Devon Balwit – Four Poems
This night, there are no wolves.
Dusk’s dark molasses runs
unmolested. The remaining light is just
enough, moon gentling the glare.
Matches kindle flickering. The dog
curls and does not bark, eyes following
as I sift the day, palping for kernels.
You’d pay a conjure woman blood
for such peace, a bag of earth
and nail parings to hang
from the lintel. My reflection
considers from a discrete
distance, backed by sentry trees,
patient in their peaked hoods.
The orangutan, not even female, suckles
not in a bookplate of the Peaceable Kingdom
but in a zoo,
no jungle, no mate, for thousands of miles,
nothing but need
to be touched, clawed even, surrogate mother
to a tiger litter,
tilting a baby bottle between tiger whiskers,
one by one to his shoulder, as if burping them.
He could teach
many a human father about presence, about
Who knows what we can love until it
The deer cross the marsh left to right,
spattering reflected sky.
Hooves stir storm circles from clouds.
like flocking on Chinese silk, landscape
worn by the season.
Three follow one in front, a fletched
towards evening when bodies curl close.
The plash of hooves
defies the hunter, each shy enough this day
to remain quick.
After their passing, gravity returns the water
Through the unbricked heart light,
rough around the edges but still
golden, brings shadows into bright
relief, limning branches that fill
the window there, splitting the sight
of far fields and farther hills.
Beyond his head a leaf crown, light.
Below his feet, roots buried, still.
His mind is dark, unlike the bright
motes dancing all around that fill
the wild air. He devours the sight
of them before his body becomes hill.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
Beauty comes to me, first and foremost, through my eyes. The natural world serves as my most consistent doorway to it–whether through a mackerel sky at sunset, the geometry of garden flowers, striations in stones, the hover of raptors, the myriad shapes of insects, the wind swirling grass, or light playing on water. I’m awed by fractals and iridescence. The printed page offers a different type of loveliness, one of word choice, economy of expression, alliteration and internal rhyme. I notice the way poems sit on the page, the font they are set in, and the images that accompany them. The effect of beauty is to let one stand outside of time, which, ironically, is exactly what the process of creating a poem does.
Devon Balwit is the author of six chapbooks. Her work can be found here and in The Cincinnati Review, Carolina Quarterly, Free State Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Muse/A Journal and more.