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ON TEACHING By Edith Lazenby

I wrote this poem July 2011 and it still rings true…

 It was a tough summer, to say the least and reminds me that the flow of being is full of crests, the occasional tidal wave and then there are times the waves tickle us and we smile to smile.

My mom still ends every conversation the same as she has Alzheimer’s. She is here and she is not. It’s truly Zen to have nothing but the moment because we’ve lost everything else.

That being said, I end each of my yoga classes with a bow to the heart where our blessings reside and we find gratitude for what is.

And still my life is a way to give.

Poetry helps me find the truths I know, and the lies I don’t know until shown to the light where they cannot flower. For lies lack roots and feed the needs the poem can crack until it’s shell is in pieces and what matters remains.

'I Can Feel It In My Bones' photography by Madeline Gibson

On Teaching

Sometimes the Sun looks just like the moon

And I would not know the difference if it weren’t

Sometime near dinnertime mid summer

When it still hangs high and  my eyes squint.

Tenderness can be like that: a softness

That helps us cross hurdles and get up when down,

Smile when our heart is below ground,

Reach out beyond any feeling because all is gone

Past any giving and yet, in the reflected light

Of those I see in front of me, something rises high

As sky and goes deeper than any tree roots

And what I find inside is sweeter than chocolate

And dear as my granny was to me: a love

That leads my words into meaning and guides

Me even when I have no energy to continue

To give what there is when time’s taken most all

And left me with a seed my mother plants

Every time she says goodbye: “Love, Love, Love” she says,

Or, “Hugs, Hugs, Hugs,” and every breath I give

Resonates all that and more, and gives what I need

To live a life where who I am is what I give.

Photographic Art by Rosie Hardy

Edith Lazenby: “I love to write. I began writing poetry in elementary school. Sometimes I write poetry daily, other times not. I adore Mary Oliver, her way of embracing the light while acknowledging the darkness. I teach yoga full time and find the practice has grounded me deeper in my body and heart and helped me move closer to what I call spirit. I also now edit for Elephant Journal and write for them as well. I live with my husband, who is my best friend, and 4 kitties. Life holds challenges yet with time I feel better able to live in the moment, moment by moment. All great teachers teach presence. I find each day is a lesson in being. The process of writing holds me and I find the craft teaches me something new each time. You may visit my blog here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. Loved this! The whole poem was wonderful...but this line, also brought up in the intro, really resonated with me..." To live a life where who I am is what I give."...May we all learn to live such a life.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention...I am a big Mary Oliver fan too. I love her poems! Every year we go up to Provincetown, MA and I think of her while we drive past the dunes, because she resides up there now. I'd love to meet her someday by chance!

    2. Thanks Jessica! I love Mary Oliver....she is amazing....


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