You may have noticed a new podcast on Sweatpants & Coffee: Coffee Break. These meetings of our minds are meant to be fun, smart takes on life and the pursuit of our happiness – in whatever form that takes. We’ve talked about passion projects (from which Sweatpants & Coffee brewed in the mind of founder Nanea Hoffman), relationships, putting makeup on dead people. Our next Coffee Talk will focus on Finding Your Tribe: aligning yourself with people who share your outlook, your creative passions, your hope of cultivating a kinder, more meaningful world – even if it’s only in your home and back yard.


So, this week I wanted to kick off the theme of tribes and friendships, cultivation and building foundations of love, kinship and kindness that link us to one another, to our groups, our friends: our tribes. I hope you like this disarmingly simple (read it again) poem by contemporary poet Bill Mohr.

Digging A Moat

Rules for Building a Labyrinth

Like swimming, don’t dig
by yourself. Make certain you start
in the same direction as your buddy.
Don’t show off. It’s not
how much dirt you lift,

but where you let it slip
off the shovel. Check for blisters.
Even when you’re finished
digging for the day, keep
your shovel near:

In a moment of weakness, you
may need to share
an urgent secret:
the hole you almost fell into,
the whisper that lured you to its edge.

Bill Mohr’s poems, prose poems, and creative prose have appeared in more than 40 magazines, including ZYZZYVA, Wormwood Review, Sonora Review, Blue Mesa Review, ONTHEBUS, Antioch Review, Pemmican, Beyond Baroque Magazine, Invisible City, Blue Collar Review and Santa Monica Review. His criticism and reviews have appeared in many magazines, including The Chicago Review, New Review of Literature, William Carlos Williams Review, Media/Culture, Poetry Flash, Cercles, and Hungry Mind Review. As editor of Momentum Press from 1974 to 1988, he received four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and published two major anthologies of Southern California poets, Poetry Loves Poetry and The Streets Inside. He has a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego, and has taught literature courses as well as creative writing at many colleges, including St. John’s University, Rutgers University, University of California, San Diego, and Otis Art Institute. He is currently an associate professor of English at California State University, Long Beach.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons License Digging A Moat, Yin Tan Beach, Shandong, North China by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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