Playing favorites

I’m asked my favorite poet…

How can I answer?


There are too many poets I don’t know.

There are so many stars

And I barely know the one nearest me,

   Cannot even look upon its radiant face…

   … until its light has bounced through a billion prismic cells

       and shines through mine as me.

How can I name my favorite poet?

Everyone is a universe and my eyes are dim.

If I were to name my favorite poet,

It’s the one I know this moment,

   The one in whom I recognize myself.

And the more I know myself to be everyone and everything,

   The less I can name any favorites….

But if I were to name a favorite poet

—among the few poets I know–

Today it would be Rilke.

In his voice I first recognized my own.

Before that, I knew myself only as

the nameless one between the raindrops…

and within the fire… space… light… sound,

and especially

   the infinite,



Truth be told, I could not even know that

–in human terms–

Until the Radiance was molded into words,

   Muted in the shade of this other soul,

     Between whose words echoed my own.

Everyone is a poem,

And each speaks with the breath of One Poet

   Who favors none.


M.L., New Mexcio,  August, 2016

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