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POETRY BY DAVID ST. JOHN
  
 
SAFFRON

Even the thin tube of Spanish saffron
Sitting on the spice rack above the butcher block
Cooking table seems to glow with its worth
Of at least one's weight in gold & today
At the beach a dozen Buddhist monks in golden
Robes stepped out of three limousines
To walk their Holy One out along the dunes

To the water's flayed edge where the sand burned
With a light one could only call in its reddish
Mustard radiance the essence of saffron
& what I remember most of the scene as
The Holy One knelt down to touch those waves
Was his sudden laughter & his joy & that
Billowing burnt lemon light opening across the sky

 

* * *

BLUE NAILS (II)

Circumstance means everything when
Night begins to creep closer to the bed
& silence is the worst lover not to

Mention the most wasteful so she sat

At her dresser naked from the waist
Up & held out first her left hand then
Her right each with a slow consideration

As if she were watching five moons rise

Now from the East & now the West
Each pale oval lacquered a nervous blue
The same neon pulse as certain tropical fish

In the clear shallows of the Caribbean where
Certainly she would one day be living in her next
& more deeply gracious life

 

* * *

TURQUOISE

Imagine the sky compressed within

The clenched earth

 

The pressure composed by deep fire

At the core of

 

The ether of transcendence surrounding

Us until the knuckles & nuggets

 

Spit high into the air

A smoldering blessing

 

Of the involuted skies as if even

The light above the sea had folded 

 

Back onto itself so many times

This petrified mirror of stone we carry

 

Becomes a bible      blue

Darkening from beauty into night




David St. John's most recent collections are: The Red Leaves of the Night (HarperCollins, 1999) and In the Pines: Lost Poems, 1972-1997 (White Pine). The poems published here are from a forthcoming collection entitled Prism.



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The Blue Moon Review/Blue Penny Quarterly, ISSN 1079-042x
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