Persona August, 2nd 2021 by

Night on Earth - By Mara Lemanis


Night on Earth

At dusk I put to bed
my daily implements
those lights trapped in
the mobile phone, tablet, LED
and all the volts that peel
my household eyes,
I close down all
and wait.
I wait for
sky and earth
to lie bare-skinned around me
to breathe me into night
into blackness
without shadow
graced by earthshine
from the sun’s corona
and the cheesecloth moon’s
refracted glow…
I wait for dark
to coax my sight;
to lift my eyes from
daylight squints
and search the
silent shape of night;

Beneath my feet
the soil looks back at me;
like a snake,
a silhouette streaks past,
my sleek cat Rain,
who has not seen me
outside man-made light,
flicks a tiger-eye
at the trespasser in her domain;
without a sound she crouches
over pebbles in the driveway
gray by day,
turned opalescent
in the tunneling dark;
the soil exhales
to draw me to a grove of pines
where a rock circle
sprouts infant sparks
of golden orange, green, blue-green
like unborn fireworks
gestating in concrete
or like the luminescent creatures
that nestle in the Maldives
staining seashores
enamel blue
beneath night skies;

Beneath the pines
pent up in igneous rock
sodalite crystals
flare orange;
calcite crystals
beam green;
a slab of granite
in the center of
the rock circle
glints quartz and feldspar;
they are initiating me
into their underworld
of light
grazed by the sun
long before batteries
ever bound circuits;
I am witness to
this underworld
that nightly lulls
the racing day;

Rain prowls to-and-fro
undulating like
a snake in toe shoes;
she stops, crouches before me,
a sentry guarding her kingdom;
she could be the Queen of Serpents
on Mount Ararat
who flouts invaders
with the light from
a stone in her mouth;
It was a luminous stone
more bright by night than day
that guided the Ark through the Flood;
It was the Syrian goddess Astarte
Lucian saw,
her head crowned with a gem
that flashed a light so bright
her temple gleamed
through the night
as if fired
by infinite candles;

Rain darts her tiger-eye at me
pivots loose-hinged hips
into the grass
and stops before an old fence post,
haunches raised,
lets out a growl,
forepaws scratching at the ground;
I hurry to her post
and watch her back
arch into regal shape
as she displays her pride,
a small red carbuncle
luminous, vibrant
stirring memories of windows
in the Church of St. Nicholas
studded with garnets
looking out to sea
shining red
deep into night
guiding sailors to port
on the isle of Gotland.

A gray horizon starts to press
on my black dome
prodding a smudge
of dawn;
I slowly turn,
step lightly over pebbles
that can’t resist
their graying cast;
Rain tunes her hips,
slides next to me,
as we track back
to charge again
the tools of industry
that daily shine in gulags
recast now, redressed
as snug cantinas
hiding the underworld
hiding night on earth.
Mara Lemanis




Mara Lemanis

Biography: Mara Lemanis is a literary scholar. Her essays have been selected for 20th CENTURY LITERARY CRITICISM and are included in undergraduate student textbooks in the U.S.

She has worked as an archivist for Historical Preservation and with the IRC, assisting refugees in Oakland, California.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


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