Poetry for the Truest Conversations and Connections
This week I’m deeply immersed in the Mill Valley Film Festival, witnessing the sorrows, struggles, and sustaining connections among human beings facing some of the most serious challenges in life all around the world.
Thank goodness two friends sent me poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for nourishment and grounding. (See Watching My Friend Pretend Her Heart Isn’t Breaking and For When People Ask below.) And a quick search brought me to Rosemerry’s website, many of her poems, and much resonant wisdom.
I’ve posted three poems here, and strongly recommend checking Roesemerry’s website and podcasts for more. A truly brilliant, contemporary treasure.
I wear my wonder
like old running shoes—
in certain rooms.
I notice how others
sometimes wrinkle their noses
at a blatant sporting of wonder,
thinking, perhaps, I must be oblivious
to the dress code:
stilettos of apathy,
high heels of indifference,
boots of cool reserve.
But dang, this wonder
gets me where I need to go
every mile, even
across the room.
When everywhere I step
is broken glass,
wearing this wonder
is the only reason
I can move at all.
For When People Ask
I want a word that means
Okay and not okay,
More than that: a word that means
Devastated and stunned with joy.
I want the word that says
I feel it all all at once.
The heart is not like a songbird
Singing only one note at a time
More like a Tuvan throat singer
Able to sing both a drone
Two or three harmonics high above it –
A sound, the Tuvans say,
That gives the impression of wind swirling among rocks.
The heart understands swirl,
How the churning of opposite feelings
Weaves through us like an insistent breeze
Leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,
Blesses us with paradox
So we might walk more openly
Into this world so rife with devastation,
This world so ripe with joy.
Watching My Friend Pretend Her Heart Isn’t Breaking
On Earth, just a teaspoon of neutron star
would weigh six billion tons. Six billion tons.
The equivalent weight of how much railway
it would take to get a third of the way to the sun.
It’s the collective weight of every animal
on earth. Times three.
Six billion tons sounds impossible
until I consider how it is to swallow grief—
just a teaspoon and one might as well have consumed
a neutron star. How dense it is,
how it carries inside it the memory of collapse.
How difficult it is to move then.
How impossible to believe that anything
could lift that weight.
There are many reasons to treat each other
with great tenderness. One is
the sheer miracle that we are here together
on a planet surrounded by dying stars.
One is that we cannot see what
anyone else has swallowed.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer: https://wordwoman.com