Yoga Poetry: Hold to the Center

This entry was posted on Apr 2, 2012 by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.
Hold to the Center

What shines here? The rain that falls

from what’s lost but still searches for itself?
The sleeping coyote in the den?

The window shade half exhaled?
The awning where ice melts?
I walk into the outside,

my long thought dissolved.

Someone calls out, the hard bud

on the tip of one branch stops

moving. I can’t see the sun

that knits all to earth’s center,

but I know it’s there just as I know

the way my shoulders drop,

my jaw softens, my eyes close

in the fresh hold of the forgiving sky.

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, ground rules 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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