Poem: A Thousand Ways

Poem: A Thousand Ways

from our poet of the month, Deborah Anne Quibell


Poetry, for me, is synonymous with vulnerability. Sharing any poem of mine is like standing stripped before you, holding my naked, pounding, mystical heart in my bare hands. Offering it to you. Hoping you may find pieces of your own.

"I began writing very early in my youth when a strong yearning for an intimate relationship with God gave rise to a collection of scribbled writings. The scribbled writings were my secrets—the conversations and longings that took up a fair amount of my time behind a locked bedroom door. Occasionally, I would share them shyly with my mother but very few others.

I suppose I worried of ridicule. Or, even worse, of being misunderstood.

God, to me, never felt like a single, fatherly entity in the sky. Perhaps, the concept began that way, but it didn’t stick for very long. I grew up in the Catholic tradition, and would close my eyes a lot during mass on Sundays. Someone would usually nudge me thinking I was falling asleep, but I wasn’t. I was simply trying to tune in to some mysterious, holy presence that seemed to pervade everything, and never felt far away." —Deborah Anne Quibell


There are a thousand ways to come to me.

Raise your hands in exaltation
and I will kiss your palms.

Walk barefoot on sacred ground
and I will soften the earth beneath you.

Bathe in my holy waters
and I will wash over you with love.

Dance freely and with devotion
and I will shower you with grace.

Lay your forehead to the floor and weep
and I will drink your tears.

Use only the most eloquent of words,
speak to me as your neighbor, casual and unpolished,
or come to me in silence.

Sit with your legs crossed or bend your knees to kneel.
Stand up with reverence or lay down beneath my gaze.
Gather to sing my name in unison,
or whisper to me in solitude.

It matters not to me.

What matters is that you feel me within and around you
and you come to me often.

Speak to me of your heart and what moves you.
Tell me the stories of your delight as well as your distress.
Come to me with laughter and desperation,
with a full heart or a broken one

But whatever you do, keep me with you
as the breath that breathes between your breath.

Hold me in the sacred spaces of your heart
as the wind that calls you on.

And let the slow unfolding
of your life’s verse
reveal my holy seed
at its center.

Listen to Deborah read A Thousand Ways:

Find more poetry:

Amanda Torroni's Wild Thing

Tyler Knott Gregson's take an ache, make it sing

Select poems from Soul Bird: Poems for Flying by Deborah Anne Quibell. Copyright © 2019 by Deborah Anne Quibell. Reprinted with permission of Mandorla Books.

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