Calligraphy – a poem by Dan Campion


So many layers of silence wrap this dark
it’s hard imagining a sound inside
could work its way through them in just one night.
Such quiet clears the mind, down to the stark
and bell-shaped cavern where old phantoms hide
no longer fit to frighten or take flight.
Such clarity can’t last. Yet while it does
it echoes with its silent ancestors
in memory of brisk streams that cut through rock
the flocks above on hillsides never heard.
A summons to a world that never was
can’t be resisted. Lush or barren shores,
dense wood or desert, each confers that shock
from outside saying something has occurred.
We cannot do without the dark, the hush,
the uncreated world, the undipped brush.

Dan Campion‘s poems have appeared previously in Amethyst Review and in Light, Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism (Bucknell University Press) and coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (Holy Cow! Press). A selection of his poems was issued by the Ice Cube Press in July 2022:

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