Found an old Poem

I’m trying to put out two books of poetry to various writing contests. One has been submitted to a number of places and got some good feedback (and a lot of the poems in it have been published already).  That’s “Building a Fire.” The other is a book of poetry that has lots of new poems in it, “Physics as a Cure for Grief,” and yes, I used that title for an essay a couple of years ago.  It works for the poetry, too.

But I found this poem recently online, (on the Lake Literary Magazazine) that I forgot about.  Always liked this one.  It went to a lot of place before it got published 🙂


Measuring Light

Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

The Inuit hide beneath shaggy deer

                             throw rocks at the ripples of fire in the sky

                   trying to disguise their restless fear

          savage discontent with the celestial light show,

                             which rents the dark like a streetwalker’s candle,

                   whose never measured sound reverberates

                             across the ground and shakes

                                                the frozen landscape.

          Lately, life has been tough. The animals

                             hide, resisting their duty to become food,

                   relinquishing their lives only under duress

                                      and it seems there are less and less of them

                   to go around.  They are always bound for someplace else.


                             Men of science suddenly appear

                   frightening away the skittish deer,

                             Set up their gear and begin to tune their dials,

                                      lonely boys on a Saturday night.

                             After a while, they shrug and say

                                                We heard no sound in the sky today.

                                      We’ll try again tomorrow.

          The Inuit don’t like the science boys.

                   They fear the wrath of the creator of lights.

                             Who knows what magic their fiddling will bring?

                   An end to the false lights of men.

                                      Those who are sick will get sicker still

                             and the streets will darken in Montreal

                   because these boys and their instruments

                                      never get the station right at all.

                   The Inuit rub thumb and forefinger high

                             imagine the lights rising in the sky

                                      away from all those prying eyes

                                                and ears

and in the dark they plainly hear

                                      the sound of the lights,

stockings rubbing

celestial legs.


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