Poetry For Entrepreneurs

The language of getting things done



Meeting date

Six Mondays, July 26th-August 6th


Charlie and Ted


75 minutes



For The Course

Get Things Done

Make Plans
And . . .

Rest in the grace of the world

Connect To Creativity
And . . 

Stop swimming, gently sink

Build Desire

The fire just before it engulfs the field.

Hone Purpose

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Play With Ideas

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Unlock Your Work

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Course Lessons

Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. . . . As they become known and accepted to ourselves, our feelings, and the honest exploration of them, become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas, the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. . .
Poetry is not only dream or vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.
--Audre Lorde, Poetry Is Not A Luxury
Dana Gioia says, “As [I rose] in business … I felt I had an enormous advantage over my colleagues because I had a background in imagination, in language and in literature.” Noting that the Greek root for poetry means “maker,” Dana emphasizes that senior executives need not just quantitative skills but “qualitative and creative” skills and “creative judgment,” and feels reading and writing poetry is a route to developing those capabilities.
--John Coleman, "The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals" Harvard Business Reveiw

Surrender: May 3rd

    For a time I rest in the grace of the world
    For a time I rest in the grace of this class
    For a time I rest in the beauty of the water
    For a time I wait in the beauty of the stars
    For a time I wait
    For a time I rest.
    Am I making progress in surrendering
    As I wait with my feet in the stream?
    Am I resting in the grace of the world
    As I surrender my lists to the stream?
    For a time I will wait with the wood drake
    For the star light.
    I surrender to the lack of words
    I surrender to what I know to be true inside. 
I will not fight

To fight for
Oh! and Why? and Ow...
There is so much.

I know that
if I move
I lose

and that being here
and staying here

I cannot be beaten.

The bowl is full

Can I puncture a hole
in the bubbling cauldron
of too much emotion
that boils and simmers and wishes
a storm into being?

I wish for more
than a storm.

I wish for a hole.

I am over

I laugh
and sing
and fall
on the floor
happy to know
I am over.

Over and over,
happy to know
I am over.

When you allow the undertow is stronger
and beyond the reef the open sea —
You can’t touch bottom, can’t swim
against. No terror or defeat,
invitation only and the beauty
of the ocean. The island’s heart opens.

There’s nothing to take, give, or keep —
no protection or advice
when a child risks or threatens her life
love is the current you can’t swim against.

The stone in its arc
The train with a hundred cars at full speed
The wheel in your hands when it’s too late to brake
The fire just before it engulfs the field.
You feel content.
You feel joy.
I face the locked boxes and the jangle of keys
With a sweat of making the right choice
To find the right map
For the right path
And put my feet on all the right stones.

I toss the keys into the stream
And topple the boxes over with my shoe.
The maps and paths drop like a movie set
And I grin into the wild unknown.

My pockets are stuffed with morsels of ginger cake.
I go out of my way to offer it
To the brother
Of someoneI smiled at once on a train.
Faith in my ginger cake
And the act of offering
Leave no space
For doubting they are welcome
Or whether it’s worth the trip.

Leaning my back against the trunk of a tree
Or watching the bats swoop at disk
Or listening to the silence of bluebells
I am lulled to grace.
And freeing myself from this peace
I find myself alive with starlight
Beaming out of my fingertips
Pouring chaotic laughter across the night
Hurling a comet of my own fire
So it catches the eye of everyone alive
What did you do today instead of what you imagine?
Looking and sitting,In this messy room.
Rearranged until every possibility has been conceived of
Now what?
How many minutes until someone asks me for something?
I could make a life out of it.
Should I?
I know the feeling of that wise hand,
finding the last place on my body that hasn't been release,
And without manipulation
or pressure,
their warm palm can do the work almost before it arrives.
How many years until my hands are wise enough,
to be, to do this work.

Nothing done.
Out of time.
Here we are.


Storms brewing at midnight 
Tumble, twirl and swirl beyond sight
Stop swimming, gently sink
Stop resisting, gently think

Undigested fragments of tomorrow
Fermenting vats of yesterday’s sorrow
This shall not be attended today
Today we sit in silent stillness
Sit. Breath. Still. Silent. Now
Savoring the wholeness of fasting
Full & brimming with emptiness

Who am I? ...
I am
How do I actually make progress towards being more present?
Maybe "progress" and "present" are in opposition,
and the solution lies in surrendering?
But don't "solution" and "surrender" equally clash?
I'm not nearly as skilled at being present as Buddhist teachers,
but I think I'm nearly as good at asking questions that sound profound,
until they are examined for more than 20 seconds.

Maybe it's not that every bad habit of mind
(every forethought and every hindsight)
has a payoff as much as they--What?
Yeah. I can take him.
Hey bud!
Yes, it's poetry ba ba ba

What's the difference between surrendering and accepting?
What about surrendering and choosing with enthusiasm,
even if the only uncertainty is how to create enthusiasm
for the only choice that I can make.
Ugh. I think he knows when I'm just trying to distract him.
Why, Yes! Please take my pen

Say there is coffee finally and someone quips that life is not a screen.
Say you go round the square
But will no longer do that every day should you go.
Say there are birds everywhere,
trees too,
And people you do not know there, yet, to love.

It must be the image, the ephemeral,
The idea, the claws of a ghost,
Its haunted hooks
Lift them out.
Return to the ghost you were,
Where hope lives
And there's no meaty ego,
Nothing into which barbs can dig. 

Go Go Go Go Go.
Stay Stay Stay Stay Stay.
You are the useless fool of direction.
Here. Now. Now. Here.
This is what is required and it is nothing.
The dream. 

Look for the peace of the wild things.
Look for the peace of the wild things in your body.
How do you feel, when things don't go as imagined?
Sure there are thoughts.
Sure there are thoughts running in your mind.
But how do you feel?
Is your stomach tense?
Is your heart beating?
How does it feel in your body?
Surrender to that.

Listen to your body.
Listen to the wild things in your body.
Surrender to the wild things.
Surrender to the knot in your stomach.
Surrender to the racing heart.
Surrender to the tremble.
Surrender to the wild things.

Be the wild things.
Be with the knot in your stomach.
Be with the racing heart.
Be with the tight jaw.
Surrender to that.
Be the wild things.

What Happens?  

Read a poem

We read a poem worth reading and tie that to the work we are doing.

Write a poem

We write poems that help us listen to what we need to hear, map places we need to go and communicate what sour stakeholders need to do.  
Patrick Jones - Course author


Charlie teaches how to be clear, how to teach from the heart, writes poems about how to live and plays games with Tara.
Patrick Jones - Course author


Writes about Amsterdam, walks around Amsterdam and eats dinner with Charlie when he is in Amsterdam. 
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