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Creative Witnessing

Poetry by members of the 2023 Apprenticeship as they watched with unconditional positive regard as their colleagues worked on their own voices. During Module 2 (May 2023) the idea of Creative Witnessing, or perhaps ‘creative unconditional positive regard’ was born. , One by one the poems came, cascading, intoning, enlightening, penetrating and loving the moment, as it was sung/sounded/moved and spoken, by the One to whom they listened.

We – You – They – He – She

by Eleanor Gibson

Opening into dark
Into the cave of unknowing
Where all is truly known
All is true
Shadows emerge,
Light floods in
Darkness lit by truth, by beauty
We – you – they – he – she
All dissolve in sound
Sounding, the gong sings
The gong sings of long ago, worlds gone.
How can we know that the darkness is flooded with light?
Until we go there, until we venture – adventure
Go, go – let life take you
Take you up, take you down, take you where it will.
Hasten into the shadows
For therein lies your joy
In the darkness is the light
In the shadows beauty hides.

Monks Pray

by Damien Mahony

Monks pray
Unruffled by the passage of time and the troubles of a busy world
A sound ancient and forever,
Emanating in the beginning bang and continued by the wise ones
I see their faces, at once alive in skin but also carved in rock
Giants, serving as reminders for us to come back to the source
And to find it in ourselves.
Those peaceful yet awesome faces
Eyes closed with inward gaze and focus
Mouths open
Allowing the sacred tones to pour forth
An elixir for all souls
A medicine for all beings to hear and heal with

Your Uncertain Show

by Alistair Smith

extend in undulations
out and on
then ebbing to
Vanishing point
Womb of stillness
Stellar nursery
A child among stars
fingers in supernovae
stirring gaseous
teasing tribal existences
languages of being
in this vacuum
of the question
What am I?
Who are you?
sob to the stars
keen into the chase
of unknowing

The Trail Is Done

by Tuula Voutilainen

Experiment with being yourself: 
I sound
And the Ether responds
I am the dying Sun 
The dying embers of 
The eternal flame
We voyage toward 
New solar systems 
till to be birthed
I am the cosmic song 
The love
In your bosom
The love,
The stardust
I say farewell
I say farewell 
I say, fare well 
All children who ever were 
Take my hand
And fly
And be consoled
The work is over 
The trial is done 
I absolve you all
I forgive
Let us cross over

The Huntsman’s Horn

by Patrick Tobin

I stand proudly, tremoring, growing, rooting, sighing the call to above
Come down to me and gurgle my growl.
Hear my explanation, understand all the bits and pieces
Two slender trees measure and gyrate 
as the huntsman’s horn disappears into the night-time mist where creatures play and jump about
A new sound sweeps through waking up the billabong. 
So much is possible.  To fly, to swim, to plop in, to ripple, to swirl
And rest again on the pond

Deep Dive

by Damien Mahony

Dive freely into the abyss, into the void
Exploring the cavernous space
Accepting what comes
At peace with the waves
With the peaks and the troughs
Timeless human music
Original expression
Larger than language
Stretched to limits
Finding and changing shape
Becoming wood, metal, bone, skin
Sounding through these
Breath animating form
An ode to mankind
A sapien song

Who Dares Plays

by Eleanor Gibson

She rises, she falls
She floats, she swims
Please, she says, please, and fuck you.
She is water, she is earth
Blue, blooming growing, ever growing
Into… into…into power
Into song
Into mourning, into melody
She is sky, she is earth,
She is soft, so soft
Let me sink
Let me sink deep
Sink deeply into you
Calling, calling, who calls?
Who calls? Who dares?
Who dares plays
I play, she plays
She plays through me and you
She plays, she plays, emergent, emerge
She emerges, she is emerging
She comes.

Spring Shy Youthful

by Alistair Smith

and let it go
veering either side
of the road
Bouncing off boundaries
leaning in
learning out

Syllabic waves
of sonic syntax
speaking truths
chanting rallies
momentum carries
upwards to soar

Swallows skyscaping
in glorious sun
fields of azure
a joyful sky-larking
of spins and turns
heart a flutter
as new heights beckon
in ascents towards
possible revelation

The First Song

by Tuula Voutilianen

I stand on a mountain top 
I sink into the earth
I lift my wings and fly
Precariously circling this mountain 
Hugging its sides
No heights this time 
Only the closeness of 
The vertiginous earth
The undergrowth
The Sun is rising
The world is changing
On a pivot
The cosmic pear is turning
I am
I am the one
riding the cosmic pear
The Sun rises 
The Sun rises
The artist of Being 
This is my song
This is the song of the first human 
On the shore of the primaeval sea

I am I am 

I am

The World Awaits in Lyrical Ignorance

by Patrick Tobin

The weather girl contemplates her yearly task.
Ominous cyclones lie then start their circling
Shuffle, not knowing the power that could blast the stratosphere
Calm down and just enjoy the menace. 
Then stamp and rage your irk, opening the whirling throat for a little taste of possibility
The world awaits in lyrical ignorance of surprises that may never come
The hum of everyday business must turn from the sound of inevitable truths
Let’s step into the rhythm of good news and good work.
Get that harvest in and drink dance and sing and know it’s just for today. 
Lament is for tomorrow and the past 

Breathe Deeply My Love

by Eleanor Gibson

Breathe deep, breathe deeply my love
For the time has come
Breathe soft, breathe long
Breathe love.
Breathe in the love of the world for you
Yes, the world loves you
All that you are
And all that you can become
What flows, what catches
What even now hides in the undergrowth
In the blooming, blossoming verdancy of your life?

Grounding Self Care

by Alistair Smith

One breath
one voice
Pulsing out
pulling back
to penetrate
beneath skin
a safe embrace

for a loved one lost
shaking out 
from the bones
let it ring
in edges
of shattering light

in the spaces left
after release 
has scattered
to the wildest wind
fill the void
with sustenance

simply uttered
to other
with warmth
of loving mother