Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST December 1st 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we close-read the poem Soulwork by Tracy K. Smith, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: One’s is…

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday December 6th at 6pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Soulwork by Tracy K. Smith

One’s is to feed. One’s is to cleave.
One’s to be doubled over under greed.
One’s is strife. One’s to be strangled by life.
One’s to be called and to rise.
One’s to stare fire in the eye.
One’s is bondage to pleasure.
One’s to be held captive by power.
One’s to drive a nation to its naked knees
in war. One’s is the rapture of stolen hours.
One’s to be called yet cower.
One’s is to defend the dead.
One’s to suffer until ego is shed.
One’s is to dribble the nectar of evil.
One’s but to roll a stone up a hill.
One’s to crouch low
over damp kindling in deep snow
coaxing the thin plume
of cautious smoke.
One’s is only to shiver.
One’s is only to blow.



Copyright © 2021 by Tracy K. Smith. 
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 8, 2021, 
by the Academy of American Poets.

9 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST December 1st 2021

  1. Pamela Poe

    One’s soulwork it would seem to me,
    In this time of pandemic and plague,
    Shootings and sorrow,
    Discovery of new vaccines and rejection or acceptance of them…

    Is to be steady,
    To balance all the threads and strands
    And make them all weave harmoniously
    Somehow.

    With a kind word
    A compassionate action
    A moment of clarity in a sea of confusion and darkness.

    So light at least one candle.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. michele348

    One’s fate is a lifelong trek on this journey of life.
    …To acknowledge our weaknesses and attempt to temper them to better our souls.
    …To look around and consider how we fit into this immense puzzle of life.
    …To search and see where we can apply the touch of kindness to our fellow man.
    …To gaze at Mother Earth and give her thanks for her offering us sustenance and granting us the ability to inhale and exhale her sweet scents.

    One’s goal is to pause, listen to our hearts, and give thanks for all the gifts given to us.
    In this act, there is calmness,
    there is wholeness,
    there is a connection to all who share this world with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dafnitar

    One’s is
    To finally set the record straight and bring some justice upon this world before the end of time.
    One’s is
    To save some lives and punish some egos
    One’s is
    To take a rebellious step and dare to live while others simply choose to exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth

    The great Rabbi Hillel the elder said,
    “ if I am not for myself,
    who will be for me?”
    He also said,
    “ If I am only for myself,
    what am I?”

    A contradiction?

    One’s life mission is
    to be true to
    One’s own self,
    while caring about others with
    One’s compassion.

    Easier said than done.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Elizabeth

    I thank everyone for sharing here because this way I can really read the pieces and absorb them. I can’t get into my account to click likes (have not been able to for a while), but know that I appreciate everyone’s work. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I asked him, “What is The One?”
    I want to know it.
    “It will take five years,” he replied,
    And we began.
    Working in the moss gardens
    Sitting in the zendo
    Observing. Listening.
    One day he said,
    “Ten thousand went to find the retreating monk. How many went to find him?”
    My hand knew the answer…One.
    But I remained silent, paralyzed.
    It wasn’t until he was near death
    And I attended him, who could no longer speak,
    That my hand spoke, and
    One finger rose.

    Liked by 2 people

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