patricia houghton clarke
monks walking, luang prabang
2006
Though Stars Turn Away


Thamnaret wrote Dark will be your own
heart’s house but no one believed.
Now, though stars turn away,
you must continue, though unspeakable,
what you witness you must name. Streets
strewn like burned branches. All you knew
fallen away, yet you must move
in holy direction. Follow the monks

as they vanish in the darkening. Follow
their bells, let their song
quench your thirst. Day topples
to night and keening’s deep
but still you’ll hear the bells. Travel
neither by compass nor map but in one
hand holding another. Chip by chip
a wild power grows in you, fuels

your walk to the new world.

Ellen Chavez Kelley

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