The leader of last weekend’s retreat, process philosopher and poet Christina Hutchins, invited us to write poems, prompted by and including a question by Pablo Neruda. She posted a dozen around the room, and as soon as I saw this one I knew it was posed to my soul. It’s been over 30 years since I wrote a poem, and my internal response when she announced the plan was “oh, crap,” but I was pleasantly surprised.

No title has occurred to me yet.


And why do they strike the rock
with so much wasted passion?
                                     –Pablo Neruda

Passion wasted–
Why do I?
     Strike the rock, and strike, and be struck and stuck
When I can rock with passion,
Rock my soul, rock and roll
Right downhill past the waste into the wastes of the wished-for world
Speeding and spinning, singing and sinking
My lips into the sweet
Sweet rolling singing rocking succulence?

The rock yearns to be rolled,
The passion to be spent,
The world to be rocked.