Without Ceasing

All day every day around the clock

like a prayer vigil

there should be poets writing poems,
accounting for milkweed pods
and old homesteads abandoned,
poets stirring campfire ash, noting
just the place along the shoreline
the heron casts down,
poets in shifts like monks praying
grace upon the whole of the earth’s

vast groanings.

What is life but a weeping, a leaping,
a gathering of leaves swept up and up

into wind?

Which moment mattering more than
another will escape us, even as no
moment matters more than another
since each in its singularity brings
into being something that wasn’t

there before.

All day every day beginning again
and not ceasing—but seeking the words,
what the words in their seeking find,
what the finding brings forth, what
the moments upon moments begin

to tell

of a story that is never not beginning.

Jeff Hardin is the author of Fall Sanctuary, recipient of the Nicholas Roerich Prize, and Notes for a Praise Book, selected by Toi Derricotte for the Jacar Press Book Award, as well as Restoring the Narrative and Small Revolution. His poems have been published in The New Republic, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Hotel Amerika, Southern Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.