So much has been written about how to pray,
A dizzying flurry of dos and don’ts,
Categories, composition, and comportment
For proper petition and praise.
So many voices filling my brain
Like scraps in an overstuffed prayer wheel
Spinning and spiraling endlessly,
Sowing doubt and uncertainty.
My body settles into the rhythm of the path,
Soothing and quieting my troubled mind,
Opening my heart to the crisp clean air
In the stillness beneath the giant tulip trees.
As I pause to watch and listen,
The trees and I breathe in and out
Filling each other’s lungs with life,
Sustaining one another.
In a sudden flash of clarity
Engendered by love and grace,
I realize that no words are needed;
The feeling is the prayer.
Poem by Alice Irwin
As a lifelong resident of Central New York, I have a strong sense of place and find inspiration in the variety and beauty of the local topography and seasons. For the past several years, I have been a member of a poetry workshop called “Poetry as a Spiritual Practice.” My work explores both inner and outer landscapes and focuses on the intersection of nature and spirituality. I believe that poetry can be a vehicle for the healing of the wounds of the world, and a place to find common ground.