Photo: Tommy Wong
Poet in Residence
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST CARYN MIRRIAM-GOLDBERG
Be small, a clam wedging its way
into the sand, while your dark ponytail
pours onto the mat, the air encircling
your curved back like cupped hands
that hold the lines not so much of the future
but of a dusk you spent on your grandfather’s lap
while he took a rare moment out of weeding
to simply watch the peach, the pink, the red
roses that bordered the alley.
Let your toes fall on each other.
Let your forearms land, happy engines
parked in the soft grass. Let your forehand
return to the dark wall of the nodding floor.
Let your inhalation open enough space in the
underside of your body that a bluebird
could nest there. Let what comes
breathe, tremble, stop, look around
and close its tired eyes, relieved
to not have to be new or old anymore.
Sweet child of mine, now, here,
stop waiting. Time is the hand
you nestle in. What hurts, hurts
or stops hurting. Nothing is as much an illusion
as anything, as this body grown or dying,
as this child immersed in the sweet waters,
the lullaby of the breath
carrying her out to sea.
Reprinted with permission of the author
from Landed (Mammoth Publications, 2009).
Child’s pose is so grounding and provocative that there are many ways to use it to land you in your writing. Here’s some possibilities:
Write a lullaby to yourself
Write a lullaby to yourself, starting with the phrase, “Sweet child of mine.”
Ask for an image to come to you
Next time you’re in child’s pose, ask for an image to come to you, take a few slow breaths, and then remember what words or picture or sound or memory surfaces, and use that to start your own piece of writing about child’s pose.
Write about what child’s pose feels like
Simply write about what child’s pose feels like for you — perhaps landing on the first time or last time you held this asana.
Take a line and use it as your first line
Take the line, “What hurts, hurts/ or stops hurting,” and use it as the first line of whatever you’re ready to write.
Remember a time you felt very safe and connected
Remember a time you felt very safe and connected to what you believe in most when you were a child. Write about where you were, how you looked, what sounds, smells, tastes, and other sensory details were contained in that moment.
Beginning a writing practice? Getting started, groundrules to free you, and podcasts of other writing prompts. Visit Caryn’s Write From Your Life page (http://carynmirriamgoldberg.wordpress.com/write-from-your-life/)
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.