Watching the Western Light

By Andrea Moorhead

How sudden the forest

the burned core of the day

still oscillating under ash and wind

the embers caught in the dried boughs

showering at night as if rain had come up

from the west, from the purple-throated jaws of

splintered plains and broken hills

the white smooth surface of snow

somewhere shining

under the shade of tender stones

worked up from beneath

while we sway into the night

carrying the day’s charge of fire.


Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

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