The Sponge

By Joshua Mehigan b. 1969 Joshua Mehigan
None of us understands our story better
than this nonentity, unconscious slip
of nature, nonetheless our common parent
dilating at the bottom of the sea.

The parent, too, of octopus and pony,
of reefs and villages, once it was strange
simply for being not a rock itself—
not rock, but a blank sleep on a rock shelf.

And, deeply sympathetic to the rock,
to sea and sea-dust washing through its skin,
it knows, although it doesn’t know it knows,
that minds and their milieux are all one thing.

Some see its way of thinking; most, not yet.
Still, one day, just by living, all will find
reason enough within themselves to think
the single thought forever in its mind.

Source: Poetry (June 2006).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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June 2006
 Joshua  Mehigan


Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and earned a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Influenced by the poetry of Philip Larkin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Edgar Bowers, Mehigan writes intelligent, morally complex lyric poems shaped by a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Critic Adam Kirsch praised The Optimist in a review for the New York Sun, observing, “Mr. Mehigan is Frost-like in the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Blank Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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