From the Berkeley Hills – by George P. Elliott

In my book purging efforts, I came across a book of poetry titled From the Berkeley Hills by George P. Elliott. My friend Michael T. gave it to me on Christmas Eve 1976 at 11:00pm, as he signed the book inside the cover.

From the Berkeley Hills

He gave me the book when the author was still alive. We were both boys only, just out of high school. That day, when he gave me that book, was likely the last time I ever saw him.

Yet, the friendships we form at that age last forever, and the books we sign for each other stay with us, until one day when we’re gone, our children pick them off dusty shelves, open the covers and wonder who “Michael” might have been. Then they might open up to page 46 and find:

At Midnight

My hemisphere puts on
Duncely dark again.
And what was it to me
What the world wore
So long as I had a girl
With a bed to her naked back?
So long: not long enough.

For recently myself
Have donned like a dunce hat
Doubt of the monstrous works
Twirling toward day. I,
Who could fall those mortal nights
Ignorantly into sleep,
This mortal night cannot.


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