Ward Kelley has seen his poems appear in journals world wide. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose publication credits include such journals as: Plainsongs, Another Chicago Magazine, GSU Review, Rattle, The Chaffin Journal, Midstream, Zuzu's Petals, Tryst, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Pif, Whetstone, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, Potpourri and Skylark. He was the recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001. Kelley is the author of two paperbacks: histories of souls, a poetry collection, and Divine Murder, a novel; he also has an epic poem, comedy incarnate on CD and CD ROM.

Your Stationary Eye

Sleep is the purveyor of balm,
yet the operation of it comes in
such odd containers, nightmarish
bottles pouring fear into your naked
mind which has no recourse but to endure.

Like rolling in snow, relief is in
the finish, a survival, the return
to warmth where you can awake
to wonder what hand from your
psyche opened this bottle . . .

you have no answer, no control,
no stopper, and perhaps that is how
the bottle was designed, to fit no stopper,
for everything you cannot control must
still be processed by you, as the universe
rolls past your stationary eye.

And it is the nature of fear that dreams
have power to make all things fearful
and all fears endurable as the universe
rolls by your station, giving you strength
to wake in this land where you will die
tomorrow or in ten thousand tomorrows.

Your stationary eye absorbs all fears,
and, in the end, you smile in your sleep.