dancing defiant….

I need to dance with a barefoot heart,
to twirl in the darkness of the wee hours
and wriggle free,
unloading heavy things
into hands so warm and open and available
they tug the sun up through the woods
while the birds prattle joy
and candles burn slow
flickering sandalwood and spruce
and I take it in hungry
and look into the face of light.

so there is somewhere for the torment
to tumble out and go,
all this anger
over hurtful things
schmeared on thick and painful

while my stomach screams hard for justice and change
and my hands burn to throw rocks at everything cruel,
to stone it until the rage drains off
and my heart goes peaceable again


and when I need to lay my mind down
on something soft and tender-strong
and remember again the shepherd psalm
and take in faithfulness wrapped in skin

I can dance on it,
paint and sing and shout it out
in stuff that speaks like prayer
and I will hope,
against the dark.

“It is the small things,  everyday deeds of ordinary folk,
that keep the darkness at bay.  Simple acts of kindness and love.”
-The Hobbit


  1. Julia Bourque on December 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Dear Jennifer, how true those word by Helen Keller, “I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower so that’s why my heart is so heavy with the loss of innocent lives of those precious children in Newtown Connecticut. Half of the children who were massacred belongs to a church that our priest was in and did a baptism there as his sister lives there.

    Today at our church the children put on a beautiful Christmas pageant and played ever so sweetly the scene of Herod’s decree, the nativity scene and the three wise men. The costumes were simple but so beautiful and the kids were adorable.There were angels and little sheep and shepherds and everyone. I forgot my camera of course. But I couldn’t help but see in them those little innocent victims, now gone from our site but now with Jesus because God is in them like the sun is in the color and the fragrance is in the flower.

    Thanks for your fragrant colorful bouquet on my blog.

  2. Suzanne McRae on December 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Beautiful poem Jennifer. Thank you for sharing at a time that is so difficult to comprehend and grasp. So many beautiful and young lives that were taken way before their time.

    These words ring so true…
    “It is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.”

  3. Lindsay on December 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I recognize the silent anger in your expression,
    yet they flower so calm and serene in your shared words,
    Always happy to visit your blog Jenn 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful words,


  4. jeanie on December 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Your words are so eloquent — I’m having trouble coming to terms with all that has happened this week. I hope that their families will learn to dance defiant and to heal and to find love in their hearts. Oh, how I ache for those who were affected by the mental illness of someone else — and how I wish he could have learned to paint it out or dance it out. We can’t understand. All we can do is do our best to carry love forward.

  5. rachel awes on December 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    YES to the simple acts.
    lovelove to you dear friend.
    always. xoxoo

  6. Louise G. on December 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    And in the simple acts
    we are reminded of the simple truth
    we are all
    of life.

    Thank you for this powerful poem Jennifer.

    Thank you for reminding me to tread lightly
    and settle softly
    into those spaces
    where my heart
    is broken
    a part
    of broken hearts
    all around.

  7. Judy Hartman on December 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Jennifer, I too have been feeling this rage lately, but mainly a deep sadness at how one person’s irrationality can create so much havoc, horror and grief in our world. Everyone is heartbroken at the recent tragedy in Connecticut, but I cling to the hope that, by holding on fiercely to our belief in love and the goodness of humanity, we can get through this together. Your words, Jennifer, always express so beautifully what is in our hearts. What a wonderful gift you have.

  8. Jennifer {StudioJRU} on December 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I will hope too. Yes, defiant, against the dark. Beautifully written post, Jennifer.

  9. Kathy on December 17, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Simple acts of kindness and love. We WILL overcome the hurtfulness in the world…
    Hugs to you, Jennifer. Dance.

  10. Dulcy Stewart on December 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Oh…. how I’ve felt exactly the same as you and everyone. I woke up very early yesterday and decided that it’s best for me to concentrate on beauty, exercise, small home projects, and thoughts of family. I’m thinking it’s a good day to pick up a couple of new winter coats for small children and take them to one of our schools. It’s something small, but something doable.


  11. Dagmar on December 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Yes yes. my friend. I dance too barefoot hearted….a little croocket at this point but still I’m dancing.
    Thanks for the uplifting words. Be well and happy.
    Hugs Dagmar

  12. Michele Bergh on December 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Beautifully said. I just saw a similar quote from the Hobbit and did some artwork with it. I just love that. We all need to take a stand for peace. One person’s pain becomes everyone’s pain. We must bridge this gap.

  13. Barbara on December 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Oh, Jennifer, I just saw the Hobbit last night and Gandalf’s words have rung in my heart ever since, reminding me why I loved that book. I plan to share them on my post today, too. They need to be shouted out everywhere, don’t you think? Beautiful post, sweet friend.

  14. leslie on December 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    That quote from The Hobbit brought tears to my eyes. It is so very apt.

  15. Lynn on December 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful share.

  16. Bren on December 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Amen! Such words, such emotion, such beautiful art, and the Hobbit quote, perfect.

  17. Just Be Real on December 18, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Jen, I love this so much I made reference to one of your lines in my recent post of today. Hugs my dear.

  18. Cathy on December 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Beautifully written as always with the words that pull emotions out of our hearts. Love to you my gifted cousin.

  19. marion on December 18, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for the dance, and for all the beauty you’ve brought forth to heal us. It’s like seeing a Robin at the end of winter; it’s seeing hope.

  20. Anne on December 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

    As always, Jen, you put words to the feelings of my heart. It is as we continue to put one foot in front of the other, continuing to live in light, that the darkness will be overcome.

  21. kathryn on December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    i just knew you would have a lovely poem here that would speak to my anger and broken heart…thanks…you expressed it beautifully!!

  22. Naomi on December 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Yes. YES! I feel all those emotions too.

  23. Relyn on December 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve been missing my blog-hopping time, and I wanted to pop in with a quick hello. I’ve been missing you. I hope you are having a very, very wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas, friend.

  24. S. Etole on December 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Reminded of the song, “Lord of the Dance” … and the dance goes on. Blessings for Christmas wonder to flood your heart.

  25. dancing with doodles and daydreams… on April 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    […] little pod of art on heavy card stock bound with simple twine and a little piece of my heart. I put this one in my etsy shop to see if  the breezes […]

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