|Our annual contest always receives plenty of poetry entries, despite our oft-repeated caution that poetry — though it looks easy — is actually the hardest, least-forgiving form of writing. This winning entry shows the precision of language and vision that sets fine poetry apart|
Angel Loop September
by Beate Sigriddaughter
In Canto 30 of Paradise, Dante
mentions the laughter of grass.
I am almost there now. Running
on Angel Loop, I rub shoulders
with tall mountain marigold
and goldeneye, a festival
of yellow, some blue
trumpet shapes and a few red ones.
My favorite spot is a stretch of bald rock
just before all the yellow. Yesterday
I tickled grass. I wanted to
hear its laughter. I think it was just crickets
rubbing their wings in the wind. I think
how I will likely never understand
why we should need darkness when
we yearn and strive for light. I understand
the concept of duality. Only my heart
so obstinately wishes to believe
pure light is possible. Meanwhile
a lizard dives face first under
the nearest rock ledge as I contemplate
scorpions and roses. I wish
these liquid lizards could trust me.
But how would they know love?
To them I am merely one
of the shadows of darkness. Still
I want to belong to light, to laughter,
to lizards believing in love. Today
grass tickled me. There are asters too
now, their yellow center full of summer
scent and whispering goodbye.
Beate Sigriddaughter is the author of Beauty Sleeping, a new novel
about an artist's journey through the often daunting landscapes of
self-doubt and disillusionment. She lives and writes
sometimes dances in Silver City.