Trees that have it in them to be a wood Gather dark thoughts where bare hilltop stood. Branch to branch entreats, and root goes out to root Entangling dirt with movement deliberate As worms, and mix their living sinews With cold dead earth, its coldness to renew And above the burning hilltop bring A shadowy wing never alighting. Starless night hovers where noon once reigned And exiles grass, and laughing feet detains With extricating minuets of wait And then pass on,-- a guardless garden gate Forever shuddering in the wind trees keep, Murmuring night-long while the world's asleep.
Like the flower near at hand I grow Upwards by light into all I know; Buried in ignorant dirt by a downward thumb I bend dumb beneath rain into what may come. Like a flower in summer now I grow tall, Concentrate a seed out of all I've been, Put half my something into that seed to fall, Drop it unseen on wide ground, and then Name that something put my all. Is that something put experience gathered in? Or is ignorance all when any all begins? My ignorance decides me-- I cannot tell What seed, in growing there, may yet become Besides new ignorance beneath the sun.
Raised from the proveless dust Like a shrouded bird into the sight And set tumbling with the rest, I daily give wet suck to one That is a barbing brat Tangled in my skirts; I'll not bother to raise him right Lost in the indifferent dust Under sky as bruised as that Tumultuous spot that got him; But I daily give him suck Because he's the nearer dirt.
To rob a grave not yet stuffed With friendship, only full of woe For one no longer friend or foe Or anything, though breath still puffs And somewhere past horizons dim He lives on like a mute reproach In caustic quiet, silently loath To burst with bounty I need from him. Unanswering wall, unhuman hate --Or so I paint him, as I must, Who have no knowing from old trust, As though Christ transfigured my Greek fate. I stand before the empty hole I lay myself within the dirt I say a prayer for my hurt To maggots, and my breath is stale. If I were all of misery made And could confound my final hour With a tear, then no more power Would he have than a shade. Instead there's lodged the sovereign sting Of hope betrayed, hope that will not Die, though hope's death and gory rot Would stop the hole of my being.