Saturday 14 January 2023

Three Poems by Amanda Erin Miller

The Past Is Here


The past is here in lands and oceans that have witnessed innumerable cycles of birth and death since the dawn of time.


The past is here since the sun has risen every morning and the moon every evening, inviting all beings to bask in their glow.


The past is here in ancient mythology we still read to ascertain meaning, in elemental rituals we still use to mark time.


The past is here in borders birthed by bygone wars.


The past is here in the structures we inhabit, the sweat of long dead workers fossilized inside brick, concrete and stone.  


The past is here in our DNA; reincarnation with every new generation.      


The past is here because not a day goes by when I don’t see my father’s face fully alive in my mind; if only he’d had the courage to live.


The past is here because I found my courage to live the day we put his body in the ground.


The past is here when I rest my hand against my chest and feel the rhythm of the same heart that beat inside my mother long before I could breathe with my own lungs.


The past is here when I run my fingertips along the knotted muscles between my ribs re-telling myself the story of how I am still alive.




The nature goddesses have transmogrified into a 

halo of fairies, their gold-flecked wings flitting about 

my crown, crooning lilting lullabies to elicit

a listen from my listless tympanum, delivering this restless 

reckless message: I want you/I need you

before it’s too late; time is running out. 

You: an unfettered unburdened unborn 

non thing, no thing, not even a spark;

a tiny ripple in the pool of my imagination.

If the goddesses successfully sing you into

the cradle of my womb,   

rock-a-bye you until the bough breaks, 

hurdle you onto a scorched earth that 

doesn’t want you/doesn’t need you, 

(with horrors that will break you), 

despite my most heroic efforts, nothing I say or do

will prevent you from one day falling into the inferno

on your knees, face in the embers 

pleading with the goddesses for an answer to the 

litany of whys that gnaw at your heart.



The Amethyst Forest


In the amethyst forest

A crystal haven, 

Milk thistle palace.

Humans have sought refuge for

Thousands of years.

On the outskirts, there's a sapling 

With a montage of extinct animals

etched into its trunk.


Mighty mycelium

On a most noble mission to

Weed, detoxify,

Clear space for

Roots to link arms with roots,

To nurture and maintain foundation,

Seek psychic connection’s water

And spiritual expansion’s light.


Check your schedule—

Let's find a mutually agreeable time to

meet in the amethyst region of forest

Lay our flesh down upon the cool earth,

Reach our hands in and through.

Amanda Erin Miller is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Amanda’s nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in The Rumpus, Freerange Nonfiction, PEN America’s Temperature Check: Covid-19 Behind BarsSylvia, Hare's Paw Literary Journal, Fearsome CrittersQuaranzine: Art in IsolationChortle, Cratelit, So Long: Short Memoirs of Loss and Remembrance, Underwired Magazine and other publications. She is the co-editor of Words After Dark: A Lyrics, Lit & Liquor Anthology (2020) and author of One Breath, Then Another: A Memoir (2012). Since 2012, she has produced Lyrics, Lit & Liquor, an NYC literary and performance series. Amanda serves on the Nonfiction committee for PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest and has toured her solo shows to festivals in the U.S., Canada and Scotland. 



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