Charles Bane, Jr. – three poems

At the Observatory

At the observatory, I can
watch all the water mills
of galaxies. I deny every
injury in me and long to see
not backward but to forward
cliffs. I think the consequence
of you is written into the structures
we cannot know but by candles
in our room. Do you unfurl for
me? No, rather it is starry in your
eyes naturally and I want you
to order all the murdering
unstained from paper histories.
I deny sacredness
not born of your womb,
your hair the thousand
gestures of lovingness that
fall in gravity.

First published in the collection “Love Poems”.


Fire touches fire and in
the meeting is put out
til morning when we, in bed,
watch it rising from the east.
Such are we and all,
Other, from the ticking of
the first star. And all about
is rounded and curved that
we might find a pathway home.
All is made for but a little time
of light, and the light itself fashioned
by love for blazing kind. Here is
the truth, Other, that I read in my
twin’s eyes: this space is all,
this patch for us between dark
and innocent dark. This waiting bed,
these sheets, this torch I hold. Fire
comes to fire, and mimics first light.

First published in The Boston Poetry Magazine.

All The Men Went

All the men went
to the mines and
my grandfather carried
a canary in a small cage.
When the bird expired he
chose to stay as the others
rushed to air.
At his funeral Mass in
the church he never
entered, a choir sang
Danny Boy that was his
drinking song. No one
understood his choice
to lay beside his pick
and sleep; but I had
spent a night in his home
when I was small and called
down for his company.
He lay beside me
and explained how
the light that reflects
through a prism is a true
division of a miracle and
this was joyous to him to
know and he described
the tracks of carts carrying coal
and the flashing lamps of fellow
gods and he recounted, touching
my hair, the Iliad and Apollo of the sky
on a knee, firing arrows in single
He was without vice: but when the
elevator ascended from the shaft
in daylight savings time, grand-
mother told me he disappeared to
land for sale and tasted the rich black
soil of Illinois with a spoon. I think,
and write, of ultra violet and infra red
light that vibrates in every kind of
molecule, even cloud drops, in
a music for grandfather and choice

First published in The Good Men Project.

Charles Bane, Jr. is the author of The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor), Love Poems (Aldrich Press), and Three Seasons: Writing Donald Hall (Collection of Houghton Library, Harvard University). He created and contributes to The Meaning Of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project, and is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida.


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