Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Equinoctial (Revisited)

[Sorry to those folks who came here for Translation Tuesday—that will be back next week. This week I hope you’ll excuse me for re-posting a piece I ran on last year’s autumnal equinox—September 21, 2008. Very few of the current readers were looking at the blog at that time, so I don’t think it’ll be redundant for many. Hope you enjoy it.]

Today: a suspended chord hovering between two open doors….

thru one the eggplants & tomatoes & peppers hang on their vines & absorb whatever sun breaks thru; the pears that were out-of-reach are still ripening yellow & falling; the zinnias are orange & magenta in the herb bed by the oregano, itself blooming white….

thru one the willow & cottonwood leaves are turning & starting to fall in the breeze—yellow raincoats strewn across the gravel driveway—the small apples at the fence line are ripening & dropping too….

This morning: the twilight’s first pale blue is a scar across the night where the horizon’s wrist folds into the sky’s hand curving black & starry overhead….

Night isn’t really infinite, it’s just a hand that’ll lift us into prehistory; the stars are so many diamonds compressed from wishes & memories & prayers swirling away ….

The moon shrinking white & quiescent into the last quarter, rising late in the night & wandering thru the afternoon sky between the clouds….

Summer was a waking daydream—even the short night’s a daydream of heat & smoke & crickets, & falling asleep in the daylight—here at the western brink of Mountain Time where the sunlight lingers almost into tomorrow (which never comes)….

& the pears we couldn’t reach hang on the boughs for a short time yellow & ripe….

Autumn will be a wakeful night, the cold light of planets & constellations burning back thru time—a thousand thousand lighthouses burning in a dark sea you won’t cross except in the thoughts that carry you thru the nighttime….

Today—briefly—a balance as day & night both leave their doors ajar—a suspended chord hanging between the stars glinting like pinpricks glittering thru black fabric & the leaves glinting yellow & slick as the sun breaks thru….

A balance—the blue scar of morning’s twilight a tightrope you’re walking between the day & night—

A tightrope—balanced on the streak of magenta—a wound between the horizon & the gray clouds at sunset—

A stasis that doesn’t last—a chord that could ring chilling or hopeful between the stars & the horizon & between the sunlight & the cottonwood leaves all falling yellow, & the chord asks to be resolved….


  1. You can re-post material of this quality any time you want John. I loved the idea of the equinox as "a balance as day & night both leave their doors ajar"

  2. Thanks, Alan--so glad you liked it.

  3. Wow this is incredible. It really captures this moment of neither summer nor fall, or both summer and fall at the same time.

    Thank you so much for re-posting. Who needs a translation when we can read beautiful words like these??

  4. Hi Reya:

    Really glad you liked this!

  5. Your post brought back another happy memory. When my son was little, he heard that tomorrow never comes, and it fascinated him. "Tomorrow never comes" became his mantra.

    And even apart from the soft memory, your post is beautiful, suspenseful, musical. Happy Equinox, John.

  6. Oh, that suspension between this and that. Isn't that, in some ways, John, what all of life is?

    I love seeing your own poetry again. Your style is distinctive, and I love the accumulation of images that leads to a very satisfying whole.

    If I were to try to pick my favorite lines, I think these:

    "today—briefly—a balance as day & night both leave their doors ajar—a suspended chord hanging between the stars glinting like pinpricks glittering thru black fabric & the leaves glinting yellow & slick as the sun breaks thru…."

  7. Hi Sandra: Funny, I was also quite taken with that concept as a boy. Happy Equinox to you, Sandra!

    Karen: Thanks for those kind words! Guess I couldn't sneak this past you--yes, I do think of this as a poem.


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