Mary Newell

While Stirring to Bloom

Because of nothingness, we desire to bloom. after Clayton Eshleman

One hand beckons, the other withholds. We stay in balance by not straying too far out of bounds. Do we bloom on this familiar ground where grass in passageways is trodden down? Empty space pulses with photons inclined to carry light, yet we’re dragged toward planetary masses where density encumbers. While stirring to bloom, probe for stillness at the root of motion, a vacuum that laps light in Doors flung open, residuals float away plunge into liminal where emergence startles Receptive to nutrient needs, sense air exchange from green to sanguine lives share the manna of compassion Be as one among many becomings


Title text is from Clayton Eshleman, Penetralia (120).

Mary Newell authored the poetry chapbooks Re-SURGE and TILT/HOVER/VEER (Codhill Press), poems in journals and anthologies, and essays including “When Poetry Rivers” (Interim journal 38.3). She is co-editor of Poetics for the More-than-Human-World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary and the Routledge Companion to Ecopoetics. Newell teaches in the English Department at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. She is an ardent gardener of pollinator-friendly plants. Website