Editors’ note: This is the first of a four-poem set submitted jointly by Justin Evans and Jeff Newberry. We’ve opted to publish one poem on each normal publication day, over the next week and a half. Their bio will be included in each day’s installment, and we’ll also include links back and forth to each of the poems once this series’ publication has completed.
FOUR EPISTLES (Part 3), Jeff Newberry and Justin Evans (February 7)
FOUR EPISTLES (Part 4), Jeff Newberry and Justin Evans (February 9)
Letter to Newberry about the Act of Creation Dear Jeff: It begins with the word of God, a whisper set loose into the wind even before earth, cloud or rain were made. How? All things are possible through God and the act of creation can, like a mustard seed, be impetus enough if expectation can be reined in. As a child I tried planting acorns near the Union Pacific bridge waiting tirelessly for something to grow, but nothing ever came of my labor. I find poetry to be much easier, within my reach, language more pliable than germination. Perhaps it is because language is still in its infancy compared to the evolution of plants which has had 450 million years to take root on land alone, and the appearance of flowers some 200 million years past. I wonder what small seed God first planted inside the mind of man to spark the flower of language. Was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil the beginnings of organic, creative thought? Is that why God forbid its consumption; why Lilith left Adam; why Eve was made from his rib? Not all of my theological questions are so easy. Some of my questions gift me sleepless nights staring up at the cosmos, stars shivering in atmospheric turbulence. Scientists estimate we can see some 6,000 stars on a clear night, each a seed of light no matter what telescope we try to use to get a closer look. When I write a poem I feel like I am looking at a star, trying to define it as it constantly withdraws deeper into the ever-expanding cosmos. How far will I end up going before I hear what God has to tell me? All the best, Justin