|TWELVE WAYS OF LOOKING AT TIME
Homage to Wallace Stevens
Old man standing in the tower,
you cast your gaze on sea and land,
autumnal inhalations, ourselves,
our origins, our destiny.
In the laborious weaving
of your wear, we labor
beholden to you, father --
your whims and veracity.
O, thing of mystery, savage
and tender, you fool the troubled
and the comforted. Friend
and foe, we bow to you.
In your heaving swell
of the second, the hour,
the day, dwells the trappings
of water and wind.
Your bronze shadow settling
on high horizons, the night
descends, tilted in the air.
The wind gasps, waters grind.
Moving room to room
along corridor and stair,
from green sides to gold sides,
you flutter your empty sleeves.
Theatrical distances, mountainous
atmospheres of sky and sea
measured to the hour of solitude --
all, your ghostly demarcations.
Plato's ghost, Aristotle's skeleton, you
trace the gold sun about the brightened sky
without invasion by a single metaphor.
Look at it in its essential barrenness.
The more than ordinary blue
contains the year and other years.
The day enriches the year
not as embellishment.
The distant fails the clairvoyant eye.
In stride, we accept what is as good,
the utmost as our fortune, as honey-
hived in the trees. One day enriches a year.
You rise from land and sea
like a mountain halfway green,
the other half immeasurable
in its brilliant mercy.
Steeped in remembrance, you
display strength, youth, vital
sun and heroic power. Eternal,
the foliage and rock.
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