Hayden Carruth

(August 3, 1921 – September 29, 2008 / Woodbury, Connecticut)

Onondaga, Early December Poem by Hayden Carruth


lights in the twilight,
lights of Solvay over the expanse of frozen snow-covered
lake,
orange lights of the refineries,
yellow and green and red lights of the neon along the
strip,
lights as if undersea, the argon just coming to exist,
all lights in the cold moisture of the grounded wind
staggering across the lake at twilight
are blurred, are meaningless, they call, together,
with a sound unintelligible and of no interest;
but in the slate sky above the imagined horizon
like an old lantern left long ago on top of a heap of slag
the evening star alone is bright and clear
and alone responds to this knowledge of death too soon
that comes in the loneliness of twilight and dying wind,
the loneliness of decayed and useless and ragged fear
and the soundless cry for a thing that has no name. . . .

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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