by e.e. cummings


It would be easy to dismiss this poem because we have to shift our method of gathering and interpreting information. Rather than streaming left to right, and relying on recognized collections of letters that become words by virtue of the space between them, we must be curious enough to find a pattern in the unfamiliar. There are two statements within its bounds. If we could envision the poem as framed art, the frame is


the expression is

a leaf falls

Among many other studies, this poem invokes inquiry thus

  • What is a journey alone?
  • What is a lone journey?
  • What is a journey in loneliness?
  • What is a lonely journey?
  • What is a leaf without journey?

I thank Steve Matuszak for bringing this poem to my attention. In a recent Dharma Talk, he uses l(a as a touchstone to speak eloquently about the study of “self.” Teasings on this poem can also be found at Poem a Day.


What to Trust

Wayward, we trust in identity
Hoping life will bend and
Appease all attachments
That would make real our precious plan.

Try wishing and what-if-ing
Or find peace as right-here-right-now.

Trust only this moment’s arising
Rely on all that is
Unheed prevailing
Speculatives that pretend
Tomorrow exists.