Iowa Writes

JOANNA KLINK
The Eventides


You find yourself in complaint in a field of
lodestone      This is the human way
Shut of day and its soft-colored float-glass
you too are shutting      a slow river of stones
underfoot in the grass      The green way the gray way
vesper as the eyelids snow over in dusk
And the field in which you stand      a plinth
to the wavering night      unwitnessed      fathomless
full blind then full dark      Are you never
enough as you are      knowing the night drops and coils
where you speak should you say anything
Your complaint that you were there at all
Anything is less than this      where eventide
and its vacant grasses make a lustrous vacancy
in you      make you remember you were there
you lived      were helped and loved

You find yourself in complaint in a field of
lodestone      This is the human way
Shut of day and its soft-colored float-glass
you too are shutting      a slow river of stones
underfoot in the grass      The green way the gray way
vesper as the eyelids snow over in dusk
And the field in which you stand      a plinth
to the wavering night      unwitnessed      fathomless
full blind then full dark      Are you never
enough as you are      knowing the night drops and coils
where you speak should you say anything
Your complaint that you were there at all
Anything is less than this      where eventide
and its vacant grasses make a lustrous vacancy
in you      make you remember you were there
you lived      were helped and loved


Who knows what you are      Headlands islands
needles stacked in star-shapes guided by the gem's
crystal structure      Dark-in-rain      a water
unlike any other water      you walk across lands
spread with bones and dust because of you
Because of you the world is warmer      the lake-winds warmer
drafts of dry air that wind over corundum
Because this is all you are offered and it dries out
withdraws      In inches and degrees
you draw into your ownmost ghostliness
shaped into rain and rain-quiet and the quiet
of each seed in each seed-pod      Feldspar
morganite      your islands stars in the soil of what was
possible      This then was a shape a life
a moment given to the world during the world's
brief passing      You are all that you are


You are dayborn      abalone      open to the stars
You find silence in you      Within you
the stars are strange      blurs of shell skeined
with the sliding tides      A horizon always in your eyes
dayborn      born of quiet into quiet      a boat to bear you
piecemeal over unclear water      An immense
emptiness      dropped      a sack of dust in dust-gold
cast and scattered      asterial      a salt born in all quiet
through waves of quiet drawn to shore
Nightborn      you are part of everything you want
no part of      Solar      aster      swimmer
you find piecemeal the world within you      and move
shore-drawn day-drawn      as if nothing were
asked of you      To approach this shore is to know
you are borne      you are asked      the earth waits for you

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


JOANNA KLINK

Joanna Klink was born in Iowa City, Iowa. After leaving the state to attend college and graduate school, she returned to study poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The author of They Are Sleeping and Circadian (forthcoming from Penguin in 2007), she teaches at the University of Montana, Missoula.

This page was first displayed
on September 23, 2006

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