It Never Ends

It Never Ends

          We must always be trying to write the poem
          we don’t feel we have the skill or the means
          to write.
John Berryman

The day so far: still searching for that epic.
Seafaring? Great mystery of the shadowy deep?
Cataclysm? The earth opening beneath my feet?

No, just the measured stillness that slides
out of my pencil one word at a time.
The vision of my old friend, fresh from cataract surgery,

saying he can once again enjoy looking
at the stars, “connecting the dots.”
A modest return to wonder, the windows washed,

the old universe swimming into view,
a moment of darkness and silence and the awe
of retracing an old riddle, finding north,

breathing the mist of shepherds and astrologers
in Babylon, tracing myths that still live
in petroglyphs etched in the darkness

with the tools of imagination. Then winter
sidles up in one final billow of breath
condensed to momentary cloud and tells you

to step back inside, away from the crowded brink
of your little universe. Bank the fire
and drift off, dreaming of the clustered Pleiades.

Will Walker lives in San Francisco with his wife and their dog. He is a former editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. His publications include Carrying Water (Puddinghouse Press), Wednesday after Lunch (Blue Light Press), and Zeus at Twilight (also Blue Light Press). His work recently appeared in two Blue Light Press anthologies: Fog and Light, and Pandemic Puzzle Poems.

[image: Pleiades | NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory]

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