top of page

The John H. Bennett, Jr., Prize

Thomas Johnson

Sunset and Moonlight over Charleston: List

Sunset and Moonlight over Charleston

The keel and the sails of a boat
homing back into port
at the end of the day
catch the miraculous blaze,
as if the sun setting
over the sea had to hatch
golden eggs sprouting
huge matching wings.
Not even the farmer starting
his cruise far from the Piedmont,
leaning and looking for once
from the rail of a liner waiting
to sail, could object to the sight,
though it is nothing like watching
the last light of day die
over silos and pines, behind
the old coop and the spread of a ripe
cotton field; nor should
the young sailor object,
who, following his six-hour
binge in port, late tonight
by the light of the moon must stumble
back down to the sea and the ship
in his cups and his love and regrets.

Sunset and Moonlight over Charleston: Text
bottom of page