Saturday, November 11, 2017

Flash Poetry: The Candle

I'm calling poems I publish on here "flash poetry," for the double meaning that they may be briefly illuminating, and indecent exposure.


Now, what I have here is a candle.
Some of you may not be familiar
with candles; let me explain:
They are made of wax, they are wick within
and burned, they are light and flame.

What I have here is a candle; Now remember
that the candle cannot see herself.
She sees only the shadows she casts, her
distorted form, she cannot tell that
she sees because of her own light.
She doesn’t know: she is the reason
we see as we have never seen before.

Now remember, what I have here is a candle.
To the candle, the world is melting;
Or rather, she is melting, while the world grows up
around her. How true, she thinks,
that I will only shrink forever. The candle
does not understand, she has
melted before, and will melt again.

Here is a candle.
She wants to hide her twisted body under a
bushel, a cover. She thinks she is dark, even while
she gives light to all of us here,
in this room of the house.

Flash poetry: Dive


To plunge the depth of my
like when I dove on the reef, dove deep to see the life there,
tumbled through pressure to the dancing bottom, waves breaking above, tempestuous, relentless, and I
drew small tube breaths, took a black rock from ocean floor
to sky, pumping arms and aching back and heavy tank and surface breaks--
I held the underside of that rock, flashing Mother of Pearl, in the sparkle sun, and
was happy just to breathe.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Flash poetry: Death and Taxes

Nothing Is As Certain As

Death: like applesauce,
both solid and liquid,
an unlabeled jam jar, a
bagpipe, deflated; an iris
closed before dawn.

Taxes: struggling to spell
your own name, a
broken power cord, a father's
wheezing snore; when you wake up
late on garbage day, and
run to the curb in your bathrobe
and slippers.

Friday, August 25, 2017

a boy walks into a grove: on moving

This week I drove across the country with my siblings, who are the best people ever and drove over 2,000 miles just to drop me off in Boston. (And are currently driving back to Utah!) The last day before arriving, we stopped at the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, NY, a forest behind Joseph Smith's childhood home where I (and other Mormons) believe he saw God and Jesus Christ when he was only 14.

Sitting there, in that holy wood, I was struck by the radical fissure that vision produced in Joseph's life. One day he is an ordinary farm kid--curious, walks with a limp--, the next day he sees God with his own eyes. Sure, he had to grow into his prophethood, he definitely didn't understand where the vision would lead him, but he was fundamentally changed. In his own words, "I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it" (Joseph Smith-History 1:25). He took a risk, sincerely asked God intending to act on whatever he learned, and was never never the same.

I feel like I have walked into a grove. And right now, that feels like a really stupid choice. I'm sitting in a huge city where I know a grand total of three souls, miles and miles from friends and family and my mountains and a valley I know as well as my own body, where I spent the better part of 24 years building a life that I walked away from in a matter of days.

But. This is my hope:

That it is exactly in the moments of complete disjuncture that God imbues the world with his power. A boy walks into a grove. A man travels to Damascus. A virgin sees an angel. A family leaves Jerusalem.

A man and a woman walk out of a garden. And nothing is ever the same.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Chemical and Spiritual

While cleaning out my computer, I found this mini essay from adorable 18-year-old Catie. I wrote it for my Chem 105 class (Dr. Macedone, whom I reference, was my professor), and reading it made me cry, so I thought I would share it with y'all:

“Both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual” (Moses 6:63)

I attended my home ward’s relief society over Thanksgiving Break and the teacher taught on how for every temporal thing, there is a spiritual parallel. As I’ve pondered on that, and as Dr. Macedone’s brought up examples in class, I’ve realized just how true that concept is. Covalent bonds require two atoms to share their electrons, integral parts of themselves. In order to form strong relationships, two people must allow each other to see parts of their personalities they wanted to keep close or hidden. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle says that we cannot predict where a particle is and how fast it’s moving simultaneously. The gospel is the Plan of Uncertainty; we all have agency and are not forced to do anything. But it’s also the Plan of Salvation. Even if we can’t predict the movements of others or ourselves, we know that God will always be the same, ready to answer us with love and mercy. The experiments of Dalton, Rutherford and Thomson are bases for our belief in the modern atomic model. In the scriptures we hear the testimonies of those who experimented upon the word, of Nephi, Enos and Alma, which in turn strengthen our belief in things we cannot see but know to be real. In fact, most of chemistry is a test of faith, of believing what Dr. Macedone tells us to be true. But he also shows us why things are true with experiments that we experience, and so we form our own understandings. What has intrigued me about chemistry this semester is how closely connected the spiritual is to the physical. As I continue to learn more about the wonders of the world around me, I will be able to join with Alma in declaring “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it” (Alma 30:44).