Introducing Tabitha van der Lee – winner of the 2020 Tiny Seed Chapbook Contest

This Beauty Has No Language

I do not know why she stood there
so still and tranquil and full of tenderness.
I do not know what it is that she
spoke to my wet eyes and raving heart.
I do not know how long she had watched me
running along that muddy trail – running
from the past towards the future; that tiresome
flight bypassing it all – before catching me
with her gaze.

And I do not know how it happens,
how the heart finds its way back into singing.

But I do know that she waited – many silent
minutes – soft ears and doe eyes turned my way.
And I do know that she held my gaze
until my heart had stopped racing,
until my feet had found the ground again,
until my eyes had seen her eyes knowing:
this is enough.

And I do know that I entered
the beauty that has no language.

And I do know that I continued
along that muddy trail


-Tabitha van der Lee

photo tabitha 2020.10I’m a mom of two children, living in the Netherlands with my beloved of the past two decades. I’ve always been fascinated by the ways we are touched by life and grow from experience. We are – as life is – forever becoming. Starting out with a degree in International Development (MSc), I later became an Integrative Coach, Trainer and Learning & Development Specialist: finding places, organizations and people with whom to celebrate this becoming.

And isn’t it – more often than not – the painful ways in which life touches us that bring about our growth? While recovering from two consecutive burn-outs during the last couple of years, my days have often been difficult and dark. Still, the comfort I would find while being out in nature was real. And translating into words the deep experience of being held through it all was healing.

And so writing poetry has become my way of looking for the beauty that has no language. A means of entering the place where life leaps into my awareness in all its richness, difficulty and subtleness; the place where I can find hidden patterns and meaning in all of our being human; the place where I can touch the everness of life.

I hope that you’ll find glimpses, possibilities, and – perhaps – experiences that may be entered while reading the chapbook. And I hope we’ll find ourselves inside what is beautiful and true, and be able join what can never be lost.