I thought to build a tidy craft
But botched the job, and built a raft—
A raffish craft, whose aft and fore
Are more or less (or less or more)
Identical—also, the same—
So where I go, and whence I came,
I cannot tell from where I sit.
And that’s a pity—isn’t it?
In my dream I was gravity.
The pilings of the towers humored me
and the muscular calves
of the youths,
the repose and occasional slump
of exhausted hillsides,
and the sea’s endless susurrus
as it trailed the moon forever falling,
were my dance and my devotion,
my music and my mystery.
In my dream I have been gravity
and well pleased with the world.
Could you see it
if I asked you to accept mere words for visions
and said there were all
the colors of a salt marsh?
If I told you, the sea presses
her white mouth to the earth
where the green of saltgrass
is a thousand yellows
the yellow of the sedge a million greens
and the black small flies revel in the muck
that lies at the roots
while each dragonfly stitches its portion
of the moment?
I am not arguing for or against God
my only revelation is
the blowing fog
the smoking sun.
We’re sorry but your bird
Does not fit our needs at this time
Due not to its filthy plumage
Or the fact it’s excessively common
We simply receive too many birds for us
To comment on any single Bird
And even though we wish you luck
And success in all your future endeavors
This bird simply will not do.
A flash of Gold or Crimson
Are such domestic birds!
Have trafficked Human roads.
Hues of Song and Storybook
Of Wealth and Pageantry–
So haunting ’tis to glimpse them here
In the untraveled Green.
Tell the truth but tell it scant
Saving some for later – give the savor
Of what’s undenied – but still may be
Refined. Truth unadorned
Bores – so leave undefined
Beginning, end, or middle – since the mind
Forgets conclusions – but adores a riddle.
The furnace harumphs —
my old house shivering in
The young woman’s shoes
the color of buttercups —
a gray city rain.
Hercules strode off whistling gaily
Conscious of having done a poor soul good;
Left behind Sisyphus weeping bitterly
At having been deprived of his livelihood.
The Earl of Rollercoaster found
It inconvenient to expound
On why it was he loved to race
Continually from place to place
Whilst whirling rapidly around —
Now here, now there, now soaring high,
Now falling freely toward the ground,
And screaming all the while.
That’s why he built that crazy train
That bears his name:
It’s easier to experience
than to explain.