How to Do Nothing

by Melanie Weldon-Soiset

A close-up of the frame and ropes of a multicolor hammock against a green leafy background

Give yourself permission to sit this one out—
not everything needs to be fixed today.
Your sofa is the destination of the route.

Leave your phone over there, and flout
the to-do list. What do your hips say?
Give yourself permission to sit this one out.

Sure, there may be some people who pout
because you don’t follow their way.
Remember the destination of your route.

You have a new religion now. Be devout
in this place that teaches: to stop is to pray.
Give yourself permission to sit this one out.

Take a deep breath, and notice throughout
your body: what is stone, and what is clay?
Your healing is the destination of this route.

Allow the crumbling, and name the doubt.
Rot and wonder can both sprout from decay.
Give yourself permission to sit this one out—
have you found the destination of your route?

Melanie Weldon-Soiset
Melanie Weldon-Soiset has poetry in Tipton Poetry Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Geez, Amethyst Review, and others. A New York Encounter poetry contest finalist, Melanie is a #ChurchToo survivor, former pastor for foreigners in Shanghai, and MFA student at Spalding University. She writes at, & on Twitter and Instagram @MelanieWelSoi.


  1. What a wonderful poem, Melanie! I love the concept of doing nothing. I’ve been doing a lot of that in retirement!

    • Thank you so much, Carolyn :). I’m starting to learn how active and full “nothing” can be, and also how much I need to proactively choose it :). I’m wondering what your nothing looks like, sounds like, feels like (or even tastes/smells like, if you feel led to share :). Mine often involves bird song, the chirping of cicadas, and the slow journey of clouds across the sky.


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