Posts Tagged ‘metaphor’

Never the Same

Sometimes a person wakes
believing they are a storm.
It’s hard to deny it, what,
with all the rain pouring out
of the gutters of the mind,
all the gusts blowing through,
all the squalls, all the gray.
But by afternoon, it seems obvious
they are a garden about to sprout.
By night, it is clear they are a moon—
luminous, radiant, faithful.
That’s the danger, I suppose,
of believing any frame.
Let me believe, then, in curiosity,
in wonder, in change.
Let me trust how essential it is
to stumble into the trough
of the unknown, marvel how
trough becomes wings becomes
faith becomes math. Let me trust
uncertainty is a sacred path.

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There is no need for temples … Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.
—H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Today the temple went to the post office.
Of course it wore its mask. There,
it met several other temples, also masked,
some of them in a hurry as temples sometimes are.
The temples joked with each other
about haircuts and lost keys and ripped old shirts.
All day—while working on the computer,
while making macaroni and cheese,
while taking out the cat litter and feeding the fish—
the temple managed to forget its own temple-ness
and the temple-ness of others
until finally, while weeding milk thistle in the garden,
a bell did not ring and a clarity came—
a brief brush with infinity that lasted a millionth of a second,
and there between the beets and the sunflowers,
was a moment when the temple was temple.
How quickly a thought comes in. Even now the temple
wrestles with its own metaphor, tries to discern its mystery
by disassembling itself into piles of knowable parts—
bricks of meaning, tiles of purpose—that, huh,
somehow, when dissected, don’t resemble a temple at all.

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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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