Writing to Your Heart –

A day workshop for the brave of heart

  • Revisit who we are
  • Find our voices
  • Tell our stories honestly
  • Share our thoughts and blocks

Are you a writer that struggles to find time to get to your pen? Are you wanting some space to breathe and move and allow words to flow? Can you gift yourself some time with a group of writers?

You are invited to join us for a day of writing, moving, sharing and community. We’ll talk about how to write from and to our hearts, how to get out of our own way, how to use movement, mantra and witnessing to allow the words to rise.

You will take home a poem or two and a prose piece you can be proud of. We will spend time sharing, moving and writing together. If this sounds like you, come and join us!

Where: Lotus Yoga Centre, 91 Ruapehu Street, Paraparaumu

When: Saturday 6th May 2023

Time: 10am to 4pm

Tickets: $120

BYO lunch, notebook, pens and an item of significance. Tea and coffee provided.

Facilitator: Clarity Henderson, Otaki based author (poetry collection Grief Has No Handles (Balboa Press 2021) and upcoming collection, Listening to Now) is also a Red Thread Guide and Colour of Woman Intentional Creativity teacher.

Register: Clarity 021 147 9885 or email: visionwithclarity@gmail.com

At the Bottom of Me

Look down there on the floor,
See those feet wide and long?

Gripping the worn carpet with rough soles,
Made for going on long secret journeys.

More adventurous than I could ever be,
They trudge up stairs and run down hills.

When I was younger they would dig into the hot gritty sands
of coastal holiday places like Wainui Bay.

Trekking across rocks leaving trails of red seeping
from meeting with rough edged oyster shells.

Their flesh was eaten long before I got here.
My feet have five strong women leading them.

Each longer than the one she stands beside,
Sometimes they all wear red or pink hats.

Once I saw them all wearing purple
wriggling with delight under my favourite skirt.

Sometimes, without asking they surge ahead,
striding out in front of the rest of me.

Tramping streets, river banks and damp bush paths,
they have been know to wave around in deep river water.

At the beach at times dancing through receding waves,
with no interest in what happens at the top of me.

I never hear any idle chatter from them,
but they never leave me alone with my thoughts.

My feet always take me wherever they go,
Even to bed when they are more tired than I.

Grief has no Handles

Surprising myself, I compiled a book of my poetry focused around a period of my life that contained a huge amount of loss. Self publishing feels like an odd thing to do, it is also a way of compiling my work and having it accessible and shareable.

The grief journey transitions us into new lives we never dreamed could hold such memories or feel so empty of the loving presences we once took for granted.

First copy of the book arrived today. Very exciting to see the results of the months of work.

Bright Crown

Hanging up there against the bright blue
like a golden jewel
in a necklace centerpiece.
Do you have the urge
to pluck and place it
in your own tiara?
Or perhaps give it to the goldsmith
with a hammer to beat it thinly
into a gorgeous dish.
He would not need a forge,
may not be able to hold all
that heat with his tools.
I could see you wearing it like a halo,
the way you did
when I first saw you
standing on the sand.
The sky a crisp backdrop
for your silhouette,
wearing the sun like a crown.

First Snow

Central Plateau NZ (not Rimutaka’s)

(The first snow of 2020 happened during Lock Down. The world was different.)

I wanted to tell you about that day,
down by the river,
Then I thought perhaps I should call you,
So I could hear your breath catch
at my excitement.
Then I realized that you
may have no interest in the first snow
dusting the tops of the Rimutaka’s,
Or the icy water in the river
flowing over round stones
clear as crystal,
rocks visible even in the deep current,
Because the road and bridge works
have ceased, and the world is quiet for now.

Perhaps you wish I was quiet too.

The Chore of Finding

The Chore of Finding

Finding myself is a lifelong chore
Begun when I first heard the message
That a I am not enough in this world.

Oh, great Goddess
From the pile of ashes
I do not rise as a magnificent phoenix
I rise as a wounded bird
Tentatively shaking one feather at a time
Examining it closely before
laying it along my scarred side.

So many times, I have shed my pelt
Leaving it rolled up in dank cupboards
As I forgot how to dance.

Finding myself is a lifelong chore.

I reclaim the soundless music of my soul
Dancing to the end of space and time
Looking for the right path to everywhere.

I reclaim the heart that is scarred and battered
And more interesting because of its experiences.
There is glue in the cracks, not quite binding
Where the light of hope shines out.

I reclaim my perspective of self
Surprised that I am whole, as like dried shingles
That which has been imprinted on me
and no longer serves slides off the edge.

I reclaim the darkness
Understanding it is but a colour
So opaque it forces me to use my inner senses
To look more clearly, piercing the shadows
Allowing heart, soul, blood and bone to see
Into me and to hold others without judgement.

I reclaim the ability to live the truth of compassion
That holds the cells of loving together
Allowing it to shine out like stardust motes
Floating through the universe
Looking for the right Being to inhabit.

Finding myself is a lifelong chore.

I reclaim and reshape the space I occupy
In the beauty of this planet and in myself.

I claim the quietness of self
Where all my fears known and unknown reside.
A place of safety within my pelt which
I shall never shed again
This world is not ready for the rawness within.

I reclaim my right to feel safe on this world
Watching the stars overhead as I turn in unison
With the great mother herself holding me.

I reclaim my place as daughter of the Goddess
Praying for the balancing of masculine and feminine
For the world to turn once more on its axis to show us
How we come from the stars.

I embrace the chore
of finding myself among the stars.


Space opens

Between each breath

And each heartbeat

Between dawn and sunrise

Sunset and twilight

A baby’s cry

And a child’s giggle

The bursting seedpod

And blossoming flower

Between tears of grief

And howls of laughter

Space widens

To embrace each moment

For it is here

The Beloved resides.

Polish Your Heart

Not unexpectedly my father died

And his spirit ascended to the heavens

Imagine his surprise as he collected his wings

And assembled with the angels

for his next assignment

You must, he was told,

Polish the rust from your heart

Until it shines so brightly

Your loved ones will mistake you

For the brightest star in the sky

With this their way will be lit

By a light that will guide them

Through the tricky bits

Until it is their time

To make this journey home

I Want

I want to breathe through my skin
sucking through every aching pore
the smell of the earth
and hear her breathing me in
when I exhale into her vastness

I want to know the breath you stole
with your cheating torturous lies
is blown clean by hurricanes
flowing back toward me,
wanting to be inhaled again

I want to wash the insides of my cells
with the waters of the oceans
flooding like a monster tidal wave
and feel myself taken with her when she ebbs
back to the shores of existence

I want the waters of the tears that
were torn howling from my being
as your indifference left jagged wounds
flowing back toward me
ready to spring anew in laughter and delight

I want the shadows staining my soul
to rest in the arms of the forest giants
as they fold their great wooded arms around me
taking my shadows to rest deep in their leaf litter
as we sit together in silence

I want to light the dark hidden places
where the grief you could not see in me
has flayed me naked to my bones
and allow the shadows to flow away from me
creating space for molecules of light

I want the tempest of life
to allow me to be strong enough
to withstand the crushing blows
that ride in on the back of the Valkyrie
As I stand able to love myself

I want the storms of my soul
to subside to a murmur
casting me into calm waters
where the sweetness of living
is flowing back toward me
© C Henderson2016


Letting Go

Coyote was going there
She had me aboard
My ego strapped to her back
Packed like a parachute.

Being carried by her
on through the dark night
Travelling through the long night
Dreaming in the deep night.

Endless cycles journeyed
Unable to let go
And fall over the edge
Into my own heart.