1 The lean, far-reaching, hung-over sway of the cedars this morning! vexed by the wind and working tight but the snow's packed in, wet-set and puffed solid: the cedars nod to an average under gusts and blusters: yesterday afternoon cleared the sunset side of trees, the hemlocks especially, limbering loose, but the morning side, the lee, sunless again today, overbalances: the grackles form long strings of trying to sit still; they weight down the wagging branchwork snow stuck branch to branch, tree to shrub, imposing weeds 2 last night, the wind clunked the icy heads of shrubs against the house-- a long night of chunk-money spilling 3 a poet hands me his poem and says, this is not my true voice, only a line or so: good, I say, but he is disappointed, having found a self, if still reticent, in himself he likes or would like to like but is his true voice more interesting than the one in the poem and, anyway, isn't the one in the poem, if untrue, truly untrue: I know what he means: he wants to write by the voice, to separate out the distinctive in himself, a distinctive, and write to it: that is not the way, the way is to say what you have to say and let the voice find itself assimilated from the many tones and sources, its predominant and subsidiary motions not cut away from the gatherings but that is passive, he says: no, I retort (for effect), it is passive to do the bidding of the voice you have imagined formed: freedom engaged, or choose not to, what in the world is to be engaged 4. if nature could speak would it have something to say right where it says nothing: that is, be like me, reticent, patient, waiting and slowly the progressions will find progressive gears (even now backsteppings are being wound forward) and the wind seek key other than the caves-key: nature would say, be still, that is to say, indifferent like me, only to say so would motion difference: probably this is why nature says nothing-- it has nothing to say 5 knowledge, perception, this action is so endless it might well be avoided, as on edoes not care to take down just because it happens what happens, the play of light on an inlet, bay, sea: worked so far in, knowledge mingles with its source so as to give up reefs, shoals, shores of resistance, to unwind the embracing curvatures of line, shelf, lagoon recalcitrance, fluency: these: too far with one and the density darkness, the mix slows, and bound up with hindrance, unyielding, stops: too far with the other and the bright spiel of light spins substanceless descriptions of motion-- always to be held free this way, staggering, jouncing, testing the middle mix, the rigid line of the free and easy 6. there is no tedium, apparently to mere things in eternity: sunset, now underway with rosy ruffles, deep glows becoming space effects, all that, so fresh and vanishing, so old, the sun itself simultaneously setting and rising continuously on this or that sea or mountain range, gorilla troop or small nation: Lord god, I cry out (hear me), hear us: but the Lord God changes before our minds and becomes a listening device four warps and a reach (woof) deep into space: we cry out, bending an umbrella of focus His way to penetrate nothingness, signals, arbitrary, noticeable, intelligible 7 some branches, the birch's, end bushy but the squirrel, no aerial rail to catch, will leap into the vague net and, bounding, finding route to hard wood 8 we went for a raw walk in the high middling of the afternoon, the wind getting into and up our coats and even gently into our pants: nevertheless, we would not be daunted, the rain also, though sparsley and smallishly, prickling us, it being forced forward stingingly by the gusts: the evergreens and clouds rolled: we heard the rough, rattling burr of highwind in the hardwoods and the softer muffle of cedar boughs: we noticed the forsythia standing half-out: we noticed the honeysucklebushes filled with tiny green lotus temples where last week ice had hung cold-dry or rattled loose: Bernie said he wasnt' much interested in nature but if we didn't have it we'd have to think of something to take its place cauliflowers are either real or illusory, ditchbanks shed inward into their courses old cattail fuzz, fern fiddleheads, sporophyte flimsy either appearance or verifiability: gravy runs down the chin and forms brothy drops that can't or can favor stain: why test mind on the reality stone: nothing will be determined but that mind, too, terribly flows and stalls, holds and gives way: if you don't eat the imaginary potato (brown in an imaginary field, baked in an imaginary oven) your real capacity to imagine illusion lessens: hug thighs to thighs, sit broken with clarity of delight and children in the early afternoon sun, hold on to some specification of curvature the "flavor" of a mind that once informed a love face, let nothing vanish that has not proved out a firm roundaway miss the kingdom of feelings or find it too much and it is indifferent who made the world or what it was made of, stone or vision 10 the clumps and small reservoirs of snow (as in forks of big trees where honeysucklebush sometimes starts or moss or fern finds aerial pond) are gone and no rain worth troubling the soil has fallen lately: the early morning brook is dark, its rock shale bottom showing through, the water dawn-clear at last, filtered black diamonds: the stump of a giant dutch elm stands by: its bark warps off in swales of curvature: splits enter radially closer and closer to the heart: the meat mush-sodden feeds mushrooms, big whiteheaded and brackets respond vigorously to the softening: various mechanisms appropriate, necessary, useful, even beautiful will do away with it in time and then the mechanisms will find other work, earth's supply of dutch elm stumps run out 11 rather than the play of the mind as wind on tidal or other creeks or streams or even runlets developed in gravel by macadamways, why not dwell the mind on mushrooms till the several kinds define themselves, select their habitats, go through a few life cycles, and reach their roots into where they come from and of what and how they go and get back from there: attend to mushrooms and all other things will answer up: while you flick off (leaping like light) all the scallops of a broad scape to keep it noted and active, you may not in your own summaries add much up 12 how to exclude the central, exclusive reductions, the narratives that consume the enviornment transparent into their symmetries: how to get out into the looser peripheries where the roots of specific trees hold them away from the maelstrom and birds have occasion to fly: but, of course, not too far out, away, from the controlling knots everything is established even all the motions: een the revolutions turn with the gears of necessity and even the little motion that gets away into some lost or possible refiguring is figured on: there is no cause for alarm: and no joy except in buying everything 13 I like the ridge, its rolls my fixed ocean: not my, I don't own an inch of it: and not theirs, either, the ones who do own it, for they don't see it or their part in it: I'm part of the ridge they see in the east, their morning place: nearly in the height of the summits around here I see the sun come out of flat land, nearly, lingeringly interfered with by ordinary trees: for evening though the sun has gained space over the lake, its setting among trees no more than fuzz from here: it encounters rockswales sharp on: fire and stone flare together and the fluid yields and sinks past, burning, darkened, out: but I like the ridge: it was a line in the minds of hundreds of generations of cold Indians: and it was there approximately then what it is now five hundred years ago when the white man was a whisper on the continent: it is what I come up against: it regularizes my mind though it has nothing to do with me intentionally: the shows that arise in and afflict nature and man seem papery and wrong when wind or time tears through them, they seem not only unrealistic but unreal: the ridge, showless, summary beyond the trappings of coming and going, provides a measure, almost too much measure, that nearly blinds away the person's fragile joys from more durable woes 14 I've had all the apples out of my basket (or tossed them out, whole or spotty-rotten) I couldn't wait to see the empty basket, light, structurally transcendent: but some mornings I get up and can make nothing of it: it is empty: I fall into it and vanish: other mornings it is the very starvation I have longed for so long to chide and mock the world with: but then it is a wastebasket and I put it out to the use of the world: it collects trash of the thoughty: others (the litter litterers) give theirs to the wind, the chance and random boys: but I don't think there's much distinction between saved and spent trash: trash is what you make of it: if you throw it away you are rid of the problem--unless a little bit is waiting to greet you your next day round: and there is no way, of course, finally to throw anything away to 15 considering mutability and much, transforming compositions and decompositions, ups and downs, comings and goings, you have, sir, passed from a thousand orifices, some beneath you on the evolutionary scale: visibly moved, the gentleman got some roll-on ban deodorant and tried to rub me off (or out): shit sticks: its fragrance in the old days confirmed the caveman he was coming home: a man's shit (or tribe's) reflects (nasally) the physical makeup of the man and the physiologies of those others present, plus what they have gathered from the enviornment to pass through themselves the odor of shit is like language, an unmistakable assimilation of a use, tone, flavor, accent hard to fake: enemy shit smells like the enemy: everything is more nearly incredible than you thought at first 16 nature that roots under us thrusting us up and out flows through assembling us but eventually the structures of the mouth crack down to incontinent corners moist, the eyes weeping air's mere burn (the waste in a woods gives off the best heat and brightest illumination: all growing is gourd green: but the fallen lie about dry and light, lightwood, ready at a click of fire to rage response, its fast undoing its best revelation) flows through taking us apart, returning fine knots to recycling's fuzzy frays and chunks: can we not, then, find in these majestic necessities room for consideration, notice of the sacred, an overriding working steady in care and keeping: look elsewhere or go on paying close attention sap, brook, glacier, spirit flowing, these are sacred but in a more majestic aloofness than we can know or reason with: we can participate in it only imaginatively, even as we are assembling to prevent the giving way under us: a sacredness above the sacredness we needed, which would direct some arc, preferably a towering tower, some band or quality of concern to recognize us here in the first case, being concerned, different by that concern but we should not expect easy sacredness that turns aside to us when we wish and leaves us alone to whole joys: we should expect that the sacred, too, will try, elude, abandon us so as to show something high to realize, recalcitrant, unyielding to makeshift in its quality, something we could miss altogether even while it sustained us throughout until the carrying off or away we assemble the variable materials until balance begins defining out, then we explore the validity of the balance, collecting and testing in cooperation with it, then its fullness approaching satisfactory disposition, we test it down to see if it can give or crack: if it holds we come into a high, intricate consideration of the balance, the branches and embranchments so fine, the recalcitrant solidity of the mass or number and justice begins to appear, the distance that lets the wold run and kill and the caribou mosey on: starved crows showing up for hide shreds: the wolverine cagey, careful, capable on the periphery of astonishing kills: snow eaten for blood salt: so many things to consider, undoing so unlikely, assent follows, the wide band of the mind shifting to acceptance, finding the staying place amid horror, lust, need, necessity, that which is, a small place to walk in a system of others 17 we live again in teh bellies of worms, fly again (?) with winged worms: we come sponging back to the tables of our children to be swatted since this is one place, going is coming, ending beginning, individual shape shed like exoskeletons of spiritual flies 18 I go to nature not because its flowers and sunsets speak to me (though they do) or listen to me inquire but because I have filled it with unintentionality, so that I can miss anything personal in the roar of sunset, so that I can in beds of flowers hold my head up, too: whereas, the forms of intention, the faces swept chill-firm with conviction can assemble and roll down streets and declare divisions that save or kill: I go to nature because man is scary, his mercilessness not like the jaguar's which can be evaded but like one's own mercilessness, inescapable as one's own intellect and devising, the mercilessness from which there is no appeal 19 I wouldn't give up a hair of the beautiful high suasions of language, celestial swales, hungering the earth up into heaven, no, I would just implicate the language with barklike beeps, floppy turf of songsound, I would lift up so much of the whatnot it would pull the heavens down commingling with things and us I would give up nothing if I had my way: I would just idle a belt or two of trees over here a while and turn aside a river or so there, and keep a few continents waiting a second, and I would go from one thing to another until I had the impression I could tell what was going on and I would sing it all up, like lassoing, and tie it down 20 when the hand falls apart it makes a handful of bones, a spill or smallest cairn: no matter how much the hand taught of love or how many times it flew upward to catch the raiments of heads of hair or how busy it seemed in water quick fish or how it was the strongest shoal many a death could reach or how much it seemed to assume the forms of its tasks here it is now a fact, neutral, plain, open for inspection, the cutest collection, a peak white as a peak tip, take some into your hands, take them with you, hold them up to the light to see, roll them, throw them, conjure up the wind's chances with them 21 heaven can be as purified as your consciousness demands, I suppose, but think of a heaven with people only in it, gorillas missing, not worthy of soul, but if all things are soulful and kept why then will we meet as well as our old friends the chickens we've killed and / or eaten, sows and piglets, shoats and boars and other animals, quite an extensive catalog in our freezers and refrigerators, will they be there grunting at us or, indeed, rushing us, gobbling our souls up 22 once you've caught the notion, perceived the evidence, raked it up, sorted through it, the recurrent from the fortuitous, meanwhile casting out the merely repetitious, bundled sortings up, clumped certain ones into bags, tied strings around the bags, heaved the whole business up on your shoulders and jostled around till you've found the balance point in it--what an amazement as you stand there searching stillness, not yet having decided where to go with it all, if anywhere, to realize that the balance, is a found piece of permanence in the disposition of things (look how many of's), a still place, primordial form, and that every shiftless thing it took to find the point is mere change's shifting 23 slice thirty degrees off the summer summit eighty and the windy ridge that's left can change your summer clothes: it's April and glory is still uncertain and death not: the air is so clear and the sky fine blue this morning, small showers having given fringes to the front coming through last night: a V of about forty geese, late, and working nearly into the NW wind, struggled through, haggling: I've seen geese that waited early for the right high wind go over like they were skating, the wings' strokes covering apparent distances (real distances, but not real air distances) only gliding could acct for 24 last year we got this strawberry jar, a ceramic bulge-bellied vase with open ears all around it and a strawberry plant growing in each ear: winter came and I put the affliction in the garage where naturally the temperature fell below zero, though sometime during the day the window found a ray that caught the jar (not warming it much): the leaves, cold-scorched quickly dead, remained green all winter but when put out this spring turned burnt brown, you can just imagine: this story is too short for a long story and too long for a short story: anyway, today I observed two green serrated feelers oozing up into each of two ears and thought to my self "my word" the plants didn't die: by then, that is by this morning, since I had thought the plants dead and stopped watering them, the jar was shrunk dry: so I went to get the plastic wateringcan that has been sitting all winter under the outside faucet catching, since thaw, drops: leaks: I noticed last fall's leaves in the can and thought well that will improve the juice but I thought it did smell funny: I poured water into the jar-top and most of it, drought-refused, ran over or out: so I waited for the soak to take and began to think something really smelled: I poured some more rich brown juice into the jar and then upended the can to let the leaves fall out and out plunked this animal clothed in leaves so I couldn't tell what he was except his thick tail looked thicker than a rat's: mercy: I'd just had lunch: squooshy ice cream: I nearly unhad it: I expect the crows will come and peck it up, up, and away, the way they do squirrels killed on the streets: pulling at the long, small intestines and getting a toehold on small limbs to tear off the big flesh 25 the rat was a mole: the arctic air yesterday afternoon dried him out and the freeze last night stiffened him much reduced in size and scent: so I broke out the shovel, dug up a spade, dumped in the mole: there let him rot, the rat: I can see how something blind could get into my wateringcan: but with those feet! I can hear him scratching up the side: to get in, or out: but also I can hear him sloshing, the blind water darkened by night, till nobody came 26 there is something about a redbird flying down into the brook bed, the stone-deep ditch, and lighting on a washed-out root, the brook meanwhile throwing mirrors everywhere--light, mirror, bird, stone 27 I like, as I have said before, maximum implication and registration of fact and tension before integration catches on as to how it is to work and the point it catches on to the finish what a war between what will and will not be captured by design, bent to a larger rule, made to serve, expand, elaborate: it is not right until the design at once insists on itself and accommodates itself to the material all the way out to the tricky coincidental! for if the central, controlling design will not submit to the chippy alteration of the surprising appearance, the fortuitous bit, its control will be perfect, a nonplace, emptiness: but the integration that tests itself, adjusting, sorting, out to the limit why it holds because there is nothing to loosen it, garrisons and amassings of questioning having meanwhile overturned the perfect 28 it doesn't matter to me if issues overload a line: or if real poetry shrugs shucking bugs of small intentions off the shoulders of its purer streams--what the fuck--everybody has to eat, nature overfilling everything to fill it: yesterday was one day, today is another, tomorrow still one more: the creeps: the sun is bright but can never squint fine enough to count time by my span: it is unavailing: everyone knows that when we die we wake up elsewhere from the dream life into life, hop over a fence and walk off across nobody's pasture 29 I wake from a nap in a room I have worked so many hours and years in, made long poems & dinky ones in, read and answered letters and thrown some out unread or unsent and I cannot remember ever having been here before, this place, the woods out the window, what does it mean, and then I recall a trace, but nothing I couldn't throw away, and that trace fits with a recent time that blocks out into fullness of being and then the walls settle, the house takes disposition with the street, the town, oh, yes, the lake, ridges, I yawn a couple of times and pick up the latest thing to do 30 words cast up to see if light will pick anything out in them like sand and trash a winnowing: though I cast up true words as far as I know (words that truly occur) I cannot be held wrong when I range into winnowing chaff, truly chaff: I am seeing: I am looking to make arrangements: is th eland rich, are the children well, the mind, is it well-stocked and with what, fish: has a grain of hope or grain been found: is there, going this way or that, any increase in increase or any falling off: is, at this time, any direction worth finding: I said the words in the time of themselves: I said the words as truly as I could say them, according to themselves: the words are not responsible: they are not the truth: they caught the swerve, they revealed the glint: the mind opens--it is so delightful, glaring--many times before it finds a room worth finding: but chaff will show you "which way the wind blows" truly: my words are, of course, chaff as assertions are: but the motions: as the wind blows, so blows the world: in the innerwork of the motions one reads what will be aright and turns here or there as he can (ashcan) to get away or be there with it: I speak to show not the substance but the curvature of the going the substance may change often but the curvature has a glacial pace, seeming, to tell the truth, out of kilter with substance: but probably, though we can't wait too long to see, it comes out right eventually 31 I was this morning affrighted past loafing by the small blood lining the squirrel's mouth where he lay on the highway's edge his legs spraddled stiff into space the high eye full of the morning sun the other scrinching wide open on grainy macadam oh, me, I said, myself affected, cars are our worst predators getting more than crows can hawk (hocking & spitting) into shreds even (though it's good that some things clear things away-- in the old caves dying men shoved into backroom fissures, split trenches found quickened way to rigid ease) a young couple bicycling came up the hill past the squirrel and though the girl's eyes cast it a slight shake her talk didn't break and they went on by with the tribute of being glad to get by: the car itself, the kill recent, had gone on, notifying no one--why notify, or how, a different species: we never tell mules we're dead, though they say Uncle Asa's great-horned owl knew the afternoon, changing, he died because his hooting skirled or whatever and he wouldn't stop moaning, the thriving throat croak, and dogs out under the lean-to's of barns know when their masters lie dying 32 today Jerry, Fran, Phyllis and I went to see the high farm out by Mecklenberg: the farm starts high and keeps getting higher: the brook runs way up and on the way is the low pond but further up, the larger high pond and then there are a couple of fields of ascension and then the old woods of the ridge, preciptious in climb, not available to hassling lumbermen: along the ridge is a long march you don't have to sweat once you're there: wild turkey, deer, grouse inhabit the inaccessibilities and make do: I would buy a whole 130-acre farm for one hermit lark, his song, especially his song at evening by a pond: right now there are some shabby sheep, eight cocks (henless): I heard one cock crow, and sound I've been as hungry for as the lean throats of cockerels: one dog, the master not around, three or four scrubby cattle: an apple tree a hundred years old looking better in spring leaf than the house a hundred years old: it's got so the only place you can appreciate won't appreciate: the silence was ineluctable: I heard it & heard it: it reminded me of the ground: noise is motion: silence deepens down and picks up ground boulders and deepens down to springwater 33 I'm split but not in two, I bough into ramification, I break out into peripheries of leaf, mist informs my rondures: I go more than halfway one way and crosslash back away: my splits overlace: the complication strengthens me, interweaving my fragmentation, so that I include in a sweep of singleness as much singleness as one needs and more than enough sweep 34 don't think we don't know one breaks form open because he fears its bearing in on him (of what, the accusation, the shape of his eros, error, his guilt he must buy costing himself) and one hugs form because he fears dissolution, openness, we know, we know: one needs stanzas to take sharp interest in and one interests the stanza down the road to the wilderness: life, life: because it is all one it must be divided and because it is divided it must be all one 35 whereever mortality sets up a net or responsibility's strictures harden I mount into a whirlwind and buzz off, clearing a streak I spend the night in sonnets but the next morning pack my bag with free verse the road is my winding song sheet the rivers, branches, brooks purl my uneasy pleasures: leaving everything behind, I stick to nothing I will not hear the terms of arraignment or appear in the marble courts I will not bear the sophistry, subtle ramification, of the arguments for and against: yet the guilt sharp as jails has gotten through: the air dissolves and absorbs, oceans dissolve and absorb, the imagination changes things whose change, the hell of things, comforts me 36 straitened narrow, river-wound through the pass, bluff walls misty with moss-like trees, doing what is worth doing is worth what doing it is worth but doing what is not worth doing that can really be worth doing often when one is denied access to reality imagination will rise to the occasion and body forth the vivid thing as if itself so the deprived may be given all but touch of the form, color, line or will produce the very presence of the thingitself itself but with shadowy reservation to please the mind but not the solid body lawn full of goldfinches eating dandelion seeds, the headful whipped over, held by a perchfoot--the yellows nearly interchangable 37 everyone watches the world end once or if one is asleep the roots of his dreams loosen and brain soil crumbles down the slopes or if a coma has risen right into the shallowest waters of awareness why then the world may as a skim of light end 38 I don't care if I don't tell the truth the she-spider hangs to the ceiling of the backporch as if, dead since last November, alive: by her hang five egg sacs, waiting: the she-spider flares there, dead and dry, guarding still: or I don't care if I tell the truth the way the struck squirrel in his fifth day by the roadside begins with perfect accuracy to advertise his whereabouts: the truth is none of my business: I don't care if I tell a little: my business is to make room for the truth, to bust the couplet, warp the quatrain, explode the sonnet, tear down the curvatures of the lengthy: the truth is commodious, abundant: we must make a room so sufficient it will include till nothing will be left over for walls, merely the thinning away to the numb, great vacancy visible 39 in the small walks & chasms of despair one seeks to find and pretends to build enledgments to plateaus of staying and view but these unfound, pretended become high lake surfaces of chagrin, false, of course, in themselves but, worse, too brilliant for common use 40 the honeysucklebushes already weighty with new leaf and blossoms can hardly bear the most recent foilage, snow: the branches separate in the dome and fall all ways, in the angle of falling catchment for snow amply provided, the bent bent, the bush crushed, a great ground flower: the desert mouse twitches under the rule of the rattler flash or owl appearing unheard: and the rattler under the flare of the redhawk which destroys the head first, plucking out eyes and tongue: how worrisome the yew-snow to the she-cardinal, all day yesterday, Sunday, stirred from her nest by boys playing basketball, here this morning greeted by another hassle: I hardly believe I don't have to teach this morning: the first Monday off: snow, free to draw winter lines in the stickwork of tree and bush inconvenienced inconveniences the midMay boughs, so full and thin, catchy: problem solvers subsidized with subsidies and grants approach solutions but artists dwell penniless with the central problem 41 we were talking about our MFA program (pogrom) in Creative Writing when I said should we, can we, professioinalize delight and what better way to point up need than by superflous I said something like that, others were saying other things, like why not teach creative seeing or theory or the voice of tone, or point-of-view what I said was disrespectfully inane and consequently useful to those needing an angle offsight to true up against, the clearing into range of a blur: by the time my blur had taken on the definition of balanced variations and compromises it was no longer delightful, and I turned down everything clear, arranged for small game: I do not care to hunt if I cannot be run over by an elephant or flushed out of the bushes by an inquisitive lion or buttressed with speed from the rear by a forward waterbuffalo: I wouldn't want to kill anything innocent unless it had weaving in ranks before it a ridge of cobras or dashing crocodiles: my walking stick, I hope I said how it makes me feel wooden about the shanks when I go walking and dogs zoom out to brag on their teeth: but it is the very thing to challenge a dog or man to violence: and if a man snatched it away, it would become his weapon, so effective and sufficient, against me: what was said on this subject of swords works for walkingsticks as well: the moral nature of the North is such it is considered indecent to be decent: united we stand, divided we sit down: once a month about I put everything away, stickeraserbrush, paper, drafts, inks, watercolors, clips, everything away, clean up my room and walking out declare, I am done with creativity, only to discover the next day or hour that everything cut down to creativity everything goes with that: I cut the grass, take up or put in tulips, consider puttying up the windowpanes, hack off some live or dead branches here and there--but come back to creativity and break out all its gear again and set to doodling: thank the Lord: home is where the doodle is: today cleared so bright blue one felt the offer, this is it, take it, and trying to take it found no way to do so: today was a complete chance, a chance at the complete, the adequate satisfaction how painful beauty is that gets away full and unbesmirched and how comfortable the rainy day that publishes your lesser failures: life is roundabout and roundabout and we are, with ups and downs, linear: the round goes on but we break in and out: the squirrel killed 11 days or so ago, chucked off the road by crow or cop, was chucked back but right on the road's edge, by the man cutting his lawn: several days were cold and nothing touched the squirrel and then the snow filled his ear and tallied his tail out to the feather bone: so he is doing pretty good but the old killing is still sketched on his face and one wishes for the warm days, the worms rising up under him and draining him off into flight: I have mourned him so many times I grow angry at his self-ful staying on: disditches 42 minutiae is a fussy word matrix is too perfect often is often mispronounced irregular suggests constipation irregardless is one of those things mucous is the nastiest slick on la lange I like strut as in strutted veins varicose moleways some people say they don't like thought flowing through illustrative images (they can't catch much) they prefer to dwell in one place into revelation unsuspected everybody these days mixes up lie and lay and mispronounces forehead 43 the high farm beseeches my mind, thought, my mind soars up the hard climb to the ridge but then feels the backing of the ridge to the sweep, the high passover so laborious, everything under it gentled, the still ponds, swallows plinking them with fine lines, flies spinning to burr shook into the surface tension, nipper fish catching a chink in the mirror informative as a web: the earth is so fearful and beautiful! ticks, mites, flukes, spilldiddlings from the assholes of filthy sheep--O troubled shepherds-- I love nature especially if there's a hospital nearby and macadam or glass in between: or the way it survives as cuttings or seedlings in claypots or plastic furrows cut off from the true ground: how our forefathers hated woods and sex, so much of both to deal with, cut down or back: but now the coonyus surrounded by taming equations of the pill, the sperm rage, such a wilderness, shot wild, why we can horse deeply in with irresponsibility's ease: that's what they say: I'm afraid nature's going to send the bill: it usually does: ferocious tallywhacker 44 sweeps of space haunt the slopes, the ridge starved to the wind that skins it: boulders like springs spill winter's coolth, residuals: stones will not have warmed to summer before frost cuts back: brook stones cast shadows underwater, deep in small falls' flow holes: upland marshes, flow-slows, in them logs idle, fallen den trees, turtles big and little angle up the ascents and sun and chill that won't come off 45 the thought that so much is not wasted but is the wellspring of the tight usages we take and spill! downridge from some spot any way is ten miles, so much beneath one one feels the invitational unlidded, the not-held-down: what smart fright! dive into the fringes of houses on dirt roads, and then paved narrow roads, and then the main arteries, flowing a lot more quickly, to the holding spleens of towns by lakeshores low as you can get 46 culture, hardened to shellac's empty usage, defines in definitions hoaxdoms of remove from the true life which is smaller, leaner than a brook, no louder, variable as, to the true rain: the true life feels about its small shoulders the traces and burdens of death and turns for relief to berries, bushes bent in abundance, to dives into fell pockets of streams, to musings on the clean forward edging of the moon, to the eye of the other, consolation, what there is, in the small humbling touch 47 peeling the bark off crabapple cane, the purplepink woodskin, I heard the loud oriole overhead in the maple (looking for worms, I bet--we don't have many this year, wonder why that is, last year he could have opened his mouth and a bellyful would have crawled in, instead he searched bough on bough, flying and emitting scarves of music in between, and never I think found a thing) worms ending in song (except in the oriole's ease one would just as soon they didn't) 48 at dusk rabbits settle out of the air and crop the plumequill stems of blown dandelions nibbling them up like drunk drinking straws and then in the most delicate, short-range leaps get over to the quince leaves and trim the bush hind-leg high 49 little showers yesterday evening, quiet as rabbits emerging into dusk to feed, darkened the macadam except where overhanging shower-holding trees drew their negatives in dry ground: but this morning, fog has built up drops in the branches and dripped wet images of trees on ground otherwise dry: needles and leaves collect until their points bulge to drop and then if the wind riffles a small shower will erupt and rustle: fellow said he was so weak he couldn't throw a shadow: maybe fog has the multiplicity to deal with pollen, that is, touch it in the air, grain to mist-drop, and bring it down: but on the first breeze that stirs under a lifted fog, weavements and shimmerings of pollen unlace 50 a light catches somewhere, finds human spirit to burn on, shows its magic's glint lines, attracts, grows, rolls back space and dark, stands dominant high in the mindsphere, and reality goes into concordance or opposition, the light already dealing with darkness designating it darkness, opposition by naming, and the intensity of the source blinds out other light: reason sings the rightness but can do nothing to oppose the brilliance: it dwells: it dwells and dwells: slowly the light, its veracity unshaken, dies but moves to find a place to break out elsewhere: this light, tendance, neglect is human concern working with what is: one thing is hardly better or worse than another: the split hair of possible betterment makes dedication reasonable and heroic: the frail butterfly, a slightly guided piece of trash, the wind takes ten thousand miles 51 I like nature poetry where the brooks are never dammed up or dammed to hauling dishwater or scorched out of their bottoms by acids: the deep en-leafing has now come and the real brook in certain bends dwells, its stone collections dry-capped, shale shelves in shade, leaves and falls murmuring each to the other--and yesterday I looked upbrook from the highway and there flew down midbend a catbird to the skinny dip, found a secure underwater brookstone and began, in a dawnlike conclave or tranquility, to ruffle and flutter, dipping into and breaking the reflective surfaces with mishmashes of tinkling circlets.