A book is like a garden in one’s pocket.
Read the story of 1000 Bookmarks.
As I turn and try to cut away
the burls and grain of my weathered heart,
it splits and splinters
at the touch of tools grown dull
from the effort, the repeated struggle to understand
where comprehension has petrified
into hardened knots of ingrown limbs
and twisted roots of why?
A novice am I, no master
of the wet stone and grinding wheel,
leaving my chisels and gouges
unequal to the task of this new art of living
unable to slice through
the density of losses hardened on losses.
Each piece spins off-center today,
the wood mimicking my own
catches the tip of my blade
and cracks, again.
I’ve learned to surrender
and lay down my imperfect tools
when after three hours
instead of the pile of toys
imagined by my inner child
lies a single, lonely, spinning top
and a mound of sawdust.
Like a pebble in a pond
and then nothing—
was how you saw your place
in the universe
which in a purely rational
is true, I’m sure
in this unending vastness
this infinite darkness
that continues beyond
the ability of the mind to imagine
in which tremendous burning masses of light
fail to illuminate and warm
the spaces in between—
a single human life is insignificant.
But within this unending vastness
there are swirling galaxies of wonder
full of stars whose radiance
holds planets from spinning into isolation
and on one of these planets
you were born
of stardust and love and the continuity of existence.
You became for me
the sun around which
this earthly woman found her orbit,
the sun whose rays
prompted the blossoming of this yearning bud
to an open-heartedness
finally able to receive,
not simply to love, but to feel loved
not simply to see, but be feel seen
not simply to listen, but to feel heard
not simply to accept, but to feel accepted.
And even as it has been 365 days, one earthly year,
since the sun that was you
imploded in an instant
this openness of heart cannot be closed
this love unfelt
this learning unlearned,
you have left far more than ripples in a pond
all of which will continue for eternity.
Where there was the reassurance of gravity
the balance to my body’s inertia,
there are now only questions
and loss and boundless space,
it would seem there was nothing
to hold my spinning form
from flying to the edge of the universe.
But instead of careening to the edge of nothingness
I am saved by science
whose law of conservation of energy
has transformed your breathing form
of beating heart and electrical impulse
into the bits of stardust and pure love
as a living embrace
which now orbit my earthly form
being reborn a sun
on this unending continuity of existence
as it simultaneously races onward
and is frozen in the moment of our final kiss.