Whereas last night the full moon made the night resemble a cold day
Today clouds give the night its old shrouded, crowding demeanor.
Ghosts stalk the forest gleaming (at me) from just beyond the circle
of light thrown by the fire.
You, old night, I wish to make my peace with.
Eventually I know even I (I think, I’m told) must enter naked, a cold
north wind in winter or a gentle September breeze instructing my
sole spirit . . . .
There exist powers overwhelming for the human body and mind.
The aborigine’s untold night of meditation on the mountain, coming
away with his life-long totem and power.
The mountains tonight are alive with benevolence that could (for one
lacking humility and respect or the hunter’s perspicacity) flame up
into insane malevolence.
You, old complete night, I wish to make my peace with
Being utterly a creature of the water and the light.
Night on the mountain, the human animal alone, without cohorts,
speech and music inane without other ears to listen
Yet blasting, blasting against the night
Even after fire dies, its skin still the halo beacon to nothing in nothing,
Mind pouring on the electricity, outward to friends back in the cities
Receiving in return only strange sounds.
The ear must differentiate and protect.
Just as fluids within keep the body balanced so must the ear when the
eyes are blinded by night
Balance the mind. Eyes, heroes of the day, enjoying orgiastically
Are now slaves to every primeval passion of the mind.
But the ears: it is a sound they have heard before and can identify.
Night, old strange night (were we once acquainted?), I wish to be at
peace with you by becoming knowledgeable.
Fear like fire clings to its fuel.
I wish to dampen passionate fears by attuning the five senses to all
that is normal dark and day.
To know the habits and cycles of everything I live beside
And my inner spirit become a silent tide attuned to nature’s lunacy.
Robert Ronnow’s most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.