Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT May 24th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem “Nothing Wants to Suffer” by Danusha Laméris, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write what the stars see while looking down.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

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Please join us for our next session Friday May 28th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


“Nothing Wants to Suffer” by Danusha Laméris

Nothing wants to suffer. Not the wind
as it scrapes itself against the cliff. Not the cliff

being eaten, slowly, by the sea. The earth does not want
to suffer the rough tread of those who do not notice it.

The trees do not want to suffer the axe, nor see
their sisters felled by root rot, mildew, rust. 

The coyote in its den. The puma stalking its prey.
These, too, want ease and a tender animal in the mouth

to take their hunger. An offering, one hopes, 
made quickly, and without much suffering.

The chair mourns an angry sitter. The lamp, a scalded moth.
A table, the weight of years of argument.

We know this, though we forget.

Not the shark nor the tiger, fanged as they are.
Nor the worm, content in its windowless world

of soil and stone. Not the stone, resting in its riverbed.
The riverbed, gazing up at the stars.

Least of all, the stars, ensconced in their canopy,
looking down at all of us— their offspring—

scattered so far beyond reach.



Copyright © 2021 by Danusha Laméris. 
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 9, 2021, 
by the Academy of American Poets.