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Honoring our Art & Soul Poets for National Poetry Month

These poems from Karyn Henley were inspired by Art & Soul practices or the people within the community.



Looking at Green


“Go outside,”

my friend’s therapist said.

“Go outside and look at the green.”

the used heart,

the abused heart,

the wounded soul

turns inward with pain,

tunnels in,

builds a protective shell,

like a snail, hides inside.

Colors, once bright and bold,

become muted,

care full,

shrinking into shadows,

swept into shards—

but there,

still there.

“Go outside.

Go outside and look at

all the colors of green.”

My friend did.

She opened the door.

Green met her there,

and she saw that green

was not just green

but elegant emerald,

warm olive,

deep forest,

soft sage,

splashy sea green,

tart apple green,

sunlit spring green,

lime,

moss,

pine,

branching out,

stretching up,

dancing in the wind,

basking on a rock,

climbing a fence,

life giving life,

simply being,

full and changing

one day at a time,

brightening,

fading,

from one green to another,

simple,

restful,

growing,

hopeful.

My friend laughs now with delight

at being precisely who she is.

She is evergreen.

“Go outside and

look at the

green.”


-Karyn Henley-

 


The Talking Stick

 

The talking stick doesn’t really talk.

Long and smooth,

it’s passed hand to hand

around our circle

as it has been passed

through the years,

hand to hand,

fist to fist,

clutched,

fingered,

held close,

a lifeline,

a reassurance,

a permission to remember,

an invitation to vulnerability,

visibility,

acceptance,

change.

The talking stick has heard stories

from bared hearts.

It’s been entrusted with

fears,

dreams,

hopes.

The talking stick has heard it all.

The talking stick

doesn’t really talk.

But, oh, if it did . . .

 

– kh –

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