Sunday, May 20, 2012

In Common Transit

Eclipse of the Sun, 2011

—Howard Nemerov

The darkening disk of the moon before the sun
All morning moves, turning our common day
A deep and iris blue, daylight of dream
In which we stand bemused and looking on
Backward at shadow and reflected light,

While the two great wanderers among the worlds
Enter their transit with our third, a thing
So rare that in his time upon the earth
A man may see, as I have done, but four,
In childhood two, a third in youth, and this

In likelihood my last. We stand bemused
While grass and rock darken, and stillness grows,
Until the sun and moon slide out of phase
And light returns us to the common life
That is so long to do and so soon done.

(first pub. in The New Yorker, May 28, 1979)