27 Dec: (Ammons) (from Tape for the Turn of the Year)

today is
      in several ways:
      details of pain,
causes of shivering:  but
this must be done:

    it's fairly warm,
tho--speaking now
entirely of the weather:
     may rain:
     could turn cold
enough to snow again
(none of my business)

I saw the jay
before breakfast:
     he looked a little
     grimy, gray,
like old blue snow:
     has had rough

times lately:
rough times is ordinary,
     will not make
     the news:

the sun, screened dim by
clouds, enters the room,
strikes my typewriter,
     throws shadow on
     the wall,
     just touches
the flower-tip of a 
crown-of-thorns branch:

ecology is my word: tag
   me with that:  come
   in there:
   you will find yourself
in a firmless country:
   centers & peripheries
   in motion,

that's the door:  here's 
the key:  come in,
     to one meaning
that totals my meanings:

     the circular lichen
     spotting the tree
like a moral order:  there
is a center
where with threads the
lichen knits in, the
     "holding-on" point
   that gathers stability
   from bark:  and there
the outward multiplication 
of forms (cells & patterns)
to an unprescribed
that marks the
moment-to-moment edge
     of growth:

the cougar, big in
     size & appetite,
ranges widely:
     he won't turn
     a square mile
     into desert:
travels out into the
country of his sustenance,
incorporating herds of
within his trails
and how thin
the tissue of his going
is!  one month in
     the northwest of his
    a month in valleys,
       a month at
higher altitudes:
he's adapted to travel:
     it's not in his
     to exhaust
the deer population, as
it's not our interest
to exhaust the host earth:
     the predator
husbands his prey:

     at the center,
the predatory gathering
of energy done,
the female drops her litter,

new seeds of possibility:
     new animal-plants
     to take root,
     spread out the wide
thin tissue
of life:

tapestries!  figures

   at the dwindling of green
a percentage of
aphids begins to be
born with wings:  time

to fly away &
make trials of new centers:

ecology out of balance
turns tilt into

when the milkweed
rises into the wind
on down,
the soft beauty 
means conquest:

let's establish ourselves,
send out our tokens:
     as I am I
     I will change you,
drop seeds of myself 
in your ground:
watch out for me:
I mean to prevail:

you think of yourself:
   I may welcome some
   thought of yours:  I
   may give it ground:
       or I may not yield
       to it:  I may find
it lacking,
   not able to survive
   my country,
   & cast it out
   already withered
in potentiality:

the plains Indians centered
their lives
on the chase:  rooted in
   a moving herd
   of buffalo!
   a center
in instability:

   or the reverse:  the
on a rock, stationary,
   depends on the sea
to bring it food:

where is the center 
   that holds?
   it was the Earth, became the sun, then
the center of our
galaxy (Sagittarius?) 
  then farther & 
  farther out:
imaginable center:  except
the one
that lichen makes:

my other word is
  we'll talk about that
  tho you may guess
the meanings from ecology:

don't establish the 
  the squares, triangles,
  of preconceived
  and then 
  life into them, trimming
off left-over edges,
ending potential:
  let centers
self-justifying motions!

the box can't bend
without breaking:
  but the center-arising
  adapts, tests the
  peripheries, draws in,
finds a new factor,
utilizes a new method,
  gains a new foothold,
responds to inner & outer

                            A.R. Ammons

From A Tape for the Turn of the Year

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