Reception

In every bowl there’s a howl hidden,
a cracked moon, a watery shiver.
In every glass a palace,
in every pot a broth, a salt,
in every beaker a shriek of frantic molecules:
words that alight in the mind
just before sleep, like birds
coming to roost in that copse
that feeds the wild wood
& its one good bowl.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

11 Comments


  1. This one is so fun to say and say.

    I love that first line. I love how bowl hides howl’s owl, makes it ole. Great tug there.

    “In every glass a palace”: unforgettable.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Peter! I only thought of the “glass palace” line at the last minute, but now that you mention it, it does feel like a solid insight.

      Reply

  2. Following on Peter’s comment — The eye rhyme of “bowl” with “howl” amplifies the undertone of “bowel;” and the vowel of “copse” puts pressure on the last vowel of the poem, again reverberating with “bowel.” Bowels as another kind of receptacle for feed and sound. A poem for the autumn equinox: equal spellings for different sounds received by the ear and guts.

    Reply

    1. I didn’t think of “bowel” as a possible undertone… but as a disciple of Rabelais, I’m all for it! Thanks as always for the critique.

      Reply

  3. Gorgeous indeed. I love the cracked moon, the watery shiver. A lonesome enso of a poem. There’s an interesting almost-loop that really makes that metaphor work for me, there at the end of the poem. The way the copse feeds the wood and then the one good bowl almost feels like a circle but not quite. thanks.

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    1. This is the kind of comment that helps me see a poem in a new way. Beautiful, Laura.

      Reply

    2. I had to look up enso, which I should know: a calligraphic circle in Zen Buddhism. Thanks for being such an astute reader.

      Reply

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