Anne Coray’s poetry collections include A Measure’s Hush, VioletTransparent, and Bone Strings. She is coauthor of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and coeditor of Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment. Her poetry has appeared in theSouthern Review, Poetry, North American Review, Connecticut Review, the Women’s Review of Books, in several anthologies, and on the Verse Daily web site. She has been a finalist with White Pine Press, Carnegie Mellon, Rooster Hill Press, Water Press & Media, and Bright Hill Press. Twice nominated for the Pushcart and the recipient of grants and a fellowship from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and an Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmuson Foundation, she lives at her birthplace on remote Qizhjeh Vena (Lake Clark) in southwest Alaska.
Of the North
Brief, the Alaskan summer, but long the light
of early July, when one can sit up late
to sky-watch and wish only that wishes
attain the night’s suspension.
Insects cluster and cruise, then join again,
their bodies a small galaxy
against a backdrop of indeterminate blue.
Whoever is here should be quiet now.
Whoever’s thoughts have drawn up a chart
to the headwaters of the self’s image
should set it down.
Look—what if we’re going nowhere?
What if time is our most famous fabrication?
Up there, somewhere, all our longings
and desire for detachment from desire
spiral into a print that seeks no resolution.
Maybe the final lesson is to learn to spin
while stars, invisible, form the shape
of a great bear, and go on burning and dying
regardless of the season
or when on earth their shining will ever be seen.
…from A Measure’s Hush (Boreal Books, 2011)