Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Some Clear Night

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In the poetry of Gary Lawless, who resides in Nobleboro, nature is often a source of inspiration and vision. This week’s poem offers a compelling example.

Some Clear Night by Gary Lawless

Some clear night like this,
when the stars are all out and shining,
our old dogs will come back to us,
out of the woods, and lead us
along the stone wall to the cove.
There will be foxes, and loons,
and a houseboat floating on the lake.
The trees will lean in, a lantern
swinging over the water, the creaking of oars.
Now we will learn the true names of the stars.
Now we will know what the trees are saying.
There is wood in the stove.
We left the front door open.
Does the farmhouse know
that we’re never coming back?

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1998 by Gary Lawless. Reprinted from “Caribouddhism,” Blackberry Books, 1998, by permission of Gary Lawless. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.