Skip to content
Still from 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize Winners Announcement film

Even staring out the window is changed,

the private peak above it all brought down

with the erosion of the poise between

the viewable and the mused unseen.

Dissolution so nearly changeless as not

to appear is shifting the sands inside

from what we watched, no more the steady stage

the self-dramatic days play out on    outside.

The silent portent now allowed alert

to things changing    the light

                                                                a darkness

not the normal individual

mortality, but as if the epochal

heartbeat of larger elements, the seas,

the air, had mutated, become chimera,

grown wing, and routed ancestral time.

Even staring out the window, the timeless

is gone. We see coming

in the daily migration of the local geese

to the lake at evening    the cities pull up

and move    in unlike consternation towards and

                                                    away from the water

that had been so calming to gaze out on,

to live by, easy    to not live according to.

And now that seas are adding themselves

into the land, horizons look ominously larger,

the arrivant out of them, faster and clearer.

Now, you see the view is turned on us to frame

human agency become transparent,

light as air, before the picture blackens

as a consequence of our seeing too much

of it as only for us    to use and then

                                                               use up.

The eye is not filled with seeing, with only

seeing, but with understanding the sight.

asked what has changed

Ed Roberson


More from
Poem of the Week

Michael Palmer

So