“Flying Kites,” stereogram, by Kim Scarborough, 2007. Licensed under Creative Commons.

by Brendan Cooney

Finding dusk
and crepuscule wanting,
Shakespeare came up with gloaming.
French muttering of the blue hour,
people on the eastern plains of India
of godhuli bela, or cowdust time,
South Africans feeling the same
need I must have to stretch it longer
to lakutshon’ilanga,
because in my dream I ached
with the absence of the right word,
yearning instead for a camera
to catch the quality these children
ran through in my childhood field,
chasing a kite on no string
which couldn’t possibly fly,
canvas in the glowing drizzle,
but there it went, barely at first,
then higher.

There was that tragic sense of never-to-return,
some of it in the kite’s improbable lurch and soar,
some in those little legs scattering in the last,
grainy, gorgeous, never-to-be-seen-quite-like-that-again

Lakutshon’ilanga originally appeared in The Roanoke Review.


Brendan Cooney is a U.S. poet living in Copenhagen. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Spillway, Sugar House Review, New Verse News, Prairie Schooner, Crab Creek Review, Isthmus, Here Comes Everyone, and Roanoke Review, among others.