©Vincent Van Gogh

“Death’s Head Moth,” Van Gogh 1899


It is possible that things will not get better,
that the current journey into darkness—
men in black masks bearing black flags—
will not stop, but continue to wind on its twisted
and muddy and bloody way.
It is possible that calla lilies are not symbols of resurrection
but of death.
The death’s head moth with four bright animal eyes
on its scalloped dusty wings sees nothing.
It is possible that the intricate pattern
etched across the beautiful span
means nothing

except that we are all of us
headed in the same direction.
It is possible that the earth’s plates
will shift once more beneath the sea,
that waters will roil and race
to take back the land again,
possible that I will not wake beside you,
or that you or I will give in to the old terror.

And yet the green oak trees
still hug the long-parched hills,
and the apple was not the end of all good.


©Judy Bebelaar, 2017

Judy Bebelaar (BAWP 1988) co-hosts the Writing Teachers Write reading series at Expressions Gallery with Marty Williams. Her poetry has been published widely, including in the anthologies The Widows’ Handbook and River of Earth and Sky. Her chapbook, Walking Across the Pacific, was published in 2014 And Then They Were Gone, about the teenagers she knew who went to Jonestown, will be out in 2017.

6 Responses to “It Is Possible by Judy Bebelaar”

  1. Fine work, Judy. Thanks!

  2. Love this poem, Judy! You really do a number with the images of dread and despair — and thanks for the green oak trees and the apple that was not the end of all good! We may have been driven from the garden, but out here in the coming wilderness, we will still love the ones we love, and be kind to those in need of kindness, and steady one another for the long march onward! bless you!

  3. Paula Gocker Says:

    Oh, Judy, a perfect poem for these days we are in. Hard not to feel the darkness. And then there’s the light of those we gather strength from to continue to speak out and work for. And there is much work to be done. Thanks for this poem, a reminder of beauty even when…

  4. Florence Miller Says:

    Thank you for this beautiful, absolutely necessary poem.

  5. Evy Says:

    Thank you, Judy

  6. carlaspeak Says:

    I.hope.it is possible as this beautiful speculation has recently seemed trampled by old hatreds.

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