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.