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From Sisyphus: Nocturne

Sisyphus speaking to the stars about his plight



When Dusk comes through the sky,

her grey cape flowing

from her back,

she dims the day

and in the twilight air,

the red clouds low

against the western sky,

she brings the night

and sprinkles you, Dear Stars,

as far as she can throw.

Some say the night was once

a black-winged bird

who swallowed day

as if it were a worm

and in the sky she’d lay a silver egg

we call the moon.

Who knows what tale explains,

for sure, how we,

along with all the creatures here

arrived to know these days and nights?

Who can say, dear stars, how we

have come to live among you?

Who knows, when owls cry in the night

like mourning women,

what secrets do they speak in their lament

that we can’t hear?

And I have heard wolves howling

at the moon

and wished that I could say

with any certainty,

the meaning of their poetry.

Ah, night—

You bring us sleep and dreams

so we can leave the day

and go with you

beyond our lives

and soar like an eagle

high above the mountain tops

and there dive deep into the valleys of our lives

like scavengers for nourishment.

And now, Dear Stars,

though I can’t rest,

I sing against this stone

this nighttime song to you

and anyone out there

listening

in the dark.

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