Kay Mullen, "With Intention"




If I could see with heron eyes, 

count cells in a sandalwood chip,

or cups it takes 

to fill a dune, if I could fathom 

universe depths, distance 


between stars, or imagine 

the world in a pinpoint of earth, if I

could answer a kingbird, 

or a shadow’s silence,

I would know parts have power 


to soften the riverbed, the peony air,

last rays of sun on the peach

before it falls.

As for the onion, who could question

the tissue-thin spheres


or the bottle fly’s metallic blue?

If I could envision the moon 

from its darkest surface, the sun’s

fiery tongues,

or hear the murmur of wavering lights


dance over snow in a northern 

night, then I would know the sea

and spirals of clouds

pursue their own destinations.

The skein of years unravels


in the blink of a minnow’s eye.

In a breath, the whole appears 

out of nowhere, 

all bundled with intention

and the honey-work of bees.


Kay Mullen's work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.  She teaches at Catherine Place, a center for gifted women in Tacoma and offers Poetry on Loss workshops. Mullen is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Even the Stones (Caritas Communications, 2012).