Show me a stand of pine to find peace in, Lord,
a shape to the world more than my eye imposes
or my ears transpose from birds, wind to voices
no one can hear but me. My life’s wandering.
Chance may place rocks in the wilds to reveal
a grace no choice can compose. A hiker lost
in dark woods might be afraid, but morning
will unveil which path to choose. My way’s closed.
Thirteen when I lost my faith, I set myself on
a mortal quest. Old age would come and I’d
be done, having learned what I’d sought, all God
had wrought on this earth, and I’d be willing to go.
Is it too late? In ancient Colonus, death brought
one blind to an olive grove. I wait by the sea.
From The Outerlands, BrickHouse Books, 2011
Peter Weltner has published six books of fiction, including The Risk of His Music and How the Body Prays, and, in 2017, The Return of What’s Been Lost, five poetry chapbooks, among them The One-Winged Body and Water’s Eye (both in collaboration with the artist Galen Garwood), and six full length collections of poetry, News from the World at My Birth: A History, The Outerlands, To the Final Cinder, Stone Altars, Late Summer Storm in Early Winter (with photographs and paintings by Galen Garwood), and most recently The Light of the Sun Become Sea. He and his husband live in San Francisco by the ocean.
Danse Macabre is proud to name Peter Weltner our 2017 Artist-in-Residence. May our dedicated Macabristas delight in his wondrous poetics in both DM and DM du Jour throughout the year – and heartfelt thanks to Peter for his generosity in sharing his artistry with us. Cent’anni!