Marjorie Thomsen is the author of the poetry collection, “Pretty Things Please” (Turning Point, 2016). She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems have been published widely and read on The Writer’s Almanac. Marjorie has received writing awards from the New England Poetry Club and the University of Iowa School of Social Work. One of her poems about hiking in high heels is being made into a short animated film. She recently earned certification to become a Poet in Residence in the Boston Public Schools. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Found Poem: In Times of Stress with Quote from Victor Hugo
Feeding and nourishing
the delicate eye—
parsley seed, rituals, gifts.
The body is briefly heated
before laying down.
The flesh is the surface
of the unknown.
Our bodies may suffer
a calm equilibrium.
To ensure requisite
care, and fragrance, privacy.
*note: Text from Aesop (skin care company) email
Elaboration! A populace!
You’re the ardent and full
Glowing limes or northern skies—
An eyewash for what’s passionless:
Vacuous speakers. Towns without ache.
We should vow
Not to un-see archives.
On the grid of death, you mount clocks
On all walls, put oarsmen
On all rivers. In your plural,
You’re our beloveds. You traffic
In the beautiful and beautiful
Calamity. How do we approach
A first-century Greek physician pulverized
A concoction of seventy drugs with honey,
The pestle like a good thumb
Banging the mortar. The mortal ring you
And you answer—there’s no antidote, no chilly elixir
Or wild animal’s hot breath
To cure or buck the mysterious.
Some say the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it’s over.
*first published in Plath Poetry Project