"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Poems in 30 Days: Day Twenty Prompt

Expressing the Inexpressible 
Visitation by Eamon Grennan
Last night you called me out to the December dark
to look up and see what neither of us had ever seen
before: a burnished flock of Canada geese, bent
into a flexed bow and heading south across a clear-
starred moonless sky in silence, winging it
to warmer quarters, and all lit up—like mystery,
I thought, a lit thing bearing nothing but the self
we see and savor but know no more the meaning of
than I know what in the cave of its fixed gaze
our cat is thinking. The geese were lit to the shade
of tarnished gold or dead oak leaves hanging still
in sunshine, or the color tall reeds have when
car-lights stream and splash over them in winter.
And they were—these beings moving as one—
a mystery to us: Why, we asked, their color, who
by daylight are simply black-winged shapes
quickening southwards across a sky-blue canvas?
How could they be lit from below like that, from
somewhere near where we stood on the earth
we shared with them, staring up, the earth that
for this inhabited minute or two must have been
giving off a light that made these creatures shine
for us who were there by chance, with no moonshine
to explain it? Then they're gone, gone dark, gone on,
though in their aftermath the cold dark we stood
our ground in was for a little while neither cold
nor dark but a place of visitation, and we were in it.

Prompt: Have you heard of something or seen something that was unbelievable in some manner? Something that stands out in your memory? Is there an event that happened to you that is unexplainable or inexpressible? Try writing about it by choosing the telling details and avoiding any explanation of meaning or interpretation for the reader.

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