by Laura Kaminski

poem honoring, and with lines from, Mary Oliver, 17-January-2019


The complexities were beyond me, I couldn’t

seem to get beyond the split infinitive

and comma splice, the English grammar that

matters so much when spit-polishing a poem.

I couldn’t see the point in layering allusion,


metaphor, and simile so thickly over the top

of a small seed of meaning that it didn’t

stand a chance of sprouting and finding its way

up to the surface through the dirt. Wanted

to write, but had the misimpression: poems had

to always be in fancy-dress, lines always had

to be exactly five feet long. Then your

poems found me, offered invitation: just say

what you mean, best you can, informally, your

readers are your friends, you’re together in

the garden, working, weeding, mulching.


So this is what I plan to do with my one wild

and precious life. Say it simple. Low-growing.

Humble. Don’t so much look for accolades as give

them, honor human becoming and green-tongue leaf

and purple petal. Oh, violets, you did signify,

and what shall take / Your place?

Source: From the Rebel Issue (October 2019)


LAURA M. KAMINSKI (HALIMA AYUBA) grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Editor at Right Hand Pointing, and also serves as Poetry Editor for Praxis Magazine Online, where she curates the digital chapbook / Around This Fire response-chapbook series.



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