The Women Learn the Invocation to Patanjali

This entry was posted on Jun 27, 2012 by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.

to Gopi and the women in her teacher training

We stop and start, yogena, trying too hard

to not try too hard, voices smooth water moving slow

over the tremble of stone, the ease of eddy.

We want to land on each syllable, tilt it right

with inflection at just the right speed. We want

to sing with heart, to arrive together, in the lush

clearing of sharirasya despite the age of Kali,

our sore backs, the weather, and the small hurt telling us

we could never sing or sing well enough.

Invoke us Patanjali enough that each can

take her turn, sing a line to read the uncommon brail

of her heart, the common book we make together

out of pressed flowers from long ago, an apple

this afternoon, a long walk not yet taken,

sing us home, our long wings spreading,

our deep bones breathing

harih om

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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