Thursday, April 1, 2010

Community Poem IV: Bibliomancy

by the Community

A stream of images that come to persuade, to sell, to entertain, and to teach.

“Aunt Mildred!" she'd say. "How perfectly nice to hear from you."

Through endless cycles of love and pain, we all eventually surrender.

A tablespoon of coriander leaves, very finely chopped

I was terrified that the verdict would say, essentially, Cause of death: maternal oblivion.

Suffering does that, to compel us to eliminate the unnecessary, the trivial, the superficial.

Maybe it's time to press 'stop' and focus in the One who understands your suffering and can free you from your guilt.

We are the only ones who know what wakes us up and what puts us to sleep.

It’s important to remember that people grieve in different ways.


about the poem.

There is an ancient form of divination called bibliomancy, or telling the future by books. A passage is picked randomly out of a book, and said to hold the future for the person who randomly picked the sentence. Contributors were asked to balance a book that was important to them in their grief journey. It could be a self-help book, the Bible or other religious text, a grief manual, or some silly mindless book that got the person through some tough times. Jess from After Iris took the lines sent in and constructed this divination poem for this month's community poem.

The lines from the poem come from the following books: Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg; Simple Prayers For Complicated Lives By Jennifer Philips; Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis, PhD; An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken; Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell; Angelic Inspirations by artist Toni Carmine Salerno; Real Food by Nigel Slater; the Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chödrön and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris.

about the contributors.
Contributors by their on-line pseudonym or real life name include: Rachel, Katrina, Jill, Angie, Sally, Carly Brooks, Michael, Jenni and Jess of afteriris.


  1. This came together perfectly. We should try this again another time.

  2. Great job on putting all of those bits together! I love how it came out.

  3. that's a little piece of genius, jess. love what you did with the lines. xo

  4. Yes, let's do it again. Jess, you did great with the final poem.

  5. Wow, it's perfect. I would definitely contribute to one of these again!

    Kat @ In Dylan's Memory

  6. This is BEAUTIFUL!! I had no idea how you would make it all come together, but it is amazing!!

  7. Wow that is wonderful! I'm so glad I contributed. I really loved this one!


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