National Poetry Month 2023: Day 22

I promise all the poems this coming week won’t be about grief, but sometimes we need those moments of such profound feeling that we break open our despair into lyric. One of my favorite quotes about grief was actually said by Bono: “There is no end to grief. That’s how we know there is no end to love.”

This poem by my friend and colleague Yolanda Movsessian certainly exemplifies that idea.

even roses blossom in the vale
-for Larry Lines

You died . . . for 6 minutes . . . forever stood still . . . with ice splinters in my eyes

my fire had no power to release you
from the beast eating away your insides

or your writhing pain

or your wasting

what is this collection of cells
with vast indigo spaces in between
rotating . . . multiplying . . . pulsing . . . dividing
generating bones organs emotions thoughts dreams


where does this body end and the outer rim begin

when the flurry of ice dancing around us tire and settle
what will they spell

next time Jupiter and Saturn rearrange themselves
and ghost trees shed their barks
You . . . will not . . . be here

I don’t know what the lesson is

when You turn into stardust and ash

I don’t know how to turn disintegration . . . into poetry

all I know

is the Silence

your absence . . . will dictate


the emptiness


Yolanda Movsessian is an Armenian born in Iran who currently lives in Houston, TX. She spends her free time writing, drawing, playing with her camera and plotting ways to steal her daughter’s beautiful velveteen cat. Her short stories have received recognition as the winner of Mississippi Review‘s 2020 prize for best fiction, finalist for Kallisto Gaia Press’ Chester B Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize, and top 3 in the first round of NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge 2021. Yolanda’s writing, art, and photography have been featured in various publications such as Mississippi Review, Synkroniciti, Defunkt, and Equinox Magazines. Collaborating with various artists is one of her passions. Yolanda has collaborated with filmmaker Mitchell Collins on several cine-poems. Their last two projects “waxing gibbous 97% illuminated” won Judges’ first prize at the ReelPoetry Festival 2022, and “even roses blossom in the vale” won the Audience Award at ReelPoetry Festival 2023. The latter has also been accepted into Aurora Picture Show’s Extremely Shorts Festival coming up in May 2023.

One thought on “National Poetry Month 2023: Day 22

  1. Dear Yolanda — You write: “I don’t know what the lesson is

    when You turn into stardust and ash

    I don’t know how to turn disintegration . . . into poetry”

    Yet, you have. I lost my beloved 20 months ago and your poem touched me deeply. I share some of the same sentiments. There is no way to know what the lesson is, but slowly one can feel less empty, filled with the memories of love, filled with the poems you write.

    Thanks for your poem,
    Sandi Stromberg

    Liked by 1 person

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