He drinks the water because he is thirsty:
Bent down on his knees
Among the thistle and splintered grass. Scooping
with a cupped hand from between the brown stones.
Tonight he will be sick,
His stomach raked raw from disease
He knows this,
But his throat is dry with dust
And the water,
Man teaches beast with gestures
And tries to teach
But it does not work.
They sit in an untrained circle. Waiting
Not for man to speak,
But waiting for the inflection:
The anger or the loving, cooing of praise.
The spotted one sits with its head turned,
It watches man speak
Midmorning light scatters between the grass and dandelions,
Catching speckles of wild strawberries.
It must be spring.
His thumb presses in against the dent:
Cold and slightly sticky,
Yellow seeds scaling the surface of
Smooth, snakelike skin.
He drops it into the bowl
Gray coming from gray
Pigeon abandons cobblestone
In sudden flutter
A scarf tilts in the breeze
White with roses
A woman sits, waiting
The jingle of money
A child plays violin alone
Pennies in his hat
How sad –
Gold relics sit in the sun
Only tourists want them
A bird cries
In the threshold of a shadowy tree hollow tangled
with grisly roots, soil, and clover,
Sprouts a single white mushroom,
stem craning forward from the shade,
from the film of layering moss,
thrusting itself into a slant of yellow daylight....
Even in nature,
it is only in stillness that one can ever see nature: See
the ever-moving ants, the gray cat-furred moths in
constant motion. The black widow spinning
thick meshes of white web in the splintered skeletons
of long fallen trees.
The electric-blue tails of dragonflies vivid ag...
Disillusioned, they claw apart with hunger
Flexing muscles and exchanging
Talons for claws with even certainty
And plunging into restless, savage slumber
These are the dreams of the weak
The pinprick voids that exist silently
In the blindside of their hearts
Somewhere they co...
From the starry woods we came
In a burst of glory from the night,
Into the morning light.
And watching for first signs
Of the orange sun
But God does this time and again;
Blinking universes into existence.
And he took time for us
Between his tasks
In the dappled grass I found my bed
Drawn far from my home in the summer night
The universe itself seemed to press in overhead
As I lay beneath the starry light
And airy breeze tumbled from the woods
Which stood, but no menace did display
In that haven must have been some good
For my trust ...