Phyllis Hoge Thompson

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The following piece appeared in our first (Summer 2002) issue.

Somewhere North

by Phyllis Hoge Thompson

Somewhere north of the highway between Fargo and Bismarck
The gradual night of midsummer solstice is obscuring
The geographical center of North America.
The last light of the longest day declines,
Stained with saffron, the sky holds more of evening
Than of sunset, more magnetism than dust.

Hidden by earliest stars and a half-moon rising
Radiant storms of aurora borealis
Throb outward. Visible only in darkness, sheer planes
Of blue light, green, violet, red, white,
Pulse unseen. Arcs, rays, bands, coronas,
Which spring earthward out of the solar windstream and lines

Of the magnetic field on transparent winter nights,
Fall now upon eyes which cannot see them. It is June
Along the long curve of horizon in North Dakota.
Only the frozen pitch of winter can cast up
Nights when the skies are shaking with a rapture of electricity
Beyond our understanding, even when we can see it.

How does anyone ever find anyone? We disclose so little
In the pleasant passages of summer, days and nights
When only the commonplace happens. It is in winter,
In the ache of an inward darkness charged with ice and anguish,
Hours riddled with passions of our solitude,
That we flare up, become transparent to ourselves
And visible at last to one another.

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P.O. Box 420816
San Diego, CA 92142-0816

P.O. Box 420816
San Diego, CA 92142-0816