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John Knoepfle's Poetry


the suns eye gleams on the burnt black prairie
the winter blackened moraines of all conclusions
and the white egret
ascetic alone with his promise
knowing where the river is
threads a fiery needle


it was always more than dawn
that we looked for
something that we had not seen
as we watched here
gathered from the ashes of our vision


may new prayers and new fires
the beloved pleiades
welcome the kickapoo home
star daughters in their hoods of light
dancing at their zenith while the sun
burns down the horizon


this world in peace
this laced temple of darkening colors
it could not have been made for shambles
this green twilight of echoing voices
as the sun hurls its fireball
down the other side of the world


it is long miles through marshgrass
the sangamon sifting to its ending
and beyond us the illinois
intensifies south
beneath the eagles at grafton
our ancient mississippi
its wide slow waters