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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, August 10, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I’m thinking about moments of safety, wherever we find ourselves, about place before there was place or time among the elements of our solar system, and of all that recedes.”
—James Brasfield

Palladium

A cortege of clouds’
shifting planes 

reflected on a river,
the current’s weave deepens,

yet motionless
the dramatization of

a fern unfolding,
light illuminating the air

for a moment’s threshold,
when time, where we stand,

corresponds to the day
held firm,

derived from the elegance of
the equation

for what was once never here.   
 

Copyright © 2016 by James Brasfield. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 10, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by James Brasfield. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 10, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

James Brasfield

James Brasfield

James Brasfield is the author of Infinite Altars (Louisiana State University Press, 2016). He teaches at Penn State University and lives in State College, Pennsylvania.

by this poet

poem

Radiant the delayed calmness,
—Do you feel it, I said. —Yes, you said,

of what only each can know,
kernel of radiance, the globo terrestre

of a water drop, not the passing adaptations
of canonical light, but seconds stilled—

our hearts beating through the moments—centuries

poem

         How time slowed when any thought     
     or apprehension of the next instant
             vanished (no obligation, then or later),

         how in that long moment, all at once,
     yet without surprise, how what was close
             was present in a sudden suspense,