Welcome back to another edition of BrickHouse Books’ Featured Excerpts! Last month, we delved into John C. McLucas’ debut novel, Dialogues on the Beach! This month, we’re heading into the world of poetry with Peter Weltner!
The Light of the Sun Become Sea is Weltner’s latest release with BrickHouse Books. Accomplished poet Joseph Stroud wrote of this collection:
. . .These poems. . .meld the past and the present, the personal and the historical, Classicism and Romanticism, myth and the quotidian, Eros and Thanatos. These poems look directly at the world. They don’t flinch in the face of loss and death. They strive for a transcendence where “All’s right. All’s water. All’s paradise shimmering.”
Join us as we explore the beautiful language of this collection, with three excerpts hand-selected by Weltner himself!
All passion’s a chant before sunrise, what is
real, unstoppable, that sanctifies the world,
makes it holier, a man abandoned, his
hopes denied him, mine by women that hurled
you from me. I followed your route. I watched
you walking not to get away, but to be
less ruined, to return some day, touched
by my hands, my lips, your wanting to see
more clearly the rooms we might dwell in, poorer
but more free, seeking to renew what’s below
you, what you’d seen in water flowing under
the bridge, enough rubble there to restore Santiago.
from “The Way Open to Other Ways”
So far north, June shocks as in a Russian
novel. First winter thaws in shadows. Raw
mud turns grass’s emerald. Then the land
flares into the Chinese colors I saw
as the sun shone through crane-white clouds
on an ancient silkscreen, a monk, plain,
hog-fat, sucking plums, making no sounds,
quieter than lotus on the mountain. Plums stain
his robe wine-red. A boat waits by his hut.
In farewell, he embraces the farmer who hoes
his beds, its flowers topaz, agate.
If beauty’s found in decay, winter snows,
in labor, the raked-over loam, the ice-
laden gates, then summer’s paradisal. By stone
walls and cliffs, his skiff flows. Rice
fills his bowl. Peace comes to everyone.
The great good place of the world
is tremulous with light:
a forest of vines and brush,
its pathless ways through loblolly stands,
the flocks of birds encircling a lake,
the geese diving,
each blessing the water,
as ivy, trees sanctify the words
you use, offering you
their meaning, their eloquence.
A sun shines through you
as through a thick fog
that settles over the morning hours
of the city you grew up in, street sounds, songs,
what no one’s ever done with,
the stories they know of glory,
a cooling rain in June,
wet sidewalks, brownstones,
you, a dialogue between dawn and mist,
the light of the sun become sea.
To learn more about Peter Weltner and his works, visit Peter’s BHB Profile Page.