by on Jan 15, 2016

When I was small, my world was flat
and the night sky was a basket, woven
from stripped leaves, uprooted grasses,

placed inverted over every space my
feet remembered at the end of day,

creating dark in which to sleep. But
I had my secret: I would peek through
this thatched lid, through small spaces

where fibers shifted, have my glimpse
of the beyond, the realm outside where

it was always daylight, always sunlit,
ever bright. I was too young yet to live
upon a globe, did not believe in what

my elders called the stars.


Laura M Kaminski grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is an Associate Editor of Right Hand Pointing, and the author of several poetry collections, most recently Dance Here (Origami Books, an imprint of Parrésia Press Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria, 2015).

14 thoughts on “Cosmology

  1. Only someone who has looked up at a night sky unspoiled by light pollution can understand how it might be seen as a overturned basket. What a lovely, sheltering image in and of itself. But then you pierce the bowl and go exploring, taking us with you into another place entirely. Love that.

  2. Never too late to read Laura. Her writings are like fresh waters from a Brook. Agelessly she flows with grace and that carefreeness that childhood offers.
    Writing and rewriting these memories is something that may not be revered in a much more bigger scape (at the moment), though they are by friends and colleagues- writers and a few readers who don’t write, but they will in the coming years when the moon retires to sleep to give the sun a space to keep his hot head. They surely will be a barometer to measure how sweet or otherwise our childhood memories are. Poems like Cosmology and others in her Dance Here reverberates love, loss and the musicality of existing as a child in a patrilinear society as Northern Nigeria was and maybe still is, save the fall in living standards and rise of terrorism (which she is now almost free from).

    Cosmology is another revelation (as all other poems in her recent poetry collection Dance Here are) of the fruitiness of growing up as a child in Northern Nigeria, and elsewhere, if all others were to poeticise their childhood memories with the grace with which Laura tells her stories with poetry.

    You’re becoming more than a favourite song, and believe me, soon children would start singing these poems in Nigeria and possibly elsewhere.

    Thank you for this, and truly the poem made me laugh (like you rightly predicted in that mail) and more than that…

  3. Heath Brougher says:

    Laura, you never cease to astound me. Even when the theme is Cosmology you still produce a gem. After going through what you’ve been through and still being able to write with such with brilliance is a True testament to your Genius.

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