Gone Too Far Near Singing

The way light may weigh on sense
or seal the gesture of the land,

or how a scene may slip in sunset
into pools of gestures;

these are words where afternoons
can read their presence into night.

They say how songs can captivate
a landscape; worlds of dragonflies

then weave between the undulations
of the cattails raised from water

now in how it all retrieves us.
Then we see too closely in

the world to get away. Thought ends.
We find ourselves

gone too far near singing not
to be the sound of breath.

Allan Johnston is the editor of the Journal for the Philosophical Study of Education. His poems have appeared in over sixty journals, including Poetry, Poetry East, Rattle, and Rhino. He is the author of one full-length poetry collection, Tasks of Survival (1996) and a chapbook, Northport (2010), and has received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and First Prize in Poetry in the Outrider Press Literary Anthology competition.