A Pause in Space-Time

The first reading of MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul, dedicated to Sophia, was given to a small invited audience on September 24th. It was a special event—a wonderful poem read to an appreciative audience under a brilliant blue sky with rainbow lorikeets for accompaniment. It was gentle, intimate, and real—a “pause in space-time” that will speak to those who understand why it matters.

Sophia was—and is—a joy and a gift. The poems written for her award are intended as a gift to others in her memory.

MTC Cronin’s Sometimes the Soul is a beautiful thing.

Sophia would wish it to be shared. . .

Below you will find the text of the poem sequence, Sometimes the Soul, and video files of the poetry reading.

Video 1: MTC Cronin’s reading of Sometimes the Soul:

Video 2: reading of Sophia’s poems:

Video 3: “Reminders of the infinite appear everywhere”



for sophia nugent-siegal


Sometimes the soul

just makes an appearance.

Undoes the vacuum

to be born in nothing’s wonder.

Then the soul prays you

so that you may anoint the reply.

Reminders of the infinite

appear everywhere.

With the void in your hands

chaos has less now.

You and the soul

loosen life.

Its little knot.

The little pebble of sorrow

moves closer to the thousand

pebbles in the stream.

Becomes fastened in it.



The hour has departed, memory is an exile.

How light the catastrophe on my back.

The thing that has been killed is being attended

by dogs in the running water.

The moss on the rocks bears the marks of my hands.

The day is wrapped in transparency.

All the detail could be taken for circumstances;

the weight of it falls on us so we hold it.

Like blackened marks, small wings stir the bracken.

The pure chance calls out its name

in introduction.

The angelic.

She will never leave me alone with her.



I put my hands under the roots

and gently lift the tree aside.

Its crown is now

between me and the moon

and the night adjusts its hood accordingly.

A little blacker so that I can not see

how deep the hole.

The gravedigger is asleep

in a chair facing the fire.

The angel sitting on the rising pile of dirt

tells me the truth.

The earth will forgive you

for taking its place.



Are they your clothes

that little pile, catching my eye?

This I ask the angels

before following you into the forest

where we bury our mercy

in God.



The heart in the rock

is comparing translations –

no door to this door.


How inescapable the world,

how incomparable, death –

the jasmine, clinging to the gate.


The mystic has pulled

these four directions tight

for you to avoid the knot.


The rock’s heart is concealed –

how romantic

to be inhabiting Spring at night.



The heart it flooded

flowering white

on the naked doorstep

of earth

where a welder of thorns

and a songstress of the apple

couple –


born there

honey from all the trees

from a wound

in the sand.



I dealt with the quaking.

I prayed you.

A dragonfly, possible only in this

blue prayer, was the day

which anointed us.

Its busy wings

screwed my bones to earth

and courting the river

lifted me into the upper tree

of a root

surrendering to heaven.


Gradually, having dealt

with the quaking

I grew into the answer you gave

when asked if you loved.



Are you going to undress that zero?

Do you know about the knot?


Under your hands, in the gleaming

black trembling, your inner greatness

burrows and begins to myth.


Did you know it was the sand of God

burying you in birth?

The sea rehearsing a deep real blue

to become an alder, not a stone.



A moon which won’t protect love.

Three young drops of rain, though older

than the storm.

Afterwards, I find myself naked

as if the cold snow had mentioned my name.

Night is thrown like a bone

to a barking tomb.

A shining white world replaces another

shining white world.

The sun can destroy a coat

all on its own.



An angel never wakes you.

It slides the moon under your door

as a ship slips out the window

and the waiting continent floats…

Wars, centres of learning, the anaphora

of clouds, shape changed to shape

in the chaos chaos causes to chaos…

Everything beautiful floods into it.

Marvellous at least

though there is no sun in sunlight…

Ahead of you, along the horizon,

the earth sails. His gait, his hat, his

shoulders – a dark lane and wish

bring the dead to life…

But the angel does not wake you.

Simply slips into your mind that old dream.

The one you do not want.



The tomb has a plaque

on which there are no words

but light etchings which resemble

what the fern has said

over millennia to the stone.


Eyeing the cemetery

a moon compares itself to bone

while in place of heaven

a field of flowers

addresses the silence.



In the sunny window

I am dreaming my absence

little by little.

My warm sunny absence.

Decanting noon

into the unowned night.

One long empty night

strung together by days

where I am waiting

on the island of everydays

or exactly at noon.

Sitting in position

and moving

from one place to another

until my chair

moves out of sight.

Why are you burying me?

When does waiting change

from suffering into something else?

© MTC Cronin 2019