Each word, as someone once wrote, contains the universe. The visible carries all the invisible on its back. Tonight, in the unconditional, what moves in the long-limbed grasses, what touches me As though I didn't exist? What is it that keeps on moving, a tiny pillar of smoke Erect on its hind legs, loose in the hollow grasses? A word I don't know yet, a little word, containing infinity, Noiseless and unrepentant, in sift through the dry grass.
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What makes us leave what we love best? What is it inside us that keeps erasing itself When we need it most, That sends us into uncertainty for its own sake And holds us flush there until we begin to love it And have to begin again? What is it within our own lives we decline to live Whenever we find it, making our days unendurable, And nights almost visionless? I still don't know yet, but I do it.
It's good to know certain things: What's departed, in order to know what's left to come; That water's immeasurable and incomprehensible And blows in the air Where all that's fallen and silent becomes invisible; That fire's the light our names are carved in. That shame is a garment of sorrow; That time is the Adversary, and stays sleepless and wants for nothing; That clouds are unequal and words are.
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How many years have slipped through our hands?"¨At least as many as the constellations we still can identify."¨The quarter moon, like a light skiff,"¨ floats out of the mist-remnants"¨Of last night's hard rain."¨It, too, will slip through our fingers"¨ with no ripple, without us in it.
We've all led raucous lives, some of them inside, some of them out. But only the poem you leave behind is what's important. Everyone knows this. The voyage into the interior is all that matters, Whatever your ride. Sometimes I can't sit still for all the asininities I read. Give me the hummingbird, who has to eat sixty times His own weight a day just to stay alive. Now that's a life on the edge.
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