Donald Justice

(12 August 1925 - 6 August 2004 / Miami / Florida)

The Evening Of The Mind

Poem by Donald Justice

Now comes the evening of the mind.
Here are the fireflies twitching in the blood;
Here is the shadow moving down the page
Where you sit reading by the garden wall.
Now the dwarf peach trees, nailed to their trellises,
Shudder and droop. Your know their voices now,
Faintly the martyred peaches crying out
Your name, the name nobody knows but you.
It is the aura and the coming on.
It is the thing descending, circling, here.
And now it puts a claw out and you take it.
Thankfully in your lap you take it, so.

You said you would not go away again,
You did not want to go away -- and yet,
It is as if you stood out on the dock
Watching a little boat drift out
Beyond the sawgrass shallows, the dead fish ...
And you were in it, skimming past old snags,
Beyond, beyond, under a brazen sky
As soundless as a gong before it's struck --
Suspended how? -- and now they strike it, now
The ether dream of five-years-old repeats, repeats,
And you must wake again to your own blood
And empty spaces in the throat.

Comments about The Evening Of The Mind by Donald Justice

  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/18/2017 3:08:00 PM)

    Watching a little boat drift out! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

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  • Sabita SahooSabita Sahoo (9/18/2017 12:21:00 PM)

    Nicely written poem. Congrats for being chosen.(Report)Reply

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  • D Priyanka SinghD Priyanka Singh (9/18/2017 10:43:00 AM)

    Nicely penned poem with lots of imagery.
    Thanks poet for the sharing and being chosen a congratulation.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Seema Sharma RimiSeema Sharma Rimi (9/18/2017 9:34:00 AM)

    A nicely penned poem with great imagery.
    Thanks poet.

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sanjukta SahooSanjukta Sahoo (9/18/2017 8:49:00 AM)

    A great poem full of some beautiful imagery and nice lines.
    Love it.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Jasbir ChatterjeeJasbir Chatterjee (9/18/2017 6:15:00 AM)

    Rich imagery here...Very nice poem...Congrats on being poet of the day...(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (9/18/2017 6:07:00 AM)

    This is nice to see this poem in the poem of the day. Congratulation to his soul.(Report)Reply

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  • Lantz PierreLantz Pierre (9/18/2017 2:13:00 AM)

    Justice was a poet of great technical ability. In this poem his dissection of a state of mind to lay it bare upon the page in the nuances of words is crafted with an incredibly delicate skill. The images resonate through a muted pallet with sparks of bright intensity; a weary inevitably illuminated by a woven line of hope and earnest since of progress. There is nourishment and there is decay. The poem surely speaks to many issues, diverse ideas, at once. It resonates deeply with ties to the deeply philosophical poetry of Wallace Stevens will also sharing much in common with Edward Hopper's elusively psychological paintings. This poem rings out with modernist subjectivity while simultaneously being ringed in by a classical representational style. It demonstrates real accomplishment in all that it brings to bear.(Report)Reply

    Milly(4/23/2018 7:45:00 AM)

    Yawn.... this is about him, not you.

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (9/18/2017 1:57:00 AM)

    Such a great poem worthy of reading......(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Paul BrookesPaul Brookes (9/18/2017 12:44:00 AM)

    Death is all encompassing it is imagined here the soul departing on a boat to the next part of the journey. The imagery is very powerful though death is only eluded to its presence is felt though the whole poem. I lesson in how to write poetry.(Report)Reply

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (11/3/2015 1:54:00 PM)

    There are deep dark shadows lurking behind every line he writes- I wonder if he ever gets peace from its relentless presence in his mind.(Report)Reply

    34 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Monty Cantsin (6/30/2005 10:04:00 AM)

    This beauty is as quiet as a shadow.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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Read all 13 comments »

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Read poems about / on: fish, dream, sky, fishing, tree

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003