Jan 13, 2014

An artist places the intangible
              and tangible objects on the table together:
drift of diamond light from the Sky of the Mind
with the Asian poppy, the plate of wild seedling plums.

The direction is set, sun caught in eastern branches
when our empty hands have their other side of fullness.
              Still life: morning star. Moon.
Dawn. The sun (who is A Bird Singing in the Moonlight).

What to believe? Even the question fades,
              dissipates in preparation for its answer, glad
to be in the present which is dark and slow and dull.
Glad to last to lie on the ground to sleep. To drink water.

And the observance of solitude. Day by day, they say,
              and the use of herbs, the reordering of the body.
Tell the people to help each other, they say
from the other side. Things are only the crosshatch of actions.

Still life: morning star. One begins again.
              One begins an hopes to avoid getting lost again.
Still life. How many children know
the stations of the moon, the b for birth and d for destruction?

The sun moves through a chorus of wastelands.
              The sun rises and rises. Still, this arrangement.
Winter bouquet. (Rose Haws and
.) Each one a harbinger. Each shadowing the other.


Reading Novalis in Montana, poems by Melissa Kwasny

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Melissa Kwasny has published four collections of poems, two novels, and the anthology "Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950." She is also, with M. L. Smoker, editor of "I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights." She lives near Jefferson City, Montana.

"Light" is the eighth poem in a twelve-part series titled "Directions," which was published in Melissa Kwasny's 2009 collection Reading Novalis in Montana.

Read what she had to say about the book.