Holly Lavina’s Video of Hands Baking Bread

Many years ago I published a poem titled “Hands Breaking Bread.” Imagine my surprise when I found that Holly Lavina had made a video of it that was on youtube! I love the video – her reading as well as the graphics bring out elements of the poem even I hadn’t experienced before. Her video illustrates so perfectly that no creative expression belongs to one person alone.  We each remake every poem, song, painting, dance just by witnessing it and add so much more when we bring our own creativity to a work.  Thank you, Holly! Here’s the video:


Here’s the complete poem, too.

Hands Baking Bread

When my hands bake bread, I knead
Ocean, rock, the flesh of beasts and flora then
Draw down honey moonlight for alchemy’s fire.
My frail, mortal fingers unite all that was to create all that will be and
I embed within each loaf this woman’s power of touch
That can halt the most merciless onslaughts with a caress
That can melt centuries of isolation with a warm stroke.

My hands give away the bread,
Nourishment for body and tinder spark for soul.
Across a hostile desert, a woman’s desiccated hands accept my gift
In an act of graceful courage.

Once she eats
Her fingers tingle in an awakening of the
Sweet, invincible bond between women,
The body of that connection between every element of the universe,
We have created over and over, since ancient days,
In the shared ritual of mixing, kneading, waiting, baking.

Each receiver of bread returns to her oven and bakes a fresh loaf
The aromas rise, restoring the power of our touch
Molecule by molecule, to all women who breathe in air
Making of us one and also many, each stronger in herself for
Being with one another, like grains of wheat or flecks of herbs in a loaf.

Such a simple act, baking bread, a daily chore.
Women’s hands roiling earth and sky together, one with another,
Recreating ourselves as floury bakers of that force that spins every atom
Binding us in joy with yeast and wheat
Feeding each other the miracle of one more day in each other’s lives.

First published in Moondance, December, 2005 – March, 2006

By Carolyn Lee Boyd

Carolyn Lee Boyd’s essays, short stories, memoirs, reviews, and poetry have been published in a variety of print magazines, internet sites, and book anthologies. Her writing explores goddess-centered spirituality in everyday life and how we can all better live in local and global community. In fact, she is currently writing a book on what ancient and contemporary cultures have to tell us about living in community in the 21st century. She would love for you to visit her at her website, www.goddessinateapot.com, where you can find her writings and music and some of her free e-books to download.


  1. While the video is very nice, I’d love to see you post the poem here so we could read it too. Sounds wonderful!

    Thanks for that great idea. I have added the poem. Hope you like it! — Carolyn

  2. Thank you very much for giving me credit for this wonderful video I made. I really love your poetry, I hope I hear more from you soon. -Holly Lavina

    Thank you so much!

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