Christian Barter


With the hope yet of writing a poem this morning
I am sitting in the middle of the kitchen where
I can see from the window above the sink
the early winter light bringing the old oak
to magnificent relief and can hear
the radio’s classical guitar asserting
itself and struggling to reach
doubt, and I am reading from The Book
of Job
: “Is there not an appointed
time to man upon earth?” and watching
a spider descend by virtue of his own
guts across that oak shining
as from another earth and touch down
on the sink divider and make
for some attractive crevice. Just
being here… There is no such
thing, I think as I hear now Bernstein’s
drifting violin above some kind of ground
that keeps giving way, a piece
inspired by Plato’s Agathon. Beauty
is a call to labor. With the hope yet
of writing a poem smoothing
like a coin rubbed faceless, I
watch a single crow pumping
the blue he is the absence of,
working it hard until the black
of the last trees takes him.

Christian Barter
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Christian Barter
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission of the author
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse