Claude Wilkinson was a featured poet at the April 12, 2015, Poetry & BBQ. 

The Enduring Night

after a painting by Michael Crespo

Still in the beginning
before order and purpose,
without cushions of moss
or tumbling rivers,
without swallows dropping
from palm fronds into flight,

moon and rabbit
are stacked like
porcelain objets d’art, float
as if models for creation
in the black chiffon of space.

Certainly this is that time
that Roethke meant
when he said, “I weep
for what I’m like
when I’m alone.”

Moon, rabbit, dark.

Who among us hasn’t stood
in the same empty
square of canvas,
as unhappy as God, overlooking
swaths of new-mown grass
and shell pink azaleas,
unmoved even by lagoons of stars?

Who hasn’t blended into
the one infinite night,
and with raucous crickets,
a death owl’s quavering whistle,
waited for silver morning
to bleed through?

Claude Wilkinson