Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Her turtle throws Platonic stars on walls

Three poems by Robert Griffith

Robert Griffith
Robert Griffith

Geometry

  • Above the lake, the little birds flit
  • in shallow sine waves, skimming low
  • to catch the mayfly hatch, and leaving cold,
  • concentric rings where beaks and wingtips kiss
  • the glass. The morning light is pale and clear,
  • a whiteboard where the shapes of all the world
  • are waiting to be drawn. I stand and watch
  • the birds, their catenaries steep and wild.
  • What force is this that stokes their frantic hearts,
  • that holds me shorebound in the morning chill?
  • I’m sure I’ll never know. Yet still I feel
  • the pull of all that life, and even more
  • I cannot help but feel your gravid heart
  • asleep behind me in the cabin. It tugs
  • me back from apogee, and I begin
  • to fall, a grateful arc across the beach,
  • a curving path that takes me back to you.

The Dark Between the Stars

  • From the dresser where it sits, green and plush,
  • Her turtle throws Platonic stars on walls
  • And ceiling both. They hang there in the hush,
  • A sky where nothing moves and no star falls,
  • And light my daughter’s room in firefly glow.
  • Awake and curled beneath the sheets, she grips
  • Imaginary oars and starts to row.
  • Her ocean’s midnight black and vast. It slips
  • Beneath her bed, a purling beast that sweeps
  • Her farther out to sea, to distant isles
  • Where nights are long and hidden danger sleeps.
  • Back home, I unfold maps and count the miles.
  • I watch the constellations. So bright and far
  • Away, she plies the dark between the stars.

The End of Time

  • So now, forever now, the sun hangs
  • like a cold and pendent fire upon a bough,
  • and the whole serrated sea is still, sculpted
  • glass and foam beneath a watercolor sky.
  • And even here, far inland, in a place
  • where grass is trimmed each week, where robins cry
  • the dawn and sidewalks girdle all we know
  • and love, even here the gears of time
  • have shivered to a stop. The air is fixed,
  • the silence certain. Peace and horror drop
  • heavy as a velvet curtain, and all
  • the bright, unnumbered world begins to dim.
  • The final photons fall like flakes of snow,
  • like incandescent bits of time that cling
  • to faces, hands, and lips. And as the world
  • goes dark, a stage that fades to black, we glow.

Rob Griffith’s latest book, The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), was nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize; and his previous book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award. His work has appeared in PN Review, Poetry, The North American Review, Poems & Plays, The Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Evansville, Indiana.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Fr. Robert Maldondo was qualified by the call

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church pastor tried to pull a Jonah
Next Article

Aftermath of 99 Cents Only shut-down

Well, Dollar Tree, but no fresh fruit
Robert Griffith
Robert Griffith

Geometry

  • Above the lake, the little birds flit
  • in shallow sine waves, skimming low
  • to catch the mayfly hatch, and leaving cold,
  • concentric rings where beaks and wingtips kiss
  • the glass. The morning light is pale and clear,
  • a whiteboard where the shapes of all the world
  • are waiting to be drawn. I stand and watch
  • the birds, their catenaries steep and wild.
  • What force is this that stokes their frantic hearts,
  • that holds me shorebound in the morning chill?
  • I’m sure I’ll never know. Yet still I feel
  • the pull of all that life, and even more
  • I cannot help but feel your gravid heart
  • asleep behind me in the cabin. It tugs
  • me back from apogee, and I begin
  • to fall, a grateful arc across the beach,
  • a curving path that takes me back to you.

The Dark Between the Stars

  • From the dresser where it sits, green and plush,
  • Her turtle throws Platonic stars on walls
  • And ceiling both. They hang there in the hush,
  • A sky where nothing moves and no star falls,
  • And light my daughter’s room in firefly glow.
  • Awake and curled beneath the sheets, she grips
  • Imaginary oars and starts to row.
  • Her ocean’s midnight black and vast. It slips
  • Beneath her bed, a purling beast that sweeps
  • Her farther out to sea, to distant isles
  • Where nights are long and hidden danger sleeps.
  • Back home, I unfold maps and count the miles.
  • I watch the constellations. So bright and far
  • Away, she plies the dark between the stars.

The End of Time

  • So now, forever now, the sun hangs
  • like a cold and pendent fire upon a bough,
  • and the whole serrated sea is still, sculpted
  • glass and foam beneath a watercolor sky.
  • And even here, far inland, in a place
  • where grass is trimmed each week, where robins cry
  • the dawn and sidewalks girdle all we know
  • and love, even here the gears of time
  • have shivered to a stop. The air is fixed,
  • the silence certain. Peace and horror drop
  • heavy as a velvet curtain, and all
  • the bright, unnumbered world begins to dim.
  • The final photons fall like flakes of snow,
  • like incandescent bits of time that cling
  • to faces, hands, and lips. And as the world
  • goes dark, a stage that fades to black, we glow.

Rob Griffith’s latest book, The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), was nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize; and his previous book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award. His work has appeared in PN Review, Poetry, The North American Review, Poems & Plays, The Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Evansville, Indiana.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Lang Lang in San Diego

Next Article

San Diego Gen Z-ers spend 17% more than millennials did on rent

Half of local renters pay more than 30% of income on housing
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.