Guest Poet Clarence Thompson

Twilight's Last Gleaming

Light drains from the western sky 
like the slow dying ring of the note 
of a gong 
that was struck long ago. 

And light from the ceiling disappears 
in the inky blackness of the headlines 
on the page 
announcing the nightfall 
on the face of the land - 

A night so deep 
that at high noon you cannot find 
an honest man, 
though you search with a weapon and a torch. 

And through the window 
I watch the streetlights coming on 
and wonder 
if my deeds display the light 
of the Morning Star* arising 
in my heart. 

Yes, from the window 
I watch the shadows come on strong 
and pray 
that my deeds would show the light 
of the Morning Star arising 
in my heart. 

* 2 Peter 1 19 

December, 1998

Clarence Thompson's Questions:

1. How could I say the same thing using a more regular meter?  (A regular question of mine.)  Are there any good books available for teaching meter without sacrificing emotion?

2. Regarding the third stanza I remember hearing long ago of an ancient Greco-Roman historical figure who walked the streets of his city with a torch in one hand and a club in the other hand, while looking for an honest man.  I can't remember the man's name.  Does anyone know?

3. Should the last stanza be repeated, as I have done, or should I only say it once?


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The Albany Poetry Workshop