“The memory. . . is. . . . the belly of the mind”

Amy Jasek


A villanelle from The Confessions

Denton, TX | 35mm film photo by author

A house of thought, for rumination
whose fruit resides in many rooms
where joy and sadness make rotations

The mind leaps up in celebration
witnessing a thing in bloom
stored in thought for rumination

Crowded space of habitation
where ideas are consumed
by joy and sadness, in rotation

Forgetfulness, that conflagration,
hinders efforts to exhume
thoughts for later rumination

Some moments sing in sweet elation
louder than the present’s gloom
joy pushes sadness from rotation

A private world, an inner nation
snug and close as mother’s womb
this house of thought for rumination
with joy and sadness in rotation

I’ve been reading St Augustine’s “Confessions” and the philosophical dialog of it is blowing my mind. I sat in my truck with a reading light while my teen was at tennis practice and made notes on the chapter dealing with memory. The quote that makes up the title of this villanelle is from the Saint’s writing, and the poem reflects my own contemplation of what he had to say. Thanks for reading!