Tag Archives: poetry

DaNcInG WoRdS: May the light of your soul

This week I have been thinking about the joy of work,  I start a new job this week and a few of my friends are on the threshold of new chapters with work and study, so this little post is given over to a blessing for work penned by the late John O Donohue.


May the Light of Your Soul Guide You
John O’Donohue

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never be a burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you



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DaNcInG WoRdS:The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Yesterday I left behind the heavy rain filled skies on London Luton, and arrived to be greeted by a blue skied Belfast. I was reminded it was June, and it was summer. Recently, my heart has been heavy as I have been mindful of friends facing days shaded in the grey of disappointment, loss, pain and bewilderment. Reading this Mary Oliver poem “The Summer Day” reminded me that amid the grey to offer attention to gratitude, my act as a prayer to chase in bluer skies


The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


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DaNcInG WoRdS….Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Yesterday my lovely friend Chants directed me over to this beautiful blog post by Sarah Bessey: 


She talks about taking care of the soul.  In me I recognise, that soul shrinking, and how often a poem has caused my soul to swell.  For those of you who might also be in need of some words to help you come alive, this new little feature is born,  Someone once said that poetry is to prose, what dancing is to walking. Enjoy the dance!

For the first in this little series, I thought I would share one of my absolute favorite poems, by Wendell Berry, a brilliant farmer/conservationist, writer/teacher.  As you will recognise, this poem was the inspiration for our little blog title, may the words, move, inspire, challenge and comfort you in the way they have me:

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.



Filed under Dancing words, Sarah