Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HEMATITE LAKE, by JAMES GALVIN



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HEMATITE LAKE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is another kind of sleep
Last Line: Not even nightfall, whose gold we are, can find us
Subject(s): Birds; Lakes; Nature; Swans; Pools; Ponds


There is another kind of sleep,
We are talking in it now.
As children we walked in it, a mile to school,
And dreamed we dreamed we dreamed.

By way of analogy, consider nightfall.
In relation to the light we have, consider it final --
Still falling from the night before
With ourselves inside it like ore in the igneous dark.

So I went for a walk around Hematite Lake
To watch the small deer they call fallow deer
Dreamed to life by sleeping fields.
Someone had taken the water,

Don't ask me who. The wild swans were
Still there, being beautiful,
And the geese lay down in the grass to sleep.
The shallows, now dry, were peopled with lilies:

Their poor, enormous heads reeled in the aquatic air.
The path was drifted in with gossamer
From the tree-spiders' nightly descent:
A monumental feather the geese flew over.

What happens is nothing happens.
What happens is we fall so far
Into a sleep so manifold,
Not even nightfall, whose gold we are, can find us.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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