Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Poem: Karla Linn Merrifield

Swept Away in the Land of the Archetypes

Even a giant cedar cannot stand
against the ancient fear of night,
not when that night follows a red sky,
not when the night is in December
and the granite cliff, to which
the tree has clung for two thousand years,
discerns it shall not endure another day.
The Westerlies, the Westerlies,
are coming on Pacific Gorgon winds,
coming to unstone the coast.
The edge will crack;
the sea will claim all there.

So how can I possibly stand against
the most ancient of human fears
of the night? Mine is not a small
worry, is not of world’s end by tsunami
or typhoon. Not of any San Andreas
rending earthquake or the Medusan meltdown
of antipodean ice. Not even of fiery disasters
apocalyptic. Rather, as a moonjelly is
when swept far inland onto red lava
sluicing down Mt. St. Helena once again,
I am afraid: It is not that I will die,
but that you will be the one so claimed.

~ Karla Linn Merrifield has had poetry published in publications such as CALYX; The Kerf; Redactions, Texas Poetry Journal; Bluelines; Earth's Daughters; Negative Capability; Paper Street. In fall 2004, FootHills Publishing published Midst, a collection of her nature poems and in April ’06 issued THE DIRE ELEGIES: 59 Poets on Endangered Species of North America, a poetry anthology that she edited. She teaches writing at SUNY Brockport and is contributing editor to Sea Stories, the new literary-artistic journal of Blue Ocean Institute.

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