Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 5: I am (not) the Cosmos

Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll
My Quadrifocals
I’m dizzy with the possibilities of these lenses.

Down home close, the delicacy of parsley seed and small text
for when to plant and how long to wait for germination.
A strand of pink and purple beads on the wrist of the plump toddler.
Paver ants who ferry eggs through sliver cracks.

I lift my eyes

to the photo that carries me from a computer screen
to Palestine, pushed up against the mother cradling a crying newborn
sidewise, peripheral to the yellow Corvette backing out
out of my neighbor’s drive, his pride
the face of a stranger behind me, a woman’s reflection
in the window of a store selling hats.


to the lithograph of a Japanese woman brushing her hair in the sultry fall sun,
her kimono with pink chrystanthemums open on her breast, gold leaf at the hem
toward the white-haired man selling street tabloids about his friend who lost his rent before a rogue wind blew down his gray tent
to the inmate with brain damage who plants a Douglas fir seedling in a soup can

The fourth opens to

a glimpse into the pocket of compassion –– its haloed sliver of insight, lint, torn seam, and softness big enough for a hand.
the puzzles of space between molecules, black holes, the contractions of gravity
and the expansion of infinity
the way the winds of silk moons blow us together to touch as tribes, connected to agree to do no harm, to give each other room to breathe
and set a place for a diety we seldom see,
phosphorescent hope that turns the globe.

Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet whose work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. Her faith is based on the interconnectedness of all living things and nature elements. She talks to crows and trees. Her chapbook Urban Wild came out in 2014 from Finishing Line Press.


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin