River of Night

Los Angeles River on a Rainy Night

darkness surges from the east
slow silent inexorable, while day
grows timid and flows over
the western horizon, diluting
a glimmering sea — or so we say
we who see the universe from on the ground

there is no darkness

when we look up at stars at night
we see them couched in shadow
we claim that they are arrays of glory
that they flow in stately whirlpools
of fire, huddled in the cold and dark

how can we say that? it is never dark
those same uncounted suns illuminate
what we don’t see, while our own star
blinds us to the universe a
ll day
confuses us through no fault of its own

no rivers of light, no flow of night and day
just what we see, being beings
who don’t see well
. What we call ultimate
obscurity is redolent of light. so many stars
light everywhere you look

there is no darkness

a cat sits by your heel
as you watch night thicken
standing on a porch, in a yard
shadows overwhelm you,
things disappear, the familiar
dissolves, you are lost
while the cat, at last in a comfortable world
where she can see what you cannot
prepares to hunt. the night
an old song says
has a thousand eyes
yours not among them

forget all your poems, your scriptures

there is no darkness.

If you are interested in seeing more of my poetry, please visit my Medium blog. I’m hoping to publish a collection soon, but for now my current work is online there.

Rick Risemberg