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Alone in the bedroom or at the back of the large

yoga class, against the wall or balanced alone

in the shaking steadiness of this phase of the moon,

I reach past the compressed sadnesses of one

broken story or another, my arms, my legs

spanning height and width, a new dream following

the shining heart, lifted and leading. Past the night

of staccato sleep, past the twisted arcs

of wrong-headed notions holding too tight

to wrong directions. Past blindnesses,

which are only the absence of reflected light.

This is where I arrive, am arriving, staying alive

in this trembling half-moon, this frightened

and ready-to-fall half-moon, this tenuous

and beautiful half-moon. Can’t you see

me rise over the cusp of my old life,

no matter what darkness, ready to shine?


This poem steals a line -- “Hold to the center” -- from the Tao te Ching. Take any spiritual or poetry text that speaks to you soul, turn to a line that jumps out at you with meaning, and start writing!

Beginning a writing practice? Getting started, groundrules to free you, and podcasts of other writing prompts. Visit Caryn’s Write From Your Life page (

About Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the Poet Laureate of Kansas, and the author of 14 books, including a forthcoming novel, The Divorce Girl; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body (Ice Cube Books); and four collections of poetry. Founder of Transformative Language Arts – a master's program in social and personal transformation through the written, spoken and sung word at Goddard College (Goddard College); where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-writes songs, offers collaborative performances, and leads writing and singing Brave Voice retreats (; and she blogs regularly at her website (

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