Slow Down and Notice

Often a client will choose to include a poem in the ceremony they create especially if they’ve invited friends or family to take part. There’s something about reading a poem aloud that draws a group of people together.

Poems call out and invite you to slow down and listen. And we do.

The brevity of a poem helps you pay attention. There is importance in each and every word. Focusing on the rhythm and the sounds of the words enables the images to spring to life.

Reading a poem can be like a ceremony of words as it draws you into a state of inner quiet and keen awareness.

Find a comfortable chair, make a cup of tea and enjoy this poem by Mary Oliver entitled, “Messenger”.

I encourage my clients to look for the special moments in their ceremony. I hope you notice some special moments as you read this poem.

‘Messenger’ by Mary Oliver Click to listen to the audio!


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

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  1. Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Jovanna, thank you for the reminder to create a retreat for myself. It’s much needed and so I’m going to make some of my fav tea and curl up with a good book tonight with my dog beside me. I can picture it now. Ahhhhhhh. You were my gift today! <3

    • Jovanna
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m so happy to be your inspiration today, Barb. Enjoy!

  2. Posted October 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I love the poetry!

    Here is one I wrote – enjoy!

    The Library

    Walk the stacks
    skim the shelves
    search for tales
    known so well

    what you read
    is up to you
    will you choose
    as lovers do?

    thoughts will write
    the tale of us
    pick the words
    heart, heat and lust

    within the spines
    the new, the old
    ancient whispers
    lives retold

    within one’s power
    to keep on reading
    or sigh
    decide that it was fleeting

    I pause and draw a volume down
    the cover set with jeweled crowns
    a million stars
    a moonlit night
    my lover’s lips within my sight

    I turn the page and laugh
    pick up a pen and graph
    trajectory of these two hearts
    pages ripping, stops and starts

    the rest will be of our own making
    what blaze of glory, what fate creating
    what task, what faith, to love and wait
    the writing of our story, great.

    • Jovanna
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Kimberly, This is such a BEAUTIFUL poem. I’m about to make a cup of tea to create a simple ceremony to really take it in.
      Lots of love, Jovanna

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