Posts Tagged ‘metaphor’




Because you float—

that in itself is something

to admire. As we all know,

the world tries to sink us.

But you, buoyant and tough,

you carry us over cold water.

You act as a bumper when

we get too close to a rock,

to a wall, to a log. You move

at the river’s pace.

There are days, weeks,

I wish I could do what you do—

surround us with support,

make it fun, slip us

into the flow so easily

we can’t help but laugh,

even as our hearts

thump wild in our chests.




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The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.

—Iyanla Vanzant



It’s violent, pulling the spinach

up by the roots. Rationalize

it has bolted. Rationalize

some plants will never thrive.

Rationalize that all things

have a cycle.

Despite the rational mind,

there is the actual ripping out

of the roots, the plucking

of the leaves, the tossing

of the stems.


But it’s just a vegetable,

you tell yourself.

It’s not a metaphor.


It gets harder to believe that.

At some point, Perhaps you see

there is nothing in the world,

not one thing, in which

you can’t find a shard of yourself.

Everything, everything is charged with meaning.


But clearing out the spinach

is a job that must be done.

So you learn to invest kindness

into your touch.

You sing as you do it,

and you say simple words:

Thank you, thank you.


You will make a lovely

bright green soup tonight.

In some rows, you transplant flowers

in the space left behind.

In some rows, you do nothing

and notice how beautiful it can be, absence.

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Searching for good news? Enter Think Radio–a really cool endeavor hosted by Alan Wartes and Issa Forrest–in which they feature 30 minute interviews in episodes of Think People, Think Planet and Think Business. The videocast/podcasts are all focused on how to make a positive change in your life, in the world. My interview came out today–the art of changing your life by choosing your metaphors–all about language, frames, the brain, vulnerability and poetry. I’ve been listening to other interviews, too–Alan Wartes is an amazing host. Worth subscribing!

Think Radio featuring Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer



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walking barefoot on fishhooks

so as to not hurt anyone else—

the mind says

it’s a metaphor

but the soles know better

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This is the poem

in which we kick off our boots

and leap barefoot into the boat

and sail away toward the half moon,

singing as we go, eating ripe peaches,

sipping starlight with eager tongues,

and we know it’s a poem

because in real life

I would be sea sick

and vomiting,

but as it is,

all I can do

is smile.



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Sometimes when I feel my heart

harden, become quartzite, a stone

hard enough to cut my tooth, hard

enough to cut the blade of a knife,

I let myself be led

into the narrow and moss-soft gorges

of the Appalachians.

The creek here has rendered the sandstone

edges into rounded walls

where hemlock and dark green lichen grow.


It’s no revelation that this church

of curves is the work of water.

Still, when my friend Paul mentions

that only because the water is moving

is it able to erode the stone, the knowledge

washes me new. How long have I been settled

in a quiet pool?


I have tried not to move, tried not

to be tumbled. For a moment,

I envy the rounded bit of quartzite

Paul holds in his palm.


No, I tell myself. That would only change

the surface of things. What is smoothed

is no less hard. I turn to the ferns

growing out of the rock. Time

for a new metaphor.


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A Lesson in Metaphor




The stone, the couch,

the sink, the tea,

the broken glass,

the garden peas,


the knife, the cloud,

the thick red clay,

the ant, the weed,

the wheel, the cage,


the whale, the weed,

the scorpion’s sting—

we are the same

as everything.


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Hi friends,

My TEDx talk on The Art of Changing Metaphors has finally come out on youtube! The premise: Our thoughts are made of frames, many of them unconscious. Identify them and change them, and you can change the way you engage with the world.

I hope you enjoy watching it! Let me know if you try it … and what might happen!

The Art of Metaphor: Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer TEDx24401784413_60193d7757_z

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Hey friends, I will be giving an 18-minute talk on metaphors at the Paonia, Colorado TEDx event on Saturday, February 6, and just learned that it will be streamed live! (My husband asks if there are fish in that stream 🙂 )  If you are interested in watching, you can visit their website here that morning and join in … lots of great speakers, including one I love about bureaucracy (an inspiring speech about bureaucracy? Yes!), one on the upsides of envy, one on why the earth is not our mother, and many more really interesting folks … like Craig Childs. Show begins at 9 a.m. mountain time, and my program is scheduled to be just before the lunch break. Getting giddy!


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It all began with the dark, of course, like any good poem.
And then there was the problem of how exactly to bring in
some light. Dawn, of course, but that just seemed too obvious.
Fireflies, but that would be too childish. Bioluminescence?
Too obscure. The need: something everyone can relate to. The poem,
of course, was not at all about the dark. It was about the teenage girl
who had killed perhaps thirty men for the thrill of killing. She lost count,
she told the newspaper reporter, after twenty-two men.
But that is too gruesome to write about: the knife blade, the blood,
the groping, the new husband in the back of the car waiting with a cord, the cult.
So the poem was about dark. And for light, not the moon. No.
Too sacred, somehow, and there are just too many poems
about the moon. Light bulbs, well, there’s a metaphor for you.
And a joke, too. But the poem was just not in the mood for a joke
and despite a surplus of 40 watt bulbs in the closet,
it decided that the dark was best, after all, and
just sat there, quietly, considering the dark.

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