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A Walk in the Dark

Darkness has fallen about me

trees like the shadowy columns

of an underground city.

The depression in leaves I think

a path collects a shallow

luminousness that wets my feet

with uncertain mistaken direction

Suddenly a light shaft into my eye

seems the horizontal ray of a star.

Its stark white point in piercing

my heart releases the feel returning.

I wonder at its source, its origin—

so opposite this black damp night

now flooding the village below me.


Emerging from the river park

I hesitate on this rocky ridge

above the stream as if overlooking

a lost world. My longtime home

is ephemeral. I receive this icy

lancing as a beam from outside time—

a suspended spiritual existence

independent of its source—as if

a ray left from first creation.

I see that it is sent by a single

porch bulb through clear, immaterial

one moment’s glimpse of absolute light.


Imaginary Weather

                               very like a whale

Whither this weather these clouds

crowding on, following the curve

of air around the world? From almost

imaginary horizons, nearer-farther

flat-bottomed, blue-toned, they sit

thermoclines of the upper ocean. Billowing

Camelot castles or weaving

ineffable whales, sliding-unraveling

they appear as if here, while arising elsewhere,

updrafts of the Earth’s collective slumber.

They seem serene in storms, ramparts

from which Zeus imparts the shocking bolts—

flickering apparitions in almost-real horizons

in blue mood-themes that suddenly whiten.

They avow transcendence, trailing skeins

of crystal-beaded rain, from under-domes

blue-blackened until cracked by the long spark

whereby the atmosphere reconciles its wish

for pure transparence with the heavy water

that falls in solid walls and encloses

monsooning in dark fits of turblulence

and gurgling the gutters. The wings of clouds

take form from our wishing, wiping clean

the soiled mind, the brooding forehead turned

earthward in August. They father and mother

our dreams of moisture, impinging in sleep

upon the distant houses of childhood

making us praise in waking mumbles these

leaky roofs of memory, whereby rain

can come through barriers of tin or shingle

wetting us again in bed but so that we

arise in dry pajamas, grownups who

go out bare-headed and greet the shining day.