Promised Land Valley, June '73
The lake at nightfall is less a lake, but more, with reflection added, so this giant inkblot lies on its side, a bristling zone of black pine and fir at the dark fold of the revealed world. Interpret this fallen symmetry, scan this water and these water lights, and follow a golden scribble toward the lantern, the guessed boat, the voices that skip across sky to where we stand. You are vanishing and so am I as everything surrenders color, falling silent to vision. Darkness rises to drown out the sky and silence names us to the asking boat. Who echoes who in the black mirror? Riddles are answers here at the edge. And still, we can imagine some clear call, a spoken brilliance blazing the trail . . . ourselves moving out across the sky.
From Stake: Selected Poems 1972-1992 by Alfred Corn (Counterpoint, 1999). Copyright © 1999 Alfred Corn. Used with permission of the author.