Drifting into Moonrise over Hernandez, NM
After Ansel Adams, October 31, 1941
A clutch of crosses incandescent in the dark light, like words of a single syllable chanted
in the murmurs of bushes and slats, churches, workhouses, trailers, the lone and level
shrubs humming loud and far and away. Fear. Grit. Drift. Woe. Hope.
So much happens above the murmur—the stones in relief against the dark,
the roughened snowbelt, the firm wind towing the mountain shadows from the sky, an
oblique moon shining its minor light.
The moon glow grazes tiny crosses huddled below, standing for those whose grit lit the
way, whose hands dug them home, whose faith reached high,
Draped in borrowed luminescence.
Dr. Mary Adler
Dr. Mary Adler is a professor of English at California State University Channel Islands, where she teaches writing and literature. She has published two books for teachers, most recently Writers at Play: Making the Space for Adolescents to Balance Imagination and Craft (Heinemann, 2009). She is a fellow of the National Writing Projects at UCLA and UCSB.
5/2/2020 04:59:40 pm
Fabulous poem, evocative on Adams' famous photograph. I visited Hernandez one dark night back in the early 90s. Very little had changed since Adams photographed it. Mary captures the haunting emptiness of the place.
Rebecca Hyde Gonzales
8/16/2022 11:35:41 pm
Thanks for sharing this poem, Dr. Adler. Wonderful imagery.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
The Ekphrastic Review
Join us on Facebook: