“Selah” by Kristene Kaye Brown

Lighthouse at the Edge of the World by G.G. Silverman, photograph of a lighthouse in fog

Image: “Lighthouse at the Edge of the World” by G.G. Silverman. “Selah” was written by Kristene Kaye Brown for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, March 2023, and selected as the Editor’s Choice. (PDF / JPG)


Kristene Kaye Brown


Waves wash over the beached shells. Searching in a way
that will not fail.
Strange how soft water shapes hard rock
with its ancient lunar language.
I wish I understood the pyramids. I wish I understood
what holds together all the unlit spaces of a night sky.
I came to the shore to see what it might teach me.
The ocean lays down her rhythm and I float
above the noise of my mind. Today the moon
is as close to earth as it will be all year,
but his is beside the point. A wise saint once said:
There is no truth without first becoming truth. It’s true,
we become what we love. I love       this silence
above all else. This is where I learn
to be alone. This is where I learn
all desire is the desire of God       in disguise.
Just listen to the hush of a slow moving wave. It is
the sound of a body emptying itself. It is the world
dreaming itself awake.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
March 2023, Editor’s Choice


Comment from the editor, Megan O’Reilly: “There is a surreality to this poem that reminds me of the dreamlike quality of G.G. Silverman’s image. The silence and loneliness the poet references are what I see and feel when I look at this ‘lighthouse at the edge of the world,’ but there’s a vitality to this visual, too, which is reflected perfectly in the beautiful and apt last lines: ‘It is the world/dreaming itself awake.’ Silverman’s piece gives me the sense that something mysterious is stirring under the surface, and ‘Selah’ gives a voice to its secrets.”

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