Saturating the All — Paradise Pond, Northampton

There are, amongst the chronic flux of recurring secular miracles,

spaces between the miracles that are equally miraculous. Cases in

point: the lazy wands of industrial hydro-bazookas saturating the all-

female college ball-field; two kayakers forming Aztec consonants

on the assonant lake; a dead tree submerged in water yet still

channeling autumn’s livid embers through its oblivious leaves.

One could go on like this all day if one were only inclined.

The actual miracles are a slightly different animal, so common you

may have missed them now and then. For starters, the fact that

you are breathing is the ultimate Whoa! (as well as cure-all for all

perceived woes). Or consider that you have a mind that is built

to consider things; or that you have been graced with fingers

that can feel your lip; or that you even own a mouth, a hole in your

face through which refreshments and nourishment may enter

and travel deep into your coiling interstices in order to sustain you!

How fantastical is it that you can be tickled by others, let alone titillated

by ideas and images such as her thighs were glowing like a column of eels

         or his chin appeared as if it had never been touched by a peach? There is,

alongside the incessant lassoing of felicities and seizing of sorrows, heaps

of sweetly never-ending nerve-ends and lilac-laced stimuli to lay or lie down in,

and just as many reassuring skeins and flocks and astral keys to look up to.

So as long as you are capable of breathing and tasting and feeling, you might

as well Breathe like a butterfly, who knows a silken all-inclusive secrecy

and little else, and Taste, with sexual exactitude, the perfect food for consideration: that    you are a prominent part of all that illimitable beauty. Coalesce accordingly.

Connolly Ryan is a poet and senior lecturer at UMass Amherst Honors College. You can contact him at