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Marianne Elliott

Marianne Elliott is the author of the book Zen Under Fire: Finding Peace in the Midst of War (from Penguin NZ, coming in US June 2013), creator of the online programs 30 Days of Yoga and 30 Days of Courage and has been called "A powerful, soulful teacher of courage." A change-maker, story-teller, yoga teacher, former UN peacekeeper and human rights lawyer, Marianne is the leader of Off the Mat, Into the World in New Zealand and Australia. Her popular website is Marianne-Elliott.com. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @zenpeacekeeper.

 


WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION?

Who gave you permission to write?
Who told you it was okay to put these things down?
Who told you you could tell these stories?

Was it your blood pumping
boom, boom, boom
when you read a story that catches you, pulls you in?

Was it the hairs on your arms
when you hear something so true,
so close to the flesh and bone,
that your skin contracts and your hairs stand up straight?

Was it your breath,
fast and shallow when you read what has been hidden,
showing you are not the only one to think these thoughts,
to feel these desires,
to ask these questions?

Was it your hands,
restless for pen and paper,
twitching and itching until you give in?

Was it the wind that comes down off the mountain?
A whisper from the land you belong to and all its stories?

Was it the sun, stroking your hair with warm fingers
and telling you it remembers the days in the high mountain desert,
the dry, cracked earth,
and the stories you were told there.

Who gave you permission to tell these stories?
Was it the stories themselves,
tucked into the folds of your flesh,
carved into the lines on the back of your hands,
curled tightly into the corners of your heart?

Was it the stories?
Did they come whispering to you, asking:

“Do you remember us too?”

16 comments / Add Yours

This poem goes far beyond writing… who gave us permission to love, to lead, to let go, to go “full on”, to change course, to step up, to “be”, to go forward, to step down, to believe, to begin the work with ones own hands… who gave us permission to remain independent, to become aligned, to be bigger… Thanks for the heart-felt lesson Marianne.

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i could actually FEEL all your sensations. thank you for sharing with the world. You are SO generous and warm, as always. love you!

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Beautiful poem, thank you Marianne.

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Simple. Gorgeous. Direct. Love it! Congratulations, Marianne! :)

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This is very beautiful in its simple elegance. I love your verses of life, they are so vibrant and lovely. <3

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“Carved into the lines on the back of your hands..” Very striking writing.

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Kudos on such a lovely piece. Speaks to many I am sure!

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So beautifully expressed.

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nicely done, Marianne. could sense it all.

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Oh, Marianne! This is incredibly wonderful! It gave me goosebumps and made me cry. Do you know how awesome you are, how much good you do in the world, and how many people adore you?? I just thought I’d remind you in case you forgot! xoxo

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Love it — ditto all above!!

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beautiful. brought tears to my eyes. thank you for putting yourself out there Marianne.

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Yep. Awsome.

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Marianne, I’ve got goosebumps. Love it! Hugs.

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Go, Marianne!! Wow, this is your first poem?! I love how you make us feel that urge to write so physically, and I love the message of the poem. Lovely!

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