Marci Rae Johnson: "William Blake Contemplates Enlightenment"


Draw the eye upward.

Is heaven in the sky?


A little white. A little blue.

Little black thing among


the snow. Ashes on the face.

Incomplete thought.


Gone to the church to pray.

Buttresses, birds—flying


or with the ability to fly.

Kinetic. Potential. Little fly,


happy fly. My thoughtless hand,

shading the eyes looking up.


The tops of trees

how they hold up the sky.


How words draw the eye down

to the page. Down the page.


And which direction the thought?



Marci Rae Johnson holds an MFA in Poetry Writing from Spalding University, and an MA in Theological Studies from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL). She currently teaches at Valparaiso University, and she is Poetry Editor for WordFarm Press. Her poems appear in Perihelion, Louisville Review, Phoebe, Christian Century, Minnetonka Review, Strange Horizons, and 32 Poems, among others. Johnson's first collection of poetry won the 2011 Powder Horn Prize and will be published by Sage Hill Press.