Two Poems

By Kate Farrell

The Search

But then the moon
comes up after all and with
a glow bright enough to wake
you through the bedroom
the night outside, one
vast luminous room beside which
indoor rooms seem to belong to
a preliminary, rudimentary
and her there shining—
mother daughter friend anima mundi
so still and low that it’s almost as though
you hadn’t broken every vow you ever
made in the wayside tabernacles of
the universe.
This time you go
back to bed, close your eyes and set
out into the dark, hunting a state in which
things are seen and known in the light
love throws, doing away with
mental fuss.
Soon you’re walking
down an unfamiliar road in a nighttime
countryside, hoping to come across a local
acquainted with the lesser known
lunar writings.
Houses are few;
everyone is asleep; the air suffused
with a beautiful half-light whose source
you can’t place. You’re strangely
unafraid and in no hurry.


The Stream

Through the woods out
my window is a stream
whose secret windings
bring to mind the mythic
town which, so the story
goes, appears for just one
day every hundred years
and into whose apparition
a stranger from this world
happens on one such day
to wander. In the version
I remember, the question
on which the story turns
is this: will he remain with
the beautiful townswoman
with whom he falls in love
over the course of the day,
returning with her and her
town to who knows where
exactly—or not? Likewise
my stream can only be seen
from a particular window
for a short while on certain
mornings when a perfect
angle of illumination all
at once reveals a winding
galaxy of sparkling light
way off in the depths of
dark hemlocks; maybe one
day I’ll go back with it to
the place it comes from,
like a stranger called by
love to a vanishing town.

Among Kate Farrell’s books are Sleeping on the Wing: An Anthology of Modern Poetry With Essays on Reading and Writing (written with Kenneth Koch) and Art and Wonder: An Illustrated Anthology of Visionary Poetry.

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