18° Below the Horizon
Crickets saw their tined melodies,
greengold flickers of fireflies glint.
The sky is moonless, black as the pit,
but is it truly night?
I wonder now: were all these evenings
I sat in darkness only astronomical twilight?
I am not sure,
for today I learned true night begins
only when the sun is 18° below the horizon.
No scientist, unversed in the mysteries
of quantifiable fact,
have I misidentified the night?
And, being ignorant of something
as elemental as this, in what else
have I been mistaken?
What other truths have I missed
in my slipshod dally through life –
so smugly set in the cement of self-absorption –
not only in the realm of pure knowledge
but in matters of the heart,
of how to fully live the day to day?
Ignorance is not bliss; it births nothing but regret.
RC de Winter’s poetry is anthologized in several collections, notably Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Castabout Literature (Dantoin/Hilgart, 6/2019), widely in print, notably 2River, borrowed solace, Genre Urban Arts, In Parentheses, Night Picnic Journal, Southword, and appears in numerous online literary journals.