Dark Night —for Mark Halliday We know. He’s a poet who presses flowers: Sweet Rhodora and Lady’s Tress— still white, still nodding. And he’s famous for saying: What’s “good for the soul is the work of the soul.” But no poem? No poem. The storm knocks his door tonight. Maples toss the dark wind from their leaves while Walden’s waters argue black and white. Even so, muses must meet between page and pen to tell us the beautiful thing. We know. What’s “good for the soul is the work of the soul” and a man makes “advances confidently in the direction of his dreams.” But writing the beautiful and the pert is tough and the storm pleads the worst of prospects after all. And prayer begs when the wrong God rules and a poem about being without itself is nonsense. So tonight, no begging. No God. A sack of beans and a hoe in the corner are earthly nodes that promise possibility. The cabin, the hearth, the table and the lamp, the flame and the fire. We know. To find the thing that must be found the thing that makes the senses sing, the poet must do battle. We know he must stick close to possibilities but raise a sword as well to abet the storm that nudges nature to crack itself open, for us.
Jeffrey Hanson received a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from Ohio University. He lives with his wife, Marilyn, in Bellingham, Washington. Despite fears, anxieties, and feelings of helplessness, we must remember that the Buddha was correct to say: “All is well.” That knowledge is a gift