Words, like stars 
linger above, offer a dream 
of unvarnished truth

                and  moira

vie to make sense of gases collapsed 
into an endless static point 
upon which we may pirouette

                 perigee    or

some word, please, to clarify
the force of our orbit, clouds wailing 
around our ragged chunk of dirt
                   or	sapience

give us a means to describe light
as it pushes up, shattering
reforms in infinite strands

          refractometry	      and	
a fusion of tongue more precise 
than the religious texts that send us 
hurling away from each other


lexicon, help us to locate gravity, 
to converge upon ourselves, 
into meaning

   -this poem first appeared in 
    When The Muse Calls: Poems For The Creative Life, 
    an anthology edited by Kathryn Ridall.

-- Kirsten Neff
Prayer in the midst of mourning
when we pray, remember
praise life in the midst of death
remember Shiva, the destroyer who opens new pathways
praise the sacred and the ordinary
in our lives
pray there be abundant peace
a good life upon us all
remember Shiva, the cosmic dancer
do you remember
father's patent leather dancing shoes, mother's
blue dress spun from morning sky and comets' dust
they waltzed and fox-trotted evening until dawn
in days before we were a glimmer in their eyes
they danced new pathways
rising and falling together
in new creations, we live
toil and sweat, eat with joy
and lick our fingers
we drink and burp, we laugh till tears
fill our eyes, fall into our beds and sleep
old habits fall away
we rise once again with new eyes
a new day, a new garden
bless life
in the midst of death
may heaven comfort us in our mourning
may there be abundant peace
and a good life upon us all

-- Jennifer Tardy