Week 5 of Lockdown – Poems

25 April 2020


Anne Powell







In the monastery of the heart

we seek the thread

that leads to knowing.

It may be a thread of gold or song  

or trimmed flax or cello.


We follow the yearning to go deeper

into the heart of the heart.

Merton calls, “Let the trees speak.”


Walking by Waikanae River

beyond the estuary

where whitebaiters reveal the patience of God,

we welcome the speaking of trees.




Pointing the finger


The finger of land

points into the lake

questioning you.

What’s this season in your life for?

What’s it colour and shape and

all its deliciousness?


A lone pukeko pokes in the wet grass    

simply being pukeko

in an unchanging season of foraging.


Out into the lake

points the finger of land.

Once more,

you set out into the deep.




In the heat  

(ANZAC Day, AustraliaAotearoa/New Zealand 25 April)


Nana stands in the heat

of her kitchen

wearing her pinny

print from the past

spooning ANZAC biscuits          

onto the tray.

Licking the last


and tasting Gallipoli

and thinking she hears

an opening

and calling

“Is that you, dear?”


Pop’s still

down on the beach.




Living in the round


It is all in the choosing

this season as teacher and friend.

It is all in the choosing the

once unquestioned pathway

allowing its voice through turmoil of dreams and days.

It is all in the choosing

once fearful depths to shape new spaces

in the soul's shyness.


In this season of invitation

beyond  the familiar visible

beyond the lost art of connection

with all  creation

Surely rises the sun and moon of peace over fresh hemispheres.



we stumble yet yearn to dance

the unsteady drumbeat of heart.




Facing it

Inside we talked of global warming
and someone said we’d all be dead
before that happened
seeing God face to face.            

Does God have a face mused the abbot?

Cold tingles our faces.
Hills rear and swell in rain. 
The face is plainly beautifu





In the river


And when you reach the turn

in the river

stand back noting the bend

is a question mark

asking the whitebaiters where

will you set your nets

and asking of you where is your down-deep self.


And you keep faith with the river

by resting on a strong log

letting the river question you.

The river mirrors the sky

and bares your soul.




Seven steps


The beginning of wisdom is not knowing.

The next step of wisdom is presence.

The third step of wisdom is water lily.

The next step of wisdom is gaze.

The fifth step of wisdom is open petals.

The next step of wisdom is unlearning.

The seventh step of wisdom is joy.