Look with me at what we call,
Substantial or ephemeral,
All of Earth, where we must end,
And all of sky's over-awning All:
Sense the sub-stratum and the theme
Dawning out of sincerer dream.
Note how dark must always end,
How Earth's quickened sharps of light
Coalesce by pixels until we see
Lightly lightninged twig-ends,
Dew-draped, shiver and invite
Greater light, or light's dark reverse
The odor of more crowded trees
Blends with the musk of night.
I sort my knowledge into verbs:
I did, I can, I do, I can't.
And other more what-ifs I list:
I shall, I wish, I shan't, I want.
And a thousand thousand others
All that puts a soul at ease
Enough to stammer and confess
The inconvenient, the gulped absurd,
Or to think a something mystic
Rather too simplistic,
Brings the daunting Earth to words,
And helps to carry, as you guess,
Our everything to is.
I kept a million themes beside my bed
In a rosewood box with a turtle,
With one working tin hinge beside
The turtle decaled spread-eagled;
I left the springed hinge untried,
And added blanks to the map
On the warm rosewood back
Of the rose-boned wooden turtle.
It was better, or so I deemed,
To live unknowing and to dream
Than know every meaning's means.
I kept the box beside me a thousand days,
An indian symbol of the Earth,
Unopened save as a question may
Discover unbidden worth,
The way a kiss becomes a question,
A new-burned feeling without borders,
A meeting, this meeting, --here,--
Solemnly together without a seam
In loving and in waking dream
A part or portion
Of the natural order,
Opening and answerless,
In a realness of air.