Thursday, November 5, 2009


It may be that I’m simple
but sometimes I get the sense
there are reasons I can’t reckon
inside each coincidence

when a tangled mess of moments
come and go like time and chance
in positions forming purpose
it seems more than happenstance

take a hand you cannot see
take a step with confidence
towards an end you cannot know
and walk into providence

as my best-laid plans unravel
by my faults and flaws and frauds
I get tripped up by my failures,
false assumptions and facades

and although I can’t explain it
I can never quite dismiss
quiet mercies in the madness
surpassing serendipitous

take a hand you cannot see
let it lead through dissonance
to a music you can’t hear
and lean into providence


Silly Girl said...

beautiful and full of hope ;)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

There is so much to be said for outside influence, and, as always, you have said it most eloquently!

And now... I must say you have walked into providence in a large way, my friend.


I just purchased your first published book of poetry from LuLu Press! I can't believe you just DID IT - with NO fanfare! I swear - I might have missed it all together had I not been drawn to Jesus over there ->

Seriously, I am so proud of you. Glad you took that hand and leaned in...

Can't wait to get my copy in a few days! Blessings dear one!

Julie said...

Congratulations, Joaquin! I just ordered, too. I'm especially excited, because I get to hold your book in my hands and keep it forever. It's really special to me to have it. Someday (heaven forbid) if we're not doing the blog thing anymore, you'll still be on my shelf forever. I print off poems,'s not the same as a book. And you posted it on a payday of sorts, so I actually have the money to buy it. How did you know? Was it Providence? :)

I love this week's poem. The title is great. I love how you play with titles. People call me simple, too, but I see Providence all over the place and sometimes in the strangest places. The fifth stanza sums up that feeling perfectly. I love the idea of taking a hand you cannot see through dissonance to a music you can't hear. Beautiful.

the walking man said...

There be no need to hear when you are listening to the unseen providence, there only need be trust in the accord within the discord.

I do like this quite a lot.

and congratulations on your assembly and effort on your book. I know what it entails and it ain't easy. I LOVE the ironic cover.

Nevine said...

I'm not a big believer in coincidence. Actually, I just don't believe in it at all. I believe that when things happen as strangely as they sometimes do, as perfectly as they sometimes do, as terribly as they sometimes do, it's just fate. Your poem says it so perfectly. It sounds almost like you're gently succumbing and allowing things to take over. Sometimes, the only thing to do, and very life-saving.

On another note, congratulations is such a tacky word, but congratulations! I just ordered your book and I can't wait to receive it. I look forward to reading some of your earlier poems that I missed before I found your blog. I, too, love that front cover. Religious symbology has been on my mind lately, too, although, I'm terribly unreligious. It seems to speak a universal language.


Karen said...

First, congratulations! As soon as I finish here, I'm going to figure out how to order the book! (I thought I'd order directly from you -- SO AS TO GET A SIGNED COPY, hint, hint!) LuLu Press? Then how do I get my signed copy?

Now, to the poem. Joaquin, I needed this poem at this moment. I needed these reminders of "quiet mercies in the madness/surpassing serendipitous". I do believe there's a "hand you cannot see" and you have made me think about the value of holding that hand and stepping out on faith. I know you didn't write it for me, but it certainly feels personal. Thank you.

Now - off to see LuLu -- or you...

Karen said...

...I'm serious about the signed copy. Is there any way?

RachelW said...

Your rhythm soothes me, Joaquin. It's always so refreshing, coming here. I can't quite explain it, except that I like the familiarity of it.

Jannie Funster said...

Your book?? You man of humble mystery, you!! You KNOW I'll be getting me a signed copy!

Joaquin , I'm one of the most flawed people I know, yet those mercies midst my madness keep on shooting my way too and I'm always always enchanted and humbled by them.

Peace, Brother!

Mairi said...

An always timely message. I'm a firm believer in Jung's "acausal connecting principle." If it was the basis of a religion this would be in the hymn book.
Congratulations on your book.

Aniket said...

Ditto to Karen.

Please oh please there is a provision for a signed copy. You can charge a little extra. :P

Also do they deliver in India? I plan to collect signed copies from everyone. I already have one from Cindy. Am counting on Sarah, Jason and Cat to cater to my demands. About Ello. Hmm... might have to tell her a few fart jokes before she agrees. :D

And centuries later some day the collection would be worth billions. My successors would thank me then. Genius plan isn't it.

So back to the point how do we get a signed copy again?

PS: Providance is right there in league with others after all it had a bit of "dissonance" in it. :D

Please say your book features 'Fredrick Darling' too. Its my absolute fav.

Sarah Hina said...

Crap. I just ordered the book, too, and now I'm thinking I should have held out for a signed copy, if that were indeed possible.

But at any rate, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I was so happy to your cover when I clicked onto here. If anyone should have a book of poetry out, it is you. I'm hoping that one poem--you know, the really great one I said was my favorite, over and over again--is in there. Yeah...don't ask me to specify which. Pretty much all of them would fit the bill.

Including this one. The leap of faith has never been described as beautifully as your last stanza here. The purity of a melody buried beneath the dissonance--I feel it, too.

BloggerMouth said...

I stared at the page for two full minutes wondering if I should read about your book or your poem first. I've come online after days and well I had become some sort of a house hermit who had lost all hope. Your poem is making me feel a little better. Brilliant, lucid, deep.

I have the same question as Aniket... anyway I can get this in India? Signed? If wishes were horses...

joaquin carvel said...

first, to everyone - the only reason there is a book at all is because you, through the caliber your own work and your consistently gracious and insightful and generous comments, encourage and inspire me every week. i may only sell a half-dozen, but the fact that there's a book to sell is thanks to you and means more to me than any amount of anything.

and, uh, (not that i'm on the spot or anything...) i didn't even think about signed copies - all i know is the books are printed & shipped from somewhere on the other side of the interwebs, and i only got one as a proof that i got coffee on already. but if you email me your address i will send you a (personalized/signed) thank you note - that can double as a bookmark - will that work?

sg - thank you! este bine să te văd!

k. - thank you - it's almost like being published for real, except without the benifit of an editor or marketing or distribution - but it's still pretty cool. and you bought the first one!

julie - it must've been!:) it'll be an honor to have a place on your shelf. thank you - not sure who'd call you simple but i think simplicity is the best medicine sometimes - often, as you say, in the strangest places.

twm - thanks for stopping by - i like "the accord within the discord" - that's it. and you're right - not easy - but fun.

nevine - i didn't think of it as "succumbing" - but i think you're right. letting go can be tougher than hanging on sometimes - usually when you need to the most. thank you - hope you like the book!

karen - i'm usually at the other end of the right words / right time equation - so it's great to hear that - thank you.

rachel - "refreshing" is an unexpected and wonderful thing to hear - thank you.

jannie - "enchanted and humbled" - i feel like that every week! thank you.

mairi - imagining that hymnal made me laugh - didn't the police already make that album? thank you!

aniket - ummmm.....a personal note will probably fetch more than a signed book when your descendents decide to auction off your collection. right? i'm pretty sure they'll deliver to india (who wouldn't ship to the 2nd most populous nation?!) - and yes, fredrick darling is in there. (funny - couldn't use "dissonance" in this poem and not think of you!)

sarah - "Crap. I just ordered the book" is all i saw for a second and it made me laugh out loud. i'm sure i'll be able to sign everyone's copy on the big book tour i'll do after oprah talks it up in her book club. (oh, i've got a plan. a giant, absurd, illusory plan...) thank you - it's good to know that the music's not just in my head.

bloggermouth - i'm always happy when you drop by - doubly so this week, if this was the crack that could let a little light throught the curtains. and from what i can tell, lulu will ship international, so you should be able to get it in india - and i will (of course) send thank you notes international.

Aniket said...

Okay I just ordered my copy. But it says it'll get her by 25th dec.! Now thats good timing for a xmas gift to myself. But still seems quite late. Hope it makes here sooner.

Sarah Hina said...


You just made me laugh, too. :)