A Few Poems From My Time at CUP

Last week I attended a week long retreat/workshop from Inner Activist called “Conscious Use of Power.” We spent the week on Gabriola Island’s “The Haven,” where I largely disconnected from my work and civilization.

Wile I promised I would do a longer blog piece for them (which I am still thinking through), I wanted to memorialize a few poems I wrote that week. I did not do as much poetry writing as I wanted to, but I hope the ones I did will speak to some of the attendees and perhaps encourage those who have not attended to go next year.

From the First Day:

A Different Me

Breathe
Air. Ocean.
The seagulls are resilient
We merely intrude.
Between gawks I look out at the rapidly flowing water.
I am a different me here.

 

From the First Night

Ginger Tea

The Ginger Tea is c orrect.
My throat is burning.

 

From the Second Morning

Morning After Migraine

Woke up in a cold sweat
Pain – a lifelong ailment
Still – I feel human again
So human in this pain
Maybe I need a reset.

 

From the Second Day

Powerless

POWER/LESS

People/Lost
Owned/Excluded
White/Stressed
Energy/Storms
Reality

 

From the Third Day

The Wasp

This lunch I followed a wasp. Or actually the wasp followed me.
While I am physically bigger than the wasp,
The wasp and their ability to sting held power over me.
Rather than observe, I turned away to afraid to even touch it.
It laid to feast on my food and salad.
Perhaps part of me was sweet, no I forgot this is not a bee.
Wasps continue to sting while bees lose their stinger and die – so to speak.
Coming back to the spot now where I last saw the wasp, they are no long here.
As much as I now want to observe it, it remembers that I rejected it two times.
I feared the power it held and did not engage.

From the Fourth Day

What is My Community?

Colonial work?
Model minority work?
What is my work?
What is my community?

From the Fourth Evening (Second Last Night)

Lying down on this cool September evening;
I look up – where I have not spent enough time;
I see stars – in the sky and surrounding me with their human presence;
I hear the wave and feel the energy – I forgot I had these senses
I feel the breeze of the ocean – carrying a message to me on the shores of these Indigenous lands;
I look at my beloved swings behind me
I think
…. through every word spoken
…..every dream shared
……every flaw identified
…….every tear dropped
………every dance done
………..I learned
………….I grew
I reflect back on these days
And realize that without every single one of you
…. every glance, every smile, every hug, every  ‘no, not now’, every piece of wisdom shared;
Each of you have left an indelible mark on this still searching soul;
I will carry you away in the same way the thoughts of you carried me here and through;
You are my stars, my waves, my swings, my dance, my hope;
You have renewed in me a faith in humanity;
In gratitude I hope that this cup will be shared as a source o f renewal, a resource we can turn to in love, with compassion.
Thank you for being here with me and for me.

 

I didn’t get a chance to write on the last night due to our celebration. I really miss CUP. I miss the conversation, the people, and the ability to daydream.

I’ll go resource myself in a minute.

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