Two Poems by Clifford Venho

Pic by Aa Dil



At the Edge of the World

I prepare at my altar of stone
wrap the night in the fingers
of prayer      I create the cup
from the skin of the earth and drink deep
I flow through the veins toward the heart
of all      I seek what lives there
unseen and unheard      I dwell
in its pulse      lean in its breath
the wind    its breath    washes
my eyes      its eyes see me
the touch of its gaze on the wounds
of estrangement      a salve for the bruised
body of spirit that fell through the sky
that dwelled in the stone and the sand
I live in the touch of the wave
on the ear of the soul      the word
that was speaking back then is speaking
still      through the night I go on
and I live through the gift that it gives
in the morning I dream of the dark
as it wove through my skin      as it healed
with a stitch from the needle of stars
I am binding the blood of my heart
to the one whose body is the land
whose soul is the birdof the sky
whose spirit is the sun and the moon
I offer myself at the altar
of stone      at the edge of the world
I look up     I am seen


What the Stars Said

You are fathomless
immense as the wilderness
smooth as silt of riverbeds,
you are nimble
as the hummingbird
and swift as its wing,
you are the urge of waterfall
the source of flame
the essence of air
and solidity of earth,
you are the plain the mountain
the ocean the sky,
you are not bone of dust
but bone and flesh of the infinite—
creature of stars you are.

Stop, and breathe in
the air of new thought;
touch the fine, ethereal flicker
of a new sensing;
listen to the drumming
of rain on the warm stone
of understanding
and the simmering of bees
in the garden of ideas;
look at everyone
and everything
with clean eyes
and a new mind;
open the doors of your self
to the stranger of life
and welcome the world
to the feast
of your becoming.


About the Author

Clifford Venho is a poet, translator, and movement artist. He was born in New York City and studied English and creative writing at the State University of New York at New Paltz. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The DewdropLa Piccioletta BarcaChronogram Magazine, and elsewhere. His translation of Novalis’ Hymns to the Night was published by Mercury Press in 2015. He is also a translator at Chadwick Library Press, focusing on the translation of works by Austrian philosopher and spiritual thinker Rudolf Steiner. He teaches courses in poetry and the movement art of eurythmy at Eurythmy Spring Valley, where he is a member of the ESV ensemble, which performs for audiences in the U.S. and abroad. He lives with his wife and their orange tabby in a cottage next to the bees. For more, visit his website: