SharingPoets@StPaul - June 2021

Read this month's unabridged discussion starter below. And make sure to send your name and email to Fr. Tom Holahan, CSP at tholahan@paulist.org to be included in the discussion group if you haven't already done so!

As we emerge from a pandemic to experience a summer closer to ones we remember, how can poetry be our companion? A poem by Cynthia Zarin can show the way. It names common objects in the poet’s world as well as a strange dream of a loved one. It’s almost as if that dream becomes reality and then, like an arrow the musings find their mark, the poet herself.


Next Day


by Cynthia Zarin

The woodpile full of moths and mice, wood turned to ash before it’s lit ablaze—   at dawn, your dream, a mermaid

with a ticking fuse, slips through sleep’s  bedraggled net, her whipsawed tail        a metronome.

    What’s to become of us? A scant mile off, a tern, helter-skelter  at the low-tide mark, writes its

  question: greater than, less than? Sea foam marbleizes each green wave, Neptune’s    paradisiacal endpapers.

       Last love, the moth on fire, wings charred dun lavender,  butts its velvet matchhead on the mantel.

   If I love you less      let me be that gossamer.


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During April, Poetry Month, the New York Times reviewed “Poetry Rx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life” by clinical psychiatrist Dr. Norman Rosenthal. We all are aware how vulnerable our bodies are, but “the vaccine” does not help heal the heart. A poem, called “a short retreat” by the reviewer, can serve that purpose.


Is there a poem awaiting in this for you? Consider offering a vaccine for the heart!


*** *** ***


Wondering how the naming contest for groups of black holes is doing? Several hundred suggestions poured in to the European Space Agency’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), which will be searching the skies for such objects. The “most creative” names for a group of black holes include hive, asterisk, sock drawer and kitchen sink.


After eliminating good but not popular names like convergence, choir and void, the 10 favorites were: cacophony, graveyard, horde, perforation, swarm, colloquium, disaster, sieve, brood and doom.


The last three have special qualities for me – sieve gets at the drawing and draining away qualities of a black how; brood hints at the secrets still being revealed about the objects; doom, well, that one just expresses the fear we have of what might happen in we get too close.


Whatever you inspiration will be this month, get out night or day and enjoy this much better summer than the one before!

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