The Place Where Things Cannot be Measured

Before Assumptions / The Place Where Things Cannot Be Measured: two new poems taking inspiration from the natural world by Cabot Sayles.


Before Assumptions

Before assumptions,
awareness takes me to the furthest limits of the senses.
What are the stars?
What grows in the dirt?
What a spectacle
is this body I use!
All of these things
need not the first glimpse of explanation
before assumptions.
I could baffle you
with ideas of the man who searches the elements,
in his effort to reunite with what was had
simply before assumptions.
No better
would it be
if I recite the teachings of old wise men,
who claim power over their masses through doctored preachings. The only use of language
that returns you to what is yearned for,
renounces the rickety rectitude
of assumptions.



The Place Where Things Cannot be Measured

It is wonderful
to be surrounded
by things that cannot be measured.
No one knows
what colors are grown,
where the unseen is shown
in the place
where things cannot be measured.
Where the letters scramble,
my mind unravels
over oceans.
I travel
to the place
where things cannot be measured,
where there is no up,
no down.
I lost sight of the ground
and how far I’ve gone
cannot be measured.
No limit to love,
no boundary to beauty.
More wonders,
less worries,
not a thing to be measured,
in the place where the water and air flow as one. 


Image credit: Frederic Edwin Church, Aurora Borealis, 1865, Smithsonian American Art Museum via Public Domain Review.


This is part of ROOT MAPPING, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring which maps might help us live with a clear sense of where we are. ROOT MAPPING is conceived and edited by Melanie Viets.


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