From its haunt
within the mountain, what’s hidden calls out.
Star fire. A moon of hazy milk. What
more do I want?
I wait until last light opens
into an obedient listening,
a reverie that includes the rapt attention
of the moon,
and the pickerel frogs
hard at their vesper canons,
their singing given out with such
jubilant abandon, I sense
even the candent lapis of the evening sky
as forms of their strange joy.
When finally its time, I walk
the lane of swamp maples and oaks
and come into the damp, open fields—
and there it is, looking for all the world
as if someone
opened a window up there,
the blurred light of heaven roving out.
I hear only its plangent silence. It requires
nothing. Asks nothing.
I could continue to call it porthole, angel,
herald— or refuse to,
an apophatic reprieve,
its funereal wake of ice and
debris all I see,
and gauze at that.
Give the distance,
how can I
know what to make of its thunder and furnace,
its burly habit of
a succession of lucidities so vast,
any sensible humility would catch
But dear God, all I want is to be here,
anguish and my joy
a moment’s notice, an equivalent cry
just as two Canadas
honk a path across dark fields,
flying lower than the rim of the long stone wall,
than the wetland rushes,
all the gramarye and splendor
this wide and terrible plentitude somehow
intermingled with their sudden, ragged and ridden, litany.
Full of itself for hours,
now wind falls away.
From walking the bottomland
I come up the low rise
just ahead of the last
sweep of shadow down the field—
the sun’s whole round
and the sticks of the winter rose bush
meet— the breast of a bird on its nest,
Flaring its wings.
from Icon and Evidence