When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
I dream of you walking at night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
The gods are less for their love of praise.
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing
but its own wholeness, its health and ours.
It has made all things by dividing itself.
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same
Being a Fragment
of the Natural History of New Eden,
To Mr. Ed McClanahan, One of the Locals
And now to the Abyss I pass
Of that Unfathomable Grass...