Towards the sea or mountains, almost blest
we carried everything we could
but did not dare to name
and with our hands, conveyed the mysteries
the stark reflections of a place we could not comprehend
we thought objects could push us to transcend
our images, an ear of corn
if contemplated well
could be a lamp to guide us on this trace
or just a blossom, held in sight
a moment could reverse
our years of wandering, let us converse
in tongues we know, voices of flame
in darkness understood
as light illuminating what the mind
conceived without the expertise
of interwoven forms

as if the mountain winds or wave dressed storms
surpassed our words, as if the thorn
gave meaning as it fell
along this unmarked path where intertwined
roses and broken canes relight
this road towards the west.

REMARKS FROM THE POET: A kiste was a small box, a kind of chest, really, which was at the center of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The secret of its contents was so well guarded that even today, no-one knows exactly was inside. And so in the poem, we go wandering, searching for a place of peace, bearing the secret with us, but hardly understanding it. We just have the intuition that if only we could fully grasp it, or understand the voices in the darkness, we could find that place of peace, that promised land the unmarked path may lead to, but even our own words, our cherished objects, our interwoven forms, confuse us. The pentameter, tetrameter, trimeter repeating stanza is my own invention, as is the rhyme scheme.

W.F. Lantry

W.F. Lantry, a native of San Diego, is a widely published prize winning poet and fiction writer who has been featured in poetry journals and readings nationally and internationally. He currently lives in Washington, DC. He taught for eight years at L’Université de Nice in France, earning his License and Maîtrise in English Literature, Linguistics and Translation. During this time, he won the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award. Boston University awarded him a Fellowship tostudy with Derek Walcott and George Starbuck, who together directed his thesis. There he received an M.A. in English and Creative Writing. He holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston where he worked with Donald Barthelme, Ed Hirsch, Mary Robison, James Robison and Adam Zagajewski. He has taught at 12 different Universities on two continents in a variety of fields,most often Literature and Rhetoric, but also in History, Library Science, World Civilizations, and Information Technology. He served as Director of Academic Technology at a national research university in Washington, DC for 15 years.