Planting Seeds: Thoughts on "The Seed Vault"


It always begins with listening.

There are some days I wake, listen, and hear only suffering. The world seems wounded, colossal, and entirely out of reach. Time has shown me that in order to heal a wound, you must first look at it-then plant the seed that begins the work towards recovery. A recognition.Alvarez

Within a poem, we can travel from the Arctic, to Syria, to a grocery store across the street in just a few lines, in just a few moments. Within a poem, we can attempt to look at a wound (even one this big), then plant the seeds of recognition. We can carry our awareness of this wound everywhere we go, allow it to adjust our beliefs, words, and actions.

It is my hope that from this planted seed we can grow larger, see further, and connect over vast distances. I carry it with me to the grocery store around the corner from my apartment, its aisles full of radiant food. I carry it with me when I visit my mother, meet strangers, and while catching up with old friends from far away. I carry it with me always. A recognition.

A new vantage point. A place where the world looks small enough to touch, to reshape, to heal. A place where the world is newly recognized. A place of expanse.

It always begins with listening.             

Photo of Brandon Fury

Brandon Fury graduated with a BA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and received his MFA from Carlow University. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in: After Happy Hour Review, Local Pittsburgh Magazine, Melted Wing, City Paper, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine, Runaway Hotel Vol 2, and the North American Review.  

Brandon's work is featured in our upcoming fall issue, Volume 303.4


Illustrations by Vlad Alvarez. Vlad was born and raised in El Salvador, Central America. In 1992, he came to the U.S. and lived in Los Angeles before moving to Pennsylvania. He attended Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and graduated in 2005 with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration.