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"Sacred Heart Poetry" Wall/Gallery at Holy Grounds Coffee in El Sereno/ ELA, CA

by Alex Petunia

I am still in awe of the passing week's Sacred Heart Poetry Wall Opening Reception. It was a relaxing vibe outside as Holy Grounds' guests weaved in and out with drinks and eats. The lovely fountain cooed as we embraced our hearts on the mic.

Rosalilia invited our souls back home to the soil, Anastasia shared of tender intimate connection, Diosa empowered us with self affirmation, Cat and Steve showed us the magic of two poems beating as one interconnected offering, VOTH reminded us that we belong and we can heal, Andrea Lee showed us how a heart comes back to peace, Jessica honored the everlasting wisdom of lineage (and brought us all cake to celebrate) and Cory highlighted the beauty and power of family through his memories and flow.

I stepped back to feel out the space as each of you read. In the crowd, some giggled as they befriended strangers. Some snapped and clapped as they welcomed your words. Some shared tears. Others even stated they had happened upon our words and stayed to take it all in. Community entered with ears open and hearts curious to connect.

Even during their very busy day, Eddi and the Holy Grounds team were so accommodating to our needs, bringing in more chairs while also feeding our bellies. They were very kind and patient with us as we stayed a little past close talking poetry with community. I am deeply grateful to the Holy Grounds team for all the ways they made this project possible and welcomed us into their home upon their wall.

When we finished, we gathered together in front of the Sacred Heart Poetry Wall and marveled at it. I melted as I witnessed all your smiles and the way you embraced each other on and off the wall.

And our first poem sold!

Congratulations to VOTH!

A person asked to buy the piece for their friend who was so moved by VOTH's reading. I spoke with them all after the show. They said they were so relieved to be in a space where they felt seen and their felt journey validated by all the poetry they heard. Wow just wow!

In addition to those who read, other poets showed up to check out the wall and support. Thank you to Ruddy, Hiram and his family, Woodrow and the other poets and friends who came to celebrate.

You did this! We did this! And I am so humbled and appreciative that we could create a unique and impactful poetry experience for the El Sereno community where I live.

Hugs of gratitude from my sacred heart to yours!

In community,


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