Andy McLeroy – Three Poems


Evening, Lake Sagamore

a bright darkness
has cascaded across
Lake Sagamore
this summer night

the glad starlight
dimpled in warm waves
has whitewashed
our wandering boat

a toast
in every direction
black trees
raising windswept leaves

and beneath the cabin eaves
strands of hazy light
birthing fireflies
who hover woodstacks

resting on my back
dipping with the stern
I am determined
not to look behind

what did Orpheus find?
you cannot look
such beauty in the eye
it will surely fly away

Driving to School

a pale beauty has risen
this winter morning
the white-yellow sun
blanketed by blue clouds

along the road, the river
has captured the scene
in wide brush strokes
immense with stillness

our car rushes, ever forward
as you complete equations
and I compose poems
together in the silence

A Night Such as This

raise your eyes, friend
watch evening pour forth
from the big dipper
the ladled night sky
a frothy mix of stars, clouds
trillions of miles apart

let the scientists, theologians
debate origins:
a piercing bang
or divine whisper
beauty trumps all answers
on a night such as this


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I remember standing on the driveway when I was eight years old, looking up at the Pleiades stars and discovering the uncanny fact that if you look directly at them, they blur into a hazy clump of light, whereas if you look away and keep them in your periphery, they crystalize into vibrant individual gems. For me, beauty has a similar beguiling quality. When I try too hard to focus directly on its meaning, it coyly eludes me. I’ve found I grasp beauty best when I look away, allowing it to glimmer and dance at the outside edges of my understanding.


Andy McLeroy lives and works in Kentucky. He writes poetry and music infused with a pervading sense of longing and wonder. His work has been featured on NPR’s On Being blog, WUOL’s Brave New World and In-Studio programs, and Museum 21C’s Hear + Now series. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Humanities from California State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Arts and Letters from the University of Louisville. More at: