To live here happily
we must let go
the body’s memory
of unhurried sunlight
and learn to love 
the constancy of clouds.

To be understood
we must learn to speak 
the many idioms of rain:
the guttural dialect
of downpour on cement
the lilt of a wind-driven dousing
on iron rooftops.

The wilder seasons 
of our northern lives
are part of us
having seeped inside 
taken up residence
in the deepest sulci 
of our brains:

the sting of sunlight
the cacophony of colors,
the muffled sound of snow
like a lover’s clothes
falling to the floor.

Here in the south
autumn steps aside
politely, excuses herself
for any unintended consequences
while spring is merely a kind
of warm equivocation.

This is not so much a place
as a way of seeing;
we are not so much its citizens
as itinerants following
the harvests of loss and acquiescence

always carrying some form
of faded identification
to remind ourselves
of who we were
before we settled 
for this temperate life.

Art Nahill

Art Nahill is an American physician/writer currently living in New Zealand with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in Poetry, Rattle, Harvard Review, and Portland Review, among others, both in the US and NZ.


steve heisel
11/19/2013 10:04pm


04/03/2014 6:01pm

thanks for you web


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