Ancient of Days, old friend, no one believes you’ll come back.   
No one believes in his own life anymore.

The moon, like a dead heart, cold and unstartable, hangs by a thread
At the earth’s edge,
Unfaithful at last, splotching the ferns and the pink shrubs.

In the other world, children undo the knots in their tally strings.   
They sing songs, and their fingers blear.

And here, where the swan hums in his socket, where bloodroot   
And belladonna insist on our comforting,
Where the fox in the canyon wall empties our hands, ecstatic for more,

Like a bead of clear oil the Healer revolves through the night wind,
Part eye, part tear, unwilling to recognize us.

  • Charles Wright, “Stone Canyon Nocturne” from Country Music: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1982 by Charles Wright. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press,

  • Source: Country Music: Selected Early Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1982)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."
Mikayla Bates
2016 UT POL Champion