Mennonite Poetry Home | Larry Nightingale



(the late summer)

We counted the clouds of summer
they were few and far between,
yet in endless blue-haze heavy with thunder
vast expanses—storms never before seen

surveyed their shine—distant shimmer
too close for comfort, hot, rude, and mean
as if into some nova sun's golden ellipsis,
souls were scattered into the abstract dream...

      where time runs quickly, drunk on dark moonlight
      gentlemen and ladies, blighted rose gardens, black streams,
      where the grievous angel hovers, never begging pardon,
      through the long day or the long night
      (day after day, night after night)
      dragging the enormous question through
      these seeming last scenes
      grim sight after sight.

Here had been long-considered the grainy glimmer
of our love and violence and silent distance between,
here was something beautiful—more so for growing dimmer,
but what doesn't break the heart will rupture the spleen

and here's another house-pacing human
losing control, crying out for the courage to be,
in ever-widening wild orbit round the room
his prayer for the articulate scream...

So summed up our easy life of summers
quick as curses, about as obscure (and obscene)
I was someone standing alone in my kitchen,
staring through the doorway, through the torn door screen

(a weatherman counting the clouds of summer
they were few and far between.)

© Larry Nightingale




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