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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Taylor Brorby

Taylor Brorby
Night and Day

I go to bed when birds rise
singing their sweet and sonorous strains
across the dew wet grass.
I go to bed when the grey blue morning
light filters through my pane
like the slow drip of the morning brew
not yet made.
In the midnight of my fits and flashes
I reach out like a sojourner looking
for a message in a bottle
combing the beach shore of tomorrow
and wondering
Where did yesterday go?

Other days I rise when the world
has not yet rubbed its eyes
cleaning the sleep from its baby blues
or shook its head to rattle the imagination of the day.
I turn on a light
a watch-lamp in the neighborhood
like a lighthouse keeping an eye on sailors.
Over the din of the coffee brewing and boiling
I pick at words like a miner with a broadax
breaking away the rock to reveal the jewel.

As the sun bobs across the horizon
and words fill the page like water in a canteen
I sip my coffee and create the simple world I call home.

I didn’t shower today
because I felt
that damn good.
I felt like a child
swimming in a sandbox
of crusty dirt,
whose hair is filled
with the soil
of imagination.
Should I have stayed
in bed, splayed like
a mighty river
whose current is
dark and deep?
Where would I have gone?
To church, that hollow
tomb of promises that
leaves me searching
like a sojourner in the night?
Maybe to the store, to search
the archipelagos of my desire,
too deep for friends to understand.
Instead, I wrote.
I cut paper with pen,
piercing into my cavernous
thoughts, crooked and bright,
like a path illuminated by fire.
The meadowlark called to me
from my room, like a lover
whispering his song.
Will you tell, if I share?
I didn’t shower today
because I wanted to remain
Taylor Brorby is an essayist and environmentalist living in western North Dakota. He writes for The Huffington Post and the EcoTheo Review on the environment and faith.


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