To Emptiness

Image courtesy gudonark
Image courtesy gudonark

by Andrew Lazo

Sometimes it seems all I have is a growing sense of all I don’t have. This little ode, composed in response to this month’s challenge, tries to push a little into that feeling. I swiped the image of a kite from a much more hopeful poem composed a decade ago. Suffice it to say that some days all we can do about emptiness is to feel it. 

Some great saint might be able to draw connections to the presence of the absence of God, or the divine mystery of living in a world awaiting a city with true foundations to come down from the sky. But I’m no such saint.  And until such a city appears, I only found this:


To Emptiness
So I’m supposed to write an ode
But all I have is emptiness
ennui, nothing profound to say
nothing that might even rise
to levels of lament.

Can’t understand—it’s nice outside
And I have food and friends enough,
Good work to do, and not too much,
A pile of books beside my bed
And on it.

And it’s long too late to blame the holidays,
Or post-holiday blues
Or lingering grief from everyone I’ve lost,
let go, or drifted from,
or those who drift away from me.

And certainly solutions are right here at hand:
A walk, a prayer, a nap, a shower, coffee or
A call to friends who know and care, or English chocolate:
I know them all, recite them like my mantra
They just do no good, at least today.

So sitting in this emptiness,
I can complete my empty ode,
And do what good I can not to let down the side,
to try to offer accurately
this emptiness, at least for a few friends.

So here you have this flimsy kite,
This try at framing empty space
Wrapped round in colored paper,
Tailed, then tossed into the mercy of the skies
As we all wait to see what we might make
Of emptiness.


Andrew Lazo is a teacher, writer, and sought-after speaker on C.S. Lewis and the Inklings. Read more from him at his website:


2 thoughts on “To Emptiness

  1. teacherfirst2013 says:

    Thanks for sharing. There are those days of emptiness. We know that God can fill that void. Yet we just can ‘t seem to reach out.

    It is in those times sitting in emptiness that I continue to ponder its definition. Could it be that our own personal emptiness cannot be defined at all. Could it be that the goal is not to define emptiness, but rather persevere through. Avoiding going around it like the ebb and flow of a river.

    Blessings and Grace

  2. Bethany R. says:

    Emptiness can be quite illusive. Pinpointing it in this poem with: “this try at framing empty space” was such a clarifying, sharp image. Thank you for sharing this.

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