The Alchemist

This poem is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It’s a perfect form Petrarchan sonnet, and a poem that was adapted into that form from free-verse after I realized I had written 15 lines in something approaching iambic pentameter and with a very obvious question/answer.

It was originally published in Riddled with Arrows issue 2.3, Objects and Artifacts, in November 2018.

“The Alchemist”

No pointed hat nor sweeping robe required,
Nor lonely lamp-lit tower stabbing sky.
No pedant’s cant, archaic chant to ply,
Nor pestles filled with mortared coal expired.
The iron discipline of midnight fires
And winding dark roads walked alone, though, aye;
Unflinching yen to face the truth of why,
And burning will to manifest desires.
All I need for alchemy is my quill
And paper blank. I dip it in my vein
Of sorrow, let my sadness over-spill,
Transmuting into words my darkest pain.
A minor compensation for my ills,
To pages, not my soul, leave thusly stained.

-Elena Nola

“You Are the Commodity, Your Time Is the Coin”

Or, “It’s OK to Simply Be Sometimes”

Everyone in the world keeps asking me for my attention
My time for their words, idea, perspective
My focus on what they made
Because they hope to change me
Some days I feel willing to be changed

But lately all I want is to heed the call of the dew on the garden
Still in shadow from the rising sun
To sit with the birdsong
And the warming cloak of silence
And let myself stay exactly as I am
-Elena Nola