Toward the Ancient Light

By Robert S. King

This clear night of fall hangs jewels on the limbs.

Diamonds of distant stars replace the leaves,

a gift of light show to bathe our dark eyes

in the watery light of vision,

bright scars to remember

as the past catches up at last

to our conflicted world.


A comet smokes by, almost firefly close.

A spider web ripples between the branches,

almost a spiral galaxy turning clockwise.

The moon hides its scars behind the mountain,

no match for brighter skies tonight.

The distant firecrackers of battle redden our sky

that now blends into the calming cosmic clouds.

Everything stirs toward truth: a shade of white.

The mixture of everything is harmony, is eternity.


Still our fears thicken the dark wind blowing.

Still our metal arms reach out across the battlefields.


Lightning from our own arms splits the moon

in our final show of power.

Photons from long ago probe our hearts,

regulating the rhythm of us all,

turning us inside out as they pass.

The galaxy arms reach out for us,

we who always fought for love,

we who always loved to fight.

We peel now our uniforms to the skin

and go at last toward the only lasting light.


Robert S. King lives in the countryside near Cave Spring, Georgia. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including The Kenyon Review, Southern Poetry Review, Lullwater Review, Chariton Review, Main Street Rag, and others. His latest books are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both from Shared Roads Press, 2009. He is currently Director of FutureCycle Press,

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