Wednesday 20 April 2016

3 Poems by Jennifer Hoffmann


I notice a small branch
on Fairlawn Avenue.
Tiny, bare, like a Tai Chi pose,
it lies vulnerable
in the busy road.
I bring it home and place it
in my favourite single bud vase.
Pour the water in slowly,
I watch over this offering.
For just a few moments each day
I merely witness as the end of each
tiny offshoot transforms
into buds,
and then, remarkably,
into blossoms.
It is a little like being a spiritual companion
to this small branch;
as Galway Kinnell might suggest
my reverent daily attention is teaching
the thing its loveliness
until it flowers from within. 

One Line

I want to write
one line
of poetry
for this moment, 

sanctifying the pen
sanctifying the paper
sanctifying the moment. 

I want to write
one line
of poetry
as a bough of Forsythia 

pirouetting, Ikebana-like,
in a slender, silver beaker. 

all that stutters
from my sorry pen 

is chicken soup and matzo balls. 

A Poem 

A poem is a hand, a hook, a prayer.
It is soul in action.
Poets compose in a frenzy of ecstatic intuition. Edward Hirsch 

Your hand, Your hook.
My prayer. 

Help me recall
what my heart already knows
but has forgotten
as the rocks on the river-bed
rattle me, as my words are muted
by the miracle of morning light. 

Help me reach
for my shield and my staff,
the pen and the paper
which are the voice of soul. 

The words are the thread
to the invisible heart.
Who is the author? 

Reveal to me
once more
the thin place inside time
where talking and listening become One, 

as, in a blaze
of intuition, 

I remember 

my first tongue,
the language I spoke
before I was born. 

Help me re-discover
as Rainer Maria Rilke offers,
that You are the Other
in my solitude,
a silent center
for my conversations with
myself . 


Jennifer ( Jinks) Hoffmann was born in 1943 and was raised in South Africa. She and her husband Alan immigrated to Canada in 1966, where they have lived since. Jinks is a Spiritual Director. She trained in the Lev Shomea program, which means “listening heart” in Hebrew. She is the poetry editor of Presence: an International Journal of Spiritual Direction. She has three adult sons, and is blessed with eighteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Jinks loves to write poetry, and to work daily with her dreams. These are two of her most loved ways of listening for life's Mystery. Jinks has had numerous poetry and prose publications both in print and on-line journals. Jinks may be reached at 

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