Jon Palzer: "Advice for Night Time"




If blinded, of course

turn toward owls.


They have learned how

to feast on darkness,


shrug the night off

with broad span of wings.



 Oiled for stealth,

they clutch increments of life,


prey shimmering

upon the rough forest floors.


Take for your seeing

the cool map of air,


and tilt your ear

toward woodlot edges.


Gather like down

the nether-light in your eyes


and trace the paths through sky. 

Awaken alone, say little


when you thrust your body

out through the tunnel


of silence

aching for captured echoes. 



Jon Palzer is Chair of the Department of Humanities at Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York, where he has taught literature and writing since 2001. A recipient of the Thomas McGrath Award of the Academy of American Poets, he has studied creative writing at several universities, including the MFA Program at the University of Arkansas. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Natural Bridge, GW Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Brooklyn Review, Comstock Review, and elsewhere.