Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.

There is a lot of silence around poetry. It usually takes up less space on the page than other forms of writing do. The space around a poets words can be like breathing room. This poem by Juliana Howard reminds me that to live a whole life, it’s important to sometimes stop doing in order to make room for simply being.

Tracy Rittmueller

Monday Morning 
Juliana Howard

There is no need for words today. 

No axe to grind; no points to prove. 
No stage to climb; no hills to move. 
No phrase to turn; no prize to win. 
No raves to earn; no cats to skin. 

You are a tree, so bend and sway 
And let those busy squirrels play. 

You’re not the squirrel. 
You’re not the race. 

You are the Holy Holding Place. 

So let your branches sway and bend
And all those squirrely thoughts befriend 
Until the chatter fades away. 

There is no need for words today. 


Juliana Howard is longtime resident of St. Cloud now living in St. Joseph. In 1987, she founded the CRAYONS, a group of children from area Catholic schools who performed and recorded her music. In the olden days, she wrote radio jingles, poetry, parody, lesson plans, and letters to the editor. She uses words to help process her life, exercise her brain, and delight herself.