by +

April is National Poetry Month, a practice begun in 1996. Poetry is certainly part of our spiritual path through prayer, chant and song. I use poetry in my practice as a therapist and spiritual director for a variety of reasons. Poetry has a way of slowing us down, using more of the left brain qualities, offering silences as much as words and inviting one into their own interiority and experience. Poems can act as doors or thresholds into this inner space. A poem will be offered here each week of April, inviting you to use poetry as a path to greater meaning and growth relating to self and spirit.

For interesting ways to connect with poetry this month, visit

Praise What Comes

surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven’t deserved
of days and solitude, your body’s immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise

talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks
before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps

you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,

finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

-Jeanne Lohmann