Nox Oculis


Allan Johnston

Allan Johnston a reçu de nombreuses distinctions honorifiques pour son oeuvre poétique. Il enseigne la littérature anglaise et l'écriture au Oakton Community College, à l'Université DePaul, et au Columbia College.


Range of light

    1. Onion Valley

    The pinnacles of the sierra
    lift up from here
    to a sky

    now graying with sunlight
    and purple near
    where water runs
    down cliff sides

    alpenglow orange upon stone

    in the measure of everything
    light holds pinnacles motionless
    fading
    the crag over us
    like the home of some
    unearthly goat
    light
    everywhere alive
    like the water
    of Robinson Creek

    running down a mountain

    how can one help but be alive
    how can one help but be moving toward dying

    2. Object

    a green lake in the scree
    of granite above the glacier cut cliff
    rounds like a punch bowl

    a cirque, then lifts
    to crags

    on the water's surface
    wind silently moves
    the green breaks with flecks of light
    these irreversible patterns :

    the bow shape of wind swimming
    across the lake continued in light
    reflection the moving fragmentation
    of water's surface
    near Kearsarge Pass
    eleven thousand feet
    in the air

    3. green, gray, white, blue, brown

    down the valley, silhouhetted pines :
    not up yet, the sun's light grows
    smoky orange yellow wash and white line
    only Venus remains
    of the field of stars spread over us

    I sit behind the quaking aspens
    witnessing everything
    part of the spectrum

    4. In camp

    a butane camp lantern
    flickers in the wind
    forms a center
    of night
    a fire

    and a sense
    of warmth
    beyond what is watching
    if anything
    has eyes for us

    "that which sees is truly seen"
    the knower of its own seeing
    or animal eyes
    flash like yellow, paired stars

    5. Dream

    You wake once at night and say
    "Look! a bowl of stars!" Then
    later, your glasses on
    you see there is only Venus
    refracted
    in your uncorrected
    eyesight

    and yet
    protectress
    Venus bowls us
    over every
    time

    sun's guard
    lucifer
    shepherd's star
    names legion
    light one

    6. Range of light

    At some point everything falls away
    into light: perhaps coming into
    the pass, or when there is no place
    higher to go without ascending
    into the air.
    Light then occupies
    everything: you, your lover, rocks, ice
    the sky, the trees that ripple below

    the point where life no longer is needed.
    Rocks, ice, and sky are always enough
    in the cycles of time that pivot
    here. This is the source of forests :

    this range of light forever ascending.

    Allan Johnston, Weber Studies, Spring 2000 ; 17(3)


Références :


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