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Poem: The Pearl

Updated on November 7, 2011

A tender, green shoot...

Be mindful of the world within your own heart and soul.
Be mindful of the world within your own heart and soul. | Source

The Pearl

I have a precious secret,

It is a tender, green shoot

Standing alone in the Light;

A seed of promise buried

Deep within the womb of potential.

Fragile and fresh, it requires

All of my attention, love and protection

To keep it safe from disregard.

Steadfastness is the sentry that guards

Against the noisy clamoring of distraction;

Clawing to rip away the Pearl

Embedded in velvet stillness.

I have a precious secret,

It lies within my heart;

Showered by joy,

it grows amidst pink petals of love.

Denise Handlon

November 4, 2009

All rights reserved. No portion of this poem may be copied, printed or reproduced in anyway without the expressed written permission of the author.

The history of the making of this poem:

I decided to post this poem today because it was written on this date three years ago.

I remember the circumstances clearly: I was on my spiritual retreat and through the daily exercises and meditation practices I felt a shift within my heart that was profound and unmistakable. I felt my heart space open wide and was aware of how vulnerable and exposed I felt, yet quiet and contemplative. It was as if I had a special secret that only I knew…and I can only compare that to when I was first aware that I was pregnant for the first time-without a doctor or pregnancy test validating it. It is a knowing; a stirring within the soul.

Other people commented on my changed affect and demeanor within the group. Later, as I sat in meditation a visual image of a tender new shoot of plant life came forth. The green was a deep, healthy and prominent color. In the spiritual work that I do the color green represents compassion. It is a personal essence that is within each of us and we can all connect with that part of ourselves as we become sensitive and aware of when we are kind, tender or empathetic towards another living thing. This is part of what Hameed Ali has studied and written about through his Diamond Heart series. It is the spiritual path that I follow.

As I sensed into the tender green shoot I became aware of the love that I felt that filled my heart space. The personal essence of love shows up in soft pink. In addition to that, yellow joy filled my chest and I felt light, loving and tender all at the same time.

This sensation continued as the retreat ended and I returned to my work. However, as I resumed my daily living schedule I was aware of how many distractions that arise each moment of each day that pulls our attention from the place within-our soul. I was vigilant not to allow that to happen to this tender shoot that had appeared during the break from routine.

Explanation of particular lines and words used

I began to write the poem from the effect that the shift had occurred-noticing the ‘secret’ within and realizing how precious it was. In Hameed’s book, The Pearl beyond price, he writes of the representation of the soul as the Pearl within each of us. I mention the Pearl in this poem because it is an important aspect of what had occurred during the retreat-the recognition at a deeper level of that Pearl within my own self.

The line, ‘to keep it safe from disregard’ was especially important for me to add. It acknowledges the fact that we often are touched by a Divine Grace that we can brush off as not being real, or a silly feeling, or perhaps as a wonderful experience, but merely an experience-not the reality of our Being. For me to write this out confirmed that I validated this was not something to be taken lightly. Thus, the added words of, ‘protection’, ‘guards’, and ‘steadfastness’.

Finally, the two lines, ‘a seed of promise buried deep within the womb of potential’, acknowledges that we all are living potentiality. Again, when our ears are deaf from the noisy clamors of the world around us, and our eyes blind to what can only be sensed within, we often miss the very beginning of what our own greatness is…the nudging of that seed poking itself out into the sun, attempting to get our attention. And, once it has gotten our attention, to grow without the trampling of skepticism and harshness from the world around us.


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 17 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank you so much for your thought provoking comment. I appreciate it.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 17 months ago from North-East UK

      I enjoyed your poem and your explanation for why you wrote it.

      I also liked that you remembered the 'feeling' of knowing that you were pregnant before being told or doing a test.

      I think that ability to 'feel' is in all of us but rarely gets a chance to be known unless, like you, we are in a place which really encourages us to look inward and cast off the everyday things that somehow keep us (without really realising it) at arms length from getting to really know ourselves. I'm not sure I'd ever go to a retreat so I envy you this experience. I also think that women have strong intuition and your experience is the perfect example of this x

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      @ PDXKaraokeGuy=-you're welcome :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks for saying so, Denise, and thanks for sharing!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi PDX-boy, that says something, coming from you. :)

      Audrey-what a compliment from you; to share this with our family and friends group. I appreciate it.

      Hi femmeflashpointe-nice to see you again. Thanks for your interest in reading my hubs-glad you liked this one.

      Hi Travel Man-Well, I'm sorry if I misled you with the explanation--this is NOT about my pregnancy. This poem was about my spiritual journey and the awareness of that wonderful connection with God, my soul, etc. Thanks for reading.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Motherhood is a very liberating experience to women.

      Thanks for sharing your kind of 'pearl' that made your pregnancy a wonderful episode in your life.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 6 years ago


      This was my first read of your poetry, and, it's very good!

      I'm new at learning to understand and appreciate poetry. Yours was easy because, if I'd not understood the key points, you were very kind to explain it below!

      It was a wonderful experience you described, and bravo for sharing it in such a beautiful piece!

      I'm looking forward to becoming more familiar with your work. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Denise - You have written not only a deeply moving poem but also an excellent history and explanation. You are beyond gifted. I am sending this out to family and friends. Outstanding!!!


    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Good poem, my friend. Excellent!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Ubanichijioke-thanks for taking some time to read this. You are one busy guy with all the beautiful poetry you write. :)

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      I love the story behind the poem. Your explanation made so much sense that i had to click awesome and beautiful with speed. Amazing poem

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Yes-here comes the rain now! Thanks for reading and commenting. (What girl doesn't like pearls, right?)

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Hi Denise ~ I love pearls, too. A most favorite adornment to wear. Getting ready for rainy weather and shortened days. Hugs, Debby

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Vinaya. I have a special pearl necklace that my daughters gave to me for my birthday one year that means a lot to me. I also have a beautiful pearl necklace given to me by my brother who is now deceased. Pearls for me are very significant. Thanks for reading.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      I wear pearl in my finger because an astrologer recommended me. I very much enjoyed your point of view.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Alicia-thank you for your comment. I appreciate you reading and giving me your feedback. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very effective poem accompanied by a very interesting description, Denise. Thank you for the information.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Marie, nice to see you. I was just thinking of you this past w/e wondering how you are coming along with getting your book published? Thanks for reading. I know that we have much in common-our spiritual paths being one of them.

      Hi Ruby-so good to see you. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very Beautiful..

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I enjoy reading of your journey, the shifts you experienced, as I too am on this path. You captured this beautifully in your poem.

      Rated up and beautiful!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Ken-I am so humbled by your comments. Coming from such an esteemed poet as yourself, whose work I greatly admire, was quite a compliment. Thank you.

      Hi Peggy-I appreciate your feedback. :)

      Jerilee-so nice to see you here-thank you! thank you! :) I'm glad you liked it.

      Hi Debby-my goodness, it's been a long time since we bumped into each other in this long neck of the woods, LOL So glad to see you again, and I am assuming that your business is alive and well! Hugs back.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 6 years ago

      Denise ~ Truly lovely. The background to the poem makes it even more so. How is the little Pearl now? Hugs, Debby

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 6 years ago from United States

      Excellent! Excellent!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is a short poem filled with great meaning. Your explanation of it adds even more meaning. Thanks! Enjoyed this!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 6 years ago

      "we often miss the very beginning of what our own greatness is" my goodness what profound words you type here. I am moved deeply. Like a shoot we grow, we learn, we love, we inspire and then we die, making way for another. We cross over and start over the journey whence we came. Blessings to you my fine poet. Brilliant work.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi anglnwu-thanks for reading and commenting and for the vote. :) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      Beautifully rendered. Love the last 2 lines "showered by joy/It grows amidst pink petals of love." Rated up.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi raciniwa-thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

      Cara-yes, it is easy to get lost in the day to day junk of life and miss its beauty...I am also practicing this-if nothing more than to acknowledge that I shifted my focus from my true intention. It is certainly understandable. There are a great many things going on during the early years of motherhood that are VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. Of course, I am emphasizing this because ultimately, there is nothing more precious than to live in the moment and acknowledge it for what it is...even if it feels like nothing but a sticky mess! The relief comes from going with it and not trying to resist it or manipulate it into something else. Take heart, it will come more easily through practice...and 'breathing'! Thanks for your comments; always good to hear from you. :)

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      I love how poetry can have multiple meanings within such few words and you capture this so eloquently. The spiritual birth and journey is often distracted by daily life. It is sometimes hard for us moms as you stated above to practice this. Thanks for the beautiful reminder, I need to keep at it!

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 6 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      what a beautiful poem...again you amazed me Denise with your metaphors...

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      thepracticalmommy-moms are especially in a position to lose that peace within because of all the multitasking, as well as the habit of jumping into the future-imagining what life will be like for our little ones in the future. Nothing wrong with daydreaming, except that it pulls us away from appreciating what is in the moment and then we spend time thinking about the past, LOL So, by all means: meditate for a calmer groundedness and then practice staying aware of what is happening each moment-and what happens when our minds wander from that place. One brings peace; the other suffering of sorts-at least frustration and discomfort. Many blessings.

      Hi Hyphenbird-thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      rai2722-thanks for reading-glad to know it was meaningful to you my friend.

      Hi Dorsi-thanks for your comments; always appreciated.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Wow! Very profound. I love the way you described the spiritual process that you went through. Beautiful!

    • rai2722 profile image

      rai2722 6 years ago

      Nice poem with a great meaning to it. It's quite inspiring and meaningful to me.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      "the womb of potential" perfectly describes every moment of our future. And that little seed in the heart, love, joy, understanding, creates life indeed. What a great poem! It is very inspiring and I truly enjoyed reading it.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      This is a beautiful poem. It's very true that the 'noisy clamoring of distraction' so often takes away from the peace and contentment within.

      This makes me want to take up meditation...Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Writer20-thank you for sharing your favorite part. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Homesteadbound and Pamela-I chuckled when I read your comments. Yes, in many ways I suppose it can be was a 'beginning' after all. It was really interesting that the 'secret' that I wanted to share with no one, was exactly how I felt when I became pregnant with my first born. Thanks for reading and voting. :)

      Hello Charu-so happy that you stopped by again. I'm glad you found it interesting.

      Annie-I really appreciate that you +1 and tweeted it. I haven't had that happen yet (this is a first :) ) although I have done that to some other hubs. Thanks!

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 6 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      I love this Denise and thank you for sharing your experience - I've voted it up and stuff and shall +1 and tweet it.

    • Charu Bhatnagar profile image

      Charu Bhatnagar 6 years ago from India

      This is such a wonderful poem. Truly spiritual in essence. The history of the poem makes it even more relevant and interesting to read.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I wondered if your poem wasn't talking about a pregnancy also. I really like the poem and what a beautiful way of expressing such an important event in your life. I love the "showered by joy etc. Rated up and pushing many buttons.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Denise - I was sure while I was reading it that you were talking about a pregnancy. And in a way you were, but it was a spiritual pregnancy. Very good analogy and using words to describe.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      My favorite is your last line. You've written a beautiful poem. voting up and beautiful

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Gail-boy were you quick to read and comment. Well, I just finished it and am packing up for my drive to Greenville for work. :( I'll be in touch later.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow! I really loved the poem itself and the story behind gave even greater depth of meaning to it. My favorite two lines were: "a seed of promise buried deep within the womb of potential’, acknowledges that we all are living potentiality."

      How very true. I thought it was also beautiful when you spoke of "knowing" you were pregnant even before tests confirmed it.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.