Saved By A Poem: Just Now

Saved By A Poem: Just Now

Illustration credit: The Dog and the Shadow by Kailey Lang

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks


Have you ever tried to describe in language an inner experience that is not contained in your five senses? Often when I’ve readied my own pen to do so, the words go flat on the page, as tasteless as the cardboard menu that describes the feast. I invite you to join the poets and mystics in taking on the challenge of saying the unsayable. Choose something precious that you’d like to express through a poem or paragraph. Perhaps it’s your experience of presence, or the light in your child’s eye, or the feeling that comes as you watch the sunrise. Write about it without naming it, but rather by writing what it is not and asking questions, as Merwin does in this poem.

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