Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

False Dawn by Patrick Lane

We turn to words because there’s not much 
more to turn to.  I love you becomes what I used to call 
the dark.  I prayed this morning.  It wasn’t much, 
just me and the god I understand.  The earliest birds 
wake me now and I keep getting up into what
others call false dawn. I know it sweeter.
That’s the hard part, knowing darkness is there
and singing anyway. Becoming more
becomes less. It’s like an origami dove
chased by a flying child, a kind of solitude
so perfect you keep searching even as you know
there is no cure. I think misery is mostly
what we know. Yet there are days I overflow with love.
My friends are so fragile I’m afraid
to take their hands for fear I’ll break them.
This morning I set out the early sprinkler
and out of the darkness robins came
and varied thrushes I thought our cats had killed.
The water from our highest mountains turned
and turned above our earth
and all the birds went under that falling
with everything they had.
Maybe that’s the measure.
Maybe in the morning light we pray
and rain falls and we lift to its falling
as if we still had feathers, as if with words
we could scrape the sky clean of every kind of pain.

~ from The Bare Plum of Winter Rain (Harbour Publishing, 2000)


website contents © copyright 2017 by Sharon Singer
with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers