Nocturne by Charlotte Muse


“Nocturne” by Charlotte Muse


Into the always mysterious air,
place of breath and wings,
the moon is rising

It reveals by its milky light
a dull gleam of wakeful eyes

The teeth of marauders

Outlines of mountains and trees–
enough to reassure

A path to itself, straight across the water
and then up

Where the owl’s nest is,
and its comings and goings
How the owl is its own shadow
and its shadow’s shadow

An expanse of field, whitened as if by tepid snow

The general in the square on his bronze horse
medaled with pigeon droppings

The beauty of a fish, if it lights on a fish

One bare arm of a soldier, dead on the field

His black blood
The cave of his open mouth
The sheen on a gun

The whitest statue in the churchyard

Moonlight in its mildness
like glib speech in what it leaves out

Like peace, which must overlook
so much



Share your response to this work, in any form, here



Charlotte Muse Artist Statement:

Charlotte Muse received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State
University. Her awards include the Allen Ginsberg Award, the Elinor Benedict Poetry
Prize, the Yeats Society of New York’s Poetry Award, two Atlanta Review International
Publication Awards, and awards in the Joy Harjo Poetry competition, the Foley Prize, and
Ireland’s Feile Filiochta, as well as the short list for England’s 2013 Bridport Prize. Her
work has been published in magazines and anthologies.
A letterpress edition of her recent chapbook, A Story Also Grows, handmade by
the Chester Creek Press, is in both the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian rare book
collections. She teaches and writes in Menlo Park, CA, where she likes to sit at the
bottom of a nearby dry creek and stare off into space.


Author: A Room of Her Own

Share This Post On