οὐδὲν ἐξ οὐδενός (Greek); ex nihilo nihil fit (Latin) We're told we have nothing to fear from the gods: the universe operates following only the codes of a pre- established science, not the fallout from their bitter wars or petty jealousies. The atoms of what we call our fate are mistakes made from basic human imperfection. How could anyone know the child would one day turn against the parent? How could we know one would drift down- river while the other spent the days weeping into her tea? If nothing could ever be produced from nothing, neither sadness nor happinesss nor unknowing can be blamed for any beginning or ending, nor the long accordion in the middle. Light rises, light sets. At dawn, birds forage in the garden of the house finally abandoned by its occupants. Who knows the real cause of anything that happened? A vessel breaks, spilling its contents— each had need of the other to continue.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She 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 former US Poet Laureate 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; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. 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.