The Poetry Project: RB Lemberg
poetry project

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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April 21, 2016

Poetry Project Rose Lemberg

RB Lemberg

RB Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. RB’s work has appeared in Lightspeed’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely StoryUncanny, and other venues. RB is a Nebula Award nominee for their Birdverse novelette, “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds”. Their works have also
won the Rannu competition, placed in the Rhysling award, and appeared on the Tiptree Longlist, among other honors. Rose’s debut poetry collection, Marginalia to Stone Bird, is available from Aqueduct Press (2016). Rose can be found on Twitter as @rblemberg, and on

Three Principles of Strong Building

The earth is the foundation of the mind and the mind, of building.

The earth is mother, birthing stone from seed,
the earth is father, birthing seed from stone,
the earth is parent to the seed,
this moonstone shining with a latent gleam
invisible but to a mighty eye
that reads within each seed its ancestry
back to the dawn of time, before the first seed fell
into the endless void, creating land.

The earth, the mind, and a building are structured alike.

A latent grid, invisible to all
but the most powerful eye, that web of weights
unfelt, unknown but to a mighty mind:
it is upon a grid that names alight.

Read the rest at Strange Horizons.

Ah, this poem! It’s about names and building and magic and I don’t quite understand everything that is happening in it, but that is okay–it is about building things so they last and that is something that is very much after my heart these days. Lemberg’s voice is so precise and clear in all their work that I find myself willing to trust that I’ll end up in a better place than I was when I started. So far, I’ve never been lead astray.

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