by W. S. Merwin

So after weeks of rain
at night the winter stars
that much farther in heaven
without our having seen them
in far light are still forming
the heavy elements
that when the stars are gone
fly up as dust finer
by many times than a hair
and recognize each other
in the dark traveling
at great speed and becoming
our bodies in our time
looking up after rain
in the cold night together

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in 1927, W.S. Merwin served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. He is the author of over 50 books of poetry, prose, and translations — and has  earned every major literary prize, including the National Book Award in 2005 for Migration: New and Selected Poems and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in1971 and 2009. He lives in Hawaii where he raises endangered palm trees. Visit his website at

PHOTO: “January 2014 night sky” by Ruben Kier. According to “Some of the brightest stars of the winter sky are within the constellation Orion the Hunter, allowing it to be recognized from both rural dark skies and light-polluted suburbs.”