How raucous the crows are, blaspheming the fields.

Why be surprised, though, since the same can be

heard on town square, in diners, around tables

at family gatherings. Truth, if it survives, will

need to stay wordless for at least a generation.

Acorns slide the barn roof, settle in dust. We live

upwind of Thoreau now, our stench too much

for him. He moves deeper into our mind’s recesses,

a man we might have known but can’t remember.

If we change one word, the story veers irreparably.

There will be, one day, a final example of joy

or forgiveness, of empathy or tenderness, but

who will notice it, too busy wrestling others

for morsels, unaware a feast has been prepared.

At a time to be determined, all will be determined.

Who we are is a matter of choosing, not choosing,

of being chosen or not chosen. A force of wind

might move upon a reed, but the mind can be an

equal force, can hold it still while all others bow.


What I believe gets smaller and smaller

and may one day recede to a leaf letting

go of its stem. I began as a quiet that

got louder, thinking of how I used to

crawl through caves, how I tossed stones

into beech hollows, how I placed cicada

husks on a neighbor’s fence. Between me

and the future self I’ll be, I’ll be ten thousand

incarnations of a moment that has already

magnified the one before it and the one

after it and recombined them into longings

and lovingkindnesses and perfections

the mind is too imperfect to comprehend.

I must be looking for a world that is other

than the one it claims or tries to be, one

that lets me pick blueberries in the rain

because what else are blueberries for, and

how long might I have stood there otherwise.

I might have long ago left myself behind,

beginning—like a ripple on a pond—to form

a widening embracing my own disappearing.