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At the Dark Crossing

David W. Parsley

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David W. Parsley

At the Dark Crossing

The crossing again, and the far shore 
grown dark, stones cool and unfathoming
in the bleaching water.  And,
though not yet night, it comes – the fear

that none of the lights beyond seeing
is home.  They beckon.  True lights or no,
they call across the scant ladder of boulders
glowing in the gap like stranded moons.

Quiet steps down through the maples,
the stream moves by like a shadow.
(How delicately the flesh is razed
by a glacier of sky!)

And if tonight instead of turning aside
I chose to step out to those stones
inviting blackness to come in the spare
language of stars without constellation

I could not expect but that the world would
halt until I cross hesitant, forgetting which
bank I stepped from, which I had feared
to trust, which I had feared to refuse.



Winner Academy of American Poets, Undergraduate Award, U of Utah, 1982
David W Parsley ~ Rattle Poetry Reading Series - YouTube
© 2015 David W. Parsley
Parsley Poetry Collection



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Wow David. Wow. Thanks for this, restores my faith in good poetry.


Much appreciation.


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thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.



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Very impressive Dave (including the reading). I guess only the gods have clarity in choice! Love the humanity of that hesitation. You have taken iconic images and made them fresh.



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  • 4 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi Doc, very gratifying response!

- David

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David W. Parsley

Thanks for the appreciative insights, Phil.  The reading was part of the open mic portion of the Rattle Reading Series in La Canada Flintridge, CA.  It was a 45-minute drive each way from Palos Verdes, but it was great!

 - Dave

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Dave, This has me studdering in anticipation.  My pulse flutters as I step off into the darkness.  The imagery, the journey, the hesitation, build until my heart is in my throat.   This is writing I can only wish for.  


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~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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