Hiya.

I write stories for middle school souls, who deserve better than a culture of hopelessness and indulgence. Browse the blog, Sheepgate, where I give that culture a piece of my mind. TTFN, Emily

What do Monks and Dogs Have in Common? A Poem

What do Monks and Dogs Have in Common? A Poem

I've decided that imitating my dog is the key to living the good life.

The monks of New Skete Monastery, who train dogs!

The monks of New Skete Monastery, who train dogs!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am reading a book called The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner. It is a wonderful, twelve week retreat for anyone seeking to connect with their creative side using the ancient spirituality of monastic life. Christine's website, Abbey of the Arts, can be found here.

The scripture verse I reflected on this week through The Artist's Rule. Try writing these lines down and bringing them with you on a walk! Get your inner monk on ;)

The scripture verse I reflected on this week through The Artist's Rule. Try writing these lines down and bringing them with you on a walk! Get your inner monk on ;)

This week, there were two exercises surrounding the lesson, "Exploring Your Inner Monk and Your Inner Artist". The first exercise -- painting and collage making -- was of course super fun and cathartic. The second is called "Writing Poetry Exercise."

Ruh-roh. 

It took a few days to face my fears and complete the exercise, but I'm proud to say, I did it. I wrote a poem about my feelings and stuff. 

Considering how little experience I have writing poetry (that is, zero experience), I think it's safe to say this is a humble first attempt. I'll bet my new Kindle that every beginner poet like me writes "quivering" and "electrify" with naive self-satisfaction. However, in the interest of battling self-doubt and encouraging artists everywhere to do the same, I have decided to share my poem with you.

The assignment: create a poem inspired by the line, "I am going to start living like a monk."

**hides face and presses "save and publish"**

"I am Going to Start Living Like a Monk"

To live like a monk, I will be like my dog.
Without human, cobwebby dreams draped over my shoulders.
With feet, rough and happy.
With a silky beard, and a quivering heart.
I will feel every floorboard, every rug, every stair
with my knees.
The smells of stirring creatures will electrify me,
            set me howling at the sky.
I’ll dote on God like my faithful dog,
look on His face every moment with readiness.
Follow me as I follow Him
to the next room, to the yard,
to the mailbox and home.
I’ll lie under his hand. I’ll close my eyes on His knee.
My nose tucked between my own
four happy feet.

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