This week we welcome poet Lynn Powell as she explores the theme of “harvest” and Job 38:25-28.
AT THE EQUINOX
Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew?
For a little while after the fog lifts,
the autumn field flashes with sudden flowers—
like filigrees of mirror, like alloys of lace and light.
A weird miracle? Some manic, brilliant manna?
—until, of course, it’s spiders—ten thousand
that have worked the dark with rigs of silk
to snag a fly and then, surprising themselves,
have step-fathered the dew.
And so, for an odd hour, their creations
glisten like galaxies,
sieved from a passing thought of lake and air.
From the Artist:I have always found odd comfort in the Voice from the Whirlwind’s answer to Job’s anguished questions about human suffering. Instead of answering Job on his own human terms, the Lord flings out fierce, exquisite questions, asserting the vastness, mystery, and unfathomable complexity of creation. Humanity is hardly mentioned in the litany of creation’s scope and wonder, ferocity and beauty. It’s that cosmic perspective I find, in my most receptive moments, thrilling and calming and liberating, both as a person and as an artist.
In this little poem, I try to evoke the orders of magnitude of creation, which continues within and around and through us in countless, inventive ways. As a poet, I “work the dark with rigs of silk,” and am grateful for the little galaxies that occasionally condense, for a while, on those thin lines.
Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise, and a book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Photographs, a Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town’s Response. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council, the Studs and Ida Terkel Award from The New Press, and the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Her poems have been published in many magazines, includingPoetry, FIELD, Image, Tiferet, and The Paris Review, and have been anthologized in 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday and The Norton Introduction to Literature. Poems from her current book-in-progress, A Scherzo for Sadness,are forthcoming this fall in Shenandoah and The Georgia Review. A native of East Tennessee, she has lived with her family in Oberlin, Ohio, since 1990.
This work was curated by Emily Ruth Hazel.
This poem is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.
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