Ars Poetica

Lunar Eclipse by Ed Roberson

Lunar Eclipse

You've seen only a planed circle of moon,

the white wafer; the low sky's flat penny

grow into that dime, flipped in the turn

taken by the earth,

                                until you see

what's won from behind its veil of brightness

by the lunar eclipse

                                              a red marble,

a pinball of blood and it's your shot, a ball

of red clay before its pinch into a bowl,

what I want to say and its look

that far away from it.

I want to say it suddenly

turns three dimensional with shadow

shaded in at the drawn

earth-curtain's darkening;

                                            and that darkness

makes shape-informed light clearer rounding out

midnight,           and moon,

                                               once it is that lighted ball,

falls above a night now floored with depth

so dark above you        you can feel the feet

and meter fill with time. New Years confetti each

speck's fall a galaxy ago back into space.

Space back into space restored        beneath the moon

to here in the shading of eclipse. The distances.

               We have to feel the spatial in what we see

to see clearly        the eye measure in hands and feet;

                                              as when we kiss,

distance disappears, our eyes close,

and we see bodily

                              in raised detail

a measure deepen into our world

in each other. And what we are

in the shadow the world makes

of our love, by this earth shine, we see

                          ourselves whole, see in whole perspective.

All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

In celebration of Ars Poetica (2010), Rachel Eliza Griffiths' exhibition of photographs of Cave Canem faculty and fellows, the Poetry Society of America is presenting a selection of her portraits, each one accompanied by a poem from a Cave Canem poet she has captured on film.

As the poet Nikky Finney remarks "Because of her gifted, mindful pressing private eye on us, we discover what we could never completely see before, all around us, could never completely find before, right there in full shadow and slated sun, not even with our own two eyes: All of every bit of who we are."

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