My religion

My religion
doesn’t involve a church or a minister or a pulpit;
it’s practiced under a roof of sky,
whispered by the wind,
preached by birds and crickets and rivers and toads.


My religion
isn’t written in scripture;
it’s written in the hearts of lovers
and parents
and artists
and everyone who,
broken from the weight of too many endings,
gets back up to love again.


My religion
lies at the point of contact,
where feet meet earth,
where inhale meets exhale,
where your infinitely breakable heart meets mine.


My religion
isn’t big on words like sin and wrong and perfect;
it’s big on honesty, vulnerability, messiness… awe.
The followers of my religion
are badass, open-hearted, hippie warriors of love,
who know that you don’t dance to get somewhere
or sing to reach the end of the song.


We sing and dance to reach what is
divine in all of us.


In love,
we are each other’s salvation.


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58 Responses to My religion

  1. Tricia September 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    “We sing and dance to reach what is
    divine in all of us.”


    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Let’s start a flock. :)

  2. C. Fassett September 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    Amen to that!
    THAT is the Spirit of my God
    whom no man can house
    Take the word “religion”
    from any definition of God, and
    you have what you just wrote

    • j September 26, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      As I suspected, we are not so far apart. I like “whom no man can house.”

  3. Becky September 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    … yes, it is.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      I think once you put your creation out there (and by “you” I mean “me”), it’s best to let everyone else define it as they will. ;)

  4. joshsolar (@joshsolar) September 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Love :)

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Love your response. :)

  5. jb September 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Amen and Hallelujah! (You’re preaching to the choir, but I’ll never get tired of hearing that. Thank you for saying it so beautifully! <3)

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      You’re welcome. Thank you back!

  6. Joanne Marie Firth September 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Silent and still from these words. I will sit at foot of your pulpit any day. From one bad-ass, dancing hippie to another…..Amen Sister!

    • j September 26, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      “From one bad-ass, dancing hippie to another…..Amen Sister!” <– THIS made my day. xoxo

  7. terrepruitt September 26, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    “We sing and dance to reach what is
    divine in all of us.” FANTASTIC.

    But it is stuff like this that people read and want to follow then the next thing you know, you have a “church”/followers. :-)

    • j September 26, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Ha! Maybe they’ll just follow the love project. ;)

    • Tammy May 18, 2017 at 8:15 am #

      well maybe that church would be like the original beautiful one and not what man has made it to be…❤️😘

      • j May 18, 2017 at 10:03 am #

        Amen. ;)

  8. Estrella Azul September 26, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    “broken from the weight of too many endings”, I’ve been struggling with redefining religion. Your poem is the exact thing I needed to read. Thank you!

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      You’re welcome. I was actually answering, in hindsight, questions posed to me about “my religion,” the assumption being that I had one. It was a very empowering, beautiful exercise to define it for myself.

  9. lunaJune September 26, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    J I do love your way of thinking..

    What if our religion was
    each other ~
    If our practice was our life ~
    If prayer our words ~
    What if the temple was the Earth
    ~ If forests were our church ~
    If holy water – the rivers, lakes and
    ocean ~
    What if meditation was our
    relationships ~
    If the teacher was life
    ~ If wisdom was self knowledge ~
    If love was the centre of our being” ..
    Ganga White

    found this a few months ago and it resonates with my soul

    • C. Fassett September 26, 2011 at 6:13 am #

      Don’t know if it’s PC to respond before our hostess has had a say, but I have to say I just LOVE that luna! It resonates with my soul so much it’s now being copied and tacked to my board, along with yours too j :). Thank you both :).

    • j September 26, 2011 at 7:22 am #

      It is perfectly PC. And that is beautiful, June. What I’d have said, maybe, if I were a poet. Thank you!

  10. prudencemacleod September 26, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    Amen to this, sisters and brothers, amen to this.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      Thank you, Pru.

  11. Lance September 26, 2011 at 6:56 am #


    made my morning

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      Then my work here is done. ;)

  12. Jordan Drew September 26, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Amen! <3

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      Thank you, Jordan!

  13. karenfrommentor September 26, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    This was lovely j. I’ve never seen your poetry before.

    *holds up hand as an audience member who’d like to see more…*

    • j September 26, 2011 at 8:37 am #

      I never ever think of anything I write as poetry. It’s just that sometimes what I want to say works better if I format it unconventionally. But thank you. xox

  14. icedteawithlemon September 26, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Beautiful … simply and profoundly beautiful.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      Thank you so much. BIG smile.

  15. Michael September 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Your monikers are adding up. “justplainj”, Super-j”, and now “j, Poet-High Priestess of Love”. I’d sing hallelujah in your choir, just to be clear.

    P.S. Whatever you’ve said before about not being a poet, all the denials and obfuscations, just went down the toilet. Go ahead, tell me how this one isn’t poetry. I’ll just stand here and shake my head while you do it. ;)

    • j September 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Well, I would argue with you on this, but I’d rather imagine you singing hallelujah in my choir. That’s the Leonard Cohen version, right? ;)

    • Michael September 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

      Duh… ;)

  16. Ms. Marsha September 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Simply. Beautiful.

    I’ve been away for a while and this is nice to come back to.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      It is SO nice to see you again, Marsha. Thank you.

  17. Julia Fehrenbacher September 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Not poetry? Hmmm? It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s beauty, it’s truth, it’s pure goodness. It’s rocking my world today.

    Thank you for you, my friend,


    • j September 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      I love that definition. Let’s use that. <3

  18. Kacey September 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    *LIKE*……big! I’ve always known that you’re amazing….no really…..always.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      Ha! That’s what sustained me in my time of trouble. (Do you love me even when I’m quoting Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy?)

  19. hippiechick September 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    and everyone who,
    broken from the weight of too many endings,
    gets back up to love again.

    And this:
    My religion
    isn’t big on words like sin and wrong and perfect;
    it’s big on honesty, vulnerability, messiness… awe.

    And, well, the whole thing. Amen.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

      Behind the scenes: I struggled with the “weight of too many endings” line. I couldn’t find the right words, and then I did. As soon as I wrote it, I knew, good or bad, it was just exactly what I meant to say.

      Thank you, t.

  20. Tall Pajama Man September 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I like your religion, J. Maybe cuz I know it’s borne in a heart as wonderful as yours. And of course, you make me think of my own religion, about how our religions mesh, about how much more mine is (or should be) than pulpit and buildings and stuph…

    I think it is more… No, I know it is, and my quest is to demonstrate that to others… To me… I hope I am.

    Anyway, thank you for your hearrt, your spirit, your life.. for you.

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Our religions might not quite match up, but our hearts do. Thank you right back, TPM.

  21. Pam September 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Love it!

    I know my greatest feelings of wonder and awe (and joy) come over me when I’m outside (and paying attention,) or when I’m connecting with a person who reminds me how we are all secretly magical. (Ok, mark me down as a dancing hippie!) <3

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

      You are so marked. I always suspected that’s exactly what you were. <3

  22. Christie September 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Wow – this knocked my slippers off! This is now filed under “One of my all-time favorite poems EVER” right up there with Hafiz and Rumi. Everything I have ever wanted to say about my feelings regarding religion you captured – thank you!

    Love, love, love this ♥♥

    • j September 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

      Wow, I’m in elite company in your poetic heart. I’m so glad it resonated for you. We are, once again, soul-aligned. xo

  23. Lucy Pollard-Gott September 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    A powerful poem, both in sound and meaning. Even though my religion involves churches, ministers, and pulpits, and scriptures can make me sing and dance inside as much as blue sky and all kinds of trees, I have no complaint with your message or your joy. Love is salvation. Thanks.

    • j September 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      It’s really not a poem, but thank you, Lucy. And I have no problem with your scriptures either. We can still dance happily together. ;)

  24. Tammy October 23, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Perfect thing for a bad-ass hippy that skipped church today to read. Thanks .

    • j October 23, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Happy to help! That describes me every Sunday…. unless we count a hiking trail as church. And, come to think of it…

  25. Inion N. Mathair December 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Hi J: My daughter & I found your blog by way of mutual friend P. Ross. Love the Poem, love the concept! Growing up a Baptist Ministers daughter, you would think it strange. But my father taught me early on that religion restricts & church should be held before God’s creation. Working out my own path as I got older, I have to say, I love your spirituality. And to quote someone who felt the same: “When I was five, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. Evolution & all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness & open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon

    • j December 29, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      I love that quote. I’ve never heard it before. And how cool (and rare, I think) that your Baptist Minister father encouraged you to see beyond the constructs of a man-made religion. I’m really touched by that.

      I’m glad you found me. Patrick is a great writer.

  26. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) April 26, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Surprised that I didn’t see this one before now. Love it, j. <3

    • j April 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      High praise coming from one of my favorite poets. Thanks, Annie. xo

  27. Aileen April 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    If you don’t consider this writing a poem, what is it you would call it?

    I call it deeply wonderful. Deeply touching.

    And Truth.

    • j April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm #


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