Catherine Esposito Prescott

Accidental Garden

An American Sentence Acrostic

Did we plant a butterfly garden or did monarchs stumble on
the heirloom tomatoes that need pollen to transfer from pistil to
Big job, poor job to pollinate plants, without anthem, without a
bang, without music, an inaudible buzz. Flippant-seeming flutterers
have made this garden more than a green riot. I don’t know an insect’s
intention, but today we have bulbs of chocolate-striped tomatoes,
     fistfuls of cherry
or grape tomatoes. I cannot remember which we planted; the forgotten
are numerous, are prolific, names of species, of genera. Sages say that
we all have consciousness—me, as the one who writes this—and
a butterfly, a green parrot, an ant, a bee, our cat, and every tomato
     plant. Who is
divine—all of us scattered together on this earth like thrown dice—all
accident/all planned—with little more to do than to touch one thing,
     transform another?

The World

The organ is one thing, feeling another. The poet
says the latter must come first, his logic so first world.

In the doctored video, a lion carries a baby monkey
to safety; though false, I want to believe in that world.

What if the seat of the mind resides here? What if thought
begins as feeling, wide enough to hold the world?

Once I felt light pour though my body; it gathered like a flash
mob at my sternum, a brilliant orb, then dissipated into the world.

I can love you and you and you and him and her.
You say love is a sense, a knowing, a complete world.

What is it Rumi wrote about the heart?
Yes, everything—his words, a world.

Picture the chakra a dot, then a bullseye widening to an arena
a city, a country, a continent, then the entire world.

When asked, “How should I treat others?,” the saint
replied, “There are no others.” I sit to know this world.

What is it? A door, a portal? All I know is that when it opens,
I startle toward you like a cat, then become the world.


Catherine Esposito Prescott is the author of the chapbooks Maria Sings and The Living Ruin. Recent poems appear in Green Mountains Review Online, NELLE, Pleiades, Spillway, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Verse Daily, The Orison Anthology, and Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault. Co-founder of SWWIM and Editor in Chief of SWWIM Every Day, Prescott received an MFA from New York University. She teaches vinyasa yoga and yoga philosophy in Miami, where she lives with her family. See http://catherineespositoprescott.com.


Kris Beaver
Catherine Chandler
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Catherine Fitzpatrick
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T. R. Poulson
Catherine Esposito Prescott
Carolyn Raphael
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The Poetry by the Sea Spring Celebration is available for viewing on Youtube as a permanent memorial and tribute to Mezzo Cammin's founder, Dr. Kim Bridgford (1959-2020). Click here to watch.

The 2022 Poetry by the Sea conference will run May 24-27 2022.

My work contributes to the dialogue among feminist writers, historians, critics, and artists to define a space for creative work and agency for women. Through my figurative paintings, I challenge notions about the female body, redefine myths, and recover the lives of historical women. I draw upon my knowledge of art history, symbolism, and iconography to create rich stories about the women I paint. By projecting my own likeness into many of the portraits I create or by using models, I identify with the women I paint and explore my own sense of being an artist and woman in relation to accomplished women across centuries and cultures.

Here we see the pages from my newest artist book, I Wake Again, based on the life of Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet, Elizabeth Siddal. The poems are written by Kim Bridgford, who was a dear friend for 30 plus years. The pages are printed in lithography and the initial letter of each poem is done in silkscreen. The font of the poems is Morris Font. The ink color is graphite. I have reimagined key moments in Elizabeth’s life, such as her birth, her writing poetry, reading, painting, and her death. Each book contains red hair and has been bound by Maureen Cummins.

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