Top
Spiritual Practices

Poetry by Julia Cameron

Flora Bowley

“I believe that spirituality and creativity are intertwined. I live alone, atop a mountain in Santa Fe. My companion is a tiny white dog that I walk daily along the trails near my house. Our walks put me in touch with nature. We spot creatures great and small— majestic deer and tiny grey lizards. Overhead, ravens soar and caw. Closer at hand, songbirds perch in the juniper, trilling their melodies. We are alert to the sounds surrounding us. Back at home, alone, I am moved to poetry. Its sounds, more than prose, echo the natural world.” —Julia Cameron

REMEMBERING

I was not there when your mother bore you.
Surely you came into this world, hungering and wet. We all do that.

Surely you came like the rest of us From that dark sea of souls,
That sighing that brings us forth And calls us back—we all share that.

If this is true, and it is—even for you—
Why are you a broken glass smashed against
The floor? Why not the seas’ grass on
The ocean floor? Why not a smooth stone, a willow In the wind? Why do you break, not bend, and Even broken, why not mend? You do know how.

Walk with me to the edge of the city. Take off your shoes and feel the earth. It is softer than a woman.
It is safer than your father.

It is water. It is air.
It is where you are returning
With this yearning you can’t name.

Cast off your shame. It is an old coat. Remember who you are. You are a star, A mountain, that fountain in the sun. Your heart is the velvet cave

Where birds sing.
Are you remembering?

COME TO ME

Come to me.
There is no darkness in which I cannot see you.

Come to me.
My green heart holds your ancestors. They are waiting to hear your dreams.

Speak to them. They know your name. Do not imagine you are alone.
Do not imagine they have left you. They are listening,

Waiting for your voice.

Come home. All of us are waiting.
Every bird remembers you.
The lion, in his pride, still knows your name. The gazelle, the snake, the silver heron Lifting at the shore—all these and more— Your family.

Come back to me.
You do not need to grind your bones to dust, Rusting your heart.

You are known to us, Only come home.

THIS EARTH

This earth is not made For our misery.
It does not grow on trees Like the fruits.

You do not gather it like berries. It is not a vegetable, a root,
The tall delicious grasses.
It does not swim in our sea or Roam the prairies.

The earth knows sorrow—
Floods, famines, droughts
That scorch the earth to parchment so Our names blow away like dust.

The earth knows loss—
Sudden frost, a pestilence,
Insects descending like dark
Buzzing clouds to eat even our thoughts.

The treacherous snow,
The rains that fall too early
Or too late. We can live with these. The earth is practiced in these griefs.

They are natural, like the child who
Slips away despite our love.
The earth can hold and soften all these sorrows. Just give her time. Time that turns her fields From green to brown.
Time that curls the vine
To sweet tendrils,
Like tiny hands.

Our misery makes something else from time. The ticking is not natural.
Our bodies know the cost.
Feel how they long to lay down amid the grasses. Hear them sigh for a wind that carries

Cricket song and lark, a wind that sloughs and ripples Like a river.

Our earth isn’t made from sound like that. Take off your shoes. Lay your cheek
To this dark earth who longs to comfort you.

This earth is not made for our misery.
We are made miserable, longing for this earth.