Light Calling by Robert Girvan

Poem title: Light Calling
Poet name: Robert Girvan
Poem: Tree branches in winter, 
 — — — — skeletons of the night,
twist and curl, blacker than the dark.
********** Yellow eyes on  
pole trunks electrify car-paint,
~~~~~~run a river on wet asphalt, 
and hold back the night.

Silent city of ghosts of paths taken
&&&&&&& and not-taken
the ungraspable ache of what might 
~`~`~`~`have been lingers 
in the fecundity of the night, 
~~~~~but missed, or not understood.

Bright screen, blue frame, quarter-light:
|-|-|-|-|-| the mind squares in. 
But photos of time past, dust covered deadtime,
 — — — — —  not to be recovered,
the second life of nostalgia and dream,
********** set free.

Beside dull glasses nearly empty,
``````````filled with yesterday’s
black water from the River Styx
~~~~~~ my mood floats, amorphous, 
a phantom haunting frozen ground,
^^^^^^^ the black daynight.

A car motor breaks… the city stirs.
********** Life, its roaring passions, 
dark streams, glimmers of light calling
~~~~~~ through shadow, 
its dream rivers, terrible, inexhaustible, 
+++++++ glows.

Between the trees a rim of fire strikes,
^^^^^^^fate knocking on 
the door, with words: Once more to the breach,
~~~~~~~~ my friends, Dante’s 
slope rises this very day. And so we stand, 
///////////// leaning in to the new.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Robert Girvan
Robert Girvan has published poetry with the League of Canadian Poets and in two anthologies: Fear of Others: Artists Against Racism (1989) and Poems in Response to Peril (2022). He has also published the non-fiction book, Who Speaks for the River?, essays such as “Searching Cézanne’s Provence” in the journal of arts and literature The Goose, and has published book reviews in such places as the Literary Review of Canada and the Globe and Mail. He has written a lyrical novel, “The Last Painting of Paul Cézanne.” Girvan lives in Toronto.