Roethke’s Chaos

writing prompt for dVerse Poets tonight, “Tripping the Cosmos

God had no play in the universe,

we are mere accidents of stardust,

the death of a self is shown such things.

Minds capable someday of seeing

beyond a beginning, a bang, an apocalypse.

Listen to the heavy spheres rotate,

the axis spindle constant, the theory

strings twining

space an airless nothingness

                  dark, dark my light, and darker my desire

our flash of lifetime as dear to God as the star from which we came from

as rudimentary as the vacuums  out there

he gives us vacuums in our minds

where what medicine labels madness, a body labels truth

I know the purity of pure despair,

                                 my shadow pinned against a sweating wall

where what seems a godless, groundless country

holds the answers, a bubble in the brain

losing touch with what is and entering the unknown

the mind

a universe

the mind a star

our bodies space

our souls the dark matter,

the strings

the motion

A man goes far to find out what he is–

                         Death of the self in a long, tearless night,

                                   All natural shapes blazing unnatural light

swallow that

and be in the belly of God

8 thoughts on “Roethke’s Chaos

  1. smiles…this is really well penned…you caught my attention with your open…far too much to leave to chance had to come together to make any of htis possible…and your intalicized words def are ones to chew on…nice allusion to jonah in the end as well…


  2. A well-written poetic discourse. As a scientist and also one who professes faith, I am one of those who believe that there is no contradiction between the thought of God and a Universe measurebale by science, whose natural laws may be the outlines of that God.


  3. Hi Amy – I think you nailed our pal Roethke’s chaos, as much as one can dance on string theory. One would think of Plath’s “The Moon and the Yew Tree” when you speak of the “groundless, godless country,” and yet Roethke’s raptures — your affirmation — is that surrender truly is the only escape, surrender to the “vacuums in our minds” given by the God of godless heavens. Paradoxes swirl here, but the Sufi dance of song — riding out the big wind, carrying that cargo of roses to dawn — is all. We’ll never quite wrap our minds around these things — the heavens, the wheeling of our minds — but maybe that’s the point. Glad you’re still panning for gold nuggets here. – Brendan


  4. this is great amy…esp. loved…he gives us vacuums in our minds

    where what medicine labels madness, a body labels truth

    I know the purity of pure despair,

    my shadow pinned against a sweating wall…. tight emotions here…loved it


  5. Amy this amazing, and I am awed by your ability to weave in Roethke’s words with words of equal power and grace. You speak of that darkness as though you know it well, and I believe it from the resonance that your words sound in my own scrapes with such darknesses. These are words I want to return to and glean the hope that glimmers beneath its surface and cherish it for its light.



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