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Gay Writes

Four poems

By Ked Kirkham

VIRGAE
Virgae,
Ahead of the cold front.
Pushed,
Propelled,
Catching light
Of the embers of day,
In water
that will not be rain
but will,
in the cool,
be rainbows.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS
There is light
in darkness,
as at night;
also in dim, as at morning.
There is light in mist,
especially when thick
as fog on the tule,
or the valley floor.
Light appears out of darkness
and rests on the world.
As hoar on the arbor.

I marvel at the arc of yellow light,
falling suddenly
beneath the street lamp,
breaking into pieces like snow
where I wait for the train.
It comes,
carrying before it,
suspended in its beams,
light that falls into the road where it stops.

Above the city, bruised light,
dull from endless abuse
and fading in neglect.
Helpless, I silently pass it by,
Seeking darkness away from light.

THE LINDEN AT SOLSTICE
Linden are in bloom!
Come to me,
We will lie in the long soft grass
Dappled in shade,
Cooled by breeze.
Breathe the honeyed perfume!
We will shake the flowers down,
Crying, “Tilia! Lime! bring us tea!”
Bees will serenade in whispers
While we suck from the ice
You broke apart,
sip the healing elixir from our fingers.
I will guide you,
Climbing up where the limbs spread
And after you have
Helped me there as well
We will lie embraced;
Watching summer begin
By sunset,
By kiss,
In the atmosphere
Of sweet Linden flowers.

VIRGAE/JUNE
Sky afire at morning
Jasper color caught in virgae
Molten red, iron hot orange, coin-gold yellow
Blast heat
Through the canyons
Whence the furnace
Spring rains have been forgotten
Hazes rise in their place
Traffic struggles
Grinding against the climb
The wind
The labor to come
in a choking air of workaday

Gay Writes is a DiverseCity Series writing group, a program of SLCC’s Community Writing Center. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 6:30-8 pm, 210 E. 400 South, Ste. 8, Salt Lake.

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