Women’s Wisdom

The arts transmit women’s voices with potency. I invite you to sink into these poems and songs; let them fill you up so that you feel strengthened in your inner strength to engage with the world. You can also find a printer friendly version of these offerings here.

The Water Song

In honor of all the women who have been standing up for the water I am including this water song. Based on his research about water, Dr. Masaru Emoto said the very least we should do every day is to speak to the water:

Water, we love you. We thank you.
We respect you.

At the request of her grandson, Doreen Day wrote a song for this purpose. It is in Ojibwe, and has become integral to indigenous led Nibi (water) Walk ceremonies. Doreen and her grandson give permission for everyone to share this song and encourage you to sing it to the water every day. Learn more about the Nibi Song story here.



By Palestinian American Poet Naomi Shihab Nye
from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
© Eighth Mountain Press, 1995.

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihav Nye will be spending a week at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in a week of events titled A Poetic Conversation on Being Human.


Would you Harbor Me
by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you? Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you? Would you harbor a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, A heretic, convict, or spy?

Would you harbor a runaway woman or child, A poet, a prophet, a king?
Would you harbor an exile or a refugee,
A person living with AIDS?

Would you harbor a Tubman, a Garrett, a Truth, A fugitive or a slave?
Would you harbor a Haitian, Korean, or Czech, A lesbian or a gay?

Would you harbor me? Would I harbor you?


How do we Frame These Times?
An article by Emily Jarrett Hughes, Wisdom Dances

It’s so difficult to hold all the danger and uncertainties around us and stay active, engaged, and creative!

In a single day I cycle through a bunch of different frames of mind, each with its own level of adrenaline, fear, anger, courage, and hope. Fortunately I know what shuts me down and what keeps me present, visionary, and courageous. I have learned this: How we frame what is happening has everything to do with how available we are as agents of love and transformation.

So let’s talk about the frames we use to talk about what is happening now. I have four different ones I pass through on any given day. I hope this list might help you identify the meaning you are making of these times and how it affects your ability to engage fully. Continue reading here.