Helen Blum ≈ Two Poems





Not all growth takes place in sunlight.
Moss grows on the north side of trees.
Open a fridge and find furry fungus on rotting food.
Or sit in the dark at a meditation retreat
and watch compassion bloom with suffering.

Fruit ripens in the dark.
A snide remark can cause a mushroom cloud of thoughts.
Yes, sunlight is lovely with its brilliant jungles of wild green.
But the shadow knows where the body’s buried,
where the tears are shed, where the heart once cold
can rise from the dead.

Pain doesn’t plan to fly into panic, doesn’t
try to stifle the cry
that grows in the gloom of  the gut,

In the dead of winter on the darkest day
leaves are plotting when to sprout
and sap is slowly rising.

Plots are hatched in the dark and new life
sparks in eggs sat on by brooding hens.

New love grows by candlelight.






It shouldn’t really surprise us that

underneath the fur, the fleece the skin of us we are

a pulsing pulpy mass of red blood, flesh and bone, gore and guts.

Whether the surface is feathers or freckles we are

a whirlwind of instincts and raging heartbeats of survival

We are alive and messy.

Therefore we are.


The stars look down and see

the thermal patterns of earth’s creatures

shifting, lifting, adrift in the rifts of our crust,

the boom and bust of us who

set our sights on the stars of the night,

for their unwavering constancy is just

what our fancy needs to pull us out of the mud.

A bud on a bush can do that too,

can stir our blood, but spring sun

can also melt the snow

to show the crud below.

It shouldn’t really surprise us

that underneath the lust of us is just chaos.

The lesson of rawness brings the test of truth.

The truth of lessoning brings the decline of time.

Trust can’t be timed.



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