Ashley Valmere, Fireplace in the Forest (photograph)

You might spend twenty years writing ten lines
about the ordinary ascensions
of a butterfly snipping small circles
like a dollhouse kite in the autumn air,
but so what? Other Octobers call us,
collect from our minor catastrophes  
the garbled syntax that throats a hopeful life.
If you speak to eighth graders as angels
and to angels as eighth graders, already
you have become fluent in paradise.
Genuflect to sunlight. Close the furnace
door of an hour. Make kindling of your verbs.
Someone is taking me by the hand now.
Poetry, be my body of shining.


Dante Di Stefano