Poet's Corner


San Miguel

By John Eisner

what convergence of wind, blood

and dust has formed almost in

my image and settled here

what ancient ritual of sorrowful

beauty and exquisite pain reflected

in this molten sky am I here

to witness

like a grand inquisitor’s daughter

i walk treeless cobblestone streets

trailed by narrow high curbed sidewalks

decomposing granite arches frame

windowed eyes that blinking

through wrought iron lashes,

shelter souls within from a neighbor’s stare

A splash of green, the sound of cascading water

a canary’s song ends as a wormed

wood door slams shut. what rites of passage

were given birth to within. whose sun drenched

smile and first steps sounded on the thickness

of courtyard pavers, when dancing drums

and chants lifted the yoke of endless darkness.

A torn moon haunts its kingdom of stars

as I watch from my roof the

final embers of a long day’s fiesta.

Church bells, now still, are

deafening in their silence

a roof dog voices a forgotten bark

as darkness lifts her skirts to the coming dawn

John Eisner, a builder, raised two children with his wife Maureen on the Island in the 1970s. Recently returned from 3½ years in Mexico, he now lives year-round in Chilmark.