Poems and Quotes

From time to time, we all come across poems, or quotes that deeply move us. Use this page to share them with others. (Please include proper creditting information and website links where possible.)

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Comment by Kirk Hinkleman on August 31, 2010 at 10:27pm
I wrote this poem on my flight home from TSI 2010...

"Infinite Connection"

What comes of people when
We strive for a sense of belonging
What comes of people when
We go back to the beginning

What is paramount comes from within
Centered in a sense of self
A connection to oneself, can then begin
Connection with people, and a sense of wealth

A wealth that cannot be matched
One gained simply from a sense of community
For it is from each other it is hatched
Thus empowering a sense of humanity

Harness the outcome we savor
For we understand not to aim for perfection
Rather, converse with your neighbor
Together we seek an infinite connection


Kirk Hinkleman 7/16/10
Comment by Diana "Dee" Katovitch on August 31, 2010 at 8:28pm
"If you believe people have no history worth mentioning it is easy to believe they have no humanity worth defending"
-William Loren Katz
I found this on the Disability History Day website for New York State. There is so much we don't know about the history of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities...

And another, read by Cate Weir at the most recent Post Secondary Education Summit in Rochester, New York after her keynote on person-centered planning. It is a stanza from Wallace Steven's Six Significant Landscapes.
Six Significant Landscapes by Wallace Stevens:

Rationalists, wearing square hats
Think in square rooms
Looking at the floor
Looking at the ceiling
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
cones, waving lines, ellipses --
As, for example, the ellipse
of the half moon
Rationalists would wear sombreros.
Comment by Anna Eliatamby on August 31, 2010 at 5:17pm
Unless and Until

Nothing will change unless and until;
climate change is accepted as serious;
philanthropy and giving have meaning for the poor;
and all inequalities are re-balanced with respect for all.

Unless and until: we stop making excuses and step into the freefall of selflessness and community.

© Eliatamby
Comment by aarti sahgal on August 31, 2010 at 10:58am
The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he can not reveal to you.
Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather to what he doesn't say.
Kalil Gibran
Here is another one from him-

You may judge others only according to your knowledge of yourself. Tell me now, who among us is guilty
and who is no guilty?
Comment by aarti sahgal on August 31, 2010 at 10:48am
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
Source: Unkown
Comment by Tony Osgood on August 31, 2010 at 6:33am
'However much you study, you cannot know without doing. A donkey, laden with books, is neither an intellectual nor wise.' Saadi of Shiraz
Comment by renee stanley on August 31, 2010 at 2:44am
http://www.institutionwatch.ca/ -Reference for previous quote
Comment by renee stanley on August 31, 2010 at 2:43am
An institution is not just a place.... It's the way people think
Comment by renee stanley on August 31, 2010 at 2:37am
"Whenever you are in doubt, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to them? "- Gandhi
Comment by Ron Irvine on August 30, 2010 at 9:11pm
‎"And I know with all my heart that the only way the world will change is if many more of us step forward, let go of our judgments, become curious about each other, and take the risk to begin a conversation." (Margaret Wheatley)
Comment by Jennifer McKenna on August 30, 2010 at 9:09pm
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it
is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead
Comment by Ron Irvine on August 30, 2010 at 9:03pm
‎"'I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again.' I still believe this. I still believe that if we turn to one another, if we begin talking with each other - especially with those we call stranger or enemy - then this world can reverse its darkening direction and change for the good." (Margaret Wheatley)

‎"Since our earliest ancestors gathered in circles around the warmth of a fire, conversation has been our primary means for discovering what we care about, sharing knowledge, imagining the future, and acting together to both survive and thrive." (Juanita Brown, The World Cafe)
Comment by Aldea LaParr on August 30, 2010 at 8:02pm
"Sometimes not knowing everything leaves you room to be open minded."
Comment by Jack R Pealer Jr on August 20, 2010 at 2:11pm
Here's one by Carl Dennis, on contingency and the often unknown power of connections:

Poem: "Candles" by Carl Dennis, from New and Selected Poems 1974-2004

Candles

If on your grandmother's birthday you burn a candle
To honor her memory, you might think of burning an extra
To honor the memory of someone who never met her,
A man who may have come to the town she lived in
Looking for work and never found it.
Picture him taking a stroll one morning,
After a month of grief with the want ads,
To refresh himself in the park before moving on.
Suppose he notices on the gravel path the shards
Of a green glass bottle that your grandmother,
Then still a girl, will be destined to step on
When she wanders barefoot away from her school picnic
If he doesn't stoop down and scoop the mess up
With the want-ad section and carry it to a trash can.
For you to burn a candle for him
You needn't suppose the cut would be a deep one,
Just deep enough to keep her at home
The night of the hay ride when she meets Helen,
Who is soon to become her dearest friend,
Whose brother George, thirty years later,
Helps your grandfather with a loan so his shoe store
Doesn't go under in the Great Depression
And his son, your father, is able to stay in school
Where his love of learning is fanned into flames,
A love he labors, later, to kindle in you.
How grateful you are for your father's efforts
Is shown by the candles you've burned for him.
But today, for a change, why not a candle
For the man whose name is unknown to you?
Take a moment to wonder whether he died at home
With friends and family or alone on the road,
On the look-out for no one to sit at his bedside
And hold his hand, the very hand
It's time for you to imagine holding.
Comment by Lynda D. Kahn on August 20, 2010 at 7:50am
From Margaret Wheatley's book Turnning to One Another: simple conversations to restore hope to the future. This is the final poem in that book, which I offered in the closing 'gifts of community' at the Toronto Summer Institute.

Turning to One Another
-Margaret J. Wheatley

There is no greater power than a community discovering
what it cares about.

Ask “What is possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.
Comment by Lynda D. Kahn on August 20, 2010 at 7:33am
This is the poem John O'Brien read on Sunday, July 11, 2010, on the first full day of the Toronto Summer Institute.


Two Kinds of Intelligence

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

-Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

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