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December 4, 2018

The Universe’s Kitchen. {Poem}

Author’s note: This poem was written as part of CV2’s 2 Day Poetry Contest. Once a year, participants are given a list of ten words, and tasked to write a poem incorporating all of those words within a 48 hour period. This was a neat new experience for a word nerd, and connecting with other writers via social media during the contest was wildly fun. The writerly adrenaline was real, and I enjoyed using words that I otherwise never would have.

The Universe’s Kitchen

This commodious heart

beats for many a cause, a being, a connection

longing to slow time to a halt,

intent on lingering within these moments that will (all too soon) become memories.


While she longs for romance—for a frisson to run through her,

Even more than all of this, her desire is holistic

to see the pith of our existence

living, breathing, moving, as one.


While it would be feckless to deny our shared connections,

it is easier to judge than go searching for similarities,

and so we meander through life, as if blind and blissfully unaware.


The universe is a funny thing.

Sometimes she’s a bit of a Pinterest-fail chef,

throwing all sorts of things together in a great big tub,

waiting with anticipation

to see what glorious, delicious, accidents transpire.


She gazes lovingly at her gloopy but effective entrée

as a knowing grin spreads across her nondescript face.


She breathes on the sleek oven door, revealing our roric blueprints.

Glorious works in progress, of lives attempted to be lived well.


If we were to show up in this world

gripping so tightly to our biases and preconceived notions that our knuckles turned white,

what would be left?


No room

to move

No space

to breathe

Our hearts

in cement

Unable to see each other

as anything more than another face.


It is a stark reality—but we do.

we enter battle every day

and even though we don’t know the stakes—we still want to win.

because we’ve been conditioned that way.


We put on our armour: our coifs, breastplates, and invisible metal

clanging with each step.


But what if we began to ask questions of ourselves?

What if we operated from a space of curiosity

about all that the universe is concocting?

about possibility

about connection

about commonality?


What if we questioned our autonomous routines

of putting on invisible armour laden with rust, and harboring fear of our fellow beings?


For if we all entered the kitchen together

We could bake up something magical.

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Judy McCord Dec 31, 2018 3:19pm

Jen, I love the way to put words together so it stretches my imagination into the kitchen with a tribe of new friends making delicious stuff together. You are a gem and a gift to the universe.

Christy Williams Dec 5, 2018 8:25am

I love this so much — except for “nondescript face”. Only because I’ve never seen a nondescript face…❤. But oh, those last two lines!

carolyn Dec 4, 2018 1:55pm

Simply delicious!

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Jen Schwartz

Jen Schwartz is a joy seeker/sharer living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Made mostly of heart, she is a believer in the power of gratitude and lover of the (extra)ordinary. Jen is in training to be a community choir/song leader and is particularly passionate about people, connection, words, and song—and how those things can change the world when combined.  A former staff member at Elephant Journal, you’ll often find Jen correcting grammar in things publicly displayed, thanking the sun for shining, or pointing out lyric references in everyday conversation. Connect with Jen on Facebook or her website.