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

Image of almonds pouring from a glass bowl.

Reina María Rodríguez: Poems in Translation

REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Naturally, Flaubert’s parrot / could not be called Chucho, / his author wouldn’t stick him / with a name like that. / From which follows the importance of names. / But in the stories last night / —the reconstruction of a postcard / which we were creating...

Image of hill, river, and houses.

Joss

PATRICIA LIU
Paper is thin. In the beginning, still billows in the wind, still petal-like, still grounded in this world / of living. The incense is the only material that translates the viscera to mist. Early, the fog has not yet / lifted, and we move through the white drip as if through total darkness. Fish lost in the deep under- / water.

poetry feature image

March 2021 Poetry Feature: Sylvie Durbec

SYLVIE DURBEC
I still don’t know how to type a tilde on a computer keyboard / when writing the name of a Spanish or Portuguese writer I love. / Nor do I know what poetry is. / I don’t know whether we need it. Or not. / And what we really need here. / Elsewhere, water, bread, milk.