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Samantha L. Terrell

Samantha L. Terrell, author of Vision, and Other Things We Hide From (Potter's Grove Press), the chapbook Keeping Afloat (JC STUDIO Press), and, most recently, Simplicity, and Other Things We Overcomplicate, is an internationally published American poet whose books have received 5-star reviews. Her poetry, which emphasizes self-awareness as a means to social awareness, has appeared in dozens of publications. Terrell's invented form—the poetic Trinitas—is featured in her forthcoming book, Things Worth Repeating? (Summer 2022). Follow her on Twitter: @honestypoetry.


I don’t want to get too far from the

White marble graves and

Moss-covered concrete, 

Or the earth that holds in the markers 

That tell us how to remember them— 

Not as their kin did,

But as the hubris that connects 

Mankind to her master.

Call me close, 

So I can know all this for myself.

On Theroux's Coast

“He pointed his finger stump in the direction of the coast. Everything tends that way. But we’ve got to fight it, because down there is death.”

– Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast


Theroux taught us to 

Observe quietly, 

The confusions 

That turn out to 

Be emotions,

That turn out to 

Have names.


But it’s early spring here, and

There are no mosquitoes to be found buzzing around 

Explaining things. So, when hot stinging pain transfers its

Energy unexpectedly, 

An icy chasm cracks open, 

Instead of melting slowly like the 

Blocks pushed, painstakingly, up a jungle mountain. 


The innocent—in meeting its fervent equal—

Discovers it can be, at once, untempered and tame. 


It starts in the chest and 

Moves achingly 

Down the insides until 

Unrest begins to swell. 


Discomfort, compounded by concern for the discomfort, 

Compounded by confusion about the discomfort, 

Compounded by regret about the discomfort, 

Compounded by desire to alleviate the discomfort,

Until the confusion resumes and consumes.


An empty vat 

Requiring filling—

Refusing to disclose

With what.

Honoring Complexity

Seeking black and white

Amidst the spectrum,

I am overcome


By the idea

We aren’t meant

To find it.


All the colors of 

A single wavelength—

Given breadth— 


Don't allow for


Revel only in the glory of nature's complexities.

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