Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TUESDAY POEM | I Who Love Mountains and All They Signify by Heidi Rose Robbins

Heidi Rose Robbins's new collection of poems - This Beckoning Ceaseless Beauty - will be launched in Los Angeles today, 10 December 2013
the launch will be a live-streamed event (from around 7.30PM PST). To join the celebration, click on this link and follow Heidi's directions - http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b5071a96458f93f510487294e&id=e4cbc89719


                    I who love mountains and all they signify 
                    find sanctuary in valleys,
                    where quiet truths are
                    echoed back

                    from mountain sides.
                    I ask a question
                    and reflection
                    careens off
                    sides of earth
                    allowing my breath to steady 

                    and body to calm.

                    Here in the valley 
                    closer to the beat 
                    of the heart
                    of the earth,

                    I hear the essential.

                    I who love mountains and all they signify 
                    choose here
                    to lay the earth of my body
                    on the body of the earth

                    in this sanctuary of silence.
                    And only
                    in this deep surrender 

                    is the scent
                    of a great ascent 
                    yet to come. 

                    Heidi Rose Robbins

I had the pleasure of meeting Heidi Rose Robbins at a conference in Mesa, Phoenix a couple of years ago. Poet, esoteric astrologer, mother, group facilitator and actress-by-training, Heidi's beautifully-paced, full-hearted conference presentation* revealed a no-nonsense woman of huge heart and considerable intellect. I found her passion and openness inspiring - not only was she stimulating to listen to and talk with, she was also fascinating to observe at work. 

Words for Heidi are not small, bite-sized shapes that emanate from the mouth alone; rather, they are elements for creative expression that may - or may not - involve her whole body. She is one of those rare individuals capable of being still and in motion at one and the same time - poised and poised to spring.  

I posted Heidi's poem Let Me Say It Straight on All Finite Things in May 2011. In a letter, she explained, 'This poem was written one morning in Ojai, California. I'd just attempted to read a poem in an unnamed publication that was about as impossible to understand as they come. And I felt frustrated. Poetry has the capacity to blast the heart wide open and I felt like I was trying to solve a riddle whose ultimate answer wasn't going to be very satisfying anyway. 

I was simply ready to cut through everything and sing of the power of poetry. I was ready to speak to everyone who had given up on poetry because it felt elitist or removed. I wanted to sing my love of poetry from the rooftops and invite everyone to bring their whole selves to steep in the beauty of the language of the heart. And - as I write in this poem - it doesn't matter how broken we feel or how crinkled our heart is. All we need do is arrive and allow our hearts to unfurl.'

Heidi has a thriving astrology practice in Los Angeles, California. She was one of the founding members of the Hello Love Experiment and offers regular Radiant Life Retreats for women in which she combines her love of astrology and poetry with dynamic group work and movement. Her first poetry collection Sanctuary (2011) comprises a soft-covered, hand-bound book with a CD of Heidi reading her poems and articulating her creative process. 

Heidi's poems are a sturdy and capacious container - an invitation through innocence into eros; a place of whispers and exclamations, of fire and breath, grit and courageous exploration; of heart and listening, expansion and balm. We meet her and we meet ourselves. Turning ourselves and the world around, we remember, lament, marvel and see anew. 

I'd love to come across Heidi and Mary Oliver walking and talking together in a garden or forest somewhere. I hope they get to meet each other some day. 


                           We are not who we say we are. 
                           There are no words for that name, 
                           none full enough. 
                           Our name is a symphony, 
                           a sunrise. 
                           It is a name that holds all the
                           sounds of silence.

                           We are not who we say we are
                           though we insist it is so. 

                           Maybe we should listen for the name 
                           the sky has to offer,
                           or the redwood. 
                           It would be loving and infinitely simple. 

                           Let's lay each name
                           we've spoken 
                           into a greater flame. 

                           Let's soften the grasp
                           on what is only ours
                           and breathe the terror,
                           the flush of freedom.

                           Let's be nameless
                           for a time
                           and listen. 

                           Heidi Rose Robbins

We wish This Beckoning Ceaseless Beauty well on its way, Heidi!


And this week on the Tuesday Poem hub, editor Andrew M. Bell has chosen The Biography of Mr. Carrot (Daucus Carota) by fellow Christchurch poet Frankie McMillan 

                                                   Our family was large; when we met
                                                   we embraced six hundred times. . .  

Please click on the quill.


  1. I love both of these poems, Claire. "Elemental" is the word that springs to mind when I read them.

  2. A flat horizon line calms me. (I grew up on Saskatchewan prairie in Canada.)