E·ratio 11 · 2008



E·ratio 11 · 2008






A Writer’s Metanoia


  by Mary Ann Sullivan






In the beginning was the word

and the word created

the deep in me

a formless void

dark covered

with darkness

only the word was there,

in black shadow hovering.


Then there was light in me,

which the darkness vied

but could not overpower.


And I saw the light was good,


And I watched the word

divide darkness from light

and name them.


So it came, my first day.








In shadow and light

I flowed endlessly

until the word

vaulted and clove me

into two parts:

                     the depths

                     the heights

the second day.







Then the word established

land in me.

firma terra

earth on which to settle and be constant

and in my stable ground,

the word shaped trees

that bore fruit

with seeds in their very middles

and plants and flowers sprung up,

red, yellow, green, blue

all with seeds, seeds!


Ground and life

the third day.








Then the word said,

“I will conceal infinity from you.”

It made separate lights,

one hot orb for day

and at night a moveable circle

which grew like a white thought,

then faded to silence.


And stars were made

to sparkle me,

reminding me,

“There’s a festival today!”

They made me forget the boundless.


Steady the sun, the moon,

  the stars, beat their rhythm,

                 the fourth day.








Then the word created

birds in me

some that hung on wind

some that closed their wings

to dive for prey

And it made creatures that moved

in my depths:

leviathan, and clawed shells

that crept on the bottom

and simple swimmers

wearing flesh of gold

and green and grey.

They multiplied

And I was afraid

the fifth day.








But, the word would not stop.

It pulled from my deep, black core

hooved creatures, serpents

and beasts

howling and digging.


Trembling, I ran through

this creation and cried out

like a poet in a stone tower,




“What hurts the soul

My soul adores.

No better than a beast

upon all fours.”




And, desolate, I crawled into

a cave of earth.


But, the word found me

it said, “What are you doing here?”

It took me into the world again

and formed me into the shape

of itself.


Yet, I was the dust of

 a soft pencil

Thin, frail letters on a page


Until the word blew gently

on the edges of my letters,

my symbols,

my signs.


I was a word holding creation


I did not cover my face like Elijah

I called out like Tieresias,

like John from water:


                           the sixth day.








On the seventh day

The word rested in me

      and blessed me


I would be a master crafter

delighting in the word;

day after day

at play in its presence

at play everywhere in its world.







What hurts the soul from “The Lady’s First Song” by W.B.Yeats





Mary Ann Sullivan is a Doctor of Arts student at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.  Her first novel, Child of War, set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was named a Notable Book in Social Studies and favorably reviewed in The New York Times.  Her e-chap of poems and drawings is called Mending My Black Sweater and is published by E·ratio Editions.


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