Find Water, and You Will Find Freedom

Water on flower 8

Find Water, and You Will Find Freedom

Find water, and see beauty.
See beauty, and make art.
Make art, and feel joy.
Feel joy, and find freedom.


This poem is simple to read. But, if you choose to wade in, you might discover the poem as a body of water, coming in waves, one line at a time, each line becoming a contemplation or an assignment. Follow one, and see where you end up.

Water on flower 10

“The most powerful presence in every poem is what is left out… {A poem} is about creating a sequence of words which work through suggestion and leave space for you to envisage, evoke, or incarnate that which is exactly suggested.” ~~John O’Donohue, From the recorded lecture, “Divine Imagination.”

Water on flower 11

Ask for a Gift

Ask for a Gift by Lake

The late Irish philosopher and mystic, John O’Donohue, said if you’re ever stuck or upset, ask your angel for a gift. You don’t need to ask for anything specific. Just ask for a gift, or for lots of them if you like (I do), and surprising things will turn up. By not asking for anything specific, you open yourself up to infinite possibilities. And now instead of being mired in your problem, you are relaxing in the knowing that someone, a loving being, is helping you. John O’Donohue says your angel is your constant companion. The act of asking your angel anything is a reminder to you that you are never alone.

Recently, this thought surfaced in an unexpected way. In a moment of exasperation, to calm myself down, I grabbed some color markers, and started writing in big letters exactly what you see below. Not only did it make me feel better, but I’ve found myself since then calling up this prayer at various not so upsetting times, just to reset my thinking, bring me back to the present moment, or simply to ask my angel for something.

Go ahead and say the prayer for yourself. And don’t forget to ask your angel for a gift.


Sometimes Prayer


Who Would I Be If I Hadn’t Gone Shopping?


Returns - Shopping


Today’s poem for National Poetry Month was inspired by an excerpt from a lecture by John O’Donohue:

“materialism is an epistemology of quantity…the mistaken belief that through an accumulation, you can settle the task of your own identity.”

From The Inner Landscape.



Sometimes I still buy things for a life I no longer have
or maybe even for a life I never had,
but dreamed of.

On the brown chair in the corner,
the bag of things waits,
its logo wailing the Siren song
that I have followed down aisles and aisles and
virtual aisles
craving the sugar that would make me feel
beautiful or smart or at least slightly less

Even though they are perfect, or almost so, or not so at all,
I’m returning these things
because I feel worse keeping them.
They remind me of time I wasted
going off course, settling for rocks.

Who could I have been,
I wonder,
if I had chosen something
other than shopping?