The Light through the Peaks


One night your wife won’t turn to you

through the dark and you start

a war in another country.

Bombs go off in your father’s arms;

The light is immense but you must look.

Your son is thrown to the bottom

of a well, but you have

no buckets to save him,

for you have turned them into guns.


In one sleepless night,

you have learned how the world ends.



The dark moon follows her own course.

Turn the other way.



A middle-aged man shouts at the mother

who died when he was away at school.

He stares at the mountains in hate.

The angry man cries because his mother

went insane. He has no one to slap

while his father speeds on to emergency wards.

The old man with kids our age

has not left his mother for the tides.

His children laugh at him like a fisherman

who returns with empty nets.




The earth cannot hold all their tears.

No matter where they fall,

they return to the blazing sea.

The tides will turn or not turn,

but there will be no more tears in you:


This is how the world begins.

Light rises through the peaks.


From MAN! Magazine, and Text and Commentary, Mandala Publications, 1993.

For my thoughts about writing this poem, follow this link.

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About lymangrant

Lyman Grant is a professor of creative writing and humanities at Austin Community College. He has work at ACC since 1978. He is the author or editor of two textbooks, two books relating to Texas literature, three volumes and a chapbook of poetry. Recently he traveled the United States for a year in a 34-foot RV 5th wheel trailer with his wife and two younger sons.