"You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.
     What you say is completely up to you."
          —Mrs. Whatsit, in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

Does structure order the apparently random?
A veined and fragile leaf bright with new mist
Is chained to every tedious turn and twist
Of DNA: twined ladders rise in tandem.
The credulous take platitudes we hand them
And raise cathedrals, helpless to resist
A flash of light, uplifted Eucharist,
Till dubious salvation has unmanned them.
I find I'm more intrigued by happenstance,
The gaudy revels of the unforeseen,
Where love and longing do a drunken dance
With science, faith, and everything between.
Life, at its grandest, is no backward glance;
We cannot even say where we have been.

Robert Lavett Smith

About the poet: Robert Lavett Smith's work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Hanging Loose, and The Hiram Poetry Review. He works as a Special Education Paraprofessional for the San Francisco Unified School District. He holds an M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Hampshire, He is the author of four small-press chapbooks, and most recently, of a full-length collection, Everything Moves With A Disfigured Grace (Alsop Review Press, 2006). All of these are free verse works. A collection of his sonnets, Smoke In Cold Weather, will be published by the Full Court Press some time this summer.