Stone Canyon Nocturne
Ancient of Days, old friend, no one believes you'll come back.
No one believes in his own life anymore.
The moon, like a dead heart, cold and unstartable, hangs by a thread
At the earth's edge,
Unfaithful at last, splotching the ferns and the pink shrubs.
In the other world, children undo the knots in their tally strings.
They sing songs, and their fingers blear.
And here, where the swan hums in his socket, where bloodroot
And belladonna insist on our comforting,
Where the fox in the canyon wall empties our hands, ecstatic for more,
Like a bead of clear oil the Healer revolves through the night wind,
Part eye, part tear, unwilling to recognize us.
'Stone Canyon Nocturne' from Country Music: Selected Early Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1982, 1991), © Charles Wright 1982, 1991, used by permission of the author and the publisher.