R. J. Lambert πŸ”ˆ

Somewhere(s) to Start

Ekphrastic poem from Grimm’s Fairy Tales: The Frog King, John Baldessari, The Broad

Ego prunes softwood branches,
dropped limbs enfold with soil
onto the bedroom garden.
A basin is prepared & water –
weighted on the open windowsill.
Ego submerges each branch
as a boy would hold his dearest friend
underneath the water in a lake,
takes this as seriously as children do play.
Fresh cuttings steep for days & sprout there,
peat packed tight & tucked away.
Dozens more will fill the room.
Ego believes in futures more than pasts.
Ego believes, in time, that he can grow
the world from one good thing.

Author Reading

About the Author

R. J. Lambert (he, him, his) is a queer writer, runner, teacher, and cat dad in Charleston, South Carolina. He was chosen by Kaveh Akbar to receive the 2021 Patricia Cleary Miller Award for Poetry from New Letters and was nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize by The Worcester Review. Individual poems are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, The Ilanot Review, and Superstition Review, and his debut poetry collection, Mind Lit in Neon, is newly available from Finishing Line Press. R. J. teaches writing at the Medical University of South Carolina and can be found at rj-lambert.com or @SoyRJ.