Words of Wonder


It’s been just over a year now since I started sharing a mindful poem each week. I’ve very much enjoyed the process of landing on a poem, often in a slightly random way: one that I came across in the week before, that jumped out at me when leafing through a collection of poems or one that came to mind in relation to what was present in my own life. And then the quest to find a picture with it (usually collecting a few, consulting Alexander my husband on which one to choose and then enjoying either a passionate disagreement or shared appreciation for them), and lastly beginning to put my sense of the poem into words. And I’ve loved reading comments or emails in response to my posts…

So I could continue like this, but on reflection I’d like to broaden the horizons of the Wonderwords (and from now on share a poem once a fortnight, rather than every week). I would love to widen the circle of the poetry choices here to deliberately include a wider range of traditions and cultures. For surely there are reflective, mindful poems in for example the  Muslim, Christian, or Hindu tradition, and words of gratitude and compassion from the southern hemisphere, native traditions, or from a long time ago… I’m going to actively look for them, but I’d love it if you joined me and shared poems that have touched your heart that can contribute to a wider selection and towards a more universal range of poems.

You can contact me here, and I’m curious about what will appear…


  1. I found a poem a couple of weeks ago and was going to send it to you, as I liked it so much and it went so well with your nature theme. It was on a notice board in a “reflection” spot amongst a poplar grove in a nature park right on the edge of the busy city of Winnipeg, Canada. The second time I visited, there was a caterpillar on the board by the poem, when I went next it was a chrysalis, and today I looked again and it was gone. A brief encounter with the cycle of life. It just seemed so aptly fitting to the poem. Thanks for your weekly offerings.

    Messenger by Mary Oliver

    My work is loving the world.
    Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
    equal seekers of sweetness.
    Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
    Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

    Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
    Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
    keep my mind on what matters,
    which is my work,

    which is mostly standing still and learning to be
    The phoebe, the delphinium.
    The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
    Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

    which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
    and these body-clothes,
    a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
    to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
    telling them all, over and over, how it is
    that we live forever.

  2. Dear Alice, I missed the notification for your comment somehow, but although my response is late, I wanted to thank you for this lovely poem combined with your observations of the caterpillar and the chrysalis. Such wonderful work, this loving the world!
    Glad you appreciate the poems. Warm wishes, kristine

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