Monday, May 13, 2013

Jason Shinder: "Alone for the Fifth Day"

When I look at the ocean for a long time, the blue

and restless driven waves, I keep looking, I keep looking,
I keep looking at the waves swaying in the wind

like a metronome, wired for the sound of a sleeping heart,

and I keep looking with the silence of the sun
on the windowpane, and I keep looking and do not stop

looking deeper into waves as if into the middle

of a woman's body, where the soul and spirit
have no human bonds, and I begin never to turn away

from looking though I am frightened but keep looking

beyond what I know until I can hardly think or breathe
because I have arrived, with the need to be me disappearing

into the beautiful waves, reflecting no one, nothing, no one.

"Alone for the Fifth Day" by Jason Shinder, from Stupid Hope. © Graywolf Press, 2009.

Photography credit: Unknown (originally color).



  1. Hello Phyllis,
    I found this lovely blog just a few months after you had decided to end your multiple year gift of daily poems and reflections. I am working my way through the collection. Sometimes I share one with someone. I wonder sometimes, though, whether you must sometimes feel that you are continuing to curate comments if not verse. I wonder if comments coming in long after you had stopped your daily offerings, never mind whatever effort it takes to keep the site open, might represent an ongoing burden for you. I enjoy the community aspect of posting comments but I can easily savor the collection in silent gratitude.

    1. Dan, I'm very glad you found the blog and are enjoying it. I'm happy to curate comments. It's dear of you to ask, though.

      FYI, next summer my co-editor and I will be publishing through Grayson Books a print anthology that includes many of these poems and much more. Perhaps that will also be of interest to you. Watch for an announcement here and elsewhere.


      Deep peace,

  2. That book sounds like a nice gift for a friend. I'll look forward to the publication.
    Warm Regards,


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