Poetry Friday: It’s Not Where We Draw the Lines, It’s How We Draw Them


It’s Not Where We Draw the Lines, It’s How We Draw Them

Lines divide, cause schisms, rifts, gulfs, splits;
circles create community.
Lines emphasize mine and yours;
circles encourage ours.
Lines are discordant;
circles are song.
Draw more lines?
What’s the

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2022

The entire time I was stitching this mandala, I was thinking about how lines divide, and where we draw the line. The line between love and hate, tolerance and intolerance, rights and responsibilities, morality and immorality, church and state, now and then, history and future, optimism and pessimism and apathy, courage and cowardice and apathy, action and inaction…and apathy.

All we can each do is our very own best. Every small thing we do counts. Less bark, more wag; less hiss more purr; fewer lines more circles.

Generous Jan has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at bookseedstudio.

And an aside. If you follow my mandalas on FB or IG, you have seen Views From the Garden, parts one (milkweed) and two (coneflowers). I intended for this week to feature zinnias, but they were shy and have only just begun blooming. They’ll get their five minutes of fame this coming week!

13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: It’s Not Where We Draw the Lines, It’s How We Draw Them”

    1. I like your nonet, it could be the lower quadrangle of a circle… How to have others become interested in having a sense of community is something I think about.
      Lovely zinnia mandala, the center flowerett feels like an 👁, I like the patterned background it’s created on too, thanks Mary Lee!


      1. Zinnias are next week. This one is all about the line…bent into circles!! Good eye to notice the background pattern. Definitely intentional!!


  1. A nonet for the circle! I love your stitching and how that creative act leads to poetry. Maybe a collection is forming?


  2. MaryLee, as others have written, I love the nonet and the mandala, both! Creativity begets creativity. I firmly believe that. I like how you pondered the schisms of lines as opposed to the inclusiveness of a circle. It gives one a lot to think about. Thanks! (Zinnias are among my most favorite flowers – the season for them is upon us with hotter and sunnier days! Looking forward to seeing it!


  3. Your words remind me about people writing about fences, good or encouraging discord? And “Let the circle be unbroken”, too. I saw this mandela on FB & loved it then, too, Mary Lee. Your words are an inspiration, especially coming from your mandela creating. It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Thank you!


  4. Mary Lee, what better way to talk about lines dividing than to use a circle of unending thoughts, communities, and universality. This mandela is a sign of hope that humans do not divide groups but include all in a circle of love. Well done!


  5. The nonet, yes, but your commentary–spot on. And at the same time, once formed, the circle resists admitting more. Conga line or hora ring, which is the partiest? As usual, dammit, things are not as clear cut as I would like. I love the side view of your stitching–so 3D–and I love the last word on the last line: on point!


  6. Wow! What a fabulous merging of so many elements, within your embroidery, within your prose, and within your poem. The nonet is the perfect form for this and you’ve given me lots to think about in terms of circles and lines. I love how you ended with “point.”


  7. How perfectly your poem and your embroidery complement each other. You express so well what so many of us are feeling at this time. “yes” to more circles and fewer lines.


  8. My goodness…the deceptive simpleness of this poem hits home. More circles, please. They are what I need…what we need.


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