Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.

T.S. Eliot

On Fridays, we gather in a circle around the hearth at Healing Circles Langley. We have been touched by death, grief, illness, loss and still we laugh, we hug, we write. We are healed by love, by sharing our stories, and by writing our circle poems.

What is a circle poem? Judith Adams, Langley’s poet laureate and our leader, writes a provocative first line. She hands the poem to the next “poet” who writes a line. As each poem unfolds, we await the nuanced reading by our leader.

“Ah,” we sigh upon hearing our collective wisdom. “Mmmmmm,”,we hum as we feel ourselves witnessed. “That’s beautiful!” we exclaim! And healing circles around the room.

Circle Poems            

voices joined in laughter and discovery
circling grief and love – an enso of healing
we pass our words, our sentences to each
other’s waiting hearts
and in the wake of words
we arrive



Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music.
Body stiffens when it forgets to dance.
Whistle and shuffle the song of your poem.
Listen for the words between the beat,
For sacred breath waiting to enter
And be transformed as you sing.



Here is the landscape of all possibilities.
The mountains of aspiration.
The rivers of our sorrows.
Dive into the water of Joy.
Delight in the rush of creativity.
Let the fullness of life surround you,
As we meet what waits so carefully
for what is born.



If you are alone you may sink
into the river of suffering,
Forget the web of connections
that may help you float.
Alone you have forgotten how to swim.
Call in the angels
Ride high on their wings.
Bless those who are stuck in the mire
And soar so far from the river.



The Writing Circle is a healing temple.
Enter with your heart open
and pen poised.
Trusting that you will be good enough.
Then drive the money changers from the temple.
Let the angels in to bless us all
Hold our hands
Embolden our speech
As they dance on the head of a pin.



Heartache fire looks for joy.
Telltale laughter opens the door.
Full moon lightens both earth and sky
And so we heal!


Header photo by Corrine Bayley