Solace – a reflexive verb

Solace doesn’t fall from the sky like manna
We must find it among weeds and stones.

For it is not just a noun, but also a verb
With an active and practical tone.

More than that. It’s a reflexive verb:
We can self-solace, be strong on our own.

Why go begging at others’ kitchens
When we can learn to cook alone?

And yes, like food, it’s better shared
But responsibility is always our own.

However sweet the comfort of others,
We can’t just collapse and lie prone,

For nothing can solace a heart dependent
On the attention it wins with its groans.

And nor can a heart begin to settle
Which is always distracted or stoned.

The very best physic for the afflicted heart
Is the thinking which we do alone.

And when we make our very own solace
Then we know we’re adults grown.


This was written for sunday scribbling’s prompt to write about solace, where you can see what other people have offered on the subject. It’s not really gramatically accurate, but I felt this was an important way to express the nature of a poem. It’s not that we can’t find solace in other people, or in things, but the way we relate to these things that gives us solace, both in the short term and in helping us to attain a longer-term healing!


11 responses to “Solace – a reflexive verb

  1. Well said.

  2. This is excellent. I love the concept of “making our very own solace and becoming adults grown”. Tee hee!!!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Wishing you,
    Peace & Love, Just Because,
    Goddess Diana

  3. a great verse — being able to self-soothe is indeed a strong and mature psychological skill, not always easy to get the hang of it, however!!!

  4. I had to read this a couple of times, and now I’m nodding Yes. There is a time to be with people, to seek the comfort of others, but you are right that we must find the way of being easy in our own company too, and I am just in that place now after a loss. I began this morning pulling weeds, and was struck by your first lines!

  5. “Why go begging at others’ kitchens
    When we can learn to cook alone?”

    interesting, why not pull along the lesser fortunate ones, may be in the attempt you reach greater heights.

  6. “A reflexive verb” is so true. Your poem voices so many truths.

  7. I love your line ‘for nothing can solace a heart dependent’ and yes, you’re so right…we can ‘self-solace’. Thank you for reminding me of this….you do speak such truth here.
    When I need a little help, I’ll be back to read these wise words again. Thank you!

    My SS is up at


  8. Welcome Linda, Diana, Imelda, Rambler, Patois and Bella… thanks for dropping in. And Danni, this isn’t your first comment but I’m not sure if I replied to your last one, so welcome to you too!

    Rambler – I think helping other people is a vitally important thing, but at the end of the day we all have to take responsibility for our own recovery, or there is nothing our that friends can do to help.

    Imelda – I hope you find your own solace! It’s not an easy journey, but such a satisfying one. Good luck…

    Danni – I certainly agree it’s not easy!

  9. I love the hollow echoeing of the rhyme in this poem. It fits the topic of solace so well!

  10. That wording in the first stanza caught me: “We must find it (solace) among weeds and stones.” Solace is quiet, inner work. Your poem says we don’t find solace easily, but start with simplicity. Nice reflections.

  11. deep wisdom in your wonderful poem

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