Out of the Dark, the third book of lyric poems from William Guest, traverses time and space – and the poet’s long life – to give unique insight into a key purpose of all poetry: to strive for meaning and understanding, and to celebrate the shared experience of what it’s like to be alive.

Through these poems we find a common humanness that we see in each other, and that we know we share, in face of the challenges that can tear us apart. Written over the course of many years, and with Guest’s usual vision and perspective, these poems seek – and find – a rare light.

Available soon on Amazon. And below are two poems from the book!


I’ve Been Looking for My Mother and Father All of My Long Life

My mother asked, why are you always so serious?
And I could not smile. Could only want.
The back porch seemed half-lit, and I
was learning a life of being half-lit.

Push, pull; hope, despair; love, longing. Billy,
my father said one day, why don’t you talk
with me? I thought I knew
but did not know I did not know.

Then my child arrived, a chance to re-start.
He does not want to talk with me, and he’s always
so serious. But, truth is, now and then I see him laugh,
and come to think of it, I’m beginning to laugh, too.

Well, it’s a normal life. One way or another,
we all have one, don’t we? Listening to it all
through half-cracked doors. Hoping for a lot more.
Wish I knew what to say in this last line.


The Final Hymn

one night
the last time I saw you alive
even then I heard you
in the dark
seeing you in the mighty power
of father son

our bedrooms were connected
by a bathroom with open doors

from the midst of sleep
I awoke
to your singing voice

you Father senile demented
strapped to a hospital bed

I imagined a star up in the dark
and you and I were free
but losing each other
by an act of space

you sang a hymn
a calling hymn
a goodbye hymn
a touching parting
crying singing hymn
happy I am here as I go hymn

and space diminished us