Mark Doty

(10 August 1953 / Maryville, Tennessee)

Long Point Light - Poem by Mark Doty

Long Pont's apparitional
this warm spring morning,
the strand a blur of sandy light,


and the square white
of the lighthouse-separated from us
by the bay's ultramarine


as if it were nowhere
we could ever go-gleams
like a tower's ghost, hazing


into the rinsed blue of March,
our last outpost in the huge
indetermination of sea.


It seems cheerful enough,
in the strengthening sunlight,
fixed point accompanying our walk

along the shore. Sometimes I think
it's the where-we-will be,
only not yet, like some visible outcropping


of the afterlife. In the dark
its deeper invitations emerge:
green witness at night's end,


flickering margin of horizon,
marker of safety and limit.
but limitless, the way it calls us,

and where it seems to want us
to come, And so I invite it
into the poem, to speak,

and the lighthouse says:
Here is the world you asked for,
gorgeous and opportune,

here is nine o'clock, harbor-wide,
and a glinting code: promise and warning.
The morning's the size of heaven.

What will you do with it?


Comments about Long Point Light by Mark Doty

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (2/20/2016 2:56:00 PM)

    Look at the novel use of words in this lovely poem- -
    Long Pont's apparitional
    in the huge indetermination of sea.
    like some visible outcropping of the afterlife
    The morning's the size of heaven. (Report) Reply

    10 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (2/20/2016 1:48:00 AM)

    With hope and direction. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/20/2016 1:05:00 AM)

    Inspiring poem with wonderful thoughts...
    flickering margin of horizon,
    marker of safety and limit.
    but limitless, the way it calls us, (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



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Read poems about / on: warning, poem, sometimes, spring, green, heaven, sea, dark, light, world, night



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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