Fleeting (2018)

By Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

There is no need for temples … Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.
—H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Today the temple went to the post office.
Of course it wore its mask. There,
it met several other temples, also masked,
some of them in a hurry as temples sometimes are.
The temples joked with each other
about haircuts and lost keys and ripped old shirts.
All day—while working on the computer,
while making macaroni and cheese,
while taking out the cat litter and feeding the fish—
the temple managed to forget its own temple-ness
and the temple-ness of others
until finally, while weeding milk thistle in the garden,
a bell did not ring and a clarity came—
a brief brush with infinity that lasted a millionth of a second,
and there between the beets and the sunflowers,
was a moment when the temple was temple.
How quickly a thought comes in. Even now the temple
wrestles with its own metaphor, tries to discern its mystery
by disassembling itself into piles of knowable parts—
bricks of meaning, tiles of purpose—that, huh,
somehow, when deconstructed, don’t resemble a temple at all.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer co-hosts Emerging Form (a podcast on creative process), is the co-founder of Secret Agents of Change and co-directs Telluride’s Talking Gourds Poetry Club. Her poetry has appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion and PBS News Hour, in Rattle.com and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and on river rocks. She has thirteen poetry collections, most recently Hush, winner of the Halcyon Prize for poems of human ecology, and Naked for Tea, a finalist for the Able Muse book award. She teaches poetry for addiction recovery programs, hospice, mindfulness retreats, women’s retreats, scientists and more. She’s been a storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival and Taos Storytelling Festival. Since 2006, she’s written a poem a day. You can find her daily poems on her blog, A Hundred Falling Veils. One-word mantra: Adjust.

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Bea Lehmann
Bea Lehmann
1 year ago

Hi Rosemerry, I’m glad I chose to read this great poem. I’m looking forward to checking our your podcast tomorrow as I paint 🙂

Ignacio Gomez
Ignacio Gomez
1 year ago


Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
1 year ago
Reply to  Ignacio Gomez

Thanks, Ignacio! So nice to see your name here in these pages!

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