By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Jo Balisteri was a student of last month’s class at The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin. Her work is moving and original. Jo has had poems published in Crab Creek Review, Passager, Windhover, Quill and Parchment, Echoes and other magazines. A collection of her work, Joy in the Morning, was recently published by Bellowing ArkPress. This poem was inspired by a poem we read in class, “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz. Enjoy!
Live in the Layers and Not on the Litter line by Stanley Kunitz, The Layers
Late afternoon sun on beechnut leaves,
symmetrical, saw-toothed and copper, shiny
as a new penny. Polished by light, they hang
from branches like Christmas tree ornaments,
radiance-filled for the gray days.
I lie against bed pillows and read
then look again outside;
And it seems that living in the layers
is just this — paying attention to the gifts
of this earth. Witnessing and giving
voice to beauty, to the fragility
and impermanence of even one beechnut leaf
in its moment of luminosity.
From the Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2011, issue