Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Two poems by John Panian

Binary Earth

How many neurons
fire or don’t fire

to spell the color red?

How many ons and offs
spell rouge instead

of scarlet or crimson,
color or rust?

How many more spell
iron to dust
and burn it to umber?

How many reds
slumber in the brazier
of the sun?

How many browns
sleep in the mud?



we sit in circles
like dust settling
out of the room
like light fading
into the corners
like dark creeping
along the floor

we sit
and are ourselves
only to ourselves
to all others we
are other

we stand
like trees
like blades
of tall grass
like birds
on long legs
in the water

we fly at ourselves
and whirl about
our own heads

we the moth
we the flame
we the candlemaker

we hold ourselves
like little children
and laugh
into our hair

into the sun
and become


John Panian lives in St. Louis, MO with his beautiful wife and daughter. Being one third of a most artistic family, you will find him either deeply lost within his mind full of words, or with his camera lens zip-tied to an eyeball. You can find his words and images on his blog, A Prayer Like Gravity , as well as various venues in and around St. Louis.


7 thoughts on “Two poems by John Panian

  1. Pingback: A Thank You and a Congratulations! | A Prayer Like Gravity

  2. These are great. Is it okay to admit a little writterly jealousness right about now? That first poem, particularly these lines, makes me envy John’s talent:

    “How many neurons
    fire or don’t fire

    “to spell the color red?

    “How many ons and offs
    spell rouge instead”

    These are very tightly written. It’s great to see them here.

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