Mennonite Poetry Home | Larry Nightingale



Bonfire on a Hilltop
                                  lines for a singer

An easy walk below snowline,
above mists of a South Interior river valley.
We were whistling—campfire songs.
Were almost merry.

Times such as those, soul can feel that warmth

serves only to accelerate its longing.
Green mountain lap, blue ridges, river's reach
can not call it home. Can not reel it in.
Not answer, with anything but another rise, another bend,
another fading echo of some other song resounding ...


Should I take that walk into the woods, the rains,
that twilight walk which mortal breath and time demand,
will you find me? How have we wandered?
Tweet-tweet. Twitter. Tweet. How have I lost you?


When Kooteney bluebirds blur
across strands of memory, against stands
of white-bark birches,
in that moment, between April daylight and dusk,
you are forever striding alongside, whistling, with me.

But in our common book of days now,
just pages the rogue wind's ripped from place.
(Your illustrated face—fire's golden pattern playing
with every scrawled word of love and loss rain's written.)

Still I praise you. Through the night,
from repertoire of simple joys. And for your genius,
thank you for your little dry box of matches.

© Larry Nightingale




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