to the stream, grabbing
small branches to not slide
in the mud, and am stopped, mesmerized,
by all the little slipping arcs of
light that glide along the flow;
across the wobbling
water on a bouncing
to a rock, up the bank, boots
on steps of snaking gnarly roots.
in the quiet--
(From "Too Early for Leaves")
Linda sat on a log there and I sat next to her. In time, she wandered off. I stayed, pulling out a small book of Walt Whitman’s poems. But I was ready to pocket it again, as I assumed its small white pages would contract my mind, reduce it, the last kind of experience I wanted out there. Instead, as I focussed on the words from that open, all-encompassing mind, my own mind seemed to expand into the forest around me, without looking up at it. I became part of the forest instead of an observer, with the Cardinals calling to each other and all the old leaves from last year on the ground at my feet.
A NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them. 5
And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.