Jared Carter: "Artifice"




Called forth, by indeterminate power,

I go out into morning light held east

By equinox, and brilliant, so the least

Of shadows fills with sun. Between two posts

A web, ingathered overnight, coasts

Wakening air—uncharted galaxy

Come into focus, yield of tranquil sea

And star. Cell after cell of emptiness

Encircled, whorled, caught by unseen stress

And taut invisibility. All night

Constructed, in a state precluding sight,

And yet by touch, by venturing through air,

This pale and enigmatic thing, this prayer

Of natural grace. I draw close to the strands

That hold it in its place—the slim commands

That reach out from four sides to give

Stability, that brace this random sieve

Against the wind. One holds as level

As the land itself, the others beveled

Toward a central disk. No stray insect

Has wandered here, no fabric failed. It yet

Resists the gathering breeze, each silver line

A manifest of some primeval time.

Out of long darkness comes the light

That only striving can bestow—this bright

And perishable world. O day, that gives

Such artifice, O wind, in which will live

This beauteous thing, if only for an hour.



Jared Carter’s fifth book of poems, A Dance in the Street, has just been released by Wind Publications. His book of narrative poems, Cross this Bridge at a Walk, came out from Wind in 2006. Carter’s first book, Work, for the Night Is Coming, received the Walt Whitman Award. He is the recipient of a number of national awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.