The Second Night of the Spirit
by Bhisham Bherwani
These poems honor the human mystery. They celebrate the oneness of two great truths: that we are each other, and that we are each alone. They evoke love and loss, hurt and daily courage. These rare triumphs of spirit come alive through experience. Here are the dying father, the damaged child, the distraught and enduring mother, caught in the turn of their days by the brother who writes his heart out in these beautiful poems. Passionate feeling and powerful subject fuse their energy. The poet empowers us by enlarging our understanding. — Marie Ponsot
I feel like a privileged guest in Bherwani’s "anonymous gazebo." It is a deeply moving place to be, a real place as well as an internal stage on which a powerful family drama is played out in originally conceived, highly personal poems that make universal connections. The slightest taste of Bherwani’s potent concentrate of distilled grief is overpowering. — Chard deNiord
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BHISHAM BHERWANI studied Fine Arts at New England College. He is also a graduate of New York University and Cornell University, and the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, New England College, and The Frost Place. He was born in Bombay, India; he lives in New York City.
Essex County, New York, 2006
My friend, his toddler son, aged three, and I,
along an Adirondack backwoods trail,
watch how the leaves have turned. Beyond a veil
of mist, autumn’s fiery cornucopia
radiates above a brook.
On a whim,
the boy lets go his father’s hand to skip
alone across the leaf-strewn, wooden bridge.
“It’s getting dark,” his father cautions him.
I think of my brother aged three, little,
nauseous with encephalitis, in pain
entering an endless night as febrile
illness permanently damages his brain.
Almost forty years have since gone by.
I’m through with nature’s inveterate cycles.