the call
(in the form of a poem by jan l. richardson that has captured my heart):

Wise women also came.
The fire burned
in their wombs
long before they saw
the flaming star
in the sky.
They walked in shadows,
trusting the path
would open
under the light of the moon.

Wise women also came,
seeking no directions,
no permission
from any king.
They came
by their own authority,
their own desire,
their own longing.
They came in quiet,
spreading no rumors,
sparkling no fears
to lead
to innocents’ slaughter,
to their sister Rachel’s
inconsolable lamentations.

Wise women also came,
and they brought useful gifts:
water for labor’s washing
fire for warm illumination,
a blanket for swaddling.

Wise women also came,
at least three of them,
holding Mary in the labor,
crying out with her in the birth pangs,
breathing ancient blessings
into her ear.

Wise women also came,
and they went,
as wise women always do,
home a different way.


and my response:
(in my humble, jumbled, stream-of-consciousness-cause-it’s-christmas-after-all way)

to all the wise women
who stoke the fires
who don’t wait for a star
to guide the way
who walk in the shadows
knowing there
are many paths,
all Right,
all leading home

to all the wise women
who revel in the moonlight
dance in the checkout line
spill music with their words

to all the wise women
who trust their own
internal navigation system,
helping another up
when she falls,
whispering walking sticks
or knitting balms of silence
until she feels restored

to all the wise women
who ask their questions
knowing that sometimes
the only answers
are more questions
and still more questions

to all the wise women
who know
that sometimes
bandages are bindings
and other times
bindings are bandages
and that whether
bandages or bindings,
bands of cloth
can be removed and
woven into something

to all the wise women
who come into
and with
their own authority
who sing
their own songs of
and lamentations
who put on socks
of pure, unadulterated
every single morning
and dance
for insight
and laughter
who inhale
the goodness that surrounds them
and exhale
gladness and gratitude
who touch
with gentleness, tenderness, confidence

to the wise women
whose hearts
open like colorful
night after
day after
after day

even though you rarely
draw attention to yourself,
i see you
thank you
love you
celebrate you
cherish you,
you and your genuine genius and gorgeous glory.


  1. Angela

    Jeanne, these poems are lovely–the perfect end-of-Christmas gift.  I sink into them, happy to be home. Thank you.

    • whollyjeanne

      I hope you see yourself here, my friend, my wise woman.

  2. Mark

    Wow. Very cool. I see one of those women in these words and one in my home. Thank you for putting this to
    Words, Jeanne.

  3. Mark

    Wow. Very cool. I see one of those women in these words and one in my home. Thank you for putting this to
    Words, Jeanne.

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, mark. might i say that i thought about you as i wrote this – thought about the use of the word “women” and how that, at least on the surface, excluded you. yes, you in particular. this wasn’t meant to exclude men like you, just to make a point about women being so blatantly overlooked to this day in far too many circles.

  4. Meredith

    What a beautiful response! This just made my morning a lot more brighter.

    • whollyjeanne

      that’s because you saw yourself there, as well you should, you wise woman, you. xo

  5. Julie Daley

    Dear One,
    This is an amazing concoction. I love what you’ve whipped up here, in response to ‘The Call’. You answered the call, alright, and it is something to behold.I love how you speak to me with these words, how you call me forward, how you speak in women’s ways. The woman in me understands this and feels the truth in it.
    Merry Christmas to you, friend.

    • whollyjeanne

      i simply described you, my friend.

  6. Teresa

    Oh, Jeanne! This is delicious! Juicy, nourishing, sustaining, unrestrained love and gratitude. You say there was no star, and yet there you are shining the way for all of us!

    Merry Christmas hugs and Happy New Year butterflies, my sister, my friend,

    • whollyjeanne

      oh sugar, thank you for such a delicious response. you honor me, you wise woman, you – you honor all of us with your beauty, your talent, your self. xo

  7. Marjory Mejia

    Thank you sugar my whole body sways to the rhythm of your song. Thanks you deeply, in the name of all women, of the Goddess in each one of us. Bless you.

    • whollyjeanne

      thank you, my wise woman friend. it’s time for us to dance and sing and speak every chance we get. loudly. boldly. truthfully. xo

  8. Maira

    Ahhhhh.  Whew.  Yesssssssssssss!
    I needed this.  Right now.  I needed my heart’s cup filled. I ached for the reminder of being a wise woman, being seen, celebrated and cherished.  I am dizzy with the truth woven in your words.  And in the pit of my belly, I feel the clear, deep river of energy rushing along unhindered towards expansion.

    Thank you for these words. I savor them beyond thought… I feel them playing and dancing in my body.

    • whollyjeanne

      oh sugar, i do love the way you write. play is one of my all time favorite words – one that’s kinda’ gotten a bad rap what with calvinism and all. i was talking to my sister-in-writing-and-creativity-in-general, julie daley just last night. how easy it is to lose sight of the fact (yes, i said FACT) that everything doesn’t have to be work, to be hard and a struggle to be of value. sure to look forward to getting to know you better. i sense we’re cut from the same bolt of cloth.

  9. Acoyoytefeathers

    Hello there – have spent some quality time catching up a bit with your posts.  You appear to be thriving writing-wise. And of course I hope in other ways as well.  love on the wings…

  10. Anonymous

    All I can say is damn straight! And much love to you too. 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    Also, I think I want to my heart to be a sassy flower in 2012. 🙂

    • whollyjeanne

      sug, your heart is already a sassy flower. sassy, i tell you.

  12. Mrsmediocrity

    this is lovely and amazing and wonderful. just like you. xoxo

    • whollyjeanne

      and just like you, my wise woman. xo

  13. Merry ME

    Jeanne, I’m not sure if I treasure this poem or the one about your word “stay” more. Both leave me wanting more. Thanks for you comment on my blog. I must admit, I curious how you found me. Do I know you?

    • whollyjeanne

      Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. I found you via @1little_light/illuminary/Canopy in the Sunlight. Isn’t she a treasure? Anyway, I read one of your comments on her site, got a good vibe, and went to visit you. I don’t think we’ve ever met before, but I hope we’ll stay in touch via blogs, facebook, twitter, google+ circles – any or all.

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