Wild night wild nights, Miss Dickinson
like you never had
like you took solitude I take them
smile and think
how you pressed two shy day lilies
into Higginson’s hand
saying, “Let these be my introduction.
Shy hermit, you would think me mad
for my wild nights
taking another lonely wild lover
but I am free to do so
while you, housebound, free in mind
imprisoned by your genius
dreamed all your love into poems.
Lady clad in white, color of death
and moon’s emptiness
I feel a funeral too in my head
a death parade:
hundreds drag coffins before me
the dark road risen under my feet
And when that winter slant of light
I want to say I pray to that light
know its affliction
“internal difference”, “heavenly hurt”
distance of light years
the listening landscape as it goes
Giving no answer…
Afraid to own a soul, my knowing gone
deep in stillness
I walk an old frontier, deathless wonder.
My mind’s ear awaits
the tolling of space, heaven’s bell
but no sound or song
no love or light come to guide me here.
Emily, I breathe shadow, am shadow
Holding its breath, a day lily pressed
in the hand of silence
vanishing before dawn, my wild nights
a house I cannot leave
weathered and torn by poetic rage
I squint into the light
to see the far shore where you are rowing
in Eden… rowing in Eden.
Painting by Mikki Senkarik
Poem, Day Lily by Rayn Roberts 1997
Note to my readers:
Realize that some on my poems are autobiographical, yes, but often embellished by the use of persona for artistic reasons and poems your are reading now might have been written 10 – 20 years ago when I was more footloose and fancy free than I am today. A poem has it’s own life separate from the poet. Please keep that in mind when reading my work and consider reading more than one poem. They each have their own qualities and subject matter that vary greatly in style and content.
. ~Rayn Roberts