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A POST-RETREAT POEM




A poem by Graham, a participant on the June Men Without Masks retreat, about his life-changing experience on the retreat.


I’ve just arrived at Whaley Hall, on a quest to ease my pain

to kill some of my demons and to find myself again.

To kick out all the gremlins that hijack my every thought,

and to try and share my stories and the learning’s I have brought.


This is my latest challenge, for my body and my mind,

and I am a little apprehensive, about the men that I might find.

The first day helped me settle, once I’d met the other men.

all gathered in a circle, with positive intentions like mi sen.


Craig ran through the agenda and spoke of Warriors and Kings,

of Lovers and Magicians and lots of other blokey things.

We began sat in the circle, emotions dancing all around,

all spoke our truth within the circle, built on the trust we all had found.


Brave men taking their masks off, to reveal the man behind.

It’s amazing when the masks are off, just how much courage you can find.

Shared stories of relationships with wives and dads and mothers,

brings such power to the circle, to create this band of Brothers.


Sharing shadows on the inside, some from the now, some from the past.

can project through to the outside, to become the shadow that you cast.

So let the light shine on the inside, from the love light in your heart.

So others see the Golden king, made real from every part.


We all arrived with lots of baggage that we’ve dragged round for years.

Heavy bags with many labels, saying anger, guilt and hurt and fears.

Now I’m leaving here this evening, and those bags can come along.

but they’re much easier now to carry, because the labels have all gone.


So thanks to Craig and all of you, my band of new found brothers.

I found the best way I can help myself is when I’m helping others.

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