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Poetry to Inspire and Support Family Mediation

We offer some of our favorite poetry and artwork as a source of support and inspiration for resolving family disputes mindfully.


The Gift, Hafiz,
~ Translations by Daniel Ladinsky ~

The violin
Can forgive the past

It starts singing.

When the violin can stop worrying
About the future

You will become
Such a drunk laughing nuisance

That God
Will then lean down
And start combing you into

When the violin can forgive
Every wound caused by

The heart starts

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Clownfish, by Palm Springs Artist Snake Jagger  

The Gift, Hafiz,
~ Translations by Daniel Ladinsky ~

to be humble
So that God does not
Have to be so stingy.

O pray to be honest.
And pure.

So that the Beloved is never miscast
As a cruel great miser.

I know that you have a hundred complex cases
Against God in court.

But never mind wayfarer,
Let's just get of this mess.

And pray to be loving and humble
So that the Friend will be forced to reveal



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Stoneface, by Palm Springs Photographer/Teacher Andrew Hollinger

~ Mary Oliver ~

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. 

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 ~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~ 
(in Call Me by My True Names)

If I were a bomb
ready to explode
if I have become
dangerous to your life,
then you must take care of me,
but how?

I am here, right in your midst.
(You cannot remove me from your life.)
And I may explode
at anytime.
I need your care.
I need your time.
I need you to defuse me.
You are responsible for me
because you have made the vow
(and I heard it) to love and to care.

I know that to take care of me
you need much patience,
much coolness.
I realize that in you
there is also a bomb to be defused.

So why don't we help each other?

I need you to listen to me
No one understands my suffering,
including the ones who say they love me.
The pain inside me
is suffocating me.
It is the TNT
that makes up the bomb.
There is no one else
who will listen to me.
That is why I need you.
But you seem to be getting away from me.
You want to run for your safety,
the kind of safety
that does not exist.

I have not created my own bomb.
It is you.
It is society.
It is family.
It is school.
It is tradition.
So please don't blame me for it.
Come and help;
if not, I will explode.
This is not a threat.
It is only a plea for help
when it is your turn.

co-mediation poetry


~ T.W. Arnold, DFMS Mediator ~

Unconditional love is something we humans yearn for,
but just endlessly.

The difficulties of relationship break up prove this to be true,
but only every time.

Animals, friends and family
are not
merely a sanctuary
when we are all working well

But a ready invitation
for redemption when we are not -
every, every, every day.

In this way
to special creatures,
like children,
our inner child,
and you ...

Teaches that not only can we carry on
- but how to. 

Blessings to all the beings whom you hold dear.... 

to Those in the Middle!

Jake Arnold, 'Mediator Dog'

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