Artifice

Called forth, by indeterminate power,
I go out into morning light held east
By equinox, and brilliant, so the least
Of shadows fills with sun. Between two posts
A web, ingathered overnight, coasts
Wakening air—uncharted galaxy
Come into focus, yield of tranquil sea
And star. Cell after cell of emptiness
Encircled, whorled, caught by unseen stress
And taut invisibility. All night
Constructed, in a state precluding sight,
And yet by touch, by venturing through air,
This pale and enigmatic thing, this prayer
Of natural grace. I draw close to the strands
That hold it in its place—the slim commands
That reach out from four sides to give
Stability, that brace this random sieve
Against the wind. One holds as level
As the land itself, the others beveled
Toward a central disk. No stray insect
Has wandered here, no fabric failed. It yet
Resists the gathering breeze, each silver line
A manifest of some primeval time.
Out of long darkness comes the light
That only striving can bestow—this bright
And perishable world. O day, that gives
Such artifice, O wind, in which will live
This beauteous thing, if only for an hour.


First published in Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Artifice
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: insect,morning,nature,countryside
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