The Light

By ROBERT BEROLD

 

A boomslang stretches out
to probe a nest. A cloud of birds
surrounds it, frantic.

It slinks across to eat the eggs,
swerves back into the foliage,
cuts the light in two.

*

A baboon barks on the ridge.
The sun is blind and white,
the sunspots flare and plunge.

In the mountains the radio signal comes
and goes. Scraps of torn cloud glitter.
Light. Sky covering sky. Wind.

*

The terraces were made many years ago,
cut straight to irrigate lucerne.
You can see their lines on the aerial map.

They are covered with thin blue flowers
that close up when the light goes.
Shreds of flayed clouds colour the sky.

*

On the highway to Karatara,
on golden wires, the swallows
sit flat folded at the end of day.

At the turnoff to the third gate
the light is so intense
the insects blink.

*

The light goes down in thick air.
We’re alone in the long together
nights and days.

Who can explain
how beauty works, except to say
—here—move over here.

Robert Berold has published four collections of poetry, a memoir of a year spent in China, and a biography of the pioneering Lesotho farmer JJ Machobane.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

The Light

Related Posts

july 2020 poetry feature

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Steven Leyva and Elizabeth Scanlon

STEVEN LEYVA
Get down to the smallest birthright / I cannot claim: say beignets / and doesn’t the stutter of hot oil start / to sizzle the small plates of memory? / Faces powdered with sugar, no thought / to whose ancestors cut which cane, sing / a hymn of “mmm, mmm, mmm.”

Illustration of dolphin

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Loren Goodman

LOREN GOODMAN
In these last hours / Of the Passover Seder / It is said by the higher / Chasidic Scholars that time / Loses its essence and that / We are at least once, with / The help of memory (at this / Time “even the future can be / Remembered”) able to defeat / It. Something to do / With the wine.

Skyline cropped

Goddamn

MORIEL ROTHMAN-ZECHER
The chunk of the ball / On the cracked blacktop / And our torsos so covered / In sweat nearby the sea / Swells and the smell seeps / Into our hair and the air / Turns into night all around us / And the pebbles of the ball / Still tickle our palms as smoke / Trickles into our lungs...