LEARNING FROM THE STARLIGHT
We lift each other in the starlight to
a realm that lies so far beyond the moon
that we are unaware of any tune
except of that which sings of me and you.
When dawn arrives we’ll know we have reached
each other in a way the moon and sun
prevent, because we can’t be seen as one
where feelings of the bleary-eyed are bleached.
What we learn in starlight is far more
indelible than what in moonlight we
discern, because we have to strain to see,
and therefore feel what we cannot ignore.
In moonlight we believe that we can trust
our eyes, but in the starlight we rely
on feelings, and we learn the reason why
the heart that speaks to us declares, “You must.”
Inspired by “This,” a poem by Osip Mandelstam:
This is what I most wantunpursued, aloneto reach beyond the lightthat I am furthest from.And for you to shine there-no other happiness-and learn, from starlight,what its fire might suggest.A star burns as a star,light becomes light,because our murmuringstrengthens us, and warms the night.And I want to say to youmy little one, whispering,I can only lift you towards the lightby means of this babbling.
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 5/18/09