Monday, January 21, 2013

This Book

This book is a paper sailboat careening into the spires of cypress knees.
This book is a barn burning, erasing the beams that stood in front of the big yellow moon.
This book is a microscope, rescued from a box in the attic of your childhood.
This book is a tender young beech leaf yearning to know the sun.
This book is a grandfatherly archetype, playing games with magic in the middle of the night.
This book is a wanderer. It likes to go places without names, places in between the places on the maps.
This book is neither a telegram nor a text message.
This book is a skinny bear emerging from the grotto in the forest, hungry for grubs and cat food.
This book is an alligator’s leg pushing away from logs in the courtyard pond.
This book is a wild thing trying to be tame.
This book is something like a mystery or a riddle. Its pages are neither gray nor blue. They carry a texture like depth, a seriousness that gets behind language and shoves it around.
This book is a foxtail with a bristly tip, given as a gift.
This book is a cloud of brown-headed cowbirds full of corn and winter.
This book is a travelogue, a clumsy try at keeping track of all the ways to talk to people in between the towns of Appalachia.
This book is a city skyline bristling with bridges.
This book is a bridge tagged with blue.
This book is the furl of tarpaulin beneath the bridge, a rectangle of chill in January.
This book is a labyrinth, a web of careful bricks edged with stiff tufts of leftover grass.
This book is an empty suit of armor on display in a place where no one knows its story.
This book is a carpenter’s cat’s paw with nothing to nudge loose from beams or siding.
This book is the slender bleachy jawbone of a fox or dog, found settling into tar on the traintracks near Talking Rock Creek.
This book is a mug of jasmine tea, remembering how sweet it was to be a flower.
This book is the place where poems go to be alone when no one wants to read them.
This book is a monocle, always hot from starting tiny fires in checkout lines.
This book is the big old wind that tears down limbs from oak trees and sings to itself in the cove.
This book is cousin to the Eastern Forest Field Guide under the seat in the truck.
This book is a superhero’s diary, full of hyperbole and mischief.
This book is the unwritten thing that has no synonym, no nomenclature to show itself to others. It sings its little song of consolation. It whistles past the graveyard in the moonlight. It is a cliché, a cannonball, a memorized stanza from high school, an excuse, an homage, a playground, and a whisper. It got lost once but found its way back with nothing missing. You looked and looked, expecting to see a chunk of font cut away from the middle with someone’s tiny scissors, but everything was there, all the words that courted you and made you write them down for some unspoken reason you aren’t sure exists.
This book is all topography, all raised edges showing you what to see and how to get around it.
This book knows your name but won’t say it.
This book is the last story you’ll ever need: a simpleness, a foundling, a caress, a stumble, a woodsplitter, a pillow, a koan, a dream half-remembered in the morning, a plate of scrambled eggs with lots of pepper, an afterthought, a raincoat, a weathervane, a kiss.

-----©Laura Sorrells 2013
all rights reserved


  1. Your writing. You feel it in your soul...don't you?....Not your words...not the things you say.......but THAT.......yes, that ONE....the connection.....the golden thread that is beyond words...just an intuition, kind of, like a friend, or that wood burning stove you mention.
    You sound well, friend.

  2. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  3. Robert---yes, yes. Thank you both.

  4. This whole piece is beautiful. I most relate to the part about the people between the towns of Appalachia. I lived there for a few years. Relating to them does take a special sensitivity.

  5. Thank you. I suppose so, deepr. that just came along, that line.

  6. it's experience and all that is the shadow of experience, the truth that resides just on the other side of our time.

    this is stunning, laura.))


  7. Thank you, Erin. I so appreciate that.


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or