Transition Poem 68 @ Jan. 15, 2017

Sharon Mesmer

A student asked, “When times of great difficulty visit us, how should we meet them?”
The teacher said, “Welcome.”

— Buddhist saying

Welcome subsiding of light
Welcome turning of the year

Welcome unexpected conclusion

Welcome abyss divulging its form

Welcome darkness that is another sun

Welcome all we are about to lose
Welcome all we are about to gain

Welcome sitting with all that is difficult

Welcome climbing the ladder of the spine
and drinking the breath in in a single sip

Welcome no thoughts

Welcome many thoughts

Welcome wound that never heals

Welcome event horizon where familiar things disappear

Welcome age of chaos

Welcome carefully choosing words so as to not tell everything because
certain things lose fragrance in air

Welcome loss of words — in a little while
there may be many

Welcome no words

Welcome many words

Welcome all that is difficult

Welcome all-consuming weariness

Welcome familiar joys tinged with bitterness

Welcome reversal

Welcome moment when something new appears
Welcome unknown frontier that forces us to become
more than we ever were before

Welcome all that is difficult

Welcome turning all mishaps into the path
Welcome driving all blames into one
Welcome being grateful to everyone

Welcome new poem that some will dismiss
Welcome new poem that some may misunderstand

Welcome new poem written quickly wherein I say
“Welcome, new future of which I am not afraid
for I have already looked into the abyss
and am prepared for light”

Welcome subsiding of light

Welcome returning of light

Welcome turning

Turning, turning

To light


Sharon Mesmer is the author of Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place (Bloof Books, 2015), voted “Best of 2015” by Entropy. Previous poetry collections are Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2008), The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose Press, 2008), Vertigo Seeks Affinities (Belladonna Books, 2007), and Half Angel, Half Lunch (Hard Press, 1998). Four of her poems appear in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (second edition, 2013). Her fiction collections are Ma Vie à Yonago (Hachette Littératures, Paris, in French translation, 2005), In Ordinary Time (Hanging Loose Press, 2005) and The Empty Quarter (Hanging Loose Press, 2000). Her essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and the Brooklyn Rail, among other places. She teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs of New York University and The New School and lives in Brooklyn.

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