Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Spiritual Thursday, June

Hello Friends,

Ruth has provided a prompt to check in with our one-little-word for 2021. 

In years past, I've selected an action word I hope to make part of myself such as patience, or play.

This year, I went in a different direction. I chose the word ox. Yes, ox. It is the year of the metal ox on the Chinese calendar and...well, why not? 

“Antique Cattle Prints, Cow and Bull ... -”,, 2021,

Also, I wanted to challenge myself to write and post a poem a week centered on my OLW in the same way that Irene Latham, a writing hero to many of us,  has posted to her Artspeak padlets for several years. 

My first ox poem on the padlet in January was a golden shovel from words on a sign at a petting zoo. The sign at the pen read: "Do not grab Hamish by the horns." 

From then on, the weekly poems have been a collaboration between Hamish and me. Each new poem inspired by ox art or references from historical literature or news articles becomes a new friend.

A few Poetry Fridays ago, when Irene introduced her newest book, D-39 to us, she referenced, A Center, by Ha Jin.  Ha's poem is spiritual in nature.

I played with his lines, turning them into affirmations for Hamish and myself.


  1. Your unconventional approach has made your OLW into something special, Linda! You've returned to it and centered it in a way that has given you its patience and (writing) strength.

  2. Linda, what you have accomplished with Hamish is remarkable. While being unconventional as Tabatha says, your approach has centered you through research, perseverance, and poetry providing a living gallery of your work. The following line from Ha Jin's poem speak to me:
    "You must hold your quiet center,
    where you do what only you can do."
    You have accomplished this. I will take this quote and ponder it to make each new day a beginning, a recipe for fruitful living. It is amazing how the Spiritual Journey community has provided wisdom through reflection. Thank you.

  3. Linda, today is the first time I realized you wrote weekly Ox poems. (You are inspiring me to choose an unconventional word for next year so I can learn and grow into it.) I love, love, love your poems. And as Tabatha said, you are gaining the patience and strength of Hamish. Today's poem reminds me of this: "In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

  4. Kudos for this original take on OLW, and your wonderful poems that spring from it! Truly fun and remarkable! Thank you.

  5. Love all these affirmations, especially "Stand fast." You and Hamish are showing us the possibilities that can come with a year's reflection. Thanks for your unique take!

  6. Ah, now I understand that this fascinating spiritual and poetic journey was inspired by a relationship with Hamish! Today's image of "holding quiet" and having it as one's center is in itself centering, even a mantra. Affirmations for us all. How grateful I am for you and Hamish, and all that is yet to come.

  7. Love how you "hold quiet" with Hamish. What a journey this word has sent you on! A journey right up your alley with research, digging deep, and diving into poetry.

  8. I'm going to add this to the roundup. Hope it's OK - let me know if it isn't!

  9. I like this stretching out of your ox theme for the year. I've never really thought about oxen much, but now that you have me going there, I can feel the quiet strength, the certainty of knowing and steeling oneself against trivial trends. Thanks for helping me dig a little deeper today!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!