Kathryn Sadakierski’s work has appeared in Capsule Stories, Critical Read, DoveTales, Halfway Down the Stairs, Literature Today, NewPages Blog, Northern New England Review, Origami Poems Project, seashores: an international journal to share the spirit of haiku, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing, Songs of Eretz, The BeZine, The Voices Project, Yellow Arrow Journal, and elsewhere. She holds a B.A. from Bay Path University, and is pursuing her master’s degree.
The ocean sprawls in ceaseless ribbons,
Cerulean and soft as chiffon,
A silky trail of flower petals woven with the sky,
Sun twinkling on its peaks
Snaking, labyrinthine, around the sand.
From here, I don’t feel small, so much as far away,
Like no matter how many miles I tread,
I cannot quite reach the ocean’s ends,
Boundless as Heaven’s expanses.
Always, I want to know, to never be in the dark,
Aligning the stars of my future like pins on a map,
Places visited and familiar, alongside
Locales distant and dream-limned.
I am an itinerant student seeking truth,
Walking with a restless heart,
Expectant, awaiting impatiently.
But beside the ocean
Winding round and round like the threads of time,
Ripples of a dream touch another diamond of hope, never alone
So that if we are stones, casting our lots unknowingly
Into the great pond of life, freefalling.
At least the light of hope warms the wick of faith inside,
Rays of sun flickering across
The earth that winds around,
Every dream aloft, sent with prayers up above,
Beauty and love radiating into the world around.
Beside the ocean, I leave my fears
Like flowers at the altar,
Walking along the winding sandy paths
As far as I can around the water that bends,
Refracts and reflects, wavers and wends,
As though in a glass,
Embracing serendipity as the sun embraces sky and sea,
Light touching every dream,
All of nature’s mirrors
Reflecting the soul back at me.
I may not see the points into the future, where the ocean ends,
Or where I may come to be down the winding road,
But taking a breath, air of salt and sea,
Breathing in joy and peace, I can be free,
Having hope, and letting go of worry
No longer winding around me.
Weariness settles heavily into its chair,
Splaying the fibers of knowing, being, seeing,
All these lenses of reality, splinters bursting the seams,
Until they are caught on the spindles of fear,
Unraveling all that is gathered so carefully in your brain.
The memories, at the head of the table,
Leave their stark impressions like handprints in flour,
Their murmured soliloquies replaying relentlessly,
Threads unspooling in your mind.
They give way to worries, moving their seat like in musical chairs,
In their wake are vestiges of what you knew;
They have a way of spreading doubt like a trail of bread crumbs.
So you scramble to follow the path, finding the way,
But the fears that blur your sight
Make it more difficult to see the stars that light the earth
Delicately as luna moths sweeping through the sea of sky.
Anxiety descends swiftly as the comet
That you’ve wished on in vain;
Rushing like lava that hardens to magma,
Its cold vise grips your heart,
An impossible weight on your ribs,
An unliftable monolith.
So you push your plate away, empty.
Loss of appetite
Makes you feel hollow inside,
Waiting for these fears to soar away,
If only they were simple, airy and ephemeral,
As the summer butterflies,
Cartwheeling as they do around the yard,
Carefree as children,
While you dream of those days
When you were, too.
Anxiety has a way of helping you realize
What matters, finding correlations in the constellations,
Patterns in the scatterplots, new ways of believing, hoping, dreaming.
Sometimes you find clarity amid the butterflies, itinerant points of light,
Fluttering nervously inside,
So after you catch them, collecting yourself,
You set them free,
Rearranging threads of memory
Into a tapestry; because it is your truth, survival and triumph,
It is beauty, frayed threads reborn again.
Pierre Vinclair is the author of fourteen books in French, including poetry, novels and essays. With a PhD in philosophy and literature, he is the translator of the Japanese Kojiki, the Chinese Shijing, the Caribbean Derek Walcott, and the amazing Christine Chia. Vinclair runs Catastrophes magazine and S!NG, a collection of contemporary poetry at Le corridor bleu publishing house. He was awarded the Villa Kujoyama in Literature in 2010 and the Heredia Prize from Académie Française in 2014.
I wrote writing
makes lace with the sorrow
before it comes
coin grief help
cry crystal clear—
but man it came beating
me down yearning
for my coarsest
me in the commonest
hole where men, pans and cows gather and howl
and stuffing lace blotters
with grease witless
you know! pain!