Guest Post on Sensitivity– by poet and therapist Anne Allanketner

Anne Allanketner
Anne Allanketner


Anne Allanketner is a poet and psychotherapist from Portland, Oregon. Her books of poems, Spells of Mending and Three Springs, are beautiful, magical and healing. This poem, from Spells, is her tribute to your rainforest mind.


Crystalline Structures

You are made of crystalline structures,
that vibrate like tuning forks.
Their delicate iridescent wings
unfurl and lift them high on the soft breeze
of night to gather subtle informations
which few can understand.

You inhabit these in formations.
Gathering them in tenderly and transposing them
when needed to harmonize the infinite tangled
song strands of earth.

Perhaps you ought to wear a helmet
and goggles at the shopping mall or
wrap your selves in blankets hung with spells and crystals.
Just to navigate the realm of ambient noise at work.

photo by Anne Allanketner

When the luminous wings of your soul flap,
you lift up out of ordinary time and immerse
yourself in beauty, or sorrow, or fierce love.
Whatever is before you, you enter and allow
the exquisite dilemma of life to welcome you
toward the Divine.

This is hard to accomplish at gas stations, bars or gaming arcades. Also, hospital waiting rooms, school cafeterias, truck stops, cocktail parties or among the very rich.

Naturally, you seek moving water, wetlands full of waterfowl, and the cascade of crimson leaves. Some cathedrals and Japanese garden shrines and
the company   of your own   strange   sort.

None of this is easy. You must be an ardent scientist
of replenishment. You must be
the crafty, shape shifting magician, just to whisk yourself
into psychic obscurity     at the right moment.

Certain sounds are helpful; The plunk and fall of water.
The early morning bird calls, the crackle of fire
against star light.
A gentle heart-felt chanting can lower the curtain
of protection    around    your ears.

No one loves to cloak them selves more:
The soft fall of the cloth that makes you separate.
The eye lids of the soul, allowed to close.
The petals holding the bud.
The silk lantern wrapped around    the lilting light.

Do not listen to the harsh instructions of the world
Which might delude you into using
what is odd and fragile and capable of magic
as an inadequate tool for bludgeoning.
Or spend what you have, for endurance.
Or mire that intricate knowing
into covert arguments about power.

Allow yourself to float the billowy cape
of rose petals and golden leaves around you.
Turn away from those unhelpful influences.

Come towards the light, the beautiful night sky
Milky Way spiral of your soul.

You have lost so much, to buy this sensitivity.

Protect it like the multifaceted jewel that she is.
Wrap that tuning fork in velvet and rock it to sleep at night.
Sing love songs and lullabies to those wispy neurons, those
singed nerve endings, those antennae
you attempted to hide    under your hair.

You are made for healing.

photo by Anne Allanketner

So many lifetimes    you must have prayed for this.
So many languages to mend the fabric
of the world
come from your deepest heart.

Oh, sing the melody of the spheres that you were meant to hold.
Sing the songs that weave the balance.
This color strand light weaving dance that you can do.

And let go.

Of needing to be rich or strong enough
to endure shopping malls or television

Let the joy of who you are rise up,
a flowering light from the inside.
And only laugh and turn away when anyone
would measure you in money or endurance.

For what is endurance when you have fractured
and re-joined 1000 lifetimes?
Carried on your own laughter…
And the musical sounds of beauty and luminous


To my bloggEEs: Let us know if this poem speaks to your gifted soul. How does it describe your sensitivity? As always, I appreciate hearing from you. Or click on one of the links above to find Anne and her books.

Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

28 responses to “Guest Post on Sensitivity– by poet and therapist Anne Allanketner”

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  1. renovatio06 Avatar

    Reblogged this on Late.Shift and commented:
    Here’s a wonderful tribute to the highly gifted, sensitive rainforesty types and our collective challenges in a world that’s too loud, too harsh, too brutal for our finetuned nervous system and sensitivities. Thanks Anne, thanks Paula!

  2. renovatio06 Avatar

    Needless to say that the sweet waters that solubilize trainloads of pain are flowing… Thank you, Anne, thank you, Paula! (I’m going to bookmark this or save it somewhere, I may have to come back to this when the harshness of the world gets the better of me)

  3. River Aaland Avatar
    River Aaland

    So magnificent and tender. I may need to read Spells of Mending again, I loved it so.

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  7. Michael Richardson Avatar
    Michael Richardson

    Awesome, I feel better after reading.
    Thanks Cuz!

  8. Alida Birch Avatar
    Alida Birch

    A nurturing poem especially for the nature deprived. “The plunk of water, the morning birdsongs” all resonated as a deep yearning in my depths.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thanks for the comment, Alida. And congratulations on your book!

  9. siobhanmcnamara Avatar

    Beautiful and reaffirming. Thank you for sharing this wonderful, insightful poem 🙂

  10. Susanne Avatar

    I am so touched by this poem. I love the originality of Anne’s words and the storytelling. Such a beautiful validation and a reminder to trust and protect our sensitive “rainforest ecosystems”. Thanks for sharing!

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Yes, Susanne. Anne’s poems tell wonderful stories. There are more samples on her poetry website. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Susy Avatar

    Very beautiful poem, and very descriptive of “the sensitive world”. So many people, and of those many in their 20’s, feel that there is “something wrong” with them , where in actuality the world at large has gone either very insensitive, or very mechanistic or both.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thanks, Susy, for being part of the sensitive world. And for your comment.

  12. Brenna Avatar

    Beautiful and reassuring poem. Thank you.

  13. Maggie Brown Avatar
    Maggie Brown

    AMAZING. And I’m interested that the poem referred to money, and being amongst the very rich. This has set something vibrating in me and I’d love to know more. Thank you for posting this.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thanks for commenting, Maggie. If you want to know more, you could e-mail Anne directly by clicking on one of the links in the post. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.

    2. Anne Allanketner Avatar
      Anne Allanketner

      Certainly wealth doesn’t imply lack of sensitivity. Many wealthy folks are gifted or gifted sensitives. I think that the pressures of class and wealth can be a challenge sometimes to owning one’s authentic sensitivity. Poverty can do that also. Really owning one’s depth, sensitivity and authentic voice makes a person step away from identities that the culture offers and towards the dangerous, beautiful guidance from within.

  14. Charmaine Coimbra Avatar
    Charmaine Coimbra

    A delight to read. A true delight. A few years ago I had a head-on collision with my sensitivity and wrote this:

    When I read the piece, following a stream of consciousness writing, the words surprised me. That lead to the title, “Embracing my Sensitivity.” I no long apologize for this gift.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Thank you for sending the link, Charmaine. It’s a beautiful piece. Stay sensitive!!

  15.  Avatar

    Fabulous poem. I am stunned. Thank you. wow.

  16. Kim Avatar

    The poem is simply beautiful. Thank you.

  17. litebeing Avatar

    beautiful poem BTW there is a new show on Lifetime called child genius , a competition for gifted kids. It is very compelling, please check it out!

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Hi Linda! I don’t get Lifetime and actually don’t generally think many of the competitions for gifted kids are very helpful, useful or nurturing for them. How is it compelling?

      1. litebeing Avatar

        I found the show extremely compelling because you see the family dynamics, the behind the scenes look into how these children navigate life. It is not just a competition, it is a glimpse into the struggles and delights of each child that is featured. much of what I noticed echoed the sentiments of your views actually. It was unlike anything I have seen on tv before ( like spelling bees, etc) Felt more sociological.

        1. paulaprober Avatar

          Hm. Sounds good. Maybe I can find it on Netflix. I’ll look for it. Thanks, Linda.

  18. telperion1214 Avatar

    Ah! My favorite poem by Anne! Thank you for this. Today I really need it.
    Case in point: yesterday, I felt tree pollination begin here where I live.
    I highly doubt that it has registered on the machines yet.
    A wise woman who taught me Eurythmy told me that I over-identify with my environment.
    Yet how do I change my constitution?
    Do I want to? is perhaps the more relevant question.
    🙂 I am pretty sure you won’t find me hiding out at the mall.

    1. paulaprober Avatar

      Oh my, telperion1214, you know Anne! What a small world we live in. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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