"This Morning"

Jun 16, 2014

Elizabeth Austen

“Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?”
                                    – Roethke

It’s time. It’s almost too late.
Did you see the magnolia light its pink fires?
You could be your own, unknown self.
No one is keeping it from you.

The magnolia lights its pink fires
daffodils shed papery sheaths.
No one is keeping you from it—
your church of window, pen and morning.

Daffodils undress, shed papery sheaths—
gestures invisible to the eye.
In the church of window, pen and morning
what unfolds at frequencies we can’t see?

Gestures invisible to naked eye
the garden opens, an untranslatable book
written at a frequency we can’t see.
Not a psalm, exactly, but a segue.

The garden opens, an untranslatable book.
You can be your own unknown self—
not a psalm, but a segue.
It’s time.

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Elizabeth Austen is a Seattle-based poet, performer and teacher. She’s the Washington State poet laureate for 2014-16. Her poems have appeared online ( The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily), and in journals including Willow Springs, Bellingham Review, the Los Angeles Review, the Seattle Review, DMQ Review, and anthologies including Poets Against the War, Weathered Pages and In the Telling.

"This Morning" was originally published in Pontoon 7: an anthology of Washington State Poets.