For When People Ask (Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer)

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer is an American Poet. She has roots in Colorado. I was introduced to her writings through a few friends.

In the poem below, For When People Ask, I so love the way that she points to the need for words that mean many things at one time. I love the way she points to a more complex registry of human experience that interrupts unintended, or intended, either / or thinking.

It happens every day in every day conversation. “How are you?” The short answer is often a colloquial agreement. “Good.” It’s succinct. And part of the pattern. But often, not even in proximity of real.

Any question of “How are you?” is likely to evoke much wider range of reality. “I’m good in that… I’m also struggling in that…” We are complex beings living complex realities that don’t have full vocabulary for a colloquial brevity together.

The question that lives behind all of that for me is about how to live, listen, and share in healthy, witnessing, real ways together. Yup, that’s a big part of the poetry, the coaching, and the group facilitation that I get to do with people.

Enjoy Trommer’s poem below.

For When People Ask
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

I want a word that means
okay and not okay,
more than that: a word that means
devastated and stunned with joy.
I want the word that says
I feel it all all at once.
The heart is not like a songbird
singing only one note at a time,
more like a Tuvan throat singer
able to sing both a drone
and simultaneously
two or three harmonics high above it—
a sound, the Tuvans say,
that gives the impression
of wind swirling among rocks.
The heart understands swirl,
how the churning of opposite feelings
weaves through us like an insistent breeze
leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,
blesses us with paradox
so we might walk more openly
into this world so rife with devastation,
this world so ripe with joy.

2 Replies to “For When People Ask (Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer)”

  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and evocative poem. I, too, have struggled with expressing how I feel, even naming for myself how I feel at any moment in this chaotic time of swirling emotions around me and in me as I grapple with realities of aging and illness. A word more specific and describe than I know would be helpful and comforting. The poet explains that so well. I wish I could still be the recipient of your teaching and mentoring as I have in the past.

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