Petition to Fullness

Heart grown gray, heart
tressed with care: tell me why
the bowl never seems to fill
though I’ve poured all the sweet
water I could find, countless trips
through the years— And winters,
I’ve cut off my hair and bartered
its gloss for coin to line it with broth
or glistening fat and the russet
of vegetables grown rich in the soil;
and in summer I’ve waited beneath
the trees to catch what gleanings might
thicken, of wood thrush or cardinal
song: but still you will not eat—


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← DefenseHeart you Want to Lead in from the Cold →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

6 Replies to “Petition to Fullness”

  1. The trick is to be full, tho just passing thru
    each of those things
    whole in their own instant
    while the heart regrets its own briefness:
    sees trips, water, coins, fruit
    tho not the swift dip of moths,
    nor hears the small breath of flight,
    feels the cool touch of gold on clay
    the gift of its glint left on the
    walls of the bowl by
    your panning heart.

  2. Heart grown gray, heart/tressed with care: tell me why/the bowl never seems to fill…/though I’ve poured all the sweet/water I could find, countless trips/through the years—


    By the time I fill up to the brim,
    I ‘d have coughed up sediments
    of crushed stones, jagged pebbles
    and the craw-sticking bone chips
    that remain from downstream
    sieving for the one golden nugget
    that was never there. I thirst still.

    But the summers of our pine city
    refuge have come and gone, too,
    with our windy spaces, now left
    as frozen wind tunnels when you
    abandoned the cone-strewn trails
    for your will-o’-the-wisp: a full
    bowl of nectar laced with laughter.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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