W.O.R.D.S.: Acceptance (or what is good poetry?)

The W.O.R.D.S. Project (Words Open Resonating Depths of the Sacred): A weekly alphabetical search for questions.*


Allow the words of judgement to be

Cast off into dust.

Care, fully, as a mother who

Encourages her children,

Pushing with a gentle arm and

Tales of loving persistence,

Announce yourself ENOUGH!

No more bullying in silent

Creation of a weakened soul. No!

Ease open your heart to accept the unique gift of You.

At this debut of my new project I immediately want to tell you that I don’t claim to be a poet. But that would be a bit incongruous with the subject matter. This project is not about poetry and whether is it good or not is kind of beside the point.

I wanted the words to just come, not from a place of thinking, but from a place of feeling. If I tried to write “good poetry” (which, by the way, according to a workshop I recently attended is defined as 1. Well-crafted 2. Affecting 3. Beautifully worded 4. Memorable) I would be using my ego rather than my body to write it. I accept whatever comes, trusting that there will be deeper meaning than I could ever plan to say by trying to figure out what I should say.

I was once in a workshop at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health with Hari Kirin Khalsa. At one point during an arduous meditation which, in my mind, I was doing, oh, so complete wrong, Khalsa said: “Do what you can, whatever it is, it is perfect. Even if you just imagine yourself doing it, it is exactly right.”

She told us to, “Release Expectation! Whatever you have is enough to give. Whatever happens is enough.”

Acceptance is giving yourself permission to be a learner. To be learning. To fail. To make mistakes. A “mistake” is just another name for new knowledge. Judging sends you hurling backwards into self-doubt. Acceptance pushes you forward to self-confidence and enlightenment.

So, I may not be a “good” poet but I accept that my poem is absolutely perfect!

Prompt: “I am enough! I accept this about myself…”


*This project is an off-shoot of the work I did for my graduate degree where I used Words to help heal from my negative indoctrination from “The Word.” Words are powerful agents for transformation! (Thesis/Final Project: Calling Little Gypsy Home: Reclaiming Voice Through Expressive Writing and the Sacred Feminine; Memoir: Sing from the Womb: Leaving Fundamentalism in Search in Voice.)

Natural Wisdom – in verse

These poems were written by a participant in one of my recent workshops, Natural Wisdom: Writing as Spiritual Voice. They are Alphapoems written in response to prompts while listening to sounds from nature. As you will read, not all are directly related to nature, but this is an example of the wonder and power of expressive writing: If you open yourself to the writing process, what wants/needs to be expressed will be. The author remarked that she was not expecting these words to come out, “they just kinda did!”

Thank you for your generosity for sharing them with us!

Poems by Gwendoline James


Dark skies releasing themselves of pent-up heat,

Inspired by Thor;  continual rumblings then stomach-churning crashes.

Straight rain falling to earth with relentless power,

Threatening all beneath its touch without regard,

Analogy for washing clean, washing away,

Never heeding any demands to stop.

Clean, so clean, until it hits earth, rivers, fields, then mud and torrents and flood and devastation.

Eternal rain……… or so it seems at this moment.


Gone before I knew you, like the

Wind, blowing through and leaving

Emptiness, which I

Never recognized until the need to know you became

Dominant  in my later life.

Open my heart to the memories I do not have.  I want to hear you

Laugh, cry, talk ……why did

Illness take you away so that I

Never knew you, felt your warmth, heard your voice, fed off your

Energy, which was all spent by the time you gave me life.


Soothing my fears, calming my thoughts, in this

Idyllic place.

Damp seaweed gently sweeping between my toes, the

Mouth of the river opening itself into the

Ocean.  What powerful secrets lie

Under your white crests;  your dark teal depths reflecting the

Turmoil of my mind before I came to stand in awe at your edge

Happy for the seagulls overhead and for your cleansing, incessant water to wash over my feet and

recede again into itself.

— Gwendoline James