Friday Poetry with James Goertel: Pocket the Sun, Reach for the Sun and River of Days’ Pale Sun

Friday Poetry with James Goertel: Pocket the Sun, Reach for the Sun and River of Days’ Pale Sun

POCKET THE SUN, REACH FOR THE SUN, and RIVER OF DAYS’ PALE SUN from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under The Same Moon, nod to longer days, the sun’s reappearance in a formerly evening sky, but to thoughts both light and dark.

Friday Poetry with James Goertel Pocket the Sun, Reach for the Sun and River of Days' Pale Sun

Auguste Rodin, Portrait of Camille Claudel with a Bonnet, 1886

POCKET THE SUNPocket the sun,
put away the day
and all that touched you
without your consent:their eyes,
their hands,
their words.

Pull the moon
from your own mouth
and let night find your smile
with its shine of stars.

Wrap your arms around this wounded world
whose seas have turned red with the murder of the moon.
Hold tightly to the frail remnants of humanity
in the face of man’s inhumanity to man, to woman, to child.
Reach for the sun turned pallid, turned pale,
its sallow shine is all that remains, all we can offer tomorrow.


(In Memory of Camille Claudel)

… and it was my life that was flowing slowly;

river of days’ pale sun through veins,
the blood of years aging beneath
month after month of a moon’s

mutable face reflected upon
the surface of the water
but never moving
with me;

and it was my life that was flowing slowly…




James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


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Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

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