Out of the Mouths of Babes

Monica Devine II

No One Thing

I am searching for no one thing

Not the next best thing
Not the last great place.

Oh, I peruse around for
the best chocolate cupcake recipe
a full-bodied bottle of wine
cheap plane tickets to Florence
a handmade winter cap for my baby love.

Can I say these things?

can I say I’m a hedonist who
adores the earth’s beauty and
little things, like
the gathered buzzing of bees
drunk on nectar

bare feet on a cold stone floor,
drifting powerless clouds, and slow foods?

Can I say, with proper respect
I’m not pushing up against anything?

Defining my space, at war for a cause
drawing a circle in the sand?

can I say the earth is dying everyday?

Will others become suspicious
if I do not join?
will they call me stupid and ignorant
of their god/theory/science?

Will I be thought of less, here, if I say these things?

That the world, our mother
is much bigger than
All our fears
that she will turn in time and
her natural excavation
will plow us under

Can I say this without being despised?

Can I say there is no It?
Can I say Shiva is not It?
Nor Jesus or Buddha?

Nor running marathons, publishing books,
winning the lottery, feeding the poor,
conquering a mountain, surviving illness.

With proper respect,
can I say there is no one thing that will save us

nothing to search for, little to do?
What does it take to fill oneself up?

There are mountains beyond mountains
there are oceans beneath oceans
sky beyond claimed and unclaimed sky.

And do I think because
I push around a
single grain of sand,
I am special?
that I will never die? that I will live forever?

Can I do my work and still be happy?
Can I hold all the beauties and
horrors of the world in my heart,

and still be spacious and loving?

Can I burn for life as well as strife
with reverence for all,

searching for nothing?

With proper respect, can I say there is nothing to save?






Monica Devine is the author of five children’s books, among them Iditarod: The Greatest Win Ever, a former nominee for the celebrated Golden Kite Award. Her adult nonfiction piece, On The Edge of Ice, (about her travels with a whaling crew in the Arctic), won First Place for Creative Nonfiction with the literary journal, New Letters. She composes photo essays and poetry on her blog, Between Two Rivers.

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