Nada: hope or nothing

Like a windblown seed, not yet rooted 

or petal from an impossible moonflower, shimmering, 

unplucked, perfect, in a clear night sky, 


like a rainbow without rain, like the invisible 

hand of a god stretching out of nowhere 

to shower joy brimful from Plenty’s horn, 


like a greeting from a child, unborn, unconceived, 

like an angel, bearing a gift, a ring, a promise, 

like a visitation from a twice redeemed soul, 


like a silent song sung by the ghost of nobody 

to an unknown, sweet and melodious instrument 

buried ages in the deepest cave of being, 


like a word only half heard, half remembered, 

not yet fully learned, from a stranger’s language, 

the sad heart longs for, to unlock its deepest cells, 


a blue butterfly takes my hand and writes 

in invisible ink across its page of air 

Nada, Elpidha, Nadezhda, Esperanza, Hoffnung. 

from The Blue Butterfly (Salt, 2006 / Shearsman, 2011), © Richard Berengarten 2006, used by permission of the author.

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