1 Dutch decorations groom the hours. The parted dark resumes its essential black, Its pasteboard panache, dressed blues of indifference, A more vital seem. Still the old men dicker In deeper dusk, realer hues, from Below the perch of being in parrot patricides That consume the expert, whistled throatings Of loftier loons, whose red retina shift To scan a level heaven, unplummeted. 2 They were like the colors of these things. Old men of the river rocks, disparaging Old men of the river rocks in pairs. A portion of the evening looked down Among palm fronds and purple sand, and glared A nimbus of new stars that pierced A rarer dark than thought or action formed, Whitely condemning with unalterable blare The blandest barb of neutral fact. 3 The oceans stars were reflected in the men themselves, Their trudging bucket hearts and bleary souls. Chrome, The streaked adjustment of the light, apt intrusion Of subjective singe and burn, shook step by step, until The stars were lost because the total sea was stars. Their stony heads moved in unison, great grey rocks, And tumbled towards the momentous moment of a cliff To invent a waterfall. Their old hearts poured Whiter than before, among dashed rocks that babbled As they poured. 4 But who can carry empty starlight in his purse, Or sew together toes for fins, hands for wings? The ancient bretherns' hearts must fail. They flop as they reflect, endlessly; a soul Must take a darkness from its carbon work, A scattered semblance tinctured of its grain. etched pine swamped in black ink retains The arbitrary suaveness of its growth, carved above The image of twelve men like trees. 5 Wrong boys threw up spectrum dust at sunset. they beat the rocky heads of elders viciously, Like drums, like drums, like drums, in time To the whirred sensation of white wings. Their dewy hands hardened with a thought. Imagining, they made their pockets weighty With caught stones. They leapt, leapt, leapt, Without their blue bodies diminishing. Imagining, They braided their loose fingers into beards. 6 Twelve boys danced in violet night, in a communal Hymn that offered nothing brutal. It was their game. This they knew, their short spaghetti beards and uncut Minds like bangs, in diamond time forever ripening, Took the minor light the unspent stars had saved And poured it on the orchard's hair, and fissured earth Like wine. Their sweet limbs were never heavy In that sleepy paradise. They chant aloud their names: Impatient to insistent hands, moving as they mend. 7 I descant upon a dusky theme Illegibly. What there is is this: The men are trees. The men are rocks. They mar and mark upon each other ceaselessly. There is no outside agent agitating. They invent Themselves. The clock is riveting their veins. They have never seen a star. They fly On fins. And all of this I saw in some Mirror-making, mirror-resembling dream.