Posts Tagged ‘imagination’


for Tomàs


The candle is not there to illuminate itself. 

            —Jan-Fishan Khan



It will only take five minutes, he said,

and so, though I’d not spoken with him before

and though I was about to teach a class,

I followed him outside the library door

to the dirt lot where his truck was parked

and from the open pick up bed

he pulled with flourish a rolled-up rug

and spread it between the rabbit brush

and milk thistle, then hoisted

two flat wooden seats he’d fashioned

out of pine, arranged them on the rug,

and swung a bench-like table from the bed

and placed it in the center.

And I expected, what, well, not

what happened next. It’s your canoe,

he said, and from his truck he plucked

a long and knobby stick. And here’s your oar,

he offered, with a slight bow of his head.

I took it up and kicked my shoes off, stepped

onto the rug, then leapt up to table top

and began to paddle the air.

Where are we going then, I said,

my eyes on the horizon.

To Java, he said, and I paddled harder,

eager to reach its shores. I’ve always

wanted to go to Java, I said, pulling

through currents of air. And look, he said,

there’s a farmer there on the banks

saying his morning prayers.

And he pulled from the truck a large

straw hat that he set upon his head

and a simple white scarf he let

slip through his fingers in a ritual

of silk. And when my boat came near,

he stepped beside it, met me

with a bowl-shaped bell, and circled

the small canoe, baptizing the air

with its one-note song. I closed my eyes,

and felt the tone open inside me,

and when I let my lids fly up,

he was standing right in front of me

with a vial of dark oil that smelled of vanilla

and evergreen. And he anointed me,

touching the oil to my head with his finger.

I knew I had arrived. I jumped down and hugged

the farmer, then searched the ground

for a smooth white stone to give him in return.

And as I journeyed back to the library,

somehow now only steps away, I took with me

the scent of pine, the smile of the native man,

the joy that comes when all the lines

we thought we knew have been erased,

and our inner map wildly rearranged.



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We look for rocks in the old dry channel—

smooth red rocks with round white moons

and lumpy ones with blue-ish dots,

concave rocks that might hold water

and rocks that might be fairy chairs.

We choose them carefully—

as if there were so much at stake—

and carry our bounty in our skirts

to a flat spot at the river’s edge

and build an open home with them

where only our imaginations live—

so much at stake, we choose our stones

very, very carefully.

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For Reals

I want to be your imaginary friend,
and no one else will see me when
I come and kiss the back of your neck,
will not notice at all as I whisper
in your ear the things I’m about
to do with you. They might notice
you’re blushing, but they will not
see the way I am smiling at you
now from the doorway and curling
my fingers to say, This meeting is boring,
come play, darling, out in the field
where the autumn sun is warm
and low and the golden grasses
will hide us well so no other eyes
can find our shade. And I will insist
that I am real and ask you to touch
to be sure it is true. And I shall
wear only bliss and sunlight
and you shall wear only me,
and the afternoon will be infinite
as only imaginary things can be.

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a c-poem for Lian Canty’s Alphabet Menagerie

Imagine with trillions of stars above
all the constellations yet to find—
maybe a canary in a cage that sings
to a miner across the sky.

And perhaps over there is a cyclone—
see that swirl of stars in a cluster?
To the west there’s a giant carrot
and a lucky four-leaf clover.

With our eyes, we can draw all the lines we want—
we can connect the stars into cactus,
or calla lilies (not lilies at all),
or cupcakes! Or Japanese catfish …

oh, I think that catfish was a bad idea—
he’s causing an earthquake in the sky—
quick, redraw him as a cat
sitting on the lap of the miner’s wife.

Even on nights filled with clouds
we can look up and make believe
that the stars somewhere are wishing on us
to give them stories before we dream.

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For an hour today, she practices escaping
from the stairs. There is no jail here,

only our pretense of bars. She,
the bank robber. I the police.

I lock her up again with my invisible
jail cell key. Then I swallow the key,

I throw it away, but she always produces another,
an invisible skeleton key she’s been hiding

somewhere around her and she lets
herself out again, then hovers nearby

to be caught. I feign dismay. She’s
escaped, again! And search for her,

looking right through her. Until,
aha! I say, and grab her. She never

struggles much, almost hurls her body
at me to be caught. So similar to

how I want to be held, forever,
I say, and then the next moment

I long for escape. Oh sweet
imagination, how real it all can seem,

like this girl slipping away from the stairs,
saying for the fourteenth time, catch me again.

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The Miracle Already Happening: Everyday life with Rumi

Poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
50 pages
Liquid Light Press, 2011

What would happen if a Sufi mystic showed up in your kitchen? Or at your son’s elementary school choir concert? Or in your garden? In this playful chapbook, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer has poetic conversations with Rumi through his translations by Daniel Ladinsky and Coleman Barks and through her imagination. Whimsical and humble, these are poems of discovery, praise, and unlearning, invitations to find holiness in every moment, every place. Even Walmart.

What people are saying about “The Miracle Already Happening”:

A delightful collection of poems to savor and treasure … a deep oasis for all who seek to experience the sacred in every moment.
—Elizabeth H. Small, editor, Poems of Awakening

A rare treat: a rigorous conversation with the past made fresh by vulnerability, playfulness, humor and knockout surprise. There is so much integrity here, and discipline, and grace. And restraint, and cutting loose all at once. All this in poems that can be surrounded by a great quietness. The sensation can be like listening for birdsong, and having the bird silently and suddenly land on your shoulder. If you don’t fall over, you will shout or laugh.
—Peter Heller, author, Kook, and The Whale Warriors

One of the wonders of recent poetry has been the renewed popularity of the Sufi mystic, Rumi. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer confirms that great poet’s new life in remarkable poems of her own, conversations with a distant master that make us aware just how near he really is, how helpful in his teaching.
David Mason, Colorado Poet Laureate, 2010-2014

How to Order:

To order a signed copy: email Rosemerry at wordwoman@mesa.net and include your mailing address and to whom you want your books signed. She will send you an invoice for the book plus shipping.

To order onine: http://liquidlightpress.com/rwt.htm

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Not today, I said,
no snacks in the car for kids
who don’t eat their breakfast,
but here,
I said,
and extended my empty right hand
to the back seat, Here
are some pretend snacks
On the radio, Cake
was singing a song
about wanting
to love someone madly
when my son shouted, Mine,
and my daughter burst, Mine,
and a strident battle ensued
and real tears began
to splash on invisible
snacks being snatched
and seized by four empty,
grasping, hands.

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