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


today is
      cloudy
      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,
   organic,
     interrelations! 

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

     the circular lichen
     spotting the tree
trunk
is 
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
   is
the outward multiplication 
of forms (cells & patterns)
to an unprescribed
periphery
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
deer
within his trails
and how thin
the tissue of his going
is!  one month in
     the northwest of his
    range,
    a month in valleys,
       a month at
higher altitudes:
he's adapted to travel:
     it's not in his
     interest
     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
   overlapping:

   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
      direction:

when the milkweed
seed
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
   as
   already withered
in potentiality:

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

   or the reverse:  the
barnacle
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:
  no
imaginable center:  except
the one
that lichen makes:

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

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

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

                            A.R. Ammons

From A Tape for the Turn of the Year

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s