Poetry Friday: A Poem Full of Nothing


Each month, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes interviews a children’s poet and asks them to leave readers a poetry challenge. This month, Douglas Florian challenged readers “to write a poem about nothing.” 

When Michelle posted this challenge, I was just finishing physicist Lisa Randall‘s new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2015). Some of the science was over my head, but Randall’s theory, that the demise of dinosaurs was caused by “a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter,” is fascinating. To set the stage for the big event, Randall gives a brief history of the universe and the truly cosmic question of how, or if, our universe arose from nothing. Her statement that “A cause implies there must be something” was swirling in my head as I thought about and drafted this poem.

“Full of Nothing”

An empty pot is full of nothing
but space for chicken soup,
bubbling and warm.

An empty box is full of nothing
but the opportunity for a gift,
adored and cherished.

An empty page is full of nothing
but possibilities for your poem,
honest and true.

An empty hand is full of nothing
but room to hold yours,
calm and reassuring.

An empty heart is full of nothing
but potential for love,
a treasure beyond measure.

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

Please be sure to visit Tara Smith at A Teaching Life for the Poetry Friday Round Up.