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

Judith Roche

Judith Roche

Yesterday, the broken heart of the world
opened and allowed the great rains down.
Sorrow, holding tight, unfurled.

Last leaves lost their grip and swirled
to litter sodden on the ground.
Yesterday the broken heart of the world

was overwhelmed, too sore
to hold. But today’s sky found
light again. Something held tight, unfurled,

forgot abused children, cruelty and war
¬–if only for a minute¬¬– the sound
of the broken heart of the world.

Madly glorious, November warmth curled
down on amber autumn, surprising all around.
Sorrow, holding tight, unfurled.

Today, some pain tore
open and golden sun crowned.
Yesterday the broken heart of the world,
sorrow, held tight, unfurled.
Metaphors of Dust
“We are stardust. We are golden.”

As it turns out, we actually are stardust.
I thought it was a metaphor
of life and space and time.
Apparently, our materials are 13 million years old.
We are star stuff pondering the story
told in the life of the stars.

Our ancestors include imploded stars-
they are with us now, our dust,
we but continue the story
as additions, epilogues, a metaphor
for all that’s been in this old
galaxy, the gravity of time .

Big balls of burning light and time
says the website of the stars.
How many millions of years old?
And we are made of all that dust
I can hardly tell now, what is not metaphor
and, literally, the story behind the story.

We are stardust pondering our own story.
We are spirit and story and caught in time
of existence as metaphor–
for what? That we are stars
and, like stars, will become dust
when we die old?

But it’s so old,
this grand, often told story–
that we are dust and return to dust–
We are an instance of star in story
of rocks, glaciers, carbon-based creatures, stars.
We become the metaphor

and in this metaphor
we are all old
souls, stuff of ancient stars
singing our story
and whatever it says
about our mixture of spirit and dust.

We are the metaphor for the story
old souls swirling in the wind tunnel of time,
spirit and star and dust.
Judith Roche is the author of three collections of poetry. They are “Myrrh/My Life as a Screamer,” “Ghost” and “Wisdom of the Body,” which won a 2007 American Book Award. She is also co-editor of “First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim,” which also won an American Book Award and has edited a number of poetry anthologies.Roche has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several public art projects which are installed in the Seattle area. Roche is Literary Arts Director Emeritus for the One Reel, an arts producing company, and teaches poetry workshops. Her work has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Pebble Review, Wandering Hermit and several anthologies. She has conducted poetry workshops for adults and youth in prisons and is a fellow of Black Earth Institute. She was the 2007 Distinguished Writer at Seattle University.


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