Brian Koester – Five Poems


Twin of the Moon

When clouds crowd the mountains
from Lake Matheson
and the sun appears in the water
as the twin of the moon,
when rain falls at waterfalls
and I’m in the water
and I still breathe,
when mist drifts stately
as Orion’s belt
and hangs like jawbones
from alps where the Waiho River’s voices
swarm, let them take me
to the silence behind.


The sheen of white daffodils
deepens night
gives away the last

hidden snow
that savors
the comfort of cold

that wraps in frost-soft gauzes
suffuses the core alive
core like an Antarctic

fish cold enough to freeze
steam from breath
shimmers dimly under ice

In night
cold comes
to last

Stars’ Touch

I envy the water the smoothness of its rolling,
The serenity of its mirroring
While the sky barely breathes above it.

As one long smear of pain I want to become that smoothness
And reflect the stars while they still shine,
While their light still touches me.

It nourishes my life
Until the sky breathes for me.

Picking Up Where He Left Off

One day he noticed the bars had rusted apart.
Soon he remembered why that was good,
and he began to think about living.
His muscles figured out how to work again,
and he unfolded, and the pain from disuse
drained away. His feathers were matted,
but he managed to follow the geese
over the sea on creaking wings.

Ancient Rain

comes in a grey dawn with a touch like the brush
of fresh willow catkins, like balm from a goddess’s mouth.
It embraces

the tiny child playing quiet and oblivious below the sleeping bell tower.
It refreshes opening buds and erases the stigmata of saints.
It cools the coals

of demons dancing around their fire, leaping and fading
into the dark like steam, like smoke.
Now in every

direction swelling streams obstruct the sullen ways.
Hear the silence that lives between the drops.

to the voices that rise from the gaps in the sound, whispering

Between clouds margins, tenebrous but lit, glitter
piercing stars.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I couldn’t say what constitutes beauty, but on some level beauty constitutes everything. Writing poetry, I don’t feel so much like I’m creating beauty as channeling it, presenting the beauty inherent in the language and the content.


Brian Koester has recently earned his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Louisiana Literature Journal and on The Ghazal Page. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.