Two poems that are inspiring me lately


Say ‘Wow’

By: Chelan Harkins


Each day before our surroundings

become flat with familiarity

and the shapes of our lives click into place,

dimensionless and average as Tetris cubes,


before hunger knocks from our bellies

like a cantankerous old man

and the duties of the day stack up like dishes

and the architecture of our basic needs

commissions all thought

to construct the four-door sedan of safety,


before gravity clings to our skin

like a cumbersome parasite

and the colored dust of dreams

sweeps itself obscure in the vacuum of reason,


each morning before we wrestle the world

and our hearts into the shapes of our brains,

look around and say, “Wow!”

Feed yourself fire.

Scoop up the day entire

like a planet-sized bouquet of marvel

sent by the universe directly into your arms

and say “Wow!”


Break yourself down

into the basic components of primitive awe

and let the crescendo of each moment

carbonate every capillary

and say, “Wow!”

The Coppiced Heart

By Sophie Strand


Moist-polished oak stumps, wet yellow, freshly

beheaded, inspires me to press my own chest:

The place in me that has also been cut down

to its pelvic resin.


But give it a year. 2 years. Three or four.

And the resurrection will not be a shifted stone

or empty tomb, no. Look for a forest

of tuning forks. Vs of trees risen in the joined

music of strained wind.


All erupted from one trunk. Polyphonies

of leaf and bark and branch. Each

contrapuntal thread sprouted from the sore

spot I thought was surely dead.


Ah! Cut me down to double this desire.

Call forth from my bare trunk, the triplicity

of all I can be. I see it now. With the oak’s

exploded self. There are many of me

growing towards many of you.