Hold It All

Tag: Penny Smith


I spent the afternoon in Benton Park with exuberant Penny Smith  who, last night, pulled out one of her notebooks, opened to a random page and found this advice she’d scribbled down during one of our tête-à-têtes at Northwest Coffee two plus years ago– “Don’t read books by Dostoevsky; read your own journal! — Mark Chmiel”


Give Myself Away

I want to give myself to everyone in this class
(But what if they’ve had enough of your tie-dyed mind?)

I want to give myself to Lindsay
(Who welcomes my odd perspectives on Jesus)
Express with fervor my conviction that by the time she’s 30
She can have a book published that could interfere
With the speed sickness of These States

I want to give myself to Cristina
She took one step toward me
So I’ll take seven toward her
She’s curious about this whole writing and poem-making thing
OK let’s dive right ito it
Meet every other week
Alternating cafés or smokey bars (are there any left?)
Or on the North Kingshighway bus or just outside Saks Fifth Avenue Read the rest of this entry »


On a retreat at Lake of the Ozarks, Penny Smith, Cristina Cousins, Emma Shaw, Sarah Bollinger, and Lindsay Sihilling sent me their greetings. Such fortune to know them!


My Purpose Now

My purpose now is to honor the written word
It’s what I’m drawn to
Invited Maggie to come Sunday night
Do a spoken-word for us
in her own emotional tone

Example: Told Katie Murphy to collect her stirring and sparkling break-up poems
Send to me by Mardi Gras
She did
As a book in PDF
It must be published!!!!
I’ve shared it with three people already this week Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Penny Smith: Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

In our modern American culture, is it possible to make counter-cultural choices in your career and lifestyle – working less hours, living more simply, etc. – without going so far as living on a commune? How do we find a middle way? Can we live in society and still make choices that reflect what is most important to us? Social worker and yoga-teacher-in-training Penny Smith shares with us her attempts to answer these questions and will ask those in attendance to share their thoughts and experiences.

Join us
Sunday 10 August Read the rest of this entry »

Metta Aspiration by Penny Smith & Mark Chmiel

Metta upon waking up in the morning
Metta upon waking up in snaked snarky traffic jam

Metta toward the beloved
Metta toward the janitor

Metta for those sitting in jail cells
Metta for your boss

Metta for all carpenters
Metta for all nurses

Metta upon yourself
Metta upon the earth Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth: Envisioning Intentional Communities

We, Penny Smith and Tony Albrecht, recently visited a number of intentional communities, which provides the jumping-off point for this week’s Share the Wealth. We will share our pictures, stories, and takeaways from six different communities of people trying to live in harmony with each other and the Earth. Some of the questions we will wrangle:

  • What does it look like to provide your own food and shelter and why does it even matter?
  • What is an intentional community?
  • Hippies?
  • Could most of today’s problems be the result of isolation and lack of real community?
  • Can we really do no harm to other people or creatures in the modern world?
  • Is it possible to live without electricity and not immediately descend into an abyss of crippling boredom?
  • I’m supposed to poop in what hole? Read the rest of this entry »