Facebook Twitter pinterest.png  Google Plus

Omphaloskepsis Blog

Sestina for November 3rd

Nov 28, 2010


It helps to know another wakes only to want sleep again.

A baby fed and changed by robots will die for lack of contact

With another warm chest; its heart will forget how to beat.

My mother through wires advises seeing the morning avalanche of thoughts

As one would the dawn ache of a broken hip’s grumbling recovery.

The day is mine to do with but I do not want to do, to rise, to learn to be content.


If the vessel is the answer, and form is the gold, then the trouble lies in content.

Oh no, said a loving woman on a river as the boat engine beat,

As I brooded in nighttime Istanbul, your thoughts

Are the most wonderful thing because only you can have them.  Her contact

With my body took the form of a touch to my arm, but then again,

Anyone moving through space is a theatrical act, or, I add, a recovery


Of scarred brain tissue: new sites, new pathways, new thoughts.

This Wednesday the body of leaves will make contact

With the earth, and the cells of its heart transform, destined not to beat.

The year-mark since a woman in white scraped out the content

Of raspberry jam, of what I called my sea monkey, then wheeled me to the recovery

Room after I sweated and chilled and spat rivers onto the floor in shock again


And again. Humans' difference in sanity is by degree only, our thoughts

A spectrum of illness, the answer in how we take in hand what hurts again

And again.  I know better than to name grief a ladder; I contact

Hands, voice, blood clot as the wheel circles back to touch the content

Of sadness.  She called life concentric circles, and recovery

An act of grace, not theater, or a dance performed to a beat.


The actual quote is a man moving through space is a theatrical act.  Beat

The drum of concern to learn journeys from minute to expansive and back again

Are configured in chemicals that take up or don’t to determine if we’re content

Or not.  The poem a field of constraints, the world a field of triggers, recovery

A field of repetition, the sentence before the belief.  You can train your thoughts,

She insisted, but I know a dream deferred does not explode: its contact


With the living comes in waves, poison rising up in the body, down, up again.

Go for a dreaded run.  Scrub the bathroom.  Then when your thoughts

Ease up, you’ll have gotten the unpleasant chores out of the way.  Content

To believe her is as content as I’ll be.  Little one, it wasn’t time; I couldn’t beat

Out the right refrain, the right tune, the right heart, contact

The right spirit, the right oracle, the right room, the right womb, the right recovery,


The right content for the right form, the right portal bloom to contact

You and maintain the right touch, but knock again, should I find grace in thoughts

Enough to enact recovery like a recital, match my body to your beat.

by Ming Holden

Tags: Poetry, artists
Category: Poetry

Please add a comment

Posted by mary smoot-souter on
hi kate,
it's a stunning photo, the black and white of you and your son.
they are stunning words, thoughts contained, bound by speech and feelings.
my art feels generic, my soul abstract.
keep the lid off, the bag open, as the two mesh and meet somewhere/everywhere in life.
Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.

blog comments powered by Disqus