from “Variations on Dawn and Dusk”
antique dove I've long been student ofwings over vast water that neverwith olive sprig exactly returnsand the ruinous waters neverdrain down to the fundamental stoneI've found only ecstasy ofsea-foam and cloud and altering cloudI call the mind of God is it timeof drawing shapes in plain air with sticks the proper method confesses the factsthe sun's window moves across the skythe body lives in time and blocks the light the proper method includes dawn and duskthe ancient thresholds the body steps throughto get further inside myth dispels the mind always-again goes the refrainof the sun it hurts the tongue to saywhat's simple for a long time Ithought thought was light digging its rootbehind the eye but I don't knowwhat happens behind the eye mysolar confession like flowersfaith doesn't question facts of days
Copyright © 2019 by Dan Beachy-Quick
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet and essayist, author most recently of a collection of reveries, fragments, and poems, Of Silence and Song. He has published 6 books of poetry, and a number of collections of literary meditations. He is the assistant chair of the English Department at Colorado State University, where he also served as a Monfort Professor. His work has been supported by the Lannan Foundation, and he is a Guggenheim Fellow.
A new collection, ARROWS, is coming out from Tupelo in July, 2020, and Milkweed Editions will publish Stone-Garland, a collection of translations from the Ancient Greek, in September 2020.
"A work of ekphrasis based on Robert Irwin's Untitled (Dawn to Dusk) set in the desert of Marfa, Tex., draws inspiration from the sun as it warms, cools, colors, and shifts, resulting in a series of poems whose patterns are informed by their subject: light."
— Publishers Weekly
“A true American metaphysical in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Susan Howe, Beachy-Quick is our postmodern antinomian, suspicious not of a moribund faith but of the truth claims of consciousness itself. These fierce lyrics of existential grief display his preternatural attunement to thought at the moment it turns inward upon itself not for comfort but in grave confrontation.”
— Brian Teare, author of Doomstead Days
“Something quite literally ultimate transpires in these Variations on Dawn and Dusk, as Beachy-Quick has found a way to map the interstices—between quanta of light; between syllables; between the nearly inaudible sounds of colors upon surface. To my certain knowledge, no one has accomplished this since Dame Julian of Norwich. These quiet poems are a torrent of angels, and I cannot look away.”
— Donald Revell, author of The English Boat