top of page

More Stream Than Stone: 5 sonnets by Michael Zysk

Updated: May 25

Abstract artwork, primarily blues and greens, like a confluence of lakes and rivers and land, image by Edith Lüthi, on Pixabay.

image by Edith Lüthi, on Pixabay



To rise one day will be beyond

belief. Belief is not enough.

To know requires more. Want

to know? Give to caesar what’s

caesar’s and to You what’s Yours.

It’s not the ego that gives. The ego’s

got to go. It doesn’t exist.

Not like it thinks. From You comes all

all that is. We are veils

in a dome of veils no one escapes.

The way back into Eden, up

the lightning sword, is to give

all one is. Being no one.

Disappear to draw near.






Nearness is likeness, distance distortion.

This is not a construct. Take

the sun, as mortal a creature as you

and I. However long his length of life

should not distract. Nothing lasts.

Not even the sun. He dies to give.

He understands that to live

is to burn, to burn is to shine.

Until we die to give, we wither

without ozone, in the dome

of veils, egos thin as coins.

But something more inside us, vast

as novas, dies to give. As this

is so, how much more the soul?








The soul is nowhere we can name

within the dome. Dis, belief

changes nothing of the question

Who is breathing? An ego, yes

a body, yes, we have, but soul

we are. Awareness wears us.

We breathe from nowhere. Neither can we

know where it goes. So it is

for those who come to know the self

was never born, more breath than body,

more stream than stone. It’s somehow hard

to hear that we’re not from here beneath

the dome. The dust returns to earth.

The breath returns to You who give us.








Who gives us life, who veils us

from ourselves. Call it the dome—

psychic continuity—

We perceive what we impose

upon reality. It’s summer

because I’m home. It’s morning b/c

I’m up. It’s tepid b/c I’m nude.

It’s smokey b/c it’s summer, abuzz

b/c yards grow. It’s fenced b/c

I’m out back. It’s wood b/c

it’s cracked. It’s red b/c it’s paint.

They’re blue b/c a band of jays

alight. There’s a world b/c

I know, but not outside myself.







Self a potted tree in the forest

floor. The heart a bird in an open

cage. The soul a fish in a bowl

afloat. When we take up our cross,

as a candle before dawn,

You unveil us, revealing

how all the while only one

manifests as so many:

You the unity, You

the multiplicity. From one

dome of concentricity,

each spheroid rung from inside

rippling outside, we

are ever breathing You.


Twice nominated for the 2023 Pushcart Prize, Michael Zysk describes himself as

a mystical revivalist, whose third poetry collection, Sophia's Wisdom, will appear

in 2024 (Wipf & Stock). His poems, essays, and sculptures have appeared in dozens

of journals. He’s an alumnus of the 2022 Kenyon Review Summer Conference and

the 2021 Community of Writers. A veteran English teacher-activist and faith leader

of a mystical Christian tradition, Michael lives to connect. Reach out to him:

@michaelzysk or

March 2024 issue

42 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Mar 29

Amazing series of sonnets! One of my favorite parts: "something more inside us, vast

as novas, dies to give."

bottom of page