Thursday, December 10, 2015
Poem of the Day: “Night Drift” by Nels Hanson
Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Night Drift” by Nels Hanson. A brief bio of Mr. Hanson may be found here: http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/11/poem-of-day-things-leaving-by-nels.html.
Alone at sunset walk the high orchard
path and descend steep bank, past carved
doors of gopher, ground squirrel, weasel
or fox, farther down, where white sand
meets black mud. See bullfrogs erupt in
murky shallows, emerald thumb-sized frogs
leap a green world’s dense stand of tulles
under scarlet dragonflies. From willow’s
limb lift frayed rope and pull, hear scrape
and fold of rushes, forest veil parting as
prow like a snout noses and appears. Step
in, use one oar for pole, push through
bending cousins of bamboo, now row to
open stillness turning bluer. Lie back, take
in sapphire sky, cloud snowy as one egret
gliding, arrow beak, neck like a bow. Drift,
feel hidden spring feed deep water, pond
and wooden boat rise toward Venus and
first stars, white eyes of waking night.
Poet’s Notes: I composed "Night Drift" by letting myself re-inhabit a setting I'd known well and in solitude. In rural areas, at dusk a different "nature" begins to wake, and one feels enveloped by the coming night and its familiars. By noting the images in the order in which they occurred, I saw that the poem was about becoming one with the night, as clear distinctions begin to disappear and a darker and perhaps deeper unity expresses itself.
Editor’s Note: I was transported to the magical place described as I read this lovely poem. The use of sylvan images throughout with the gradual shift to those of the sky at the end is particularly well executed. "Night Drift" first appeared in the October 2013 issue of Hamilton Stone Review.