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Mary’s story: 9.00 Universe Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.
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When I heard about “carry a poem” my first reaction was, why carry a poem?  Poems are dialogues, multi-threaded; they are experienced in the moment, whether read, visually expressed, or in performance.

Then I realised I always carry a poem, usually as a song, in my head.

Then I realised I also, literally, carry a poem everywhere I go.

The poems I carry in my head change every day. Sometimes they are a few kind words, worn like a comfort blanket. Sometimes they are snatches I’ll worry over on the bus: What if…? Does it really mean…? (Just words…?) Sometimes they are, really, a song; old or new, recently heard or partly remembered, an accompaniment to the journey: a love song, a pop song, a walking song, a skipping song, a story.

The poem I always carry with me is a found poem. I clipped it from a TV listing years ago, and it’s been in my diary ever since.

It is very short. It reads

9.00 Universe

The birth of a star is one
of the most beautiful and dramatic
events in the cosmos, whereas star-
death is an event so violent that it
creates a hole in time and space.

To me it expresses everything, in miniature: a scrap of print, of pop; black and white, yin and yang, life and death; enormity and fragility. I recognise both the sensation of vivid creation and the all-encompassing void; endless birth and rebirth.

Stars are bundles of energy, connectors, points on a map (even if the map is really only a question mark). When we lose our star, what next? We can only keep going until we reach the next point: part of the pattern.

I return to this tiny fragment when I am happy, and whenever I am down. It always reminds me of my place: my scribbled sign, my note, my mote, in our wide wide worlds.

Mary Hutchison is an an illustrator, e-learning/web designer and developer