Friday, May 8, 2015

Special Feature Collaborative Poem--By Michael G. Smith and Laura M. Kaminski--United States

Discarding Axioms

By Michael G. Smith and Laura M. Kaminski

“discard an axiom” and “take away elements in order of apparent importance” –
Oblique Strategies by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt

Two parallel lines meet as we stand on opposite
sides of this world. You might say we are perpendicular
to each other at that rare juncture in space-time
where and when two things form a singular point,
a pair of invisible hands stacking clouds that scatter
light into double rainbows and sunflowers.

All I know is a fearless towhee flew through the open
door and perched on the passenger seat headrest.
Her tiny claws planted in the soft fabric, she chirps
at the me absorbed in the fragrant verse of you,

at the you crisscrossed by absorption meditation.
Let us erase the lines.

Anchor-points that let her set her chirp-song free,
the towhee’s claws must be the most important
elements. Once released, all the angular directions,
rarity and singularity are mere confluence.

Next to go, folded clouds. Quick to follow, the rest
of the bird (feathers, bold persona) wing an exit.
Colors leave last, an arm of a doubled rainbow
curved around Van Gogh’s riveting yellows.

What’s left now? Is there enough connection
to warm your heart in this last drift of fragrance
through an open door? If we asked Seung Sahn,
the master of discarding axioms, he’d say Don’t Know.


  1. Cool! You guys took "two parallel lines" and joined them cleverly and effortlessly in this super collaboration. A touch of reality, a touch of cynicism and a touch of humor. Who could ask for anything more? Sheri

    1. Thank-you, She Sta! I'm glad you like the poem. Effortlessy? Well, it took some work!

    2. Sheri, thank you so much for reading -- glad you enjoyed it. Also glad to hear it comes across as "effortless" -- as Michael indicated, it was rather a far cry from that. :-) - Laura

  2. Michael and Laura, I concur wholeheartedly with Sheri! This was a WOW collaboration.'A little bird told me' you need to write together more often. I'll be looking forward to more amazing talent from the both of you.

    1. Hi Charlene, Thank-you for the comments and suggestions. My guess is we'll do more together. Be well!

    2. Way to bring the little bird back into it, Charlene! I appreciate your sense of humor and kind words. And it's an honor and a treat to write with Michael -- this poem went places I would never have been capable of traveling alone. - Laura

  3. There should the option of 'brilliant' in the Reactions section!! This is a superb poem, clever and original! Loved it!

    1. Hi Sheikha! Thank-you for the comments! Karen will have to take up your suggestion! Take care.

    2. Thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement, Sheikha. I'm overwhelmed by the reception here at Whispers, and grateful to be part of this community. - Laura

  4. Karen, thank you again for your patience and encouragement as we "erased the lines" to get this one revised and presentable, and thank you for introducing it to the community at Whispers. - Laura

    1. Dear Laura,

      It was my pleasure to publish your intriguing, insightful and thought-provoking poem at Whispers. Thank you and Michael for sharing it at our online journal for readers to enjoy. Hope you continue to be a part of our poetry community.


  5. Brilliant and beautiful in how you dealt with lines and connections. Love the clouds, the towhee, the colors and the cleverness of it all. A wonderful collaboration!

    1. Robin, thank you for reading! While you're here, when you have time, do browse a bit. There's some really fine reading to be found here, and I think some of your shorter poems might be right at home in this environment. - Laura

    2. Thank-you, Robin! Aren't towhees wonderful creatures?

  6. Nice work, Michael and Laura. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  7. Very creative and challenging work. Are either of you a math major? You must have had an interesting time commenting on each other's contribution before settling on the final words. Thanks for intriguing us. Bob

    1. Hi Robert,

      My bachelor's degree is in Mathematics!

      Be well, Michael

  8. Wondrous, this poem is simple wonderful, congrats on your honor both of you!