Poetry

Nicholas Samaras

There Is No Spoon

[The exact phrase refers, more precisely and more broadly, to a utensil]

Solitude is only unhealthy when you fear it. 
Without fear, solitude is the pinnacle of health.

Everything the world offers is pure distraction.
But at the center of everything is a silence

that, made real, is stillness. One stillness,
the one goal. Then, facing. Then, faith. 

We breathe and die, at the same time.
But we are dying, proceeding to living. 

I stopped long enough to feel myself alive.
I stopped briefly enough to proceed to living.

History is never impersonal. History is always
personal to somebody. Rather than bend 

the world, I bent myself. Now, my bones 
are not runes to interpret. I was only the echo 

and not the sound, the simile that pointed
to the metaphor. We were the many solitudes

that wandered in pilgrimage, through exile, 
through choices, to the one solitude, the one

genuine stillness of knowing. 
All the books of the world can’t contain

what was said. You are in solitude 
all the time, and you are not alone.