The stars escape me

And so does the moon

Like a tune that was crooned,

Carried away on a strand of light

Up and folded from sight

Singing on its journey

Into the night.



Galaxies of reason

Tip-toeing lightly between

Delicacies of analysis and treason

Swirl above my head—

Is that logic or

Is that dread?—

Spinning without anchor.



I am inflamed with

The corruption I’ve seen,

Grown thick with the voices

And the weeds

Of all that—

All those—

Who spit regurgitated nourishment

Onto the drums of my ears

Some for a moment

Others for years—

A kind of tournament, or duet,

Composed for

Expectoration and spittoon.



The liquid has drained

Into my brain

Dried and developed

A crusted edge

Like the bristles of a mustache

Or the burnt ends

Of a worm

That lost its will to writhe

Beaten by

The heat of something above

Still alive

Until it was no more—

These roughened edges

Texturing my core.



I feel a throbbing within

But I cannot hear the rhythm—

Come close

If you dare,

“Can you hear it there?

That is close enough,

back away, if you please.

I don’t wish to tease

but your proximity

conjures unease.”



Yet still I wonder—

Now alone—

Is the beating

Simply repeating

As an echo

From long ago

When life was more

Than the sum

Of what I know

Or wish to forget, or

Is there a seed

Planted by an invisible divinity

Wrapped in weeds

Yet in pieces

Breaking free?




What is that I smell

in the midst of

grand lucidity

that brings my knee

to a condescending place

where, like a child,

I search in the dirt

for fragrant ingredients

to add to my culinary treat:

Mud soup,

wherein mud is confusion

and soup is my journey

toward resolving




A bouquet of petals just beneath

Courageously peeking

Over and through—

Illumination seeking—

From planted depths where

Eyes fail to behold

Recollections collected

Like vermin or like gold,

Where spotted or shining

Composted knowings

Blend and then flourish

Into wisdom’s


A fragrance more telling

Than time.



Boldness emerging—

From groundcover swells

I unbury my eyes

Throw them up toward the sky

Where melodies like aliens fly

Unencumbered by weight

Plucked out on strings and strummed

By the fingers of constellations

Tuned to fate—




Identify the mechanism behind

The turning tides

A crescent pulling wide and

Pushing back

While trembling grains of sand are


Crusted edges made soft

Like glass or like frost

On a pane of the moon.



“Nothing is wasted,”

I say to one


And receive from another,

“Not even goodbyes.”

A curious note for him to drop

And still another


Says from atop,

“Looking inward you discover

your story,”

He is interrupted by

a wandering


“Only then

can you offer empathy

in the form of allegory”—

I did not want a riddle


I sought to discern

When a smaller

Eye peered straight through me

With an air of concern,

“You fought with logic

like a sword at your side

but your mind could not


the damage inside—

for that you need

tools from a different shelf:


understanding and

forgiveness of yourself.”



The stars escaped me

So I leapt into their refrain

With a measure of logic

Tempered by pain

I no longer fight

What cannot not be changed

And change what I can:

Thus,  my beating heart was regained.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by American artist John Casey‘s piece entitled, Lunar.