Monday, October 4, 2010

Once: An Assay


.
.
Once wakes up in the morning, brews coffee, 
goes outside in its bathrobe to bring the paper from the street.
Once notices the day is possible rain.
.
At the same time, Once is lightly climbing a tree, a tall sycamore
slanting over a late-summer stream.
A single yellow leaf at once floats down.
.
A water snake flows one way, the leaf the other.
Once goes with both. 
Then coils in a spring-latched doorknob,
while also swinging its large head around
to scratch the itch that troubles one coarse-haired hip.
.
Once knows again exists
but this is theoretical knowledge.
Thus Once is ceaselessly tender, though without large passion.
.
Once doesn't know any better and so loves this world,
in which babies starve, after long enough,
in silence.
.
Is Once heartless?
- You may well ask,
who pass your life inside its large, dry hand.
.
Once turns its face toward the question:
a horse-shaped clock of bright blue plastic, with red tail.
The dream its whinny wakes you from is also Once's.
.
This sneeze, this pain, this rage or weeping: one moment only.
Leaving, Once takes in its pocket your slightest sigh.
.
Just try to breathe it again, Once murmurs, You'll see.
.
If you protest, it is Once's own and only protest.
If you agree, it is Once that for its instant accedes.
.
This Mobius is hard to understand but easy to manufacture.
A single strip of paper, turned once, and it's yours.
.
~ Jane Hirshfield
from After
.

1 comments:

chemin faisant said...

Beau et impressionnant.Merci.