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I have always loved Miroslav Holub’s poem “The Door” and its invitation to explore possibilities without attachment to certainty.

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

During times of loss, sorrow and uncertainty I have often turned to the consoling power of poetry. I found this poem particularly helpful to read when I had reached a tipping point in my twenty five year teaching career.

Change and chance – are just a letter apart. However, re-evaluation, re-location and rejuvenation take energy. I eventually made the decision to leave teaching, and to also make some other important life changes. There were some very challenging times. I kept returning to the poem.

Where I now live, I often watch ravens tumble in the air above the crags and hawks hover in the wind. I think about how true they are to themselves, there in their element. In his poem “Shadow Man”, Owen Sheers writes about the “bird’s kinetic moment/in the second before flight”.

My love of literature, of poetry and of sharing the thoughts, feelings and ideas that are generated from an exploration of words, remained integral to my being. By keeping in touch with what had inspired and sustained me throughout my life – the power of words – I was gathering momentum, was poised to take off in a new direction. I am frequently surprised by coincidence, the serendipitous nature of things – how we are often led by our instinct to search for and find what we need. So with feather and bone and a will to fly, I came through the wide and open door into the world of Poetry Therapy. You come too…

“The door is wide and open . . .”


By Jill Teague

Poetry Therapy Practitioner Training