Poem of the Week, by Tim Nolan

img_6107A long, long time ago I read Innumeracy, a slender, astonishing book by the mathematician John Allen Paulos, in which he explains how the inability of most of us to deal rationally with enormous numbers results in confused personal decisions and public policy as well as susceptibility to pseudoscience of all kinds. In one chapter Paulos lays out the fact that, on average, every breath we take contains a minimum of three molecules of air breathed by every single person who ever lived and breathed on this planet. I think about this fact every single day. It has influenced every aspect of my life, not least of which is that in times of deep grief, it brings me comfort. Breathe in, Alison. Remember that you’re breathing in some of the same air that every single person you love, the ones who are living and the ones who are dead, have breathed. This lovely, elegiac poem by Tim Nolan, one of a series about his mother and her passing, brings me that same sense of loss and comfort.


The Blue Light, by Tim Nolan

I asked her to come to me
in whatever way she chose

As the wind, as the ruffling
water, as the red maple leaf

So today I closed my eyes
halfway toward sleep

And she came in a blue light
blue as a tropical ocean

Turning toward a darker blue
as the Sun passed

Coming in blue waves coming
in from the side of my eyes

Somehow bathing me in blue—
a blue that seemed to be

Her gaze –turned to blue—
just as she was a few weeks ago

Her blue eyes and mine meeting
in that long long look


For more information on Tim Nolan, please click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s