Literary Hook: Poem: ‘Queen of the Night’

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

There is an enchanted place where artists and writers can spend time creating with no interruptions and surrounded by beauty. It is Centrum Center for the Arts, which is the old Fort Ward State Park in Port Townsend, Wash. Perhaps you saw the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, which was filmed there. Here is a poem that came out of that experience.

Queen of the Night

Shrine of clouds, red halo around the moon,

opalescent obelisk enshrouded,

and Venus, just below, like a handmaiden.

Such a lyrical night on Admirality Inlet

where I am carrying a sack full of laundry

and pocketful of quarters,

walking down a path alone here

at Fort Warden, now a park and arts center.

As if this weren’t miracle enough,

as I walk up the path, returning with

clean underwear, sweet smelling and bleached,

three deer nibble grass at my cottage door.

Mother and fawn keep their distance

while the bolder young buck stands, stares,

and steps closer. I whisper and step closer too.

Brown eyes lock under the Queen of Night sky.

The buck twitches his ear, blinks

and tiptoes away. Inky clouds cover

the moon completely and all is shadow

and silhouettes. Venus gets off her knee,

traveling incognito under a cloud front

blowing into the bay. All that remains

is a foghorn, a chilly September breeze,

the vast, dreamy indigo night.

First published in Soundings, then in The Alleluia Tree.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.

From the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2013, issue

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