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, www.wesleyan.edu/wespress.

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

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned that no matter how many times I do it, I will still be nervous when I speak in public. I also learned that it is possible to experience the same poem many times in a row and still feel like I am discovering something new about myself through the words of the writer."
Madeleine Schroeder
2017 OH POL Champion