Focusing in Ireland

Poem chosen by Tom Larkin

Welcome to our fourth poetry offering. This poem was chosen by Tom Larkin. Watch the video below to hear Tom recite the poem and offer some guidance along with it. You are in for a treat with Tom's offering.

Marie Mc Guigan


Meet Tom

Hi, I’m Tom Larkin, from the northside of Dublin. I have been Focusing for over 20 years and reading and enjoying poetry for much longer, though, I really only began to appreciate poetry after I left school. I am particularly drawn to poets whose connection to nature, for their muse and insights, is strong and deep. One such poet whose work I greatly admire is William Stafford (US, 1914-1993). I first discovered his poems in the anthology, “The Rattle Bag” (edited by Séamus Heaney and Ted Hughes). The poem I chose for the Poetry Corner, “Ask Me”, is one that I return to, again and again. When Focusing with the poem, it has the space within and between its lines to continually surprise me, bringing me new insights or perspectives on life – a bit like the river in the poem, an always changing entity, a bit like life.


William Stafford - Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look

at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.


From: William Stafford, “Stories That Could Be True; New and Collected Poems”. Harper & Row, 1977.


John O’Donohue - Fluent

“I would love to live

like a river flows,

carried by the surprise

of its own unfolding”


From “Conamara Blues: Poems”. Harper and Row, 2001.

Watch Video

Watch and listen to Tom's recording on our YouTube Channel.





Marie's Top Poems

This is a great opportunity to share our favourite poets and poems using Focusing to gently evoke felt senses, felt meanings, symbols, and memories.

In the following poetry offerings, you are invited to click on the image of your poetry choice, and allow yourself to rest into the guidance, the silences, the resonances with the words, or lines from the poem. 
Deeply, Deeply, Deeply
by Marie Mc Guigan
Recited by Marie Mc Guigan I am delighted to share this experience with you, inviting you to focus with a poem written by myself Marie McGuigan, "Deeply, Deeply, Deeply".
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Recited by Marie Mc Guigan For our third offering of the Irish Focusing Network's Poetry Corner I have choosen a poem called Breath by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Ask Me
by William Stafford
Recited by Tom Larkin This poem was chosen by Tom Larkin. Watch the video below to hear Tom recite the poem and offer some guidance along with it. You are in for a treat with Tom's offering
For Beauty
by John O'Donohue
Recited by Marie McGuigan This poem was chosen by Marie McGuigan. I hope you enjoy this offering and your own focusing time with the poem/blessing.

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