Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Am I Not Among the Early Risers

Am I not among the early risers

And the long distance walkers?

Have I not stood, amazed, as I consider

The perfection of the morning star..

Have I not thought, for years, what it would be

Worthy to do, and then gone off, barefoot and with a silver pail,

To gather blueberries,

Thus coming, as I think, upon a right answer?

What will ambition do for me that the fox, appearing suddenly

At the top of the field,

Her eyes sharp and confident as she stared into mine,

Has not already done?...

Here is an amazement-once I was twenty years old and in

Every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,

And in every motion of the green earth there was

A hint of paradise,

And now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.

Above the modest house and the palace – the same darkness.

Above the evil man and the just, the same starts.

Above the child who will recover and the child who will

Not recover, the same energies roll forward

From one tragedy to the next and from one foolishness to the next.

I bow down.

Have I not loved as though the beloved could vanish at any moment,

Or become preoccupied, or whisper a name other than mine

In the stretched curvatures of lust, or over the dinner table?

Have I ever taken fortune for granted?...

Have I ever said that the day was too hot or too cold

Or the night too long as black as oil anyway,

Or the morning, washed blue and emptied entirely

Of the second-rate, less than happiness

As I stepped down from the porch and set out along

The green paths of the world?

An acquaintance of mine says that Mary’s poems shifted over the years – that Mary had a different look on death. I wonder if I am picking up some of this here. She says she is 60 and she moves with the same grace as a 20 year old, however, I wonder if she or anyone really does. Does the brain somehow get different messages from the aging body, a general sense of being ill at ease in the world? And so we question how we have judged life and death and one another, for our bodies are feeling judged by the years. What did we do wrong to end up in this place? Why did evolution give us the brains to be aware of our aging and also serve out the fate that we age and die? Can we say it is simply a matter of endothermic and exothermic balanced equations as evolution moves towards greater complexity? Pondering meaning perhaps you say that each must get out of the way for life to meander down the unwinding unknown path of evolution. My only response to this possibility is to bow down and to offer a prayer that the next step I take is graceful and spacious, beyond wrong doing and rightdoing.

What or who do you judge?

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