Metrophobia is a fear of poetry! How can you be afraid of poetry? Sometimes people get upset that they don’t understand a poem’s layers or subtle (or totally obtuse) meanings, sometimes it’s teachers who insisted poems meant one thing and you didn’t agree and argued “but how do you KNOW that’s what they meant?” (That was me!) and sometimes, by fearing a teacher and having to learn 10 or 20 lines for the next day makes you miss the beauty of what you are learning and just remember the fear   I had one teacher who made me fear poetry and another who made me fall in love with it: thankfully I had that balance!

Whatever you learned back then, unlearn it – read it for yourself.  Find your own meaning and beauty and wonder….





Walt Whitman – on everyday miracles

Why make much of a miracle

WHY! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, 5
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, 10
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers, 15
Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, 20
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass;
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring—yet each distinct, and in its place.

To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, 25
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

To me the sea is a continual miracle; 30
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?


If I stopped

What would happen to your life if you slowed down for a minute, a day….a year?

If I stopped for a year
to read the classics
what would happen to my life?
If I stopped for a year
to visit art galleries or museums
would I ever work again?
If I stopped for a year
to dance and climb mountains
would the boardroom bell not sound for me?
if I stopped for a year to teach
would I learn who I was in the angry
eyes of our tender youth?
If I stopped for a year
could I feel the seasons change
and hear the ants talk?
If I stopped for a year
would I learn to breathe
and love the senses I have
long since forgotten?
If I stopped for a year
could I remember the birth canal
and the bright, white light called life?
If I stopped….

Sean Casey Leclaire


John O’Donohue’s Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted.

A blessing for one who is exhausted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight
Taking time to open the well of colour
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

John O’Donohue