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.