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Looking Out, Looking In

Out the window, half a cloud,
a piece of tree, bits of gray—call it sky—
In the dusk little more dimension than
an old brown academic painting in bad lighting.
Any hint that somewhere half the sun sets
while a ghostly crescent of moon rises—any hint
is fugitive, impossible to distinguish from knowing
these things must be so.

This pane-patterned square is framed by a room,
walls, chairs, papers, TV… what we call
a life, looming large in lamplight to stave off
any ghost of other largeness in which we are absent,

all outdoors (barely visible through my reflection)
reduced to an almost still-life in the window’s frame,
perhaps leaves wobbling in a wind I cannot feel,
even the window a lie:  vind auga—Old Icelandic
for “wind eye,”  eye of an old icy wind,
an opening thru which a gust, a guest, entered,
now a fake—a glass eye, through which the wind
cannot see us.

In the window, that glowing square on a dark boxy shape,
surrounded by the world of wind and cloud
I stand in, head bared to the moon,
my vision framed only by the eye’s limits, if even that
when, as now, drawn out by the night sky’s depth
where the clouds open, I slip out of my head,
still seeing, by what means I cannot say. Looking in,
I see a man at the window—

I think of my father, but he is dead,
and of coming home late to a house in another city,
but this neither is nor was my house,
nor the wind’s, and yet that glow promises
an inward depth as deep as the dark between stars,
something to do with home.

I see the man as he lowers a shade,
then only a crack of light, then none,
and I am both outside and inside at once,
more penetrating than the wind

by Dean Blehert

copyright (c) 2011. All Rights Reserved

Last updated: February 10, 2012