Existential Crisis Over Coffee

Over coffee, my best friend and I contemplate the universe.
Between sips, the questions spill:
“Why are we here? What’s the point?”

“Why does it matter that I paint and you write poetry?”
“For who? For what reason?”

I have no answer to offer, only an unfounded faith
That the human experience is a story, one worth telling,
One with plot, design, commentary – in tender hands,
Beginning like petals of a flower unfurling
And ending with a broken stem, snapped gently, with the kindest fingers.

They say there are sunflowers growing over Vincent van Gogh’s grave.
I can’t say why, but I think it’s very beautiful.

I watch as this poem writes itself,
My fingers along for the ride.
I don’t know why it matters,
Only that, somehow, it does.

vincent van gogh grave


26 thoughts on “Existential Crisis Over Coffee

            1. You will be welcome. I hope all is well with your pod. You know–StL has become quite the tech-start-up mecca–lots of incubators and venture capital stuff happening.
              Just sayin’.

  1. “Beginning like petals of a flower unfurling
    And ending with a broken stem, snapped gently, with the kindest fingers.”

    And is this what the gods have in store for us? For our story? I can think of nothing more poignant, more beautiful.

    I may be asking to borrow this line…for that long piece I mentioned?….it so succinctly expresses something so deep and yet so basic. Something about the dreadful, horrifying gentleness of the gods. Like Rilke’s terrifying angels.


  2. Natalie,

    Been some months away from this world but happy to see you still spinning out the enchanting poetry.

    I believe that the point of writing is to write. To ask how it “matters” is to fall into a line of thinking that always ends badly, at least for me. It also takes you away from the writing itself.

    I am often deeply moved by your poetry. And I imagine that you are pleased at hearing of that, as I would be if someone said that of my writing. But you do not write for me or to create that outcome, I would say. You write because as you put it, the poem writes itself. It is just who you are.


    1. Tom,

      Thank you so much for saying this. It is a great comfort to me – the assurance that we write simply for the sake of writing, and that that is enough. Your wisdom knows no bounds.

      I’m glad to hear from you again, and hope to read more of your writing soon!


Thoughts? I love those.

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