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.

Waking by Gwen Benaway

I dream of the old house, 	
dusk on the pines, fireflies glinting
through the low brush, and birds—
I can’t say what kind—calling out,	
the last noise of the day.

it’s late summer in the dream,	
I know by the earth’s heat,	
the banked sunlight diffusing
beneath my feet but faded,
maybe August, frost in the air.

across the dark, the tree line
waits for me, low and steeped
in shadow, a shaded green
by the yard’s end, the footpath
to the river visible but only just.

I think I hear my mother,	
not speaking but somehow a sound
of her in the wind, an echo I
haven’t heard in years but recall
and I’m scared to find her.

I stand at the bottom of the hill,
beneath the house in the yard
and watch for explanations, signs
or omens to arrive, justify dreaming,
but there’s nothing more:

just late summer, my old home,
the land slipping from light,
and my mother, lost to me,
but still singing with the birds,
the last sounds I hear

before waking.

~ from Passage (Kegedonce Press, 2016)


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