. When we move deeply into this moment, we cultivate creative presence and perception. Dormant faculties waken. We see more, perceive more, know more.
Insight, imagination, intuition, inspiration are all magnified.
For a poet, mindfulness is a form of creative presence in which we are, first, fully immersed in an object or experience, recording its existence through our senses. Then later, we consciously enter it again, this time to record it in words.
The sensory details of that object or experience, and their meaning for us, are expressed in the sense and sound, rhythm and rhyme, of the words.
And thereby transmitted to the reader, in a miracle of recreation that is the profoundness possible homage to the miracle of creation.
Mindfulness Poetry: Allowing Now
Some of the poems in this selection, like the title poem, “Allowing Now” (see below) address the topic of mindfulness head-on.
Most explore associated themes like acceptance, impermanence, inter-being, letting go and universal love.
The book launches on October 25th. You can preorder your copy on Amazon here.
If you would like an advance review copy, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll send you on a copy with instructions for launch day.
In the meantime, here is the title poem for you to enjoy today.
The talkers talk
who should go,
what cannot stay,
where's goodness gone?
Too many old,
the lawless young,
we’re bound to pay,
we’ll come undone,
the planet’s doomed,
the coming bomb.
No. I’ll feed no more
on skeletons of gloom
and ruin. Death knells
of what the world calls
news, filtered through
someone else’s blues.
I close my ears
to third-hand tales.
I breathe my breath:
Buoyed in the surge of now
washed in the flow of now
swirled in the swell of now
lulled in the well of now
I find perception magnified.
I see the world with different sight.
Our young, who never flourished more
than they now grow
our old, who never garnered more
than they now know.
Peace, never more feasible
than it is now
happiness, never more possible
than it is now
knowledge never more accessible
than it is now
All we know as goodness
never more reachable than it is now.
And goodness knows
no matter what
our human selves decide
to think or do
life comes in peace
and we are all as welcome
as we ever were, here,
in the holy, flowing hold of now.
You can find more poetry here