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Image by Shlomo Shalev

Joseph Hardy



     a voice will find you—

divide silence like a body emerging

from a river in moonlight.


You will have no name.

Not need the language

of strangers to speak.


Some things

will become certain.

Shoes for your feet.


You’ll walk.

The sun and sky then stars

the moon


a reflection

of light unguarded,

an exhalation of light.

Under a Green Mound

in Ireland


     another tourist to enter a dark tomb,

I met myself 5,000 years ago.

Crouched down to walk a winding path

between grey standing stones, I’d raised.


Felt one with those who did—

an urge to sing


the winter solstice, our dark passage,

and the mystery of light,

the days that shorten

pitiless, old bodies shed


and what remains—a gift

which God cannot take back,


if he is bound by love

as we are,


having set in us a slow-consuming fire,

our voices swirling sparks born in its heat,


our song in darkness, not as much in faith

as of desire, to remind him we are here.

There’s a Gnostic Gospel

I’ve read about

a fragment of papyrus, or

scraped skin severed

just as we


from the holy body of self.

A translation, they believe

from earlier Greek


made sixteen hundred years ago;

this one piece, the title,

all that remains:


A Gospel for Those

Who Feel Strangers in Every Land.

Only that.


No other words needed

perhaps for those like us



who must find

in each wilderness

their own way.


About Joseph Hardy

Joseph Hardy, a reformed human resource consultant, lives with his wife in Nashville, Tennessee. His work has been published in: Appalachian Review, Cold Mountain Review, Inlandia, Plainsongs, and Poet Lore among others. He is the author of a book of poetry, The Only Light Coming In (Bambaz Press Los Angeles, 2020).

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