ONE NIGHT IN THE BERKSHIRES, BY DAVID KANN
That August night the air was heavy
with the scent of fallen fruit and ripe fruit
riding the humid breeze,
thick enough to blur the stars and ripple the pond,
breaking the moonlight into bright coins
and seducing the water with such perfumes
it quivered with desire and mouthed the shore.
Willows’ branches stirred in the silver air,
barely caressing the water’s skin
so that it shivered with desire
so underwater eel grass writhed and rippled
stroked fish and they moaned with lust,
and dreamed in the wet dark of taking human shape,
warm and rosy with blood's heat rising,
with arms and legs to grasp and twine, palms cupped full
delighting in what lips and tongues might do.
And at the water’s hankering throb,
thills fell to their knees,
bowed their stone heads,
worshiping flesh-prayers with a sad amen
that split the green ground open,
and at the sight, pale clouds woke from their slow drift
and rushed into ashy heaps
that tore open and thundered with a choral roar.
The pond surged from its bed, reaching for the sky
and filled the moon with such lust
it poured its light across farms and towns.
Old men in their feather beds, moon-drenched,
remembered and found themselves
rising and turning to their ready wives in the wet light.
Young girls felt the moon’s gravity
dreamily lifting them from their beds
to float across the frosted land
the hems of their nightgowns rippling
around their ankles in the breeze of their passing.
Farmboys dreamed themselves into cornfields
waiting in the crackle of growing corn
and the odor of moist soil hovering around them
for the arrival of the goddesses
gown-shed and naked in the shining night.
And in their dreaming the old men and women learned
how light the time’s weight might be
And in their dreams of lust, light and lightness,
and corn rising toward ripeness
boys and girls found how heavy
weightless desire might be.
David Kann escaped the world of academic administration to return to teaching poetry and poetry workshops and writing, reminding himself that when writing poetry is working, he feels more like himself. His poems have appeared in Lunch Ticket, Forge, Stoneboat and The Sierra Nevada Review among others. His chapbook, The Language of the Farm, won the 2015 Five Oaks Press contest. Two other chapbooks, Blues for Pip and At Fernald School, have been published by Finishing Line Press.