“Tonight a Troubled Star”
Tonight a troubled star through a window smiles
As winter’s thoughts refine the gentle evening hours. Ever,
Even as when a child, the onslaught of nights could sever
Day from light with wondrous rites of questions ranged in endless miles
To roam before I dared to close my eyes. Such brittle brilliance gave
Me ample light for prayer. And now, come costs in autumn years,
The signs remain, and so again comes certitude dispelling fears
And wakefulness, intrepid wounds I’ve worn through all my days.
And, as with all such holy declarations, majesty and not a little comfort, time
And once again illumination for the manuscript but with a difference.
I’ve used these eyes before, and with a growing greater deference,
A nod to whatsoever causes hope in those who fall and they who rise
To the occasion while within creation’s grip; within my countless days
So many poems, each but fragile vessels hurry inland toward the bay
Whose port is clearly marked, ‘The End”. Currents swell between the arms
Of twin peninsulas, the beginnings and the ends, with breakers―no alarm
In this time, but simple statements. Warnings of disturbances disarm the day
And simple navigation wells from wrinkled maps to vastly disparate seas
Ensuring sufficient distances in passage from initials in receipt
Of signals on the coasts from the muse to the sources of benign conceit
And all the urgent comforts of the ark within the narcissist that can be
Measured in a man when put to port. Born of knowledge, the deed at midnight’s
Scribbling first perceived in quickened breaths blown hard upon a sapphire coal
As unsettling to the weary soul as circumstance so rapidly grows cold.
At length the moon, the ides of any month, the seaward tides set mariners aright
For leaving. As with all who find their rest in full-blown sails to aid their flight,
They who cannot pay the ferryman must seek the albatross at twilight.