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By Charles Wright

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)

  • Nature

Poet Bio

Charles Wright
Influenced by his rural Southern roots as well as his love for Italy, Charles Wright’s poetry explores nature and spirituality. The author of over 20 books of poetry, his style has evolved over the years into what many critics classify as postmodern. Wright’s 1997 collection Black Zodiac won the Pulitzer Prize. In 2014, he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. See More By This Poet

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