Vern Barningham

A lighthouse keeper,
he times Lake Superior’s
lights, keeps lenses turning
so skippers can tell

islands apart. Up high,
silent, he watches
lake birds, wave tips.
Many keepers prefer

the slap of water
against shore, seasons
like four strange voices
in trees. Storms can’t

quite cover the beam.
Vern makes light
the way farmers coax
earth into harvest.


originally appeared in Porcupine (2001)

Published by

Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo has six full-length collections of poetry and, including Ice And Gaywings, twenty chapbooks. His latest book, from Blue Light Press, is called Bend Of Quiet, and Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt is forthcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Ken began writing at age fifteen. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He and his partner and two cats enjoy gardening, music, and the Wisconsin Northwoods. Catch Ken’s radio show, Obscure Oldies, on Saturdays from 6:00-8:30 pm EST at WDNR 89.5 FM.