On the Last Day of the World by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

On the last day of the world, I would want to plant a tree.    ~W. S. Merwin

On the last day of the world, I would want
to feed you. Raspberries. Thin slices of apple.
Peaches so ripe they drip down our chins,
down our necks. I would want to sit with you
beneath a tree, no we’ll climb a tree, no
we’ll plant a tree, yes all of these. On the last
day of the world, I want to give myself permission
to feel exactly what I feel, to be exactly who I am,
to shed every layer of should and meet you
that way. Knowing we have only hours left,
could we put down our arguments with ourselves
and each other and find no energy to pick them up again?
On that day, I want us to write the last poem
together and let the writing undo us, let it teach us
how to get out of the way, how to obey what emerges.
Let’s run outside, no matter the weather, and praise
the light till the light is gone, and then praise the dark.

On the Last Day of the World

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer writes a poem every day (https://ahundredfallingveils.com/), so it’s hard to choose just one or two but this one invited itself here today. The quote from WS Merwin has stayed with me since I first read it – such a generative intention, full of hope for the future. On the last day of the world, how startling to contemplate – what would you do?

In this poem, she offers us raspberries, apple slices, peaches so ripe they drip down our chins. She wants to plant a tree, climb one, sit with you beneath a tree. She wants to meet you just as she is, to shed every layer of should (shedding shoulds – yes!). With only hours left, what if we put down our arguments with ourselves / and each other. What if we let go of all that and just sat quietly with ourselves, exactly as we are.

She invites us to write that last poem together, let it teach us how to get out of the way, how to follow the wisdom that emerges when we let go of the ‘shoulds’. Then we could run outside even in the rain, especially in the rain, and praise / the light til the light is gone. That’s the easy part. Then praise the dark, because both are necessary, both worthy of our appreciation.

Think about this: what might you do on the last day of the world if it could be anything?

14 thoughts on “On the Last Day of the World by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

  1. Such a timely message.
    Yesterday my (poor) psychiatrist raised once again his concern for my need to be in control. Monday I thought I had the entire day to myself, and was so productive in the morning. C had to come home early to do a Zoom meeting with a client, and … there went my perfect day.
    I’ve decided to lower my expectations. I can be sure I have the next 10 minutes alone in the attic with this poem and my first coffee. I can be grateful for that small “sure”, and not place expectations on future “sures”.
    A bit of a segue, but the poem took me where I needed to go. Thank you, Jan! xoxo

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  2. [image: image.png] Had to post on FB Just to let you know I have had septicaemia from a foot wound. Cannot sit at desk. Huge doses of antibiotics seem to be working – at last. GP dressing wound three times a week. Flat, exhausted & sleeping lots. My BP is very high today 200/99 my worst ever!. Very stressful, afraid of a stroke. Starting a new super dooper vasodilator tomorrow. If I blow my brain with a CVA, please remember I regarded you as a dear friend. Back soon when I feel better.Maggie

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  3. I love this poem more than I can say . I try to follow this poet because I admire her so much but I had not seen this poem. So thank you.. You have been on my mind Jan, because Send My Roots Rain got me invited to talk to the National Association of Catholic Chaplains about about poetry as a healing art– and I created a slide that invited them to follow your blog if they wanted to find more poems that would be useful in chaplaincy. I Recently shared your article on poetry and grief with someone who works in a hospital when she wrote back to tell me how much it meant to her. I just wanted you to know that your work is out there quietly doing good that you may not even be aware of!

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    • dear Kim, I am humbled and touched by the idea of this work quietly doing good. I very much appreciate you for sharing this with me. So happy to hear that Send My Roots Rain continues to be out there in the world doing your good work. many blessings to you xoxo

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