Poem-8 (7.1)


Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 7, Number 1. May 2024. ISSN: 2581-7094


The Mirrored Dance Between

--- Ken Holland

A brutal beauty sings within

the unknowable:

a child born into obscurity,

the lost-named merchants

of the Silk Road,

the ancient visionaries

of the Lascaux Caves,

the forgotten godheads

of language, the first to give

word to sky-struck fire,

dwarf stars that never

ignited into their constellated

tableaux, the inconceivably

slim portion of time

that stands on this side

of the birthed universe

and the side of what yet

can’t be conceived:

the mirrored dance between

what is, and what is not.

Wherefore I Say This to You

--- Ken Holland


Sound rides deep the night as sound is fond of doing.

The air has cleared itself of ice and flame and the inane

chatter of our species. Even our whispers have been

locked down to silence. Every rumor, every religion

Is lying senseless. Every creation myth staggering home

on an ill-lit road, passing out among the dust and stones.

Drunk on its own euphoria. On its own nonexistence.

While the stars continue to burn their way into oblivion,

toward the day the universe will be saturated in darkness

when belief will once more open the artifacts of its eyes

as if to embrace a light that no longer adorns the sky.

Singing into the Void

--- Ken Holland


When we ask death to take us

(as some do), it is not the same

as to be taken by death.

For to be taken by death is as when

one is taken by beauty

or by the symmetry of an equation

or the rough-hewn friction of love,

and to be so taken is to be taken

by that which does not let go.


                   Does  not  let  go.


                                      So yes, perhaps I’ve been curiously wrong—

                                      to be taken by beauty, to be taken by death—

                                      they do seem now to be the same song.




Ken Holland has had work widely published in such journals as Rattle, Tulane Review, Southwest Review, and Tar River Poetry.  He was awarded first place in the 2022 New Ohio Review poetry contest, judged by Kim Addonizio, and was a finalist in the 2022 Lascaux Prize in Poetry. His book length manuscript, Summer of the Gods, was a semi-finalist in the 2022 Able Muse book competition as well as Word Work’s 2022 Washington Prize. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. More by visiting his website: www.kenhollandpoet.com