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Hot Springs Poet Laureate Kai Coggin


April 8th, 2024 | Hot Springs National Park, AR

The sun kissed me good morning today,
bright face peeking up
from behind mountains of tall pine,
mirrored in silent lake glass
as if to say to me—look, today is the day my heart becomes yours.

I walk wide-eyed in morning grass
laced with dew universes and intricate greening.
I press the soft wet earth between my toes,
forgive my flawed human vessel
and feel my chest rise toward the open sky,
as if to say to the sun—look, today is the day my heart becomes yours.

The sun readies her body of fire and gold for a slow dance with our moon,
a planetary tango of time and space, orbits and penumbras, shadow and light.


A line that divides our country
will bring it back together again in celestial beauty,
millions of darkened eyes pointed to sky witnessing wonder
as the sun folds light into herself to reveal
a diamond ring                         a crown.


The total solar eclipse is moments away and I can feel us
spinning toward her. My body moves in waves
if I lie still enough to become an ocean.
I close my eyes and feel the tug of tides moon-rise inside me.
My imagination senses a shadow
move across my face, everything goes dark,
my cheeks blush red and burn with the anticipation of totality.


Glorious sun—make me a silhouette you can turn back into stars,
the cosmos inside me is rising to meet you.


We are poised to marry the sun today,
a total solar eclipse dance
in the umbra of Hot Springs National Park,  
waiting to make light out of darkness in the middle of the day.


We’re watching the heavens-in-waiting from a carved out personal sky,
a circle of ancient friends drinking ancient waters revolving here in love—
we turn around to see ourselves becoming infinite again,
we bow to the Gods we see in each other    
behind our human forms,
we follow our own shadows to the glow of our beginnings—
our smiles are solar eclipse sun salutations,
our eyes are ever-shooting stars,
our hearts lead us only to light unfolding             into more light.


Let’s use this celestial moment in universal time.

Use this day to eclipse
the moments you want to leave behind.


See your own personal path and totality today,
your own unique world of wholeness,
the perfect swirling universe of you.


See that you have everything you need already inside you.

Kiss the journey below your own perfect feet,
your feet that brought you to this perfect moment.


You are holy.     
                You are sacred.    

                             You are enough.


You are poised to marry the eclipsing sun today.
She already kissed you good morning.
Through your dark glasses, you can see her curves merging and bending,

transcending our earthly measurements to reach a cosmic climax.

Look around. Look up. Breathe.

When the sun offers you a diamond ring today—
when she gets down on one blazing knee
and asks if you want to let your dark shadows pass over and through,


look up with your open heart to her
bright eclipsing reflection


and say

                  I do.

                              I do.

                                         I do.

I do(1).png

Thank you for reading and listening to my poem, and experiencing this celestial event with all of us in Hot Springs National Park, AR!

This poem is included in my 5th book of poems Mother of Other Kingdoms, coming out on Earth Day April 22nd, 2024. If you would like your own signed copy, sent from my hands to yours, click here or on the book cover below.

Join us again on April 8th 2044, when we are again in the Path of Totality!


Hot Springs National Park is one of only two national parks in the country that lies within the path of totality. Thank you Hot Springs National Park for inviting me to share this poem with all our visitors on April 8th, 2024 for the Total Solar Eclipse. I am honored to serve as the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Hot Springs.


Will you sign my Total Solar Eclipse Celestial Guest Book?

I want to see how far this poem travels.

Where are you reading from?Sign the Celestial Guest Book

Thanks for signing!!

Order Kai's books here.

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